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Madison (Wisconsin)

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* '''Sheraton Madison''', 706 John Nolen Drive, (608) 251-2300, []. Located on John Nolen Drive and within walking distance of the Alliant Energy Exposition Center, with 237 rooms and suites. Shuttle service is available to and from the Dane County Airport. Ample complimentary parking for guests. The Heartland Grill and Prairie Cafe serve throughout the day, with Harvest Lounge open every evening.
* '''Sheraton Madison''', 706 John Nolen Drive, (608) 251-2300, []. Located on John Nolen Drive and within walking distance of the Alliant Energy Exposition Center, with 237 rooms and suites. Shuttle service is available to and from the Dane County Airport. Ample complimentary parking for guests. The Heartland Grill and Prairie Cafe serve throughout the day, with Harvest Lounge open every evening.
*<sleep name="University Inn" alt="" address="441 North Frances Street" directions="" phone="(608) 257-4881‎" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">A cheap hotel located in the heart of downtown, literally right next to State Street. Has free wi-fi in the lobby. Not known for its quality or service, but it's good if you're on a budget and still want to be downtown. If you're looking for a real hotel, head to the Campus Inn across the street. </sleep>
*<sleep name="University Inn" alt="" address="441 North Frances Street" directions="" phone="(608) 257-4881‎" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">A cheap hotel located in the heart of downtown, literally right next to State Street. Has free wi-fi in the lobby. Not known for its quality or service, but it's good if you're on a budget and still want to be downtown. If you're looking for a real hotel, head to the Campus Inn across the street. </sleep>

Revision as of 07:11, 1 October 2010

Situated on the isthmus between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, Madison [17] is the capital of Wisconsin and is in the south central part of the state.



Madison is a vibrant small city in south-central Wisconsin. One of only two cities in North America situated on an isthmus (the other is Seattle), Madison is defined by its five lakes: Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa, and Kegonsa. Through a combination of factors, including the state capital and the University of Wisconsin–Madison [18], the city has more to offer than might be expected from a metropolitan area of about 500,000. There are many excellent restaurants, an active theater community, lots of music, and good shopping, yet Madison is just minutes from the beautiful rural countryside.

National groups and magazines rank Madison highly for being a very bike-friendly city, a great place to raise a family, having a healthy and fit population, and an overall quality of life. Madison is a melting pot of the Midwest. You'll find professionals, students, families, hippies, musicians and everything in between. It has a vibrant nightlife scene with lots of live music and pubs. It shares many qualities of other well-known college towns like Berkeley and Austin—a creative and educated population—but retains a small-town feel.

Madison's weather is typical of the Midwest: warm and humid in summer, often very cold in winter, and temperate spring and fall conditions.

Visitor information

  • Madison Welcome Center, 21 N Park St, +1 608 262-4636, [1]. M-F 9AM-4:30PM.

Get in

By plane

  • Dane County Regional Airport (IATA: MSN), [19]. Located northeast of downtown Madison, 15 minutes to the Capitol and the University by car or taxi. There are daily flights to nearby hubs including Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Denver. Nonstop service is also offered to cities that include Cincinnati, Newark, New York City, and Washington DC.
    • American Airlines, flying as American Eagle and American Connection.
    • Continental Express.
    • Delta, flying as Comair.
    • Midwest Airlines.
    • Midwest Connection.
    • United Express.

By car

  • I-39/I-90/I-94 runs along the eastern edge of Madison.
    • Just over an hour to get to Milwaukee on I-94.
    • Two hours and fifteen minutes to get to Chicago O'Hare Airport on I-90. Downtown Chicago is 30-45 minutes further, depending on traffic.
    • Four hours on the combined I-90/I-94 will take you to Minneapolis/Saint Paul.

By bus

  • From Chicago the VanGalder Bus [20] can take you from Downtown Union Station, O'Hare, or Midway Airports to Memorial Union [21] on the campus of the University of Wisconsin. Tickets are $27 for a one way trip and they can be bought from the bus drivers for exact change, or with credit cards, check or cash at the Memorial Union Travel Center.
  • From Milwaukee the Badger Bus [22] runs multiple trips per day between Madison and Milwaukee, as well as stops in between.
  • Megabus [23]. Low-cost bus company that offers service to Madison from Chicago (twice daily) and Minneapolis (2-4 times daily). Fares can be as little as $1 each way if ordered far enough in advance. All buses stop at the bus shelter at the Dutch Mill Park & Ride, located on the northeast side of the US Route 12/18 and US Route 51 intersection. Select trips from Minneapolis on Thursdays through Mondays also stop at the Memorial Union on the University of Wisconsin campus.

