Top 10 Instagram-able Places in MKE
Everyone loves a great photo op and what could be a better way to preserve your memories? When you visit us in Milwaukee there are plenty of places visually interesting for you to visit and test your photography skills. From the locally famous Hoan bridge to another MKE landmark, The Mitchell Park Domes, there is certainly no shortage of Instagram worthy locations. When you visit us at The Ambassador we LOVE to offer insight as to what are "must see" and "must do" sights around the city. After all, helping our guests have a memorable and pleasant visit is our top priority! So, we put together this list of our favorite places to post from as a guide to visiting our city for our fellow photo-loving guests! It was too difficult to decide what order they should go in because they are all pretty fabulous, so these suggestions are not in any particular order. Happy exploring!
1. Mitchell Park Domes
Experience a desert oasis, a tropical jungle and floral gardens…all in one afternoon! The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, better known as The Domes, is one of the most unique destinations in Milwaukee. The attraction has been a landmark in the city of Milwaukee since they were built in 1959.
Discover cacti, succulents, shrubs and desert palms in the Desert Dome. Enjoy five seasonal shows each year in the Floral Dome and walk among 1,200 species of rainforest plants in the Tropical Dome. Where else can you literally walk into an actual tropical oasis in the middle of a snowstorm? The Domes are open every day of the year and host special events and educational programs throughout the year. Learn more about the Domes HERE.
2. Hoan Bridge
The Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge is a tied-arch bridge that connects Interstate 794 in downtown Milwaukee, to the Lake Freeway across the Milwaukee River inlet. It was named after Daniel Hoan, one of the longest serving mayors of Milwaukee. It was designed by the firm Howard, Needles, Tammen & Bergendoff. In 1975 it won the American Institute of Steel Construction Long Span Bridge Award. Although construction on the bridge lasted briefly from 1970 until 1972, it did not open to traffic until 1977 due to public backlash against the planned Milwaukee County freeway system. This halted completion of the connecting roadways and led to the Hoan Bridge being known as "The Bridge to Nowhere." Its unfinished state was used as the site of a car chase scene in the movie The Blues Brothers. Eventually, the bridge connections were completed in 1998, when the Lake Parkway (Wisconsin Highway 794) opened between the bridge's southernmost exit, connecting the bridge between the Bay View neighborhood and downtown Milwaukee's southeastern tip.
3. Milwaukee Art Museum
The Milwaukee Art Museum was founded in 1888 and is purported to be Milwaukee's first art gallery, though that claim is disputed by the Layton Art Gallery, which opened the same year. The Milwaukee Art Center (now the Milwaukee Art Museum) was formed when the Milwaukee Art Institute and Layton Art Gallery merged their collections in 1957 and moved into the newly built Eero Saarinen-designed Milwaukee County War Memorial. In the latter half of the 20th century, the museum came to include the War Memorial Center in 1957 as well as the brutalist Kahler Building in 1975 and the Quadracci Pavilion created by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava in 2001. The Quadracci Pavilion contains a movable, wing-like brise soleil that opens up for a wingspan of 217 feet during the day, folding over the tall, arched structure at night or during inclement weather. The pavilion received the 2004 Outstanding Structure Award from the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering. This iconic building, often referred to as "the Calatrava", is used in the museum logo. Learn more about the Milwaukee Art Museum and plan your visit HERE.
4. Harley-Davidson Museum
The Harley-Davidson Museum is a Milwaukee attraction celebrating the more than 115-year history of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The 130,000-square-foot three building complex on 20 acres along the Menomonee River bank contains more than 450 Harley-Davidson motorcycles and hundreds of thousands of artifacts from the Harley-Davidson Motor Company's 115-year history. The museum’s galleries permanent exhibitions, spread throughout two floors, in addition to temporary exhibits and the motor company’s archives. The complex also includes a restaurant, café, retail shop, and special event spaces. Also on display are historic Harley-Davidson items that tell the company's story and history, such as photographs, posters, advertisements, clothes, trophies, video footage of vintage and contemporary motorcycling, and interactive exhibits, including 10 motorcycles that visitors can sit on. Find out more about the Harley-Davidson museum and plan your visit HERE.
