Madison: Wisconsin’s Favorite College Town

Wisconsin State Capital in Madison,
Wisconsin's beautiful capital building in Madison. Victoria Hart/GoNOMAD photo.
Wisconsin’s beautiful capital building in Madison. Victoria Hart/GoNOMAD photo.

The city of Madison is known for being the state capital of Wisconsin, and while this may have made it famous, there is a lot more to this city than meets the eye. The wonderful city has so much to offer from arts to culture and museums to sports. Find your place in this fun college town.

The Wisconsin State Capitol is located near Madison’s gorgeous lakeshore in the downtown area of the city. Most visitors explore this area on foot. The building dates back from 1917 and is topped with a 284-foot dome. Inside the building itself are some beautiful decorative murals. It also holds marble from France, Italy, and Germany. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn more about the history and art of this magnificent building.

The Thai Pavilion at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison Wisconsin.
The Thai Pavilion, the Sala, at Olbrich Botanical Gardens

The Olbrich Botanical Gardens is a beautiful and colorful area located on the scenic waterfront of Madison. First opened in 1952, this garden is filled with seasonal plants, so you’ll be sure to see something blooming all year round. One of the signature features of the gardens are the roses that are grown here, as well as the Bolz Conservatory which is an indoor area that features a range of indigenous foliage. There are also architectural features in the park such as the Sala, a picturesque pavilion that was given to the gardens by the Thai government.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, WI
Museum of Contemporary Art

In the heart of Wisconsin in Capitol Square is the Wisconsin Historical Museum, the perfect place to learn all about the background of this great city. The museum will take you back in time over the years and fill you in on all the historical and cultural significance of Madison. There are rotating exhibitions, galleries, fixed educational sections, sculptures, and more. There’s even a whole gallery dedicated to the creation of malted milk, said to be an invention of Wisconsin.

Head to the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art for anything arts-related in Madison. Not only is this building filled with art and creativity, but the outer structure itself is often known as a work of art on its own. The front of the building resembles the bow of a ship and the museum spans three floors, all fronted with stunning glass.

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Places to Stay in Madison

Stay overnight at the Hilton Madison Monona Terrace, situated right in the heart of the city and only a short walk from Capitol Square. Make yourself at home in one of the 240 air-conditioned rooms that include refrigerators, 37-inch LCD televisions, MP3 docking stations, and cable programming.

Highlights: Don’t miss out on the many recreational opportunities, including an indoor pool, a spa tub, and a 24-hour fitness center. Grab a bite at Capitol ChopHouse, one of the hotel’s two restaurants, or stay in and take advantage of the 24-hour room service. Snacks are also available at the coffee shop/café. If you’re in need of a drink, try one of the two bars/lounges.

The Graduate Madison is located in the center of the city, only a four-minute walk from Memorial Union Terrace and 10 minutes by foot from Kohl Center.

Relax in one of the 72 air-conditioned rooms featuring refrigerators, docking stations, complimentary wireless Internet, and cable programming. Private bathrooms in each guest room include showers, toiletries, and hair dryers.

Highlights: Enjoy recreation amenities such as a fitness center or take in the view from a rooftop terrace. Guests can catch a ride on the complimentary shuttle, which operates within 3.00 mi.

Wisconsin Veterans Museum
Wisconsin Veterans Museum

Grab a bite to eat at Portage Pi, a restaurant where you can enjoy drinks at the bar and dine alfresco. Snacks are also available at the coffee shop/café. Cooked-to-order breakfasts are available daily from 6 AM to 11 AM for a fee.

Stay at the AmericInn by Wyndham Madison West for a wonderful stay in the business district. Here, you’ll be within a five-minute drive of West Towne Mall and University Research Park. There are 120 rooms in the hotel.

Highlights: Take advantage of recreational opportunities offered, including an indoor pool, a spa tub, and a fitness center. Additional features at this hotel include a fireplace in the lobby and a picnic area.

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