By rail

  • Via Columbus, Amtrak [24] travels east to Milwaukee and Chicago and west to Minneapolis on the Empire Builder route. Columbus is a 30 minute drive north of Madison.

Get around

  • By bus. You can get around much of Madison on the Metro [25] bus system.
  • By car. On-street parking in the center of Madison - the isthmus - tends to be scarce, but a number of parking garages are sprinkled throughout the area. Street parking further from the center is plentiful and free. A map of parking garages, rates, and parking regulations in the downtown area can be found at the City of Madison parking page [26].
  • By taxi. There are several cab companies and when downtown there is never a taxi far from sight. That said, taxis operate on an appointment-only basis, so be sure to call 15-20 minutes before you need a ride.
  • By bike. Madison has consistently been rated among America's most bicycle-friendly cities. Map of Madison's bike paths [27].


  • Governor's Mansion — the mansion of the current governor, Jim Doyle, is along Lake Mendota and tours are offered most afternoons.
  • Henry Vilas Zoo, 702 South Randall Avenue, +1 608 266-4732 (<[email protected]>), [28]. Every day, excepting holidays, 9:30AM-5PM. Founded over a century ago, this is one of the few free zoos left in the country. The zoo houses over 40 species within its 30-acre grounds, and additional attractions include a zoo train, carousel and a children's play area complete with tree house.
  • The Memorial Union Terrace, 800 Langdon Street, +1 608 265-3000 [29]. A lovely terrace which overlooks beautiful Lake Mendota. Be sure to sample Babcock Ice Cream, made locally at Babcock Dairy Hall, whose profits help fund the UW-Madison dairy program. The Memorial Union also features a wide variety of local and regional beers - perfect for sipping while listening to live music, or enjoying the view with friends. Boat rentals are also available for the more active crowd.
  • Monona Terrace, 1 John Nolen Dr, +1 608 261-4000 (fax +1 608 261-4049, <[email protected]>) [30]. Every day, 8AM-5PM. From the roof of Monona Terrace, one can see views of downtown Madison, including the Capitol and a panoramic view of Lake Monona. There are weekly events during the summer, including Dane Dances, concerts on the rooftop, and free Tai Chi.
  • Olbrich Botanical Gardens, 3330 Atwood Avenue, +1 608 246-4550 (fax +1 608 246-4719), [31]. These sixteen free outdoor gardens have many ponds and greens, as well as the only Thai Pavilion in the continental United States. There is a $1 fee to enter the conservatory, which houses over 650 exotics and tropicals.
  • State Street [32] — the core of the city is State Street, which extends from the Capitol Building west to the UW campus. This is the center of activity in Madison and is a must-visit. You will find unique shops, restaurants, bars, sidewalk cafes, museums, and an array of street performers. State Street is well-known for its yearly Halloween celebration, called "Freakfest".
  • Wisconsin State Capitol [33] — the current State Capitol Building, modeled after the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., was finished in 1912 after the previous Capitol Building burnt down. Its dome is one of the largest in the world in terms of volume. The mural under the dome is actually hanging from the top. Tours leave many times a day, always at the top of the hour at certain hours and tour the Senate, Assembly, Hearing Room, and Governor's Cabinet Room. There is also an observation deck 90 feet up open Memorial Day to Labor Day.
  • Wisconsin Veterans Museum, 30 W Mifflin St, +1 608 267-1799, [2]. Chronicles the sacrifices made by Wisconsin Veterans from the American Civil War to the current conflicts. The 20th Century gallery of the museum includes full-size replicas of a WWI Sopwith Camel biplane and a P-51 Mustang, as well as an authentic Huey Helicopter.
  • Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 227 State St, +1 608 257-0158, [3]. A unique three-story collection of works created by artists based in Madison and beyond, containing many interactive exhibits and free tours which you can listen to on your cell phone. The fourth floor houses an upscale restaurant and bar, and offers a magnificent view of State Street. Free.
  • Chazen Museum of Art, 800 University Ave, +1 608 263-2246, [4]. A classic art exhibit inside the University of Wisconsin's art school, containing several different sections ranging from ancient sculptures to modern-day photography. The exhibits are changed regularly, the museum is quiet and uncrowded, and admission is free. Free.


