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Trip Planner USA  /  Wisconsin  /  Madison

Madison

4.5
Government Buildings · Gardens · Zoos
The City of Four Lakes
Madison might be the capital of Wisconsin, but students rather than politicians give the city its identity. The city of over 240,000 boasts a major university and, as such, it features a wealth of cafes, bookstores, brewpubs, and the most restaurants per capita in the U.S. With more than 250 parks occupying the area and four in-city lakes dominating the topography, a wealth of natural attractions complements the diverse entertainment options. Downtown you'll find a host of locally owned shops, sidewalk cafes, and coffeehouses, and a space where street performers operate when the weather's agreeable. These features have drawn more than just students to Madison; they’ve resulted in a vibrant community of musicians, artists, professionals, and families with a strong sense of community that fits in nicely with the city's tradition of education. Arrange all the small, but important details of your Madison trip itinerary using our United States trip builder app.
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Popular things to do in Madison

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Olbrich Botanical Gardens ©
Garden
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
4.8
Duration: 2 hours
Wisconsin State Capitol ©
Government Building
Wisconsin State Capitol
4.8
Duration: 2 hours
Henry Vilas Zoo ©
Zoo
Henry Vilas Zoo
4.5
Duration: 2 hours
Memorial Union Terrace ©
Landmark
Memorial Union Terrace
4.8
Duration: 2 hours

Side trips from Madison

Noah's Ark Water Park ©
Water Park
Noah's Ark Water Park Wisconsin Dells
4.0
Duration: 8 hours
©
Zipline
Zipline Wisconsin Dells
4.9
Duration: 2 hours
Harley-Davidson Museum ©
Specialty Museum
Harley-Davidson Museum Milwaukee
4.7
Duration: 2 hours

Hidden gems in Madison

©
Beer Tasting / Tour
Beer Tastings & Tours
5.0
Duration: 2h 30 min
Hop Head Tours ©
Distillery Tour
Hop Head Tours
5.0
Duration: 4 hours
Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center ©
Architectural Building
Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center
4.5
Duration: 2 hours
Chazen Museum of Art ©
Art Museum
Chazen Museum of Art
4.7
Duration: 2 hours

Kid-friendly things to do in Madison

Madison Children's Museum ©
Children’s Museum
Madison Children's Museum
4.3
Duration: 2h 30 min
University of Wisconsin Geology Museum ©
Science Museum
University of Wisconsin Geology Museum
4.7
Duration: 2 hours
Washburn Observatory ©
Observatory
Washburn Observatory
4.5
Duration: 2 hours
Vilas Park
Zoo
Vilas Park
4.4
Duration: 2 hours

Parks in Madison

Allen Centennial Gardens ©
Garden
Allen Centennial Gardens
4.8
Duration: 2 hours
Tenney Park ©
Park
Tenney Park
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
Brittingham Park ©
Park
Brittingham Park
4.5
Duration: 2h 30 min
Warner Park ©
Park
Warner Park
4.4
Duration: 2 hours

Shopping in Madison

Dane County Farmers Market ©
Flea Market
Dane County Farmers Market
4.7
Duration: 2h 30 min
Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier ©
Gift & Specialty Shop
Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier
4.9
Duration: 30 minutes
Fromagination ©
Gift & Specialty Shop
Fromagination
4.5
Duration: 2 hours
Vom Fass ©
Gift & Specialty Shop
Vom Fass
4.0
Duration: 2 hours

Places to visit with Madison

Milwaukee Trip planner BEST FOR: Specialty Museum, Brewery, Art Museum Wisconsin Dells Trip planner BEST FOR: Water Park, Zipline, Entertainment Center Bayfield Trip planner BEST FOR: Cave, Kayaking / Canoeing, Spa Portage Trip planner BEST FOR: Ski Area, Military Museum, Landmark Wausau Trip planner BEST FOR: Ski Area, Art Museum, State Park