Madison, Wisconsin is more than just the capitol of this northern US state; the city is a beautiful haven for businesses, college students, home grown locals, and tourists alike. Madison, WI is also one of the top university towns in the nation, with more cultural, historical and dining attractions than you can visit in a single trip to this inspiring and friendly midwest city. Our website lists things to do in Madison WI – including the best places to eat, upcoming sporting events and concerts, and the finest hotels.
Welcome to our guide to staying and playing in what we think is the best city on earth, though we might be a little bit biased in our opinions due to the fact that we live here, we do aim to provide honest reliable information and the best deals to our readers.
All About Madison Wisconsin
The city of Madison Wisconsin is in the middle of four lakes created by the glaciers. Lake Mendota and Lake Monona can be seen not too far off from the downtown area with the State Capitol’s domed edifice and its overall magnificence overseeing all. This city is now indeed lovely unlike the time the capital was selected simply due to its location and nothing else. Legislators had a place to be summoned to for formal meetings after the construction of this building was complete. In the year of 1848, the city took shape and blossomed after the University of Wisconsin-Madison was built.
This town to be admired had bloomed in and of itself that centers on business, culture, education, and leisure along with politics. It is a fact that Madison is constantly referred to as being among the nation’s most suitable and tolerable places to live. This is as a result of the synergy that was developed by the diversity at large in its city. To all people who are broad-minded, “Mad City” is quite appealing when considering the level of influence and strength of that given by their university. Though one should not get the impression that academics are in towers of ivory.
Other events and places that appeal to many people are the clubs, bars, and restaurants along with activities for persons who love the outdoors. Many thanks can be given to the lakes, biking trails a many and games over at Camp Randall Stadium roaring with enthusiastic fans can enjoy the WI Badgers. In addition to all of this wonderful greatness, the economy prospers with the maintenance of a solid status in the community provided by insurance companies and technology alike along with the government all upholding its stance.
If any person desires to take gain more information about the city of Madison, then roaming the Wisconsin State Capitol Building to see what events are occurring on their lawn can be easily done. People are welcomed to not only eat at the restaurants but also check out their shops alongside State Street. The Monona Terrace is there for exploration and was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Madison also claims museums and other parks, all of which when combined with its other wonders are what harmoniously makes up this city.
A Great Location For Everyone
Madison, WI is often referred to as the “City Of Lakes” for its perfect settlement among the gorgeous forested landscape between four lakes coming off the Yahara River – Lake Kegonsa, Lake Mendota, Lake Monona and Lake Waubesa.
In truth, there are five lakes in and around Madison, Wisconsin, but Lake Wingra was not noted within the city’s nickname since it is not connected the Yahara River. Don’t let that fool you though as the lake is certainly no less magnificent than its nearby cousins.
When you travel into downtown Madison WI, you are situated squarely upon the isthmus between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, giving it the city the famous trademark “Lake, City, Lake”.
If you are wondering if we’re trying to make a point here, yes, we are! Simply stated, Madison, Wisconsin is one of, if not the, most scenically beautiful destinations in North America.
Life And Living Here
Over the last 15 years or so, Madison, Wisconsin has been consistently listed among the top of the list of the best places to live in the United States. In 1996, Money Magazine ranked Madison the number one city in the entire country. Major contributors to this impressive status are the immaculate educational programs, of course, and a very low unemployment rate the University of Wisconsin Madison being the number one employer in the area, followed by state and government employment opportunities.
The city of Madison is home to the smaller town of Madison, located within the cities border, as well as the city of Monona and two villages, Maple Bluff and Sherwood Hills. Madison is also surrounded by a number of attractive suburban districts, including Sun Prairie, Middleton, McFarland and Fitchburg. Each of these are ideal locations to settle and raise a family.
Though Madison, WI is considered a greater metropolitan area, you won’t have to worry about losing that small town aspect and close knit hospitality. In fact, every Saturday morning during the summer, the Dane County Farmers Market sets up shop around the State Capitol Square, where the community gathers to find good bargains in an old fashioned setting. Head to the lawn of the Capitol each Wednesday and youíll be treated with a free performance from the Wisconsin chamber Orchestra.
