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Our culture editor visits some Cream City icons during her staycation.

I’m still pretty new to Milwaukee. So I decided to spend a recent Monday off playing tourist in my adopted city.

Here’s my staycation itinerary:

10 a.m. Once I’ve rolled out of bed, I amble over to Anodyne Coffee’s airy, two-story Walker’s Point storefront, where my sister, Kelsea, is waiting for me. I order a cold brew in the largest size available and sip it while staring at the people strolling along the street below.

11 a.m. Sufficiently caffeinated, Kelsea and I climb into my car and drive to the Domes – the Mitchell Park Conservatory is free for Milwaukee residents on Mondays until noon. We visit the Floral Show Dome first, where thousands of purple plants vie for our attention. Then we ooh and aah at the brightly colored tropical plants and alien-like cacti in the other two domes.

Mitchell Park Conservatory

The Mitchell Park Conservatory’s Show Dome

12:30 p.m. Next, we venture to Blue’s Egg, in Wauwatosa. I’ve been wanting to visit the diner since I moved to Milwaukee, but the long lines have kept me away until now – fortunately there’s no wait on a Monday. Kelsea and I follow our waitress’s advice and opt to “crunk” our monkey bread.

2 p.m. On the drive back to the city, we stop by Miller Valley for one of the brewery’s free tours. The tour is about as cheesy as the curds being sold in the company’s gift shop, but it’s also pretty informative. And I’m elated to see that the three “sample” brews our guide promised to share with us at the end of the tour are much larger than I’d expected.

3:30 p.m. We’d planned to spend the rest of the afternoon soaking up some sun at Bradford Beach. But we’re both a bit tired (eating brunch and drinking beer is exhausting, apparently), so we opt to watch a movie in one of the Avalon’s star-strewn theaters instead.

5:30 p.m. Feeling refreshed after a few hours in a dimly lit theater, we spend some time wandering through the streets of the Third Ward on our way to dinner, admiring storefronts and venturing into Stephanie Horne to ogle the boutique’s latest acquisitions.

6:30 p.m. The best thing about Café Benelux is its rooftop patio, so we count ourselves lucky when we snag the last available table. We order the moules-frites, and I pretend I’m dining al fresco in a quaint European town while dunking fry after fry into the restaurant’s homemade aioli.

8 p.m. After loosening our belts a bit, we stagger away from Benelux and head toward the Riverwalk, for the Milwaukee Boat Line’s Monday-night Yacht Rock Cruise. A free drink is included with the purchase our $10 tickets, and I snap about a thousand photos of the city’s skyline in between sips of beer.

10:30 p.m. Slightly tipsy and entirely happy, we step back onto solid ground and catch a cab home. 

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