  • Overture Center, 501 State St, +1 608 258-4177 [34]. This venue is home to Madison's most prominent performing arts organizations, including the Madison Ballet, Opera, Symphony, Repertory Theater, and Children's Theater. The facilities also include the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, and galleries housing work by local visual artists. The building itself is gorgeous - the rooftop garden is particularly impressive - and well worth a stop as one meanders down State street. Private tours are available.
  • Token Creek Chamber Music Festival, [35]. An annual festival held every August featuring great classical music in an intimate, rural setting.
  • Great Taste of the Midwest, 1156 Olin-Turville Court, [5]. This beer festival, put on by the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild, is one of the biggest in the nation, with over one hundred brewpubs and microbreweries in attendance, and over 5,000 guests. The number of tickets is limited, and the popularity of this event means that they typically sell out within days.
  • Concerts on the Square, [6]. This very popular weekly summer concert series by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra is held on the grounds of the State Capitol. Attendees sit on the lawn around the building, and most people bring a blanket to spread on the ground and picnic foods to eat. Free.
  • Rhythm and Booms, Warner Park, [7]. July 4th Weekend. This Independence Day celebration includes food, music, children's events, carnival rides, and other activities, culminating at dusk with the Midwest's largest fireworks display, timed to music broadcast by a local radio station.
  • Mifflin Street Block Party. A massive student-run block party held on the first Saturday of every May. Several blocks of West Mifflin Street are cordoned off for drinking, music, and food in what is one of the largest public gatherings in the country. Keep an eye out for overzealous policemen - read the stay safe section for more information. Free.


  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, +1 608 263-2400 [36]. Located in the center of town, the university has been in operation since 1848, with more than 41,000 students enrolled each year.
  • Edgewood College, 1000 Edgewood College Drive, +1 800 444-4861 [37]. Located on Lake Wingra near the UW-Madison Arboretum, Edgewood College is a small, Catholic, liberal arts college.
  • Madison Area Technical College, 3550 Anderson Street, +1 608 246-6100 [38]. MATC has several campuses in Madison and surrounding communities and offers a variety of two-year programs as well as non-credit courses.


The largest employers are the Wisconsin government and the University of Wisconsin. Additionally, there are a growing number of hi-tech employers and jobs, particularly in the bio-tech field. Madison has a very low unemployment rate compared to the national average.


  • East Towne Mall, +1 608 244-1387 [39]. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-6PM. A standard shopping mall on the east side of Madison, not far from I-39/I-90/I-94.
  • West Towne Mall, +1 608 833-6330 [40]. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-6PM. A standard shopping mall on the west side of Madison.
  • Madcity Music Exchange, 600 Williamson St, +1 608 251-8558 [41]. M-F 11AM-7PM, Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 12PM-5PM. An independent music store featuring a very large selection of new and used vinyl records. A diverse selection of new and used CDs are also on hand for a healthy sized non-vinyl inventory.
  • Hilldale Mall, 702 N. Midvale Blvd (Right off University and Midvale.), [8]. M-Sa 10-9, Su 11-6. Lots of independent stores, Morgan's Shoes, Playthings, Fair Indigo, etc. Also has some bigger more well known stores; Macy's, Anthropology, The North Face, Bath and Body Works. Has a grocery store, and also a Sundance Cinema. Many restaurants, sit-down or to-go. Also nail and hair salons are present. Very nice, upper-scale mall.


