Madison Wisconsin is the capital of the state and, as home to University of
Wisconsin at Madison (one of the largest public universities in the country),
an important university city. The town was formed in 1836, and named for James
Madison who was one of the founding fathers of the United States and our fourth
president. The city has a street named for each of the original 39 men who signed
the United States Constitution. It's a lovely small city, and the very beautiful
university campus is central to its culture and ambiance.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the campus was a center of Civil Rights and Vietnam War demonstrations, and the university remains an intellectual and cultural center, with many events, theatrical performances, and music festivals being held there. There are four other colleges in the city, and its large student population means that there a number of clubs, cafés, restaurants, and other dining venues available for Madison Wisconsin visitors to enjoy. The Badgers, the nickname of the university's top-rated athletic teams, also draw thousands of sports fans.
The Dane County Regional Airport is one of the larger ones in the state, and many airlines to Wisconsin fly here. There are several car rental companies both at the airport (which is located virtually in the city itself) and in town. This makes finding transportation for your Madison vacation very convenient. Additionally, major highways intersect in Madison, so branching out to state parks and other resorts in the region is quite easy. The greater metropolitan area of Madison Wisconsin includes the nearby town of Baraboo, and your Madison vacation may well include a visit to one of its attractions, including the fascinating Circus World Museum.
Known as the "City of Four Lakes," as it is located on the shores of Lake Mendota and is in close proximity to Lake Monona, Lake Waubesa, and Lake Kegonsa. These lakes are major Madison attractions and provide many things to do in Madison as well as contributing to the scenic beauty of the city. In addition to lake activities, there are many river sports available as all the lakes are fed by a number of rivers and waterways that eventually drain into the Mississippi River. Since its location in the southern part of the state gives the region a temperate climate, the summer activities generally begin early in the spring and last late into the autumn. In the winter, the lakes provide opportunities for ice fishing, ice racing, and skating.
One of the things to do in Madison is explore the city's history, including the capital building, which is one of the main Madison attractions drawing visitors. Many events are centered around the capitol building and along State Street, which links it to the university campus. In the summer, there are free concerts on the lawn, and the square hosts the popular weekly Dane County Farmers Market. The city also hosts the state's largest fireworks extravaganza, called Rhythm and Booms, on the Fourth of July. Numerous music festivals occur during the summer, and even a few in the winter. Madison attractions also include a number of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, as he spent a great deal of time here.
Outside of Madison Wisconsin you will find the remarkable House on the Rock. Near Taliesin is an iconic Frank Lloyd Wright house that is internationally famous. Nearby, you can also explore one of the state's caves, Cave of the Mounds, which is a National Natural Landmark. Other things to do in Madison include golfing, as there are a number of courses and golf clubs actually in the city limits. You can take a dinner cruise on one of the lakes, tour a cheese factory and one of the state's wineries, or drive to Wisconsin Dells to experience one of the many water parks in the region. There are parks and beautiful botanic gardens, a highly-respected zoo, and a brewery offering tours and tastings!
As you can see, a Madison vacation offers a great many things to do both in the city itself and in the surrounding area.