Quick Stop: Madison, Wisconsin

One brief visit has us eager to return.

By Hope S. Philbrick

Our first trip to Madison, Wisconsin was a two-night layover during a recent month-long road trip. That quick stop only whet our appetite to return. Here are just a few of the things we discovered about the college town:

It’s a natural beauty! Built on an isthmus between lakes Monona and Mendota, Madison is very blue (water) and green (plants, plus a clear commitment to the environment).

bike path in Madison WIIt’s where to savor the great outdoors. The greater Madison area features 200 miles of off-road and multi-use paths (there are also many “bike only” lanes on city streets), 260 parks, and 6,000 acres of parkland.

It’s a place for all seasons. In summer months, Madison’s 15,000 acres of lake are hotspots for stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, motor boating, fishing, and swimming. In winter months, the lakes are used for ice boating, ice skating, ice fishing, ice hockey, and even cross-country skiing.

Madison is considered “One of the Ten Most Livable Cities in the United States,” and continually ranks as one of the best places to live, work and play.

Wisconsin Trails named Madison one of “Wisconsin’s 12 Best Towns.” Specifically, it ranked among the state’s greatest in the categories of Best Green Town and Best Foodie Town, and was runner-up in Best Arts & Entertainment Town.

It’s a foodie haven. Madison’s dining scene includes international cuisines, world-famous burgers, farm-to-table fare and contemporary American fare in a broad range of prices and styles.

Madison’s Farmer’s Market features approximately 170 vendors who sell unique items such as artisanal cheeses, emu, venison, bison, rabbit, goose, duck, beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, and trout.

It’s home to over 56 craft breweries and year-round beer events such as the Craft Beer Week Festival—and that “week” lasts 10 days!

The World’s Largest Brat Fest is held each Memorial Day weekend. Since 1983, it’s sold 3,003,435 brats and has raised $1,092,698 for charities.

Interesting Facts…
  • Madison is one of only two U.S. cities built on an isthmus (the other is Seattle, Washington)
  • Madison has five area lakes: Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, Kegonsa, Wingra
  • Madison is the second largest city in Wisconsin, the 81st largest city in the U.S.
  • There are 10 public beaches in Madison
  • More than half of the Madison population is under age 30
Where To Stay…


What To Do…

capitol in Madison WIVisit the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, which features modern and contemporary art.

Shop Monroe Street‘s eclectic boutiques.

Tour the Wisconsin State Capitol, which was completed in 1917 and features the only granite dome in the U.S.

Visit the Wisconsin Historical Museum

See the Wisconsin Veterans Museum

More Information…


-Photos Courtesy Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau

Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.

HopeP_144Hope S. Philbrick is founder and editor-in-chief of Getaways for Grownups, a paperless magazine powered by wind energy. She became a freelance writer and editor because she believes that work and fun should not be mutually exclusive. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications nationwide. When not writing, she can usually be found on the road or savoring something tasty.

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