  • The Carts, Library Mall (at the end of State St., away from the Capitol). Look out for the carts, one of Madison's best sources for a quick bite, clustered at the end of State St. from spring to fall. Buraka, Jamerica, Zen Sushi are excellent, and don't miss Loose Juice smoothies! $5-6 lunch with a view of the lake within a 2 minute walk.
  • Ella's Deli, 2902 East Washington Ave., +1 608 241-5291 [42]. Su-Th 10AM-10PM, F-Sa 10AM-11PM. A great place to take kids, and adults will have fun too. The entire restaurant is decorated with animated toys, and about half of the tables have glass tops that allow you to look at interesting things, including a running model train and a baseball card collection. Their ice cream is excellent, their pastrami is unbeatable, and it's all kosher. Sandwich sizes are often smaller than one would expect from a kosher-style deli.
  • L'Etoile, 25 North Pinckney St, +1 608 251-0500 [43]. Cafe open M-F 7:30AM-1:30PM, restaraunt open M-Th at 6PM, F at 5:30PM, Sa at 5PM. Nationally-acclaimed restaurant focusing on locally grown ingredients, often found at the Farmer's Market. While pricey, it is worth it. Make reservations in advance.
  • Harvest Restaurant, 21 North Pinckney St, +1 608 255-6075 [44]. M-Th 5:30PM-close, F-Sa 5PM-close. Located next door to L'Etoile, it is nearly as good and more likely to offer a reservation on the same day.
  • Madison Sourdough Bread Company, 6640 Mineral Point Road, +1 608 833-8009 [45]. M-F 6:30AM-11:30AM, Sa 6:30AM-12PM. Excellent, fresh sourdough bread can be found here. Try their baguette - artisanal bread at its best. It can be found at some local grocery stores, including Willy Street Co-op [46].
  • Michelangelo's Coffee House, 114 State St, +1 608 251-5299. Every day 7AM-11PM. Sandwiches, pastries, coffee and other drinks make up the menu at this comfy downtown meeting and reading spot.
  • Nam's Noodles, 1336 Regent Street, +1 608 287-0475. Excellent Vietnamese and Chinese food located close to the University. Very good pho and their "Nam's Fried Rice" is outstanding. Sit-down or take-out, no delivery. It's hard to find a bad item on the menu.
  • Mickies Dairy Bar, 1511 Monroe Street, +1 608 256-9476. A classic diner close to the University, and right across from the football stadium. It has arguably the best shakes in town. If you think you can eat a lot, try the scrambler.
  • Weary Traveler, 1201 Williamson Street, +1 608 442-6207. A decent local bar/restaurant consisently packed with friendly locals from the Willy St Neighborhood. The service can be a bit slow, but the food is great. Don't forget to try their speciality: the Bad Breath Burger.
  • Greenbush Bakery, 1305 Regent Street, +1 608 257-1151. Excellent doughnuts, which just happen to be kosher.
  • Vientiane Palace, 151 W Gorham Street, +1 608 255-2848. Just off of State Street, the best Lao-Thai food in town. Great curries and noodle dishes.
  • Ian's Pizza, 319 N Frances Street and 115 State Street, +1 608 257-0597 [47]. Campus favorite with a gourmet twist. Excellent New York-sized pizza by the slice, featuring old standards like pepperoni and new variations like mac and cheese (don't knock it until you've tried it -- it's the top seller!), Black Bean Feta Avocado and Steak 'n' Fries. Daily and monthly specials served by the most charming staff in town.
  • Tornado Steak House, 116 S Hamilton St, +1 608 256-3570 [48]. American-style steak house that also serves excellent cocktails. Not cheap, but offers late-night dining.
  • Bluephies, 2701 Monroe St, (608) 231-3663, Great food and service. The Salmon BLT is hard to beat!
  • Mediterranean Cafe, 625 State Street. This narrow room is a Madison gem and a favorite with the university crowd. Great Middle Eastern food, such as shawerma (similar to gyros) and falafel (fried chickpeas). Almost always busy, but it moves fast. Cheap prices, but only accepts cash.
  • The Avenue Bar, 1128 E Washington Ave. Frequent favorite on the local "fish fry" scene, with excellent deep fried cod and a new special each night of the week. The bar's not bad either, and Monday nights feature live polka music.
  • Greenbush Bar, 914 Regent St., +1 608 257-2874. In a town of many great pizza places, this is one of the best thin-crispy-crust pizzas you'll find. It's located in the basement of the Italian Workman's Club building in what was Greenbush, Madison's (sadly) long-gone Italian district.
  • The Esquire Club, 1025 N Sherman Ave., +1 608 249-0193. Another fabulous all-you-can-eat Friday fish fry place with a great Wisconsin supper-club atmosphere. Very busy on Friday nights, so you may want to make a reservation and/or plan to hang out in the bar for a while.
  • The Old Fashioned, 23 N Pinckney St., +1 608 310-4545. Right on the Square, with a great view of the Capitol, this newer favorite serves supper club fare with a slightly upscale bent in a warm, lively atmosphere. From deep-fried cheese curds to artisanal cheese plates, from pickled eggs to Nueske's bacon and natural-casing bratwurst, this is the perfect place to go before a performance nearby. Busy, but well worth it. The Old Fashioned also has one of the largest beer menus you will ever see. Do not miss the fried cheese curds - they are widely regarded as the best in town. They also have a great Saturday brunch.
  • Roman Candle Pizza, 1054 Williamson St., +1 608 258-2000. [49] There's plenty of good pizza in this town, but the pizza-by-the-slice here is out of this world. Pair it with their roasted red pepper soup and you can't go wrong.
  • The Essenhaus, 514 E Wilson St, +1 608 255-4674, [9]. Great beer, great atmosphere - and the perfect example of the thriving German culture in Madison. With live Oompah music nightly, you'll be drinking all of your beer from a boot from now on! $.
  • Himal Chuli, 318 State St, Madison, WI 53703 (On State Street 300 block). Excellent Nepalese food, cozy atmosphere. Some of the most delicious food in Madison and you always feel good after you have eaten here because it is healthy as well. Try the momochas or anything else.
  • Glass Nickel Pizza, 5003 University Ave., +1 608 333-4845. [50] On the corner of Whitney way and University Ave. Madison's favorite and multiple award winning pizza, Glass Nickel. A large menu to choose from including: Pizza, salads, pasta, and numerous appetizers. The fetalicious is a Madison favorite.
  • Eldorado Grill, 744 Williamson Street, (608) 280-WEST, [10]. Great southwestern food and drinks. Recommend the pan-seared tenderloin with chipotle blue butter and a margarita.
  • The Green Owl Cafe, 1970 Atwood Ave, (608) 285-5290, [11]. M-Th 11AM-9PM, F-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-3PM. Vegetarian cuisine created by chef/proprietor Jennie Capellaro. $5-12.
  • Dotty Dumpling's Dowry, 317 N Frances Street, (608) 285-5290, [12]. M-W 11AM-11PM, Th-Sa 11AM-1AM, Su 12PM-10PM. If you're looking for a good burger in Madison, this is the place to be. Dotty's unarguably serves one of the best burgers in Madison, if not the very best. $8-15.


