Madison is the state capital of Wisconsin and the home of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The city is nestled amongst two large lakes, Mendota and Monona, with downtown situated on an isthmus between them. Its suburbs frequently have been voted some of the best places to live in the United States. Whether you live in Madison or are just visiting for a few days, here are some of my recommendations for things to do and places to eat.
Relax at the Memorial Union terrace
The University of Wisconsin's Memorial Union is situated along Lake Mendota's south shore. Enjoy sitting on the terrace in spring, summer, or fall while eating some Babcock Dairy ice cream.
Walk along the Lakeshore Path
The Lakeshore Path begins at the Meorial Union and weaves through the Lakeshore Nature preserve, following the south shore of Lake Mendota. The paths is accessible throughout the year (a large portion of it is plowed in the Winter).
Tour the Capitol
The Wisconsin State Capitol features the third largest rotunda in the world, by volume. No building in the city of Madison is allowed to be higher than "Wisconsin" who sits atop the capitol dome. Enjoy a one hour guided tour 7-days a week to see the capitol's innate interior and learn about its history.
Visit the Farmer's Market
The Dane County Farmer's Market is one of the largest and best farmer's markets in the county. From April thorough October, the market is held outdoors surrounding the capitol. The remainder of the year it is held indoors at the Monona Terrace and the downtown senior center. All produce is locally grown, plus you can purchase baked goods, cheeses, meats, and other locally made products.
View Lake Monona from the roof of the Monona Terrace
The Monona Terrace is Madison's convention center, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The top of the terrace features a large patio and fantastic views of Lake Monona.
See a performance at the Overture Center
The Overture Center for the Arts is home to the Madison Symphony Orchestra and features many Broadway and other performances. Enjoy a wonderful performance some Friday or Saturday evening.
The Wisconsin State Capitol allows non-profit organizations to light the capitol with a special color for up to two weeks. Below is a recent history of the capitol colors and their meaning.