For elegant accommodations, the Pfister in downtown Milwaukee features a martini bar and spa ($184 for a king-sized bed).
For more down-to-earth accommodations that are still conveniently located, the Ambassador Inn is blocks from Marquette University ($87).
Take a book-browsing excursion to Woodland Pattern Book Center on Locust Street, which houses one of the most comprehensive poetry collections in the country (free). Stick around for Red Letter, a reading series featuring local and regional poets and writers on the third Friday of each month ($3).
Visit one of four Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop locations while you can; the eighty-two-year-old independent bookstore closes its doors for good on March 31 (free).
Attend the seventh annual Spring Writers Festival, a three-day conference at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, that offers presentations, craft workshops, and networking opportunities with writers, agents, editors, and others from March 6 through March 8 ($269).
Attend the Poets Monday reading at Linneman’s on Locust Street (free).
Check out the Harley Davidson Museum on Canal Street ($16).
Attend a day game at Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers: Cheap seats ($8).
Tour the Miller Brewing Factory on West State Street (free).
Food and Drink
Order a Happy Cow! sandwich at the Fuel Café on East Center Street ($6.95).
Enjoy a beer and listen to some polka music at Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall on South 37 Street. Tuesday is Retro Beer Night: Pabst Old Style, Old Milwaukee, Blatz and Hamms ($1.50)
Have lunch at Café Lulu on South Howell Avenue: The Half Pound Heart Attack Burger ($9).
Just Beyond Milwaukee
Take a day trip to Blackhawk Island, hometown of poet Lorine Niedecker, 102 miles southwest of Milwaukee.
Take a day trip to Chicago art museums and bookstores, 94 miles south of Milwaukee. While you’re there, stroll through Printer’s Row, a neighborhood that housed Chicago’s printing and publishing industry in the late nineteenth century (free).