“Find your place and dig in,” says poet Gary Snyder. After spending 10 years of my adult life in Milwaukee, I am digging into my home in the Third Ward. Though I’ve hung out here, I’ve never frequented one venue enough to call it “my spot.” Now that I am a resident, allow me to share some Third Ward highlights from an insider’s perspective.

Best places to:

Catch a game or a beer: The Wicked Hop (345 N. Broadway). Let’s be serious, you will never hear me say the phrase “Let’s go catch the game.” But I am a big fan of beer. In fact, I am also a fan of the Wicked Hop’s wide selection of Van Gogh vodka and their Bloody Mary that is more like a full meal than a cocktail. Though the Wicked Hop typically caters to a sports-watching crowd, it’s the casual, but slightly upscale atmosphere that draws me in.

Complete my look: 5 Hearts (153 N. Milwaukee St.). Owned by mother-daughter team Kelly and MaryJo Mansell, 5 Hearts has a trendy mix of  pieces for women of all ages. The fashions run the gamut of dresses for an evening out to cozy sweaters and jeans.  I can always find something on the sale rack and lots of original accessories I know no one else will be wearing (Until now, I guess!). 

Eat a tasty and casual dinner: St. Paul’s Fish Market (400 N. Water St.). It’s home to the $12.95 lobster dinner, but that’s not even the best thing on the menu. The lobster roll (that gives Boston a run for its money), king crab legs or trout with sautéed veggies and rice is my typical order. St. Paul’s also has fabulous dinner specials every night of the week. I take advantage of (Mussel Monday, Taco Tuesday, Two-for-One Oysters Thursday).

Plan a unique night out with the girls: Splash Art Studios (184 N. Broadway) – Milwaukee has a way of pairing any activity with drinking. I went to Splash a few weeks ago as part of a bachelorette party and had a ball. Local artist Dena Nord led our motley crew in a tutorial on how to paint a robot with flames coming out of his head. She had us all wear wacky hats as part of the creative journey. Step by step, she painted along with us and taught us how to create each piece of the entire image.

Visitors have the option to stop in and paint whichever painting is being taught on any given night, paint their own piece, or rent the space for a group event. There is a minimum of 15 people for a private group and the fee is $28 per person (not including drinks). Check the calendar to see nightly offerings or click here to learn more about renting the space for a group.

Two other Third Ward spots I frequent: Lululemon for their stylish and high-quality athletic gear (and free Saturday morning yoga classes) and Anthopologie. It’s boho-chic at its finest for your wardrobe and your home. Use the comment feature to let me know of your favorite Third Ward spot if I missed it.

Follow me on Twitter as @jkashou to stay on top of what’s happening around town or search #GirlAboutTown.