5. Milwaukee County Zoo
The Milwaukee County Zoo is operated by the Milwaukee County Parks Commission. The zoo houses 1,800 animals and covers an area of 190 acres. It is one of the country's top zoos. Notable exhibits include the "Taylor Family Humboldt Penguins" that greet you just inside of the zoo's main entrance, the "Herb and Nada Mahler Family Aviary" where birds fly in recreations of their native habitats, the "Sterns Family Apes of Africa" and "Primates of the World" where guests can watch the antics of Bonobos, Orangutans and Gorillas just to name a few. The zoo is open 365 days a year and offers all-day entertainment and education so be sure to set aside enough time to take in the majesty of the animal kingdom! Learn more about the Milwaukee County Zoo and plan your visit HERE.
6. Miller Coors Brewery
Miller Brewing Company was founded in 1855 by Frederick Miller after his emigration from Hohenzollern, Germany in 1854 with a unique brewer's yeast. Initially, he purchased the small Plank Road Brewery in Milwaukee for $2300. The brewery's location in the Miller Valley in Milwaukee provided easy access to raw materials produced on nearby farms. In 1855, Miller changed its name to Miller Brewing Company, Inc. The enterprise remained in the family until 1966. The brewery offers tours of the historic brewery where you will experience over 160 years of brewing history with a modern-day twist. International visitors and local guests alike experience something new with every tour. Commemorative photos, gift shop keepsakes and an unforgettable exploration of the Milwaukee Brewery await you! More importantly, you will end every tour with Miller's famous hospitality and what everyone is waiting for – ice cold beer! Relax and enjoy your brews in our Visitor Center, Bavarian-style Miller Inn or outdoor Beer Garden (seasonally) with friends and family at this historic Milwaukee landmark. Plan your visit and book your tour HERE.
7. Milwaukee Public Museum The Milwaukee Public Museum is a natural and human history museum located. The museum was chartered in 1882 and opened to the public in 1884; it is a not-for-profit organization operated by the Milwaukee Public Museum, Inc. The MPM has three floors of exhibits and the first Dome Theater in Wisconsin. Explore the canopy of the rainforest, view prehistoric dinosaur fossils, learn about native american heritage and roam "the streets of old Milwaukee". The MPM also offers special exhibits that change throughout the course of the year. Learn more about the MPM and plan your visit HERE.
Summerfest is Milwaukee's annual music festival, held since 1968 on Milwaukee's downtown "Summerfest Grounds" on the lake Michigan Lakefront. The festival hosts performances spanning 11 days. The venue provides 12 stages with performances from over 800 acts and over 1000 performances. Summerfest attracts between 800,000 and 900,000 people each year, promoting itself as "The World's Largest Music Festival", a title certified by the Guinness World Records since 1999. This year Summerfest runs June 26-30 and July 2-7. Explore what Summerfest 2019 has to offer and plan your visit HERE.
9. Fiserv Forum
The Fiserv Forum is a multi-purpose arena located in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The brand new venue officially opened in August of 2018. It is the home of the Milwaukee Bucks NBA basketball team and the Marquette University Golden Eagles men's basketball team. The state of the art arena also hosts world famous concerts and events such as the Bloody Mary Festival, which we will be exhibit at in June! Check out what's coming to the Fiserv Forum HERE and get tickets to visit us at the Bloody Mary Festival HERE!
10. Ambassador Hotel
We HAD to include our gorgeous historic Milwaukee landmark on our list! The Ambassador Hotel has been a fixture on the west side of downtown Milwaukee for eighty-five years. Designed in 1927 by architects Urban Peacock and Armin Frank, the structure boasts many of the hallmarks of Art Deco design. Its gleaming marble floors, stylized polished nickel sconces, bronze elevator doors and ornate plasterwork made the hotel a favorite spot for society weddings and gatherings. Sadly, the hotel and the surrounding area fell into disrepair during the 1970s and 1980s. The hotel was purchased in 1995 by an alumnus of nearby Marquette University. A slow, painstaking restoration over the next decade totally revamped the hotel’s image and vastly improved the entire neighborhood. Rooms were reconfigured to allow for more spacious accommodations and gleaming new bathrooms were installed. Dropped ceilings and drywall were removed to reveal intricate details and archways, along with vintage radios. The Ambassador Hotel’s ambitious $14 million restoration has served as a cornerstone in the rebirth of the surrounding neighborhood and its bold rooftop sign once again beckons guests to enjoy a true Milwaukee legend. Follow us in Instagram! Our handle is @ambassadorhotelmke and plan your visit to the Ambassador Hotel HERE.
Our complimentary shuttle also services ALL of the locations that we mentioned in this blog post! So start planning your MKE getaway and be prepared to add to your Instagram feed!
Please note that all of the Instagram photos shared in this post are property of the original posters.
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