Festival travel: Escape from Detroit to Milwaukee for Summerfest

Festival travel: Escape from Detroit to Milwaukee for SummerfestPhoto: iStock
Published on May 31, 2019

Wisconsin winters can be brutal, which means locals know how to enjoy the summer. The annual Summerfest in Milwaukee is one of the largest (and most affordable) music festivals in the U.S., and it's happening June 26 to July 7, so there's just enough time to start making travel plans.

The city's Summerfest grounds include more than 10 stages, plus an interactive sports zone and a children's theater and play zone. The venue is located downtown on the Lake Michigan waterfront, near many of the city's famous breweries, as well as restaurants, theaters, galleries and more.

Using travel site Skyscanner, we’ve sifted through the cheapest flights between Detroit and Milwaukee, including some popular hotel options and other highly reviewed local attractions. (Prices and availability are current as of publication and subject to change.)

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Cheapest Milwaukee flights

Currently, the cheapest flights between Detroit and Milwaukee are if you leave on June 28 and return from Wisconsin on July 1. Delta currently has roundtrip tickets for $238.

Delta also has tickets at that price point later in June. If you fly out of Detroit on June 29 and return from Milwaukee on July 1, Delta can get you there and back for $238 roundtrip.

Top Milwaukee hotels

Regarding where to stay, here are some of Milwaukee’s top-rated hotels, according to Skyscanner, that we selected based on price, proximity to things to do and customer satisfaction.

The Pfister Hotel (424 E. Wisconsin Ave.)

For an all-around top recommendation, consider The Pfister Hotel. The hotel has a 4.6-star rating on Skyscanner, and rooms are currently available for $169.

Set in the heart of Milwaukee, this hotel is close to the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, the Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World. 

The Iron Horse Hotel (500 W. Florida St.)

There's also the 4.7-star rated The Iron Horse Hotel. Rooms are currently set at $169/night.

"Great, stylish hotel with gorgeous rooms. The service is top-notch and there are a couple of great bars and restaurants at the hotel," wrote visitor Tom.

The InterContinental Milwaukee (139 E. Kilbourn Ave.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

A third option is The InterContinental Milwaukee. The 4.4-star hotel has rooms for $126/night. It's close to the Pabst Theater and Milwaukee City Hall. 

Top picks for dining and drinking

If you're looking to snag a bite at one of Milwaukee's many quality eateries, here are a few popular culinary destinations from Skyscanner's listings that will help keep you satiated.

Leon's Frozen Custard (3131 S. 27th St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Let's start with the essentials: ice cream. For a popular option, check out Leon's Frozen Custard , which has an average of five stars out of 13 reviews on Skyscanner. Leon's Frozen Custard opened for business on May 1, 1942. The business is still owned and operated by the original family.

"This institution is open all year, and they are open late into the night...at least during the summer, " wrote visitor Steve. "They only had four flavors of custard for cones (chocolate, vanilla, butter pecan, and raspberry), but then they also have a wide assortment of shakes/malts and sundaes, etc."

Beans & Barley Market, Deli & Cafe (1901 E. North Ave.)

One of Milwaukee's most popular restaurants is Beans & Barley Market, Deli & Cafe, with 4.9 stars from 10 reviews.

"Everything about this restaurant and co-op is comforting and delicious, " wrote reviewer Andrea. "The menu items on the restaurant side are to die for. Local and delicious vegan, vegetarian and meat eater items abound."

Cafe Corazon (3129 N. Bremen St.)

Finally, there's Cafe Corazon. The Mexican restaurant supports local farmers and raises its own beef and produce. Its desserts are based on seasonal ingredients.

"Cafe Corazon has delicious Mexican food. The place has character and nice drinks," wrote visitor Anya.

What to see and do in Milwaukee

Not sure what to do in Milwaukee, besides eat and drink? Here are a couple of recommendations, provided by Skyscanner.

The Milwaukee Art Museum (700 N. Art Museum Drive)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

First up is The Milwaukee Art Museum, with four floors of rotating displays and over 30,000 works of art, there is truly something for everyone. 

Harley-Davidson Museum (400 W. Canal St.)

Also, consider checking out Harley-Davidson Museum.

This museum celebrates the 100-plus-year history of Harley-Davidson motorcycles with trivia, models and exhibits.

"This museum is a must-see for motorcycle buffs," wrote visitor Mary. "On display one will find more than 450 motorcycles and artifacts, dating back to Serial Number One, which is the oldest-known Harley-Davidson motorcycle."

This story was created automatically using flight, hotel, and local attractions data, then reviewed by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.