Downtown Madison, sitting proudly at the center of the isthmus created by Lakes Mendota and Monona, is home to the state capitol and the University of Wisconsin. At any given moment, you’ll find an eclectic and vibrant mix of locals and tourists dining, shopping and enjoying everything that Madison has to offer. Luxury high-rise condos and modern apartments intermingle with student flats, restored Victorian homes, offices, boutiques and hundreds of restaurants. Downtown Madison is the perfect home for those wanting a healthy dose of both convenience and culture.
Madison is known for its beautiful lakes (Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Waubesa, Lake Kegonsa), bike paths, UW-Madison/Badger athletics, restaurants and craft beer. The incredible landscape and the energetic and passionate community leads to plenty of outdoor activities.
No matter the time of year, there is always something to do in the great city of Madison. The city is especially vibrant in the spring and summer. Madison comes alive with bikers, runners, kayakers and boaters, along with a number of great festivals, including the World's Largest Brat Fest, the Taste of Madison, the weekly concerts on the Capitol Square and local farmers market. Every Saturday, from late April to early November, thousands walk counter-clockwise around the Capitol at the farmers market. Wednesday evenings, in June and July, thousands more picnic on the lawn while enjoying Concerts on the Square. As the leaves change color with the coming of fall, many of the city's population will be cheering on the UW Badger football team at Camp Randall Stadium or at one of the nearby watering holes. As winter approaches, the city welcomes the UW Badger basketball season, cross-country skiing, ice fishing and much more!
A walk down State Street, with its mix of local and national shops, restaurants, galleries, museums, concert and theater venues, will bring you to the UW campus and the famed Memorial Union Terrace. Explore the arts and cultures of the many museums of Madison, including Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) - the city’s oldest cultural organization, Overture Center for the Arts, Chazen Museum of Art, or Madison Children's Museum.
If museums aren't your thing, take in a play or catch a musical at Orpheum Theatre, or leisurely stroll the Henry Vilas Zoo and get an up-close and personal look at grizzly bears foraging for food. After your day of touring, recuperate at one of Madison's countless parks and take full advantage of the beautiful lake views surrounding the city. There is quite possibly no finer way to spend a summer day in Madison than sitting at the Union, people watching as you happily eat ice cream from Babcock’s Dairy or listening to a band while you quaff a locally brewed draft.
Madison has a bustling restaurant scene. Some favorites include Sardine, Graze, Heritage Tavern and Marigold Kitchen, which serves up some of the best breakfast, brunch and lunch in the area. Heritage Tavern has owner and Executive Chef, Daniel Fox, in the kitchen, and has been recognized for its upscale farm-to-table cuisine and approachable, classic atmosphere. Enjoy twists on familiar dishes that only use local and sustainable ingredients.
Looking for some good shopping? Take a stroll down charming Monroe Street where you'll find locally owned specialty shops and businesses, unique gifts and great restaurants. Conveniently located near UW-Madison's Camp Randall Stadium, head over to Willy Street, a diverse community on a single street east of the capital square. It, too, is a great place for shopping and dining.
Downtown Madison has a little something to make just about everyone happy, regardless of budget or lifestyle. Madison is a showcase for all types of architecture, from modern high-rise condos to Victorian & Craftsman-style homes to Mid-Century Modern. Whether you are looking for a home or planning your next vacation, there's a place for you in this beautiful city.
- Madison, WI, USA