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MadisonUnited States of America

Wisconsin’s capital and second-largest city offers spectacular natural and architectural beauty and many ways to enjoy watersports. 

With five lakes, more than 250 parks and hundreds of miles of biking and walking trails, Madison is loaded with outdoor attractions. The city center is perched on an isthmus between two lakes, Mendota and Monona. There are thousands of acres of fields, parks and dairy farms just outside the city. This natural environment contributes to Madison’s relaxed way of life.

Enjoy the watersports offered year-round on Lake Mendota, including water skiing and canoeing in summer and ice boating and ice hockey in winter. Stroll through the wetlands, prairie and forest of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum.

Visit Downtown Madison to see the seat of Wisconsin’s state government, the only state capitol built on an isthmus. Take one of the free daily tours to admire the rotunda’s extravagantly decorated ceiling and the building’s art and hand-carved furniture.

If you appreciate great architecture, head two blocks south of the Wisconsin State Capitol Building to the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. The building is based on a design by Wisconsin native, Frank Lloyd Wright. Often considered one of the greatest architects of the 20th century, Wright designed many civic structures and homes in the city.

Madison regularly appears on lists of the country’s “most walkable” cities and is easy to get around. Since by law, new and redeveloped roads must accommodate pedestrians and bikes as well as cars, the city is constantly increasing areas with non-car access. If you want to pedal around the city, use Madison B-Cycle urban bike-share program. For information about bike paths, visit the City of Madison’s website. Alternatively, use the Metro Transit bus service. Driving in the city center is not recommended since parking is scarce and permits are required in some areas.

Madison’s residents may place a strong emphasis on healthy living, but they also know how to celebrate. Every Memorial Day weekend at the end of May, the city hosts four days of food, music and fun, dubbed “The World’s Largest Bratfest,” featuring thousands of juicy bratwurst sausages.

Where to stay in Madison

Madison's first and best Thai restaurant. I can't imagine Pad Thai tasting any better than how they make it.

Marquette

4.5/5Wonderful!(45 area reviews)

While visiting Marquette, you might make a stop by sights like Orton Park and Yahara Place Park.

Marquette
I love this sign.  Spotted near the UW Madison campus.  #iconography #vaf2012 #octopus #sign #retro

Regent

4.5/5Wonderful!(20 area reviews)

Regent might not have many top sights, but Camp Randall Stadium and Kohl Center are two attractions nearby that you can check out.

Regent
This spot is an ice rink in the winter but a beautiful place to spend the day in the city of Madison #adventure

Tenney-Lapham

4.5/5Wonderful!(9 area reviews)

While visiting Tenney-Lapham, you might make a stop by sights like Lake Mendota and Breese Stevens Field.

Tenney-Lapham
Morning view

Bay Creek

Though Bay Creek might not have many top sights, you can venture to the surrounding area to see attractions like Alliant Energy Center and Kohl Center.

Bay Creek

Top Hotels in Madison

Baymont by Wyndham Madison West/Middleton WI West
Baymont by Wyndham Madison West/Middleton WI West
2.5 out of 5
8102 Excelsior Dr, Madison, WI
The price is $61 per night from Nov 2 to Nov 3

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Capital Brewery, Pleasant View Golf Course, and National Mustard Museum. Death's Door Spirits ...

4/5Very Good! (852 reviews)

"👍👍was nice clean jeez 50 characters is way too much"…"

Reviewed on Oct 22, 2020

Baymont by Wyndham Madison West/Middleton WI West
The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club
The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club
3.5 out of 5
1 W Dayton St, Madison, WI
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $119 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 2

Located in the heart of Madison, this luxury hotel is steps from Madison Area Technical College Downtown Campus, Capitol Square, and Wisconsin State Capitol. ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (989 reviews)

"Out whirlpool suite was beautifully decorated, beds were very comfy, the hot tub was amazing, and the Governor’s Club perks were phenomenal! Not to mention the staff was amazing, and even gifted us a bottle of champagne!!!!! We will definitely be back!!!!"…"

Reviewed on Oct 21, 2020

The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club
Hampton Inn & Suites Madison / Downtown
Hampton Inn & Suites Madison / Downtown
2.5 out of 5
440 West Johnson Street, Madison, WI
The price is $89 per night from Nov 3 to Nov 4

Located in the heart of Madison, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of State Street Shopping, Kohl Center, and Overture Center for the Arts. Capitol Square ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (975 reviews)

"Fantastic Location for our college student. I didn't read fine print on paying for parking though. not part of the price in expedia and you should include that. I can go to springhill in hillsdale and pay the same and i love that location and i know i have to pay for parking....but only because it ..."…"

Reviewed on Oct 29, 2020

Hampton Inn & Suites Madison / Downtown
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Madison

Staybridge Suites Madison East
Staybridge Suites Madison East
3 out of 5
3301 City View Dr, Madison, WI
The price is $98 per night from Nov 26 to Nov 27

Situated in Madison, this aparthotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from American Center and within 3 mi (5 km) of East Towne Mall and Madison Area Technical College. Sun ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (343 reviews)

"It is always clean. The staff is MOST helpful. I had paid for a one bedroom, one bed suite thru expedia. When I got there I was in a one bed room. The staff gladly changed the room (even through they didn't have to because I was to contact expedia and had them it). Like I said, MOST helpful"…"

Reviewed on Aug 20, 2020

Staybridge Suites Madison East
Staybridge Suites Middleton Madison-West
Staybridge Suites Middleton Madison-West
3 out of 5
7790 Elmwood Ave, Middleton, WI
The price is $76 per night from Oct 31 to Nov 1

Situated in Middleton, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Capital Brewery and National Mustard Museum. Death's Door Spirits Distillery and Pleasant ...

4.3/5Excellent! (267 reviews)

"Cannot wait to come back - this hotel was fantastic!!!"…"

Reviewed on Oct 16, 2020

Staybridge Suites Middleton Madison-West
Staybridge Suites Madison - Fitchburg
Staybridge Suites Madison - Fitchburg
3 out of 5
2916 Hardrock Road, Madison, WI
The price is $85 per night from Nov 6 to Nov 7

Situated near the airport, this aparthotel is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) from Ten Pin Alley and within 3 mi (5 km) of Vitense Golfland and Elver Park. Reddan Soccer Park ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (239 reviews)

"New and great place to stay."…"

Reviewed on Jul 12, 2020

Staybridge Suites Madison - Fitchburg
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Madison

Top things to do in Madison

Reviews of Madison

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1396
5 - Excellent 51.87662578966927%
4 - Good
1073
4 - Good 39.87365291713118%
3 - Okay
191
3 - Okay 7.097733184689706%
2 - Disappointing
24
2 - Disappointing 0.8918617614269788%
1 - Terrible
7
1 - Terrible 0.2601263470828688%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 3, 2020

I visit Madison every three or for months on business.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 2, 2020

Excellent places to visit but dont go when the rallies are on your way.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 2, 2020

love Madison

4/5 - Good

Richard

Apr 24, 2020

The city is poised to fight the Home-@ Stay order, the MATC is poised to start with regular distancing, or so it seems.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Apr 22, 2020

Nice City!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Mar 19, 2020

I miss living in Madison, it’s a much more polite and friendly city than La Crosse.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Madison

Image for Best US destinations for views from top to bottom

Best US destinations for views from top to bottom

Best US destinations for views from top to bottom
Image for Get your kicks in the most walkable cities

Get your kicks in the most walkable cities

Get your kicks in the most walkable cities
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America’s most artistic towns

America’s most artistic towns

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