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Top Things To Do In Madison

Madison, Wisconsin is a city known for its small-town feel and global perspective. It’s a city of many nicknames: Mad City, Mad Town, “78 Square Miles Surrounded by Reality.” Its citizens are equal parts environmentally conscious and active. Outdoor enthusiasts will find four lakes to explore. If you’re looking for an outdoor workout, Madison offers more than 200 miles of hiking and biking trails. Visitors looking for leisure will enjoy downtown Madison’s historic sites, freshly brewed beer and, of course, its famous cheese curds. Continue scrolling and make new memories on your trip to Madison.

First stop: Graze. This restaurant offers some of the best cheese curds in Madison. After grubbing up, hit the trails or see the Wisconsin Badgers take on their rivals at the stadium.

Here are some of the best things to do near Madison:

  • Explore more than 20 miles of footpaths and restored prairies at UW-Madison Arboretum
  • Party down with Bucky the Badger at the tailgate before a Badgers game
  • Spend an afternoon swimming at Lake Mendota
  • Visit Madison’s capitol building, the only one of its kind to be built on an isthmus
  • Venture through the expansive outdoor gardens at Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Events in MadisonView All

The Dancing Horses Show on Saturday Nights at 7 p.m. Only (6/6 Through 8/29)
The Dancing Horses Show on Saturday Nights at 7 p.m. Only (6/6 Through 8/29)
Delavan
$44.56 $19.00
57% discount_off
Early Discount – 06/06/20 Through 08/29/20: One General-Admission Ticket to One Show on Saturdays Only at 7 p.m.
40+ bought
Chris Mitchell Virtual Jazz Concert (Through August 1)
Chris Mitchell Virtual Jazz Concert (Through August 1)
online_deal
$19.98 $10.00
49% discount_off
Through 08/01/20: One General-Admission Ticket to Any Virtual Show with a Digital Download of the album I Found Forever
40+ bought
"One Woman Sex and the City: A Parody of Love, Friendship, and Shoes" Through July 31
"One Woman Sex and the City: A Parody of Love, Friendship, and Shoes" Through July 31
online_deal
$19.95 $12.00
39% discount_off
Through 07/