Madison, WI is known for its cultural contributions and natural beauty, as well as being one of only two U.S. cities built on an isthmus. From first-time visitors to seasoned travelers who have tried every tradition, an amazing experience always awaits in Madison!
CAPITOL & DOWNTOWN
At the heart of the city lies the State Capitol building, situated directly between lakes Mendota and Monona. The Capitol dome reaches more than 200 feet tall, only three feet shy of the U.S. Capitol. Visit the observation deck on the sixth floor for stunning views of the entire city and lakes, and don’t forget to rub the badger’s nose for good luck before you leave. The Capitol Square is also the perfect starting point for dining and shopping—start by walking the square, and then head down State Street, known for its locally-owned shops and restaurants. Many of our eateries work with local farmers to ensure their ingredients are fresh and sourced locally.
CAMPUS & CULTURE
There’s a reason why Madison is listed as one of Three Great College Towns for a Weekend Getaway. Madison seamlessly blends together campus and the community to create unique and popular attractions for students and locals. The Memorial Union Terrace and the UW Arboretum provide relaxation in their own way. Enjoy the Terrace for a beer and live music, or walk the trails at the serene arboretum to become one with nature. And, of course, no fall visit is complete without a football game at Camp Randall, home to the Wisconsin Badgers and the infamous “Jump Around” tradition that takes place between the third and fourth quarters. The campus is also home to numerous museums, such as the Chazen Museum of Art and the Geology Museum. Both are free and provide tours. In fact, Madison’s cultural offerings are abundant across the city—from the various performance halls that express the city’s personality to historic sites and museums that teach you about our heritage. Learn about the history of the state and city at the Wisconsin Historical Museum, or see a Broadway show at the Overture Center. The city’s cultural experiences are also family-friendly, and you’ll love Madison’s mix of engaging activities for children. Visit the admission-free Henry Vilas Zoo, or take a couple of hours to explore the interactive Madison Children’s Museum.
OUTDOORS & ACTIVE
Madison is also an active city—from paddle boarding in the summer to fat-tire biking in the winter. Cyclists will love tooling around courtesy of BCycle, an urban bike sharing program with 40 stations spread across town. For water-lovers, there are five lakes in the area, which means more than 15,000 acres of sparkling water! Boat rentals of all sorts are available, whether you want a 20-person pontoon or single kayak. Another popular way to see our city is by walking, hiking or running our trails. Hot spots include the Capital City trail, which serpentines past the Monona Terrace® Convention Center, along scenic John Nolen Drive near downtown.
Regardless of when you visit, the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau is your resource for all things Madison! Visit our website or give a call today for more information!