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3 Milwaukee Experiences to Add to Your Bucket List

Milwaukee is home to countless hidden treasures.

Local author and photographer Barbara Ali has rolled her top choices into her latest book, The Milwaukee Bucket List - 101 Real Milwaukee Adventures.

Here are three of Ali’s favorites:

Credit S Bence

The Aurora St. Luke’s Hospital Healing Garden

2900 West Oklahoma – at Oklahoma and S. 27th Street

Take elevator to the 8th floor and prepare yourself for a knockout view of Milwaukee.

“The project was built about five years ago at a cost of nearly $5 million and it was done with private donations," Ali says. "The plan was kind of a group effort using input from patients, physicians and professionals. The end product has a garden with a wide variety of plants; it’s open all seasons. The inside is a sanctuary where people can come to meditate and look at artwork and read poetry.”

Then there’s the view, “you can see the entire landscape of Milwaukee starting at the Basilica," she says. "Going around you can see the Hoan Bridge, the U.S. Bank building and then you see Miller Park way out at the other side. It’s quite a panorama!”

Credit S Bence

Forest Home Cemetery

2405 West Forest Home Ave.

It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is Milwaukee’s only Victorian cemetery.

“In the days that this cemetery was created, it was popular for people to do their Sunday outing, where they would hitch up the horse to the carriage and pack a picnic and they would come to the cemetery to visit their deceased relatives and then they would spend the day picnicking and maybe playing ball and going for a walk," Ali says.

Its like taking a walk through Milwaukee’s history. "It’s a great historical lesson on who built Milwaukee, and why and how," she says. "And it’s not only the stones that are interesting – artists created some of the headstones here so they’re very diverse. “

As for nature, Ali says the grounds hold more than 300 varieties of trees, “it’s the most diverse arboretum in the entire region.”

Credit Bill Hartz
Santa Rampage 2013

Santa Rampage

Ali says the bike ride tradition started more than a decade ago, “it was started by some volunteers who love to bike year round and mostly started out with bike couriers. It became so large – the last time I participated, I think there were 750 people.”

People fly in from out of state to be part of the Santa-costumed crowd, she says.

Rumor has it that this year’s ride will be on December 6th.

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Susan Bence entered broadcasting in an untraditional way. After years of avid public radio listening, Susan returned to school and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She interned for WUWM News and worked with the Lake Effect team, before being hired full-time as a WUWM News reporter / producer.