Every year, Madison, Wisconsin sets the scene for a festival known as the “Great Taste of Midwest” or better known to locals as “The Taste Of Madison”, a craft beer festival that has been running since 1987. It is the second longest running festival of its sort in North America, held on the second Saturday in August. If you want to attend, you’ll have to be quick to get those tickets as they tend to sell out within the first hour as soon as they go on sale in May.
Those with an appreciation for the arts will find many art museums in the area. Madison is home to UW-Madison’s Chazen Museum of Art (formerly known as the Elvehjem Museum), Wiscons Veterans Museum, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, the Wisconsin Historical Museum and the Madison Children Museum. The city hosts two annual art fairs, aptly named the Art Fair On the Square, and the Art Fair Off the Square.
The population has grown considerably since those days, and continues to rise with each passing year as more and more people and individuals, families and college students all find Madison, Wisconsin to be a beautiful, diverse and culturally gratifying local to settle and make a home for themselves. Check out Visit Madison for more info.
Traveling To Madison WI
There are quite a few ways to arrive into the city of Madison, Wisconsin. People can fly in through the services provided by the airlines or drive in by vehicle. Other ways to enter the city limits is to ride by bus or even by the rail. To elaborate further on each of these modes of transportation into the city, please see below.
Fly by Airplane: Dane County Regional Airport, MSN is the airport in Madison, Wisconsin. By vehicle, it would take about 15 minutes from its location to the State Capitol and the same amount of time to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The airport is settled northeast of the downtown area in Madison.
Daily flights occur going out to nearby major cities like Chicago, Detroit, Denver, and Minneapolis. People are able to enjoy non-stop flights to other cities that would include Washington D.C., St. Louis, Newark, New York City, and Cincinnati. The airlines available at Dane County Regional Airport, MSN are American Airlines (American Eagle), Delta (Comair), Continental Express, Northwest (Mesaba, Northwest, and Pinnacle), Midwest Airlines, Midwest Connection, and United Express.
Drive by Vehicle: Anyone driving into Madison should take the interstates that go along the east of Madison, which is I-39, I-90, and I-94. To get to Milwaukee using I-94, it will take a bit over one hour. On I-90, a person can get to the Chicago O’Hare Airport in just 2 hours and 15 minutes. And further on, if the traffic is decent, a person can arrive in the downtown of Chicago in about 30 minutes and maybe 45 minutes if the traffic is more congested. To get to the city of Minneapolis or Saint Paul, it could take a minimum of 4 hours on I-90/I-94 combined.
Ride by Bus: Option 1 – The VanGalder Bus is available to ride into Madison from Chicago. It goes to Downtown Union Station, Midway Airports, O’Hare, Memorial Union located on the campus of Wisconsin’s university. The price of VanGalder Bus fare for one-way tickets cost about twenty-six dollars. The great thing is if a person has the exact amount, that he or she may purchase at ticket from the driver of the bus. If a person does not have exact change, then the individual may pay for a ticket with cash, check, or a credit card at their Memorial Union Travel Center.
Option 2 – Then there is the Badger Bus available that travels from the city of Milwaukee several times each day to major cities like Madison and Milwaukee. And as expected, there are stops along the way.
Option 3 – Another bus available for transportation is the Megabus, which is low in cost offering daily services two times per day from the city of Chicago as well as from Minneapolis to Madison, Wisconsin. In terms of price, if a person plans their trip way in advance, then the individual can possibly get bus fare as low as on dollar both ways. The Park & Ride bus shelter at Dutch Mill is where the buses stop. It is just northeast of intersection of US Routes 12/18 and 51.
Ride the Rail: The only train transportation that goes into the city limits of Madison is the Amtrak that comes through the chicago route, with the closest stops being thirty minutes to an hour driving distance from the town, choices are either Janesville or Portage. The train goes east to Milwaukee, Wisconsin as well as to Chicago, Illinois. It, also, travels west to Minneapolis in the state of Minnesota.