Madison, Wisconsin, Trip Guide | Midwest Living

Madison, Wisconsin, Trip Guide

The state capital tempts for weekend getaways with its famous farmers market, locavore eateries, outdoor rec–and Badger fandom.


Thai Pavilion. Photo Courtesy of Jeff Epping/Olbrich Botanical Gardens.
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Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.
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What to do

Betty Lou Cruises Step aboard a Betty Lou motor yacht for a leisurely cruise around Lake Mendota or Monona. (608) 246-3138;

Chazen Museum of Art A $43 million expansion (opened in 2011) is a work of art itself. Inside, dedicated galleries display African, Asian and 21st-century international works. Read Midwest Living’s review. (608) 263-2246;

Dane County Farmers Market The country’s largest producer-only market is a colorful way to start a weekend in Madison. It’s open Saturday year-round and Wednesday in summer. (608) 455-1999;

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art Housed in the airy, expansive Overture Building near the capitol, the museum holds engaging exhibits from global artists. (608) 257-0158;

Monroe Street Indie shops and restaurants line a mile-and-a-half stretch of Monroe west of downtown. Favorites include Orange Tree Imports.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens Amid 16 acres of outdoor gardens, the 2-acre Rose Garden showcases hardy shrub varieties in a space inspired by Wisconsin native Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie style. Free admission to outdoor gardens; $2 for conservatory. (608) 246-4550;

State Street This area bustles with more than 370 shops, galleries, restaurants and nightclubs.

University of Wisconsin Arboretum This 1,200-acre oasis features prairie, savannah, marsh and deciduous forest, plus gardens and more than 20 miles of trails. (608) 263-7888;

Click ahead for where to eat and where to stay.


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