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My MKE Staycation: Craft Cocktails and Vintage Shops

Contributing editor Elisabeth Wallock would head to Bay View on a day off.

I may live in Cedarburg, but Milwaukee has always been my playground. Here’s my itinerary for a perfect day in Cream City.

10 a.m.

I meet my best friend, Molly, at Riverwest’s cozy Café Corazon for breakfast burritos and sunrise margaritas. The brightly colored interior and bustling atmosphere serves as the perfect wake-up call on a Saturday morning.

Cafe Corazon’s original Riverwest location. Photo by Adam Ryan Morris.
11:30 a.m.

We then make our way to the Beerline Trail to walk off those delicious burritos. Our hike is punctuated by the fiery fall foliage that has taken over the shoreline of the Milwaukee River.

1:30 p.m.

Next, we head to Kickapoo Coffee to fuel up on large lattes in the airy, tranquil coffee shop. We split a chocolate chip cookie while we devise our plan for the rest of the day.

Photo by Kathryn Lavey
2:15 p.m.

As the skies turn overcast and the Lake Michigan breeze turns into biting winds, we decide to catch a film at Bay View’s Avalon Theater. The “star-studded” ceiling at the Avalon provides an ethereal experience for viewers, and I caught my eyes drifting up to the occasional shooting star every so often.

Bay View’s Avalon Theater. Photo by Erin Gosch
4:45 p.m.

Ready to stretch our legs and face the chilly fall weather once again, we meander down Kinnickinnic, stopping at the various vintage shops to browse retro T-shirts and old vinyl records. We pop into Luv Unlimited, Tip Top Atomic Shop and my personal favorite: Alive and Fine.

6 p.m.

Our trip down Kinnickinnic leads us past the Bay View Bowl, and we spontaneously decide to play each other in a friendly game of bowling while we sip beer. Molly beats my score considerably, so I buy the last round.

7 p.m.

With rumbling tummies, we manage to score a table at Santino’s, our favorite Italian restaurant in town. We start with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and the antipasto platter, a large wooden board topped with cured meats, fresh cheeses, olives and wood fired Italian bread. For our main course, we shared a Diavolo pizza.

8:30 p.m.

From Santino’s we head to my favorite bar for craft cocktails: Boone & Crockett, where we belly up to the wooden bar and imbibe in more than a couple Tom Collins made with gin. I’ve always loved the American frontier-era décor of Boone & Crockett, with antique chandeliers and mounted taxidermy hanging from the walls.

10 p.m.

Heading back north toward my designated crash pad on the East Side, we stop at The Garage to meet some friends, happily unsure of where the rest of the evening will take us.



Elisabeth Wallock is a contributing digital editor at Milwaukee Magazine. She graduated from Colorado State University and has interned at Marie Claire in New York and Urban Outfitters in London.