Hooray! We made it to Wisconsin (visiting Milwaukee, Caledonia, and Racine County)! Luke and I were both eager to experience this state with it notability for good cheese and craft beers. While there are no Thousand Trails campgrounds in Wisconsin we lucked out and found a great county campground, Cliffside Park for a reasonable price! We were even social and made great friends with our neighbors! They were recent college graduates from the area and have awesome an awesome blog and vlog that you should check out. 😉
Swimming at Lake Michigan
We were only a short motorcycle ride away from Lake Michigan so of course we had to get down there and take a dip in the massive lake! Luke and I truly were amazing by the sheer size of the lake (I mean I guess there’s a reason they’re called the great lakes but there’s just something about seeing it in person!) The water doesn’t get very deep for quite a ways out and that made swimming and jumping waves even more fun.
Milwaukee Pierhead Lighthouse
The Milwaukee Pierhead Light is an active lighthouse in the Milwaukee harbor, just south of downtown. It aids the navigation of “sister” Kenosha North Pier light.
Another nearby lighthouse was Wind Point, one of the oldest and tallest active lighthouses on the Great Lakes. It began lighting the way in 1880 and was added to the national register of historic places in 1980. The village of Wind Point now maintains the site and it’s just lovely! It is often used for weddings, picnics and parties. We enjoyed sitting near the water and listening to the waves crash on the rocks.
Wingspread, also known as the Herbert F. Johnson House, is a historic house built in 1939 by Frank Lloyd Wright. The home has a beautiful pinwheel design. It is one of the largest prairie-style houses Wright designed. If you travel to Chicago I highly recommend doing a Frank Lloyd Wright tour. Wingspread now hosts conferences and organizations. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to tour the inside of the home due to COVID but we were able to explore the grounds briefly.
Milwaukee Public Market
As we made our way into Milwaukee Wisconsin (less than an hour drive from our campsite) I was more than ready to get my hands on some cheese curds. We stopped into Milwaukee Public Market to scope out our options. Though I figured after Pike Place Market in Seattle we might not be to impressed with this market, I was wrong! Milwaukee Public Market is certainly worth the stop and hosts a variety of yummy bakeries, cheese shops, and more!
We ended up getting our cheese curd fix at A.J Bomber’s just down the road. We couldn’t pass up the fried goodness. While we did thoroughly enjoy our cheese curds we were not too impressed with our burgers. I don’t want to lead my foodie friends astray! I’d recommend checking out Lakefront Brewery for a meal.
We did our best to burn some calories from all the fried goodness by taking a stroll on the Milwaukee river walk. You can also rent kayaks and canoes on the river walk, which looked like a lot of fun!
The basilica is another amazing piece of architecture in Milwaukee Wisconsin and worth a stop! Below you’ll find some history on the structure.
The Basilica epitomizes the striving of early Polish immigrants to express their ethnic heritage, spiritual devotion, and patriotic pride by building impressive houses of worship.
The first Poles came to Milwaukee in the 1840s, but their numbers did not become significant until after the Civil War. By the late 1800s, Polish immigrants were streaming into Milwaukee by the thousands, quickly becoming the second largest ethnic group in the nation’s most German city. In 1866, thirty Polish families established Saint Stanislaus Parish on Milwaukee’s South Side as the first urban Polish parish in the United States.
Saint Josaphat Parish was formed in 1888 as an offshoot of Saint Stanislaus Parish and subsequently became the largest Polish parish in Wisconsin. Its first home was a modest building that burned to the ground in 1889. The parish built a second church but it was too small for its needs.
Poles were the largest of the European immigrant groups who settled in Milwaukee after 1870. Attracted by the promise of jobs and fleeing religious oppression and compulsory military service, their population swelled to nearly 60,000 by 1900—second only to the Germans.
Poles were uniformly Catholic, and the church became the social as well as the spiritual center for their communities. The current church was completed in 1901.
American Science and Surplus
American Science and Surprise (Milwaukee Wisconsin) was a random find after I did some digging through travel blogs. But wow what a fun, unique, place! Luke loved this stop as they had all kinds of random parts for building computers, gadgets, really almost anything you could imagine. You could buy old x-ray machines, beakers, moon globes, you name it!
We loved our time in Milwaukee, if you’ve ever considered a vacation to this state I’d tell you to absolutely go for it! The people are lovely, the food is delish, and there’s plenty to see and do! Last week’s post here