Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Milwaukee’s Gilded Age Glory

Germania Building, Milwaukee, WisconsinStaying at a hotel in downtown Milwaukee that used to be a Gimbels department store gave me easy access to many of the city’s best attractions, including the remnants of its Gilded Age. Industrious immigrants, including a tidal wave of Germans and other Eastern Europeans, boosted the city’s population so that, by 1900, it was the 14th largest city in the United States. The work of these determined newcomers coincided with America’s explosion of industrial achievements and economic expansion, and they left behind a legacy of fantastic structures in their “German Athens.” Read about the top five buildings in Milwaukee >


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Delightful Domes That Grace City Skylines

Salta Cathedral, Salta, ArgentinaDomes. They’re one of the world’s most versatile architectural elements. Whether they’re topping iconic buildings like the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, and the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, or they’re the buildings themselves, ranging from Eskimo igloos to Central Asian yurts to the geodesic dome in Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, domes add that final splash of panache to our built environments. Found throughout the world, they seem to be appreciated by just about everyone as the perfect way to top off a building in a graceful, elegant style. Read more about the world’s top five domes >


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Appreciating Milwaukee’s Best Without the Buzz

City Hall, Milwaukee, WisconsinMilwaukee’s sudsy past — when breweries such as Miller, Pabst, and Schlitz were filling up millions of barrels of beer every year, and the titular characters in Laverne & Shirley worked as bottlecappers in a brewery — has given way to a less foamy present (although it remains one of the best places to grab a cold one). The city’s Major League Baseball team’s name still conjures up those days of countless brewers, but the old “Beer Capital of the World” offers visitors so much more than a refreshing pint. From a museum of Harley-Davidson motorcycles to countless ethnic street fairs to one of the world’s largest music festivals, Milwaukee proved to be one pleasant surprise after another. These are my top five things to see and do in Wisconsin’s largest city >