Thai Pavilion at Olbrich Botanical Gardens - © Sara Mayer, courtesy GMCVB
Fun and Learning in Madison
If you are planning on arriving early, or extending your stay, or you plan
to bring your family, general tourism information is available at www.visitmadison.com.
Some highlights of the area include:
Things to Do and See
Near west side
- UW Arboretum -
1260 acres of forest and prairie along the southern shore of Lake Wingra.
Wonderful visitor center, hiking trails and bird watching.
- Zoo -
Madisonís free (yes, free!) zoo right next to Lake Wingra and the UW Arboretum
- Monroe St. - This street in a historic Madison neighborhood
features over one mile of locally owned specialty shops, cafes, restaurants
and more. Try Ancora Coffee or Michaelís Frozen Custard for a local treat!
Like what you see above, make it a day trip! Buses 5 and 13 will get you close
to the zoo and Arboretum entrances. Buses 3 and 19 will take you down Monroe
Botanical Gardens - Offers a spectacular tropical conservatory
as well as 16 acres of outdoor gardens and a stunning Thai Pavilion.
Admission is free. Take bus 3 from Capitol.
- Williamson Street - Madison eccletic shopping street affectionately
referred to as Willy Street by locals. Features many restaurants, cafes,
locally owned shops and the Willy Street Coop. Try Jolly Bobís for a great
cocktail and Jamaican cooking or the Weary Traveler bar for a good beer and
- Capitol - Beautiful state capitol building features only
granite dome in United States. Admission is free. Tours are available.
- State Street - Pedestrian (except for buses and bikes)
shopping street that runs from the Capitol to the foot of the UW-Madison
campus. Many restaurants, bars, and shopping opportunities.
Center for the Arts - World-class visual and performing
arts facility with multiple theaters and the Madison Museum of Contemporary
Union - Summers at the Memorial Union Terrace on the shores
of Lake Mendota are one of the main reasons Madisonians are able to get
through the long winters. Features UW-Madisonís Babcock Ice Cream, the
Rathskeller (old German style beer hall) and the purest taste of student
Path and Picnic Point - The nearly mile-long peninsula along
Lake Mendotaís south shore is among Madisonís most distinctive features.
One of Madisonís best walks involves starting at the Memorial Union Terrace,
following the lake shore path to the tip of Picnic Point. Too tired to
go back? The free 80 bus (runs about every 15 minutes during the day)
will pick you up at the base of picnic point and take you back to the
Memorial Union with a great tour of the campus on your way back.
Lake State Park - Situated 40 miles northwest of Madison
along the Ice Age Trail, the 10,000 acre State Park offers views from
500 foot cliffs and miles of hiking and mountain bike trails.
Crane Foundation - The one place in the world where you
can see all 15 crane species. Baraboo, Wisconsin. 608-356-9462. About
a 1-hour drive north of Madison.
Madison has a plethora of great restaurants. Three sister restaurants (Cafť Soleil,
Harvest and LíEtoile, 21-25 N. Pinckney St) support sustainable farms by using
local and organic ingredients. Visit the Madison
Originals web site for a listing of locally owned restaurants
More Madison Information
Here are some more sites where you can get information about Madison and the