Over 189 Artists Displaying and Selling Their Work: "Lakefront Festival of Arts"
June 18,19,20, 2004
With all the wonderful artists that exhibit their works here, you should have a hard time narrowing down which pieces to buy. There are wonderful photographs, watercolors, glass jewelry, and more!
While you browse through the different tents, you are serenaded by a variety of musical artists playing string instruments as well .
If you get hungry, there's plenty of treats to satisfy your every wish. You can treat your taste buds to burgers, brats, roasted corn, french fries, hand-dipped ice cream bars, chocolate-covered strawberries, ultimate pretzels, turtles, cherry cordials, cheesecake, brownies, popcorn, snow cones, malts and shakes, root beer floats, and Miller and Leinenkugel beers.
It's a great way to spend a weekends day experiencing local artists!
What to pay: Admission to the festival is $8 at the gate, $6 in advance, or $4 to members of Friends of Art.
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
Shops of Grand Avenue: It's helpful to have a downtown mall
It's helpful to have a downtown shopping mall for the essential things of life. The Shops of Grand Avenue don't provide a "thrilling retail experience," but it's good to be able to get the necessities of life in an urban setting - and for better or for worse, we Americans do love our malls. The Shops of Grand Avenue aren't a destination for luxury goods, but they do have one anchor department store, the Boston Store, as well as a number of other important national retailers, ranging from Walgreens to TJ Maxx to Office Max. And Applebee's - it's that kind of place. There's a big food court that offers a lot of options if you're with a group of people and can't settle on one place.
Four major buildings along west Wisconsin were renovated to form the Grand Avenue Mall. That was back in 1982, pretty dark days for downtown retailing in the USA. In 2007, the mall is celebrating its 25th anniversary - and with an increase in downtown population, and major new apartment/condo projects in the Third Ward, along the lakeshore and on the East Side, things have to be looking up for the shopkeepers and managers.
ArtAsia: Asian furnishings you won't find at Pier One
ArtAsia offers the discerning collector a chance to see an entire range of fine home furnishings and objet's art that you won't find at Target and Pier One - the things that are the REAL THING, not simply inexpensive mass-produced knock-offs (not that I'm knocking knock-offs, mind you.)
The owner-curator of ArtAsia has stocked the store with exquisite imports from the best manufacturers in China, Tibet, and Nepal. I'm just crazy about the fascinating Buddhas, as well as the sturdy beautiful-but-functioning dressers and corner tables on display. A little out of my everyday price-range, but generally prices are in a range that it's reasonable to aspire toward. In other words, you'll need to save your dollars to shop here, but you won't need to win the lottery.
From Afar: Interesting international furniture & furnishings
Eclectic, esoteric, exotic, and glamorous. All words that describe the mix of artefacts and objects large and small in this wonderful boutique. I found the perfect wedding gift here for a "hard-to-please" couple. But what I really wanted to do was to run up my charge card with some of the "one-of-a-kind" architectural relics I found here. Asian and African items in abundance, but the emphasis is on quality whereever it is found. This is a fun place to browse, even if you're not in a buying mood.
Mars Cheese Castle: They don't call them cheeseheads for nothing
When Kris (Taz_Mocha) said she wanted to buy a cheese wedge hat for her nephew, I knew exactly where to go, Mars Cheese Castle!
We pass by Mars Cheese Castle every time we go through Wisconsin and have a good laugh at the name but I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever stopped there.
What to buy: In addition to a huge selection of novelty gifts, there's quite a large selection of, you guessed it, CHEESE! Also, sausages and other meats, baked goods, wine & beverages, chocolates.
Mars Cheese Castle: It is out of this world!
On our recent trip to Chicago we took a day trip and drove up to see the Pabst Mansion in Milwaukee, WI. On our way there, about 45 minutes from Chicago, we passed the Mars Cheese Castle and knew we would stop on our return home.
The Mars Cheese Castle has been in exisitance for over 45 years, a vertiable "palace" of cheese and other goodies. They have a restaurant, a bakery, sandwich counter, cocktail lounge and a huge gift shop.
