Web Analytics Made Easy - Statcounter

What's fun in Madison, Wisconsin

Share this Post:
Photo courtesy of Visit Madison
Photo courtesy of Visit Madison

You cannot beat a visit to Madison, Wisconsin. Situated on an isthmus between Lakes Mendota and Monona, the city is full of bike trails as well as kayak rentals. Everything revolves around the Capitol Square (home to the beautiful State Capitol Building), which features the best farmers market in the Midwest every Saturday morning.

Getting there
Madison is a 2.5-hour drive from Chicago; it is also served by Van Galder buses. Or take the Amtrak from Chicago to Milwaukee and hop on the Badger Bus to Madison. Dane Country Regional Airport has flights from around the country, although the fares can be high.

What to do
Rent a B Cycle electric bike and explore the city.

The Olbrich Botanical Gardens on the east side are a must. Ride the Capitol City bike trail and afterwards stop by the new Garver Feed Mill.

Rent a kayak at the Brittingham Bay Boat House.

Enjoy the prairie flowers at Owen Park on the west side.

Take a swim at the UW Memorial Union Terrace pier, and then grab a brat and brew to watch the sunset.

Take in the free Mad City Water Ski Club ski show Sundays at 6 p.m. in the summer. Brats are available there too.

Ride the Lakeshore Path and then hike out to the end of Picnic Point.

Where to eat
Grab a sandwich or some cheese at Fromagination (15 S. Caroll).

Cosetta's (222 W. Washington) is fabulous. Try the tomato sausage soup and grab some coffee at Barrique's across the street.

The Shamrock (117 Main) serves burgers.

Harvest and the Old Fashioned are very good (at 215 S. Pickney) right on the Square.

Where to stay
I like the Hampton Inn and Suites downtown. The Graduate is also very nice, as is the Hilton Monona Terrace.

If you are on UW business, try the Fluno Center.

If you want to splurge, try the Edgewater, but check for resort fees.

Woofs at 114 King is a lot of fun (especially for the bear and leather crowd). Its Sunday beer bust is a must. Don't miss its PrideFest August 13! Enjoy the outdoor seating and grab a bite at the wine restaurant next door, Vino.

The Club V out on the Beltline is another fun option.

The Shamrock is also on the Capitol Square (117 Main) and is a lot of fun.

For more information
Pick up a copy of the monthly Isthmus. Our Lives is Wisconsin's source for LGBTQ news. Outreach has a monthly calendar (https://www.outreachmadisonlgbt.org/).

Photo courtesy of Bill Malcolm  

Bill Malcolm is originally from Madison. He now resides in Indianapolis. His syndicated LGBTQ travel column has appeared in publications around the country, from the Seattle Gay News to the Toronto Pink Play Magazine, as well as on the travel blog section of the IGLTA website.