  • Great Dane Brew Pub, 3 Locations: 123 E Doty Street (downtown), 357 Price Place (next to Hilldale Mall on the near-west side) and 2980 Cahill Main (near the intersection of Fish Hatchery and County PD in Fitchburg)[51]. A very large selection of hand-crafted microbrews and excellent food, including fresh-baked pretzels and several vegetarian selections; each location has similar menus with subtle tweaks and different atmospheres.
  • Ancora Coffee Roaster [52]. Four locations around town that feature excellent coffee. Try the fabulous white coffee.
  • Escape Java Joint [53], 916 Williamson Street. Located in the Willy Street neighborhood, just outside of downtown. Free Wi-Fi and lots of seating if you need to settle in for a bit.
  • Victor Allen's Coffee [54]. Several locations around town; another popular local coffee roaster.
  • Steep & Brew Coffee [55], State Street. Two Madison locations, including one on State Street. Excellent selection of delicious coffees and teas.
  • Village Bar, 3901 Mineral Point Road, across the street from the Glenway Golf Course. This friendly neighborhood bar dates back over 65 years when Westmorland was a village outside the City of Madison. The fried summer sausage sandwiches are great.
  • Plan B, 918 Williamson St, [13]. 7pm-close. A gay friendly bar in one of Madison´s most progressive neighborhoods. A European-Style dance club with great lights, sound system, and lots of cool, open-minded people. A great place to go and dance all night long. 18-up on Thursday nights. Weekends are definitely the best time to go $4 rails, $4beers.



