If you’ve never been to Madison, WI, you’re missing out. Within this relatively small Midwestern city, you’ll find a number of exciting things to do, whether you are visiting on your own or with your family. Here’s a list of five great things to do in Madison WI and places to visit to get you started on your trip to Madison.
1. Visit the Lakes – The city of Madison is bordered by several lakes: Lake Mendota, Lake Kengonsa, Lake Wingra, Lake Monona and Lake Waubesa. Given the size and number of these beautiful bodies of water, it shouldn’t be surprising that Madison residents take the opportunity to visit them as often as possible.
Lake activities in Madison include:
- Lakeside Concerts: As soon as the weather warms up, Madison residents and visitors alike are enjoying lakeside outdoor concerts.
- Beaches: When you think about a beach vacation, Madison, WI, may not be the first place that springs to mind. However, the lakeside beaches are picturesque, fun places to visit. The City of Madison maintains over 6,000 acres of parkland, many of which border a lake.
- Lake Cruises: Take a relaxing spin around a lake with the help of one of Madison’s many lake cruise operators.
2. Shopping and Dining – Visitors to Madison might eschew shopping there in favor of the much larger city of Chicago just a few hours away. However, don’t forget that Madison is a university town, which means it’s full of unique, funky shops and restaurants that have the type of small-city character that you’ll never be able to find in a place like Chicago.
In particular, if you like to shop, visit State Street. State Street is a pedestrian mall lined with outdoor cafes, restaurants, and eclectic shops and boutiques. The street also borders the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus.
State St. is also a great place to go to checkout nightlife in Madison. It is on this street that you will find the impressive Overture Center for the Arts.
3. Visit The Capitol Building – Madison is also the state capitol of Wisconsin. History was made at the capitol not long ago as the new governor squared off against government employees. See the building for yourself on your visit.
4. Madison Arts – As home to Wisconsin’s largest public university, it shouldn’t be surprising that, for a city its size, Madison has a thriving arts and culture scene. In particular, the Overture Center for the Arts mentioned above is a wonderful place to listen to a classical music concert or attend a similar event. Playhouses, museums and other concert venues also fill the city.
5. Things to Do with Kids – Despite being a college town, Madison is very family-friendly. The Henry Vilas Zoo is one of the only free zoos in the nation, and it’s guaranteed to please kids and adults alike. If you’ll be taking kids with a dinosaur obsession to Madison, be sure to take them to the University of Wisconsin Geology Museum. They’ll be able to see Ice Age fossils, including the complete skeleton of a mastodon.
These five things to do in Madison, WI, are just the tip of the iceberg. Madison is a fantastic city filled with adventure for those who know where to look!