Hot Spots

3-Day Weekend Travel: Milwaukee, WI

From one beer town to another, Milwaukee has a special feel about it. Whether it’s the beauty of being along Lake Michigan or the unavoidable whiff of hops in the air, the city brings about a different kind of adventure. If you ask my best friend, Jackie, it brings fond memories of college at Marquette University – hopping on the LIMO to take young students into the city, followed by a 3am trip to the Dogg Haus. For me, it echoes a 3-day weekend full of laughs, beer and videos that shall remain locked in a shared iCloud album.

Brew City is just a stone’s throw from the Chicago area, and a 6-hour drive from St. Louis. While bitter cold in the winter, summers are perfect for outdoor activities, including boating on Lake Michigan. If you find yourself heading to MKE, I recommend the following:

STAYAloft Milwaukee Downtown

Have you stayed at an Aloft hotel before? This modern concept from SPG is super fun – think bright colors, open concepts and funky lighting. What’s great about this location in particular is that you are in walking distance from Milwaukee’s Public Market, which is filled with restaurants and shops to wander through.  Plus, if you have a late night craving for corn beef and cabbage (or Guinness), Trinity, a trio of Irish pubs, is just across the bridge.

EATCheese curds

Ever wonder why Green Bay Packer fans wear cheeseheads? Wisconsin ranks 4th in the WORLD in cheese production. You’ll even catch a glimpse of the Mars Cheese Castle when driving in from Chicago. Nearly every restaurant in the city features cheese curds, an early step in the cheese making process. Personally, I prefer them fried (because everything is better fried!) but you can eat them fresh as well.


DOBrewery Tours

What, you think it’s called Beer City for nothing? The pride and joy of Milwaukee is Miller, however, I highly recommend Lakefront Brewery and Milwaukee Brewing Company. While the first features gorgeous views of the Milwaukee River, you can enjoy all-you-can-drink brews for two hours at the latter.

Have you traveled to Milwaukee in the past? What are your recommendations? Let me know in the comment section below! 

Hot Spots

Visit: Hermann Hill Vineyard Inn, Cottages & Spa (+ recipe!)

Ever feel like you need to get away? Life has gotten the best of me lately, so I was well-aware I needed a break. Cue Hermann Hill Vineyard Inn, Cottages and Spa.

Hermann, MO, located about 90 minutes from Saint Louis, is famous for the Hermann Wine Trail, a stretch of highway featuring wineries, breweries and distilleries. I’ve heard great things about them all, but the gem of the city is Hermann Hill.

When you check into the Inn, you’ll find yourself with the one-on-one service you’d expect to see in a quaint town. The Inn directors make sure you’re aware of all of the amenities (you know, fresh soup in the afternoon, a Margarita bar, homemade pizza, turn down service…), along with welcoming you to your room with a tray of wine, cheese, fresh baked bread and grapes.

My room, the Port, overlooked the small vineyard, and featured a fireplace, jacuzzi tub and steam shower with a rainforest head. Can you see why I didn’t leave the room?

If the coziness of the room isn’t enough for you, maybe the hand delivered, homemade cookies, ice cream and famous raspberry port sauce will be.

Still not convinced? Wait until you wake up to breakfast in bed. Pick from six delicious, fresh options the night before to be delivered to your room between 9-10. I got the savory scrambled egg casserole with potatoes and an orange marmalade muffin, and holy cow was it delicious. PLUS – the recipe for these amazing orange marmalade muffins is below!

It wouldn’t be a true getaway without a visit to the spa. I enjoyed a 60 minute massage and 30 minute facial (a first!) after checking out. It’s a bit pricey, but sometimes you have to just treat yo’ self.

Every single person needs to take 24 hours to themselves and visit Hermann Hill. Then, come back with your man. Or your girlfriends. Or your dog, because they’re welcome, too!

Orange Marmalade Muffins (via Hermann Hill Inn & Village)

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 c. (16oz) dairy sour cream
  • 1/2 c. orange marmalade
  • 2-1/2 tbsp. Butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla

Mix flour, baking powder and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Combine eggs, sour cream, orange marmalade, butter and vanilla. Pour egg mixture over flour mixture; mix until smooth. Spoon batter into well-greased 3-inch muffin cups, filling cups 2/3 full. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from pan. Yield: 2 to 2 1/2 dozen muffins.