  • Best Western Inn on the Park, 22 S Carroll Street, (608) 257-8811, [56]. Nicer hotel, located directly on the Capitol Square. Has a pool. The Best Western Inn on the Park is a full-service hotel on the Capitol Square in downtown Madison, Wisconsin – ideal for business or vacation lodging near the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus, Monona Terrace Convention Center, Overture Center, and the Kohl Center.
  • Best Western InnTowner and The Highland Club, [57]. Located on the near west side of the UW campus in a quiet neighborhood, directly next to the UW/VA Hospitals and just a short drive from State Street. Free wireless high-speed Internet and shuttle. Its concierge-level floor, The Highland Club, [58] won Best Western's "Best of the Best" design award for its renovation.
  • Concourse Hotel, 1 W. Dayton St., (800) 356-8293, [59]. Larger, nicer hotel located one block from the Capitol Square and one block from the Overture Center from the Performing Arts.
  • Dahlmann Campus Inn, 601 Langdon St., (800) 589-6285, [60].
  • Doubletree Madison, [61]. Formerly the Howard Johnson, this smaller hotel is located very close to the University (one block from the Kohl Center) and not too far from the Capitol. Free wireless Internet access.
  • Edgewater Hotel, 666 Wisconsin Avenue, (608) 661-6582, [62]. Luxury hotel located directly on Lake Mendota at the beginning of Langdon Street, this hotel is about eight blocks from the university. Be sure to sit out on the pier during the summer.
  • Hilton Madison, 9 East Wilson Street, (608) 255-5100, [63]. Complimenting Madison's historic charm, this new 14-story, 236-room hotel is named the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center headquarters. Just two blocks from the State Capitol on the shores of Lake Monona, the hotel has some of the the city's best views. Indoors, an elegant parlor and lobby set the tone for a first-class stay. Take advantage of a state-of-the-art fitness center and indoor pool overlooking the lake. Or retreat to the 14th-private Executive Club Floor for panoramic cityscapes.
  • Sheraton Madison, 706 John Nolen Drive, (608) 251-2300, [64]. Located on John Nolen Drive and within walking distance of the Alliant Energy Exposition Center, with 237 rooms and suites. Shuttle service is available to and from the Dane County Airport. Ample complimentary parking for guests. The Heartland Grill and Prairie Cafe serve throughout the day, with Harvest Lounge open every evening.
  • University Inn, 441 North Frances Street, (608) 257-4881‎, [14]. A cheap hotel located in the heart of downtown, literally right next to State Street. Has free wi-fi in the lobby. Not known for its quality or service, but it's good if you're on a budget and still want to be downtown. If you're looking for a real hotel, head to the Campus Inn across the street.


  • Baymont Inn & Suites Madison West, 8102 Excelsior Drive, +1 608 831-7711 [65]. Situated in the growing west side business district. Free high speed internet, breakfast and more. Kids stay free and will enjoy the huge indoor pool, whirlpool and game room.
  • Comfort Suites Madison West Hotel, 1253 John Q Hammons Drive, +1 608 836-3033 [66]. Gold award winning all-suite hotel. Features a cocktail lounge, indoor pool, whirlpool, oversized suites and free breakfast. Two-story suites and whirlpool suites available. Walking distance to Greenway Station Shopping Center.
  • Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Madison West, 1109 Fourier Drive, +1 608 826-0500 [67]. Home to Crawdaddy Cove Indoor Water Park, this hotel is ideal for family fun. Water Park passes are included with your room.
  • GrandStay-Madison, 5317 High Crossing Blvd, +1 608 241-2500 [68] Suites for business travel or family vacations that combine luxury with the comforts of home.
  • Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel, 3841 Washington, 608-244-2481, [15]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11:00AM. Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel in Madison Wisconsin is located near Madison’s Regional Dane County Airport, on the far East side of town. It is located on East Washington Avenue near the intersection of Wisconsin’s Interstates 39, 90, and 94. Nearby towns include Middleton, Verona, Sun Prarie, and Cambridge Wisconsin.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Madison West, 483 Commerce Drive, +1 608 271 0200 [69]. Complimentary On The House Hot Breakfast, Free Hi-speed Internet access, enhanced indoor pool area, whirlpool, fitness center and 100% Unconditional Satisfaction Guarantee.

