What Travel Writers Say

Madison, Wisconsin, the Stunning City of Lakes

© By Adam Southwood
  Summer Capitol - Courtesy John Maniaci Madison's city center is dominated by the State Capitol, modeled after the Capitol in Washington, D.C., its striking rotunda open to visitors. The regal Roman Renaissance-style architecture boasts the only granite dome in the U.S. and inside. 40 different types of stone from around the world have been employed in the construction as well as murals and handmade furniture. The observation deck, open in the summer, offers views of the city and surrounding lakes.
     Saturday mornings from early spring to late fall, area farmers transform the Capitol Square into an open-air market, everything from twenty different varieties of bean sprouts to freshly made summer sausage readily available. Besides farmer's markets, folk festivals also take place here. And the people-watching is great!
     The inspiring Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center sits south of the Capitol on the edge of Lake Monona. Completed in 1997, it's based on a 1938 design by Wisconsin's internationally famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Dining On State
     The University of Wisconsin campus is short stroll away, and linking the Capitol and campus, a pedestrian mall offers myriad shopping and dining opportunities, as well as museums and galleries. The sprawling University of Wisconsin features cafes, bookstores, brewpubs and many restaurants. Be sure to try the famous Babcock Ice Cream at Memorial Union or Babcock Hall, before or after a visit to the Elvehjem Museum of Art's collection of Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquities. And to really get into the college spirit, head over to State Street's eclectic range of ethnic restaurants. Be sure to try the mouth-watering bratwurst sandwich on a homemade bun at State Street Brats, a student favorite.
     Nestled on a narrow isthmus between two lakes, Madison celebrates the outdoors and has been recognized as one of the country's top canoe towns by Paddler magazine and one of the 10 best bicycling cities by Bicycling magazine. Stunning glacial waterways make the City of Lakes one of the more picturesque state capitals in the country. More than 150 parks offer residents and tourists plenty of recreational areas from which to choose.

Aerial Madison - Courtesy Skot Weidemann   Google Map

     The Olbrich Botanical Gardens is one of Madison's most popular attractions, an oasis of green that includes a sunken garden, perennial garden, rose garden, rock garden, herb garden, wildflower garden and a tropical conservatory.
     Olbrich is famous for its Thai pavilion, a gift from the king of Thailand, and the surrounding Thai garden. The gardens won the prestigious Award for Garden Excellence of the American Association of Botanic Gardens and Arboreta in 2005. (3330 Atwood Ave., Tel: 608-246-4550)
     The Wisconsin Historical Museum (30 North Carroll St., Tel: 608-264-6555) brings history to life through exhibits on the material culture of the state and the Upper Midwest, from prehistoric times to present day. The history books record that Madison was little more than a wooded, mosquito-infested swamp when selected as the political core of the Wisconsin Territory in 1836. It certainly has come a long way, today a stimulating, youthful metropolis and one of the most beautifully set cities in the US.
     If in the mood, appealing side trips from Madison include the Rowe Pottery Works in Cambridge and Cave of the Mounds and Little Norway near Mount Horeb.

Adam Southwood writes for Canadian, U.S. and European magazines and newspapers. He is a graduate of both McMaster University in Hamilton and UWO in London with an interest in culture and history. He has produced several educational programs for TV.

Photo Credits
Courtesy of Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau

If you go
This destination
as seen on
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madison_WI
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Madison_%28Wisconsin%29
Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau: http://www.visitmadison.com/

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

Transportation, visas, health, maps and temperature
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Google interactive map: http://maps.google.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/


"We welcome our readers' input and personal travel tips. To share feedback on this article, please click below."
Others have made submissions which you may find of interest:
View Article Comments

Tell a friend
this page

Click SEND Below
Meet Great Writers On These Pages

Search For Travel Articles

only search whattravelwriterssay.com

Informative articles organized
by your favourite writers.

Destination Index by Author


Copyright © ~ What Travel Writers Say ~ All Rights Reserved.
Contact WTWS