Madison is where tradition meets innovation. The city is far more than a college town and home to the state capital.
Madison is also where families come to bond on the lake, friends reunite over food and drinks and art and history lovers enjoy live music and museums galore.
Something is always going on here, from farmers markets to outdoor concerts, that makes everyone, no matter their age, feel right at home.
Hub of Activity
Wisconsin may be rooted in history and tradition, but it’s at the forefront of science, art and fun.
Explore the University of Wisconsin’s main campus, founded in 1848. It’s always a hub of activity, even when class isn’t in session.
Catch a UW football or basketball game and see what the Badger spirit is all about. Spend an evening at the Collins Recital Hall for a musical performance or a day walking through the Chazen Museum of Art before exploring the Allen Centennial Gardens outside. And check out hands-on science exhibits and events at the Discovery Building on-campus.
A day at the state Capitol building doesn’t have to be all history. After touring the interior of the dome-shaped capitol featuring art and mosaics, go up to the observation deck and enjoy 365-degree views of downtown. Then, grab a bite to eat at a tavern or farm-to-table gem near the capitol square.
For more family fun, check out the polar bear exhibit at Henry Vilas Zoo and explore the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Both attractions are open year-round.
A day out on or near the water is always a good idea; cruise around Lake Mendota on a boat rental, enjoy one of the 12 beaches found in Madison or go snowshoeing over the frozen lake in the wintertime.
Brews, Farm-to-Table & More
Our capital city is home to a diverse food scene; bring your stretchy pants.
Our agricultural heritage is deeply rooted in our farm-to-table restaurants, local farms and vineyards and farmers markets.
From cheese curds to fish frys and brats, our food scene is not just fresh but diverse. For locally crafted beer and wood-fired pizza, grab dinner at the Full Mile Beer Co. & Kitchen. Offering a taste of Asian cuisine, check out K-Peppers, run by a Korean family trained by South Korea’s top chefs.
For a shareable sweet treat, stop by the Babcock Hall Dairy Store featuring 22 ice cream flavors, including limited edition ones, like salted caramel toffee.
Don’t miss exploring local goods at the Dane County Farmers Market, where you’ll find fresh cheeses, baked goods and so much more.
Fun Accommodations, Getting Here
Tradition and innovation also bleed into the hotel scene, offering everything from charming bed-and-breakfasts to urban-chic accommodations.
Stay at the Graduate Madison with collegiate-themed decor inspired by the UW campus only a block away. Amenities include a 24-hour fitness center featuring a Peloton bike, complimentary bike rentals and a camp-themed rooftop bar.
For a traditional stay with fun outdoor amenities, book a room at the Hickory Knoll Farm Bed & Breakfast, situated on a working horse farm just outside Madison near trails and bike paths.
And if you have a favorite chain and loyalty points to burn, there are plenty of comfortable and recognizable hotel names across the city.
It’s easy to get to and from Madison by car or plane. If you’re driving to the city from Milwaukee, hop on Interstate Highway 94. Coming from Chicago? Take I-90 straight to Madison. If you plan on flying, the Dane County Regional Airport is a 15 minute drive from downtown. Or fly into the Mitchell International Airport and drive from Milwaukee.
Anytime is a good time to visit Madison. So, come and make memories and choose Madison as your home away from home.