Bed and Breakfasts/Specialty Lodging

  • Arbor House, 3402 Monroe Street, +1 608 238-2981, [70]. A specialty inn with an environmental emphasis visible in its sustainable construction, renewable resources, native gardens, natural linens and fresh food.
  • Mansion Hill Inn, 424 N. Pinckney Street, +1 800 798-9070, [71]. Madison's only AAA Four Diamond property, this Victorian bed and breakfast is located about five blocks up the street from the Capitol and ten blocks from the university.
  • HI-Madison Hostel, 141 S Butler St, +1 608 441-0144, [72]. Part of Hostelling International, this small hostel is located two blocks to the east of the Capitol Square. Closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
  • Countryside Apartments, 2801 Coventry Trail, +1 608 271-0101 [73]. Short-term housing in apartments with one to three bedrooms. They also provide rental cars.


  • Madison Public Library, [16]. All Madison public libraries offer free wireless internet access. Computers with internet access are also available, but time limits may vary.

Stay safe

Overall, Madison is a very safe city. However, as with all cities, be cautious at all times and pay attention to your surroundings. The downtown area is well populated and fairly well lit. South Madison is considered to be the "bad" part of town, and has a higher crime rate than the rest of the city. The areas that are recommended to avoid at night are isolated bike paths/alleys, Allied Drive, Badger Road, and South Park Street (South of Regent Street). Bright red emergency markers are posted around campus and the Lakeshore Path; press the button and the police should show up very quickly.

The Madison police are generally lax on drinking and rowdiness. However, they significantly step up enforcement during the weekends of Halloween and the Mifflin Street Block Party, and have even brought in riot police to disperse nonviolent crowds. Hundreds of arrests are made every year during these two events. The police will not hesitate to arrest you for extremely minor offenses - the most common being underage drinking, open containers in public, and public urination. Do not urinate in public under any circumstances (the police check alleys and corners for this specifically), and if you're underage, don't get obscenely drunk and call any attention to yourself. During Mifflin, make sure you drink only on private property; the police will immediately arrest anyone who attempts to walk down the sidewalk or cross the street with an open container. Out-of-towners make up a significant portion of the arrested every year, and the city responds by clamping down on the students - don't ruin Madison for the rest of us!

Get out

  • Cedar Grove Cheese, [74]. A fun dairy about 30 miles west of Madison. One of the oldest dairies in the area, they make excellent cheese and purify their own water using a living machine.
  • Devil's Lake, [75]. The most popular of Wisconsin's state parks, Devil's Lake is about an hour northwest of Madison, south of Baraboo. It includes miles of hiking trails, some of them on bluffs of moraine overlooking the lake, created 10,000 years ago by the leading edge of the Wisconsin glacier. The park has two pleasant beaches, and you can hike, bike, boat, swim, climb, hunt, or fish. Gets crowded in the summer.
  • Dr. Evermore's Forevertron, [76]. An impressive junkyard sculpture garden, about 20 miles north of town. Fantastical animals, futuristic devices and creepy bugs all made out of rusting scrap metal.
  • Mustard Museum, [77]. Located in Middleton, WI, just outside of Madison, they sell over 800 varieties of mustard, all of which you can sample, and have more than 4,100 varities on display. 7477 Hubbard Ave Middleton, WI 53562. Open 10-5 daily.
  • New Glarus Brewing Company, [78]. An excellent brewery only 45 minutes from Madison in the very quaint Swiss town of New Glarus [79].
  • Prairie du Sac hosts the annual Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw every Labor Day Weekend.
  • Spring Green is home to a pair of architectural wonders: the House on the Rock, one of the weirdest museums you'll ever see, and Taliesin, the family home and architectural school founded by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It's about 45 minutes west of Madison.
  • Stoughton is famous for its Syttende Mai festival commemorating the Norwegian Constitution Day on May 17. Also home to Victorian Holiday in December the Stoughton Fair in July.
  • Ten Chimneys, [80]. Located 60 miles east of Madison in Genesee Depot. Ten Chimneys is the estate lovingly created by Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. Guests enjoy an excellent barrier-free, docent-led tour of the National Historic Landmark. Estate Tours are offered May through mid-November, Tuesday through Saturday, rain or shine.

Routes through Madison
WausauPortage  N noframe S  JanesvilleRockford&#13;
RochesterPortage  W noframe E  JanesvilleRockford&#13;
Saint PaulPortage  W noframe E  WaukeshaMilwaukee&#13;
Wisconsin DellsPrairie du Sac  NW noframe SE  WhitewaterLake Geneva&#13;
WausauPortage  N noframe S  StoughtonJanesville

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This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!