One of only two cities in the United States (along with Seattle) that lies on an isthmus. At a population of 240,000 and a larger metropolitan area of approximately half a million, Madison is also the second-largest city in Milwaukee, and is bordered by five lakes (Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa, and Kegonsa).
A “melting pot of the Midwest,” Madison is known as a bike-friendly city with many restaurants, music, and theater to attract visitors to the city, as well as beautiful countryside not far from the urban center. Madison’s weather tends to be humid and warm in the summer, with cold winters and mild springs and autumns. Attractions include State Street, the Henry Vilas Zoo, the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, the Wisconsin State Capitol, the Governor’s Mansion, and many museums, theaters, and pubs. Annual events in the city include Taste of Madison, Opera in the Park, Ironman Wisconsin, Earth Day Challenge, Children of the Rainforest at Olbrich Gardens, Concerts on the Square, and many more.
Transportation in and Around Madison
Travelers to Madison by air will arrive via the Dane County Regional Airport (MSN), which is fifteen minutes northeast of Madison by taxi. MSN offers daily flights to Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Detroit, and Dallas, as well as nonstop service to Washington DC, NYC, Newark, and other cities.
Madison is approximately an hour from Milwaukee via I-94, and just over two hours to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport via I-90. A four-hour drive will get a traveler to or from St. Paul on I-90/94. Visitors to Madison may also arrive by bus — the VanGalder from Chicago to the University of Wisconsin, the Badger Bus from Milwaukee, or Megabus from both Chicago and Minneapolis. Greyhound also offers service from Minneapolis, Chicago and nearby Milwaukee. By train, Amtrak’s Empire Builder route runs east to Chicago and west to Minneapolis.
Although Madison is a bike-friendly city with many dedicated bike paths, travel outside the city center is likely to require a taxi, rental car, or charter bus. Madison’s local Metro bus system is somewhat spotty in terms of coverage, and taxis in Madison operate on an appointment-only basis, meaning long waits, especially during inclement weather or busy periods. Travelers looking to get around Madison with ease and comfort may consider a charter bus from companies such as Metropolitan Shuttle, for easy transportation around Madison.
Colleges and Universities in Madison
Sports in Madison
Museums and Culture in Madison
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
Wisconsin Veterans Museum
Chazen Museum of Art
Madison Geology Museum
Wisconsin Historical Museum
Madison Childrens Museum
University of Wisconsin-Madison Museum