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Romantic Getaway in Milwaukee - Breweries, B&B's, The Riverwalk & More

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Author: Greg Mattson, Excellent Romantic Vacations Editor

By: Greg Mattson, ERV Editor - Updated Nov 20, 2016

It’s been called one of the USA’s best River Towns, and Milwaukee is a pleasant surprise for any weekend escape on Lake Michigan's Western shore . 

Romantic Getaway in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward RiverwalkThe Riverwalk is a Must-See Place on your Romantic Getaway in Milwaukee, WI

Enjoy this quick guide for your next romantic getaway in Milwaukee, with our top ideas on places to stay, what to do and where to eat in this City by the Lake in Southeastern Wisconsin.

7 Romantic Things to Do in Milwaukee

Our picks of some of the best things for couples to do, both downtown and around Milwaukee:

1. See Historic Third Ward & Downtown Riverwalk – our vote as one of Milwaukee’s most romantic places. THE location for a walk in the city, with plenty of lookout points, waterfront dining spots, pubs, and places to relax and people watch. 

2. Stop for Lunch at The Public Market – when in the Third Ward, don’t miss The Market, one of the best of its kind in the Midwest. Our favorites were the meat and cheese vendors, wine shops, and trying out a dark Belgian bier on the rooftop patio of the Café Benelux & Market. The Market is a natural 1st stop for assembling your romantic picnic lunch for the Riverwalk. (400 N. Water St, Milwaukee, WI)  

3. Tour Milwaukee Brewing Co. – hey, it’s Milwaukee right. There has to be a brewery tour somewhere. Well, make it this one. For $10 you’ll get a very interesting tour, plus a very generous sampling of several of the brews. The staff clearly enjoy being there, the beer is pretty good, and the tour holds your interest well. (613 S. 2nd St, Milwaukee, WI)  

4. Take a Romantic Milwaukee River Cruise - get on board the Edelweiss for one of of Milwaukee’s most romantic boat rides. Happy hour, dinner, sunset and wine cruises can be a great part of your fun night out on the town (or on the water). They also do small, romantic weddings for those who plans include eloping in Milwaukee. (414-276-7447 or visit https://www.edelweissboats.com/)

5. Experience Splash Studio – Milwaukee’s version of a pretty cool & romantic date/evening out idea: painting and alcohol. Staffed by local artists and located deep in the Historic Third Ward, it’s the quirky alternative to stuffy bars. Best part is, you don't have to sign up for anything, just c'mon in, order a drink, sit down at the canvas and start painting! (184 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, WI)

6. Indulge at Indulgence Chocolatiers - not just your run-of-the-mill chocolate shop, but almost like a "jewelry store of chocolates". Besides offerings of some of the most delicious truffles and s'mores in the Midwest, they have some pretty cool things to try, like craft beer, wine and scotch pairings with chocolates. (211 S. 2nd St, Milwaukee, WI) 

7. Find the Best Romantic Spot by the Water in Milwaukee - just looking to relax, or perhaps accomplish something a little heavier, like finding a place for an engagement/proposal? Veteran's Park (1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr) is close to downtown and has some excellent views of the Lake and City Skyline. If you don't need that much water, the Lake Park Waterfall is a good choice, as many couples in Milwaukee choose it as the romantic location to get married. (3233 E. Kenwood Blvd, Milwaukee WI)

Romantic Hotels in Milwaukee

Hampton Milwaukee King SuiteKing Room at the Hampton Milwaukee Downtown
Whirlpool Tub at the Hampton Inn MilwaukeeWhirlpool Suite, Hampton Inn Milwaukee
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown Milwaukee - we chose our 2-night stay in downtown Milwaukee at the Hampton with it's central location downtown, close to The Riverwalk. They've got an afternoon cocktail hour and suites with a whirlpool tub big enough for two. There's a nice breakfast (free) and lobby area downstairs, indoor heated pool, fitness room and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. What Other Couples Liked: Complimentary Breakfast...Corner Suites...Walking Tour of the City Started Right at the Front Doors. 2020 ERV Rating*: 60% - Fair. (176 W. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI  855-271-3622)
Pfister Hotel, MilwaukeePfister Hotel
The Iron Horse Hotel, MilwaukeeThe Iron Horse Hotel
  • The Pfister Hotel - when a hotel has hosted over 6500 weddings in the past 120 years, you can bet they know a thing or two about a romantic getaway in Milwaukee. They've been awarded "Best Wedding Night Hotel" by Wisconsin Bride Magazine, and a night at the Pfister in the heart of downtown Milwaukee is truly something special. What Other Couples Liked: Warm, Wonderful & Elegant... Terrific Lobby...B&B Anniversary Package. 2020 ERV Rating*: 94% - Excellent. (424 E. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 800-558-8222)

