By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jun 21, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Who needs expensive hotels and hours spent on airline layovers when you can save a few dollars and opt for a Milwaukee Staycation. Throughout the summer, keep an eye out for's ongoing Staycation articles with the low-down on the key tourism sights in Milwaukee. We hope these suggestions will inspire you to check out various local attractions, reveal hidden gems and reflect the best Milwaukee has to offer.

Where to go -- 700 N. Museum Dr. on the shore of Lake Michigan.

When to go -- Milwaukee Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. It's open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Open also on select Monday holidays, including Labor Day, Memorial Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

How much -- Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for students with ID, seniors (65 and up) and active military. Children 12 and under are free.

Where to park -- Metered street parking (no need to plug meters on weekends) isn't usually too difficult to find, but requires a little walking. There is a heated parking lot beneath the Calatrava-designed expansion. O'Donnell Park, across Lincoln Memorial Drive, also has a large parking lot.

What to see -- The 341,000-sq. ft. museum has 20,000 works of art, including fine collections of American folk art, Haitian art, European decorative arts and the collection it inherited from its predecessor the Layton Art Gallery, which includes 19th and 20th century European and American works.

Do not miss the The Mrs. Harry L. Bradley Collection, which includes wonderful works by Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Kathe Kollwitz, Vassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and other European greats from the late 19th and early 20th century.

In addition, the buildings themselves are of interest. The older portion was designed by Eero Saarinen and built in 1957 as part of the War Memorial Center. Beneath it is a 1975 addition by Milwaukee's David Kahler.

The jewel, of course, is the Quadracci Pavilion, built in 2001, which was the first building in the U.S. designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The pavilion's soaring, movable sunscreen "wings" and its explosion of light inside make it as stunning as any of the artwork it houses.

Where to eat -- Café Calatrava, headed by Chefs Chris Hatleli and Nick Burki, not only offers great views of the lake, but also has a delicious, cutting edge menu.

To learn more --, (414) 224-3200