What to buy: Well for the true fans of cheese there is the "cheese head" hat which Kris bought for her nephew back in Germany. I personally got a kick out of the Salami wrapped as a "Miller Lite" beer bottle. Since we were there around the holidays Mars offered cheeses cut to lok like Christmas trees. We found many varities of fruitcake as well as the popular "Kolacky" which are European pastries--Yum!!
There is so much to look at in the store and if you cannot make up your mind right then and there they have an on-line store for your shopping pleasure.
- Food and Dining
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
PABST MANSION GIFT SHOPPE: VICTORIAN GIFT SHOP
The PABST MANSION GIFT SHOP is located in the Pavilion and offers a unique shopping experience. Gift items, books, souvenirs and post-cards (.65) are offered, just to name a few. Proceeds from the gift shoppe help support the restoration and preservation of the Mansion.
- Family Travel
Fred Usinger,Inc: Nationally known for Brats!!
Is a one of a kind sausage maker. Right off River walk. Open since 1880.
What to buy: Bratwurst, Beerwurst and German-style wurst
What to pay: About $25.00 or more If you are like me and want to stock up.Plus live in another part of the country.
Borders Bookstore -- Downtown: A Sign of Retail Life in the Urban Center
I know it's just a chain, but it's good to see a Borders Books newly opened in a prominent location in downtown Milwaukee. This branch isn't as large as many of their suburban megastores, but you gotta appreciate them for investing in the future of urban America. It makes Milwaukee just a little bit more livable, IMHO.
Our first stop was at Usinger's, drawn in by the temptation of fresh sausage.
We picked up several packages-andouille, smoked chicken sausage with apple sauce and cordon bleu-a chicken sausage with Canadian style bacon and swiss cheese.
We've already polished off the cordon bleu which was pretty tasty.
What to pay: Packages of five sausages were $3-$4
Audobon Court Bookstore: Bibliophile Browsing in a Leather Lounge
Hope my tip title has you wondering!!
This was recommended to us by my wife's Uncle who had previously visited it while staying with his daughter and her American husband in West Bend, about 30 minutes drive away.
There we were introduced to the absolute pleasure of being able to pick up a book and sit down in a comfy' leather chesterfield to actually have a good browse in order to determine whether to buys this book or not.
Having , at that stage, never seen anything comparable back home in Australia and not having been introduced to Borders in Chicago and the even better Earthling Bookstore in Santa Barbara, California
I was absolutely in seventh heaven.
It has an excellent range/variety/selection of books including a good kids and educational section and its own little coffee shop, as part of it, in which you can further indulge yourself while delving further into your purchases!
I hope it is still opened and doing good business as I haven't been there for almost six years now. We had the pleasure of visiting on quite a few occasions during our four white Christmases in lovely Wisconsin.
What to buy: Any books your heart desires and, of course, your wallet can afford.
What to pay: Average prices comparable to other bookstores
Oranje: Funky shopping in Bay View
Bay view is a funky neighborhood five minutes south of Downtown Milwaukee. Oranje, on South Kinnickinnic is super cool. A comfortable, modern vibe accompany this boutique specializing in high-quality skin care and cosmetics. European, Asian, independents. This store would fit right in Soho! the Bay View neighborhood is home to many artists and muscians -there are many other cool shops, restaurants and bars close by.
What to buy: Oranje stocks hard-to-find Euro and independent brands as well as supporting local designers. A great stepping stone to the creative class of Milwaukee. A plus is that the owner is very helpful and loves her city. She has a photographic memory, speaks enough of most european languages to help you with directions, plus a super plugged in personality that's networked to most sub/counter-culture activities in town.
What to pay: Have fun and spend a $100 for lots of goodies- but 30-50 buys some very nice product.
- Spa and Resort
- Luxury Travel
- Arts and Culture
Grand Avenue: Not top notch
Milwaukee is definitely not a shopper's paradise. The Grand Avenue is a mall downtown that is pretty nice to look at from the outside and inside, but there are better malls in other cities. It is a two and three story complex, depending on where you are, and is kept up nicely.
It has some of the key stores you need for clothes, Christmas, or birthday shopping, but it is no Chicago or New York. Boston Store is the anchor store.
I think it was renovated in the early 1980's from the old Plankinton Arcade and it is located in a fun part of the city by a few theatres and nice restuarants.
What to buy: Anything
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