Romantic Touch: even if you're not staying here, try to drop by for drinks by the piano at the Pfister's Lobby Lounge, the hotel's gorgeous centrepiece and certainly one of Milwaukee’s most romantic lounges. Any night out on the town needs to spend some time here!

Iron Horse Hotel

  • Iron Horse Hotel - a century-old warehouse converted into Milwaukee's most romantic boutique hotel. Themed around Harley Davidson motorcycles and the city's industrial and architectural heritage, The Iron Horse's loft-style rooms resemble upscale condos with brick and timber highlights. What Other Couples Liked: Really Cool Vibe...2 Minute Cab Ride to the 3rd Ward...Sexy, Modern, Eclectic, Posh and Rugged all in One. 2020 ERV Rating*: 92% - Excellent. (500 West Florida St, Milwaukee, WI 888-543-4766)

Romantic Getaway in Milwaukee B&B's

Milwaukee's Schuster Mansion Bed and BreakfastSchuster Mansion B&B
Manderley B&B, MilwaukeeManderley Bed and Breakfast
  • Schuster Mansion Bed & Breakfast -  One of West Milwaukee's most impressive mansions is now a small romantic inn. If you're in Wisconsin celebrating an anniversary or honeymoon, they have their "Premier Plan" rate which adds wine, snacks, tour of the mansion and concierge service to your stay. Romantic Touch: Don't miss their Victorian High Tea at the Mansion each afternoon from 1 PM to 3 PM. What Other Couples Liked: Great Anniversary Getaway...Serenity Suite has a Huge Jetted Tub...Fresh Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies! 2016 ERV Rating*: 86% - Very Good (3209 West Wells St, Milwaukee, WI 414-342-3210)
  • Manderley Bed & Breakfast - this Victorian brick mansion is now firmly established on the National Register of Historic Places, and as one of Milwaukee's must-stay bed and breakfasts. Romantic Touch: 2 of the suites have natural wood fireplaces, perfect for an extra-cozy romantic getaway in Milwaukee during the winter. What Other Couples Liked: Amazing Pancakes, Down to Earth Hosts...Whirlpool Bath & Fireplace...Antiques, Period Furniture, Stained Glass Art. 2020 ERV Rating*: 94% - Excellent (3026 West Wells St, Milwaukee, WI 414-459-1886)

Milwaukee Romantic Getaway Packages

5 of Milwaukee's Most Romantic Dining Spots:

  • Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro - Romantic views of the Lake (3133 East Newberry Boulevard, Milwaukee, WI  414-962-6300)  
  • Buckley’s Restaurant & Bar - Irish charm and a nice intimate setting (801 N. Cass St, Milwaukee, WI  414-277-1111)
  • Harbor House - Lakefront seafood with city skyline views (550 N. Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI  414-395-4900)
  • La Merenda - Tasty tapas in historic Walker's Point (125 E. National Ave, Milwaukee, WI  414-389-0125)  
  • Centro Café - Cozy, affordable and romantic Italian restaurant (808 E. Center St, Milwaukee, WI  414-455-3751, no reservations taken, opens at 5 PM so arrive early)

More Romantic Milwaukee Ideas:

*ERV Rating: our unique, non-scientific ratings for romantic accommodation include:

  • Amenities: including Whirlpool bath or JACUZZI® Tub, scenic view, fireplace, lounge, etc
  • Location: proximity of hotel to restaurants, pubs, downtown, etc
  • Clientele: demographic the hotel attracts (couples, families, business travelers, etc)
  • Popularity: based on social media & crowd-sourced reviews 
  • Value: product offered compared to room rate 
  • Please Note: percentage ratings are not absolute but for comparative use only  

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