Madison, Wisconsin is a city that has a unique mixture of small town attitude and big city soul. The city’s center is marked and overpowered by the large white State Capitol Building, modeled after the Capitol in Washington, D.C. The building’s beautiful rotunda is almost always open to visitors. Saturday mornings from early spring to late fall, area farmers and other street vendors transform the Capitol Square into an open-air market. There’s almost all you would expect from a city market from ten different varieties of corn to freshly made venison sausage. The melting pot of people and personalities is second to none. Slightly South of the Capitol, perched on the edge of Lake Monona, is the celebrated Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. The center, completed in 1997, is based on a 1938 design by one of Wisconsin’s most notable native sons, Frank Lloyd Wright.
The University of Wisconsin campus is light stroll away. Linking the Capitol and campus is a pedestrian mall dotted with interesting shopping and dining opportunities, as well as museums and galleries.
Nestled on a narrow isthmus between two lakes, Madison has been recognized as one of the country’s top canoe towns by Paddler magazine, as well as one of the 10 best bicycling cities by Bicycling magazine.
The city is also a perfect jumping-off point for day trips to dozens of picturesque communities in the beautiful surrounding countryside. Appealing nearby side trips might include the Rowe Pottery Works in Cambridge, or Cave of the Mounds and Little Norway near Mount Horeb. But visitors always want to return to Madison where everyone feels welcome.