Our neighbors to the north offer plenty of excuses to plan an impromptu road trip: a phenomenal art museum, lots of craft beer, a vibrant public market, stellar coffee shops and more beer. The best part? Because Milwaukee is located just 90 miles north of Chicago, it's easy to get to without breaking the bank. Put those extra dollars toward a cozy hotel room in one of the city's most happening neighborhoods. Milwaukee offers an excellent mix of trendy accommodations, historical hotels and interesting boutique properties—all of which put visitors within walking distance of some of the city's top attractions. Here are the best places to rest your head after a long day of brewery-hopping in Milwaukee.
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Top Milwaukee hotels
Situated in the epicenter of Milwaukee's coolest neighborhood, the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel opened in 2016. The nine-story brick building has 158 guest rooms that are decorated with jewel-tone furniture, free-standing soaker tubs, cozy white linens and beautiful light fixtures. With all of those upscale touches, it'll be tough to leave your room, but the common spaces here really shine. Guests can check out the Mediterranean-inspired menu at Tre Rivali on the ground floor or head upstairs to the epic rooftop bar, the Outsider. There's plenty of shopping, eating and sipping to be done just outside the hotel doors, too; Milwaukee's historic Third Ward neighborhood is packed with stellar options for the sophisticated palate.
Founded by former Wicker Park residents, it's no surprise that Kinn Guesthouse makes Milwaukee-bound Chicagoans feel right at home. The boutique hotel has eight rooms, each with unique art, colorful furniture and playful touches; some even feature exposed Cream City brick and pieces from Milwaukee artists. Every single comfort is accounted for, and the little touches (Cowshed products in the bathrooms! Apple TVs in every room! Luxury bedding!) make this small Bay View inn a top choice. All guests are able to access the shared gourmet kitchen and self-serve laundry room, two major travel perks that the big-box hotels don't have.
History buffs will adore this 125-year-old hotel situated in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. The Pfister houses an impressive collection of Victorian art, which can be explored via a self-guided tour or with the current artist in residence. After taking in the jaw-dropping lobby (which is even more spectacular during the holiday season), take a load off in the clean, well-appointed suites upstairs. Make time to visit the hotel's downstairs spa for a massage, body scrub or haircut; then head upstairs to Blu on the 23rd floor for a glass of wine.
This funky Art Deco-inspired boutique hotel boasts 63 spacious suites, excellent dining options and a beautiful rooftop terrace. Though Hotel Metro has plenty of tasteful old-school touches, it's equipped with modern amenities, too. Dog owners will appreciate the pet-friendly suites that include a dog bed, treats and food bowls. Want to explore town on someone else's wheels? Grab a complimentary Hampton Cruiser bicycle or reserve the hotel's London Cab, a sleek black automobile that was imported from London.
Designed with motorcycle enthusiasts in mind (it's a stone's throw from the Harley-Davidson Museum), the Iron Horse offers 100 loft-style guest rooms in Walker's Point. The uber-cool boutique hotel's strongest draw is its bevvy of on-site food and drink options. Come summer, hotel guests and visitors flock to the Yard, a sprawling pet-friendly patio on the west side of the building. Head inside for breakfast, lunch and dinner Smyth or grab a cocktail at Branded. Got a hog? Enjoy complimentary motorcycle parking, an on-site bike wash and in-room storage for boots and helmets.
Budget-conscious travelers will get a kick out of this no-frills vintage hotel in Milwaukee's Lower East Side. The four-story Art Deco building was erected in 1925 and has been renovated in recent years to keep up with busy travelers' demands. Guests enjoy full kitchens, free WiFi and coin laundry (or valet dry cleaning). The Plaza Hotel also offers complimentary Mercedes car service based on availability, so you can hitch a stylish ride to nearby restaurants, bars and attractions. If you're looking to max out on relaxation, book a massage with on-site spa therapist Jeanne Marie Vielleux; rates start at $90.
Stay in the thick of it when you book a room within this historic 1886 Romanesque-style building. The Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown is ideal for couples and small groups looking to explore Milwaukee for the weekend. Its central location puts visitors within walking distance of the city's top restaurants and bars, the vibrant lakefront and tons of big-ticket attractions like the Milwaukee Art Museum, Discovery World and Veterans Park. The stunning 127-room hotel offers comfortable quarters with 14-foot ceilings and big, beautiful windows.
Here for the beer? Complete your stay with a room at the Brewhouse Inn & Suites, a renovated relic of the former Pabst Brewery. The 90-room inn offers studios, one- and two-bedroom spaces and several specialty suites for larger groups. Each room is different, but many are outfitted in exposed brick, timber ceilings and modern touches. You'll want to spend some time checking out the lobby, which features old copper brew kettles and a colorful stained-glass window depicting the mythical King Gambrinus, the patron saint of beer. And yes, in case you were wondering, the hotel bar serves ice-cold PBR.
This sophisticated hotel is sandwiched between the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and the Pabst Theater, making it a great launching pad for visiting concert-goers and theater aficionados. The InterContinental has 221 modern guest rooms, plenty of contemporary meeting spots and 13,000 square feet of event space. It's worth keeping an eye on this property: Come 2019, the hotel will be rebranded by its owner, transforming into an independent arts hotel. The hip new space, which will be closed temporarily for renovations, will feature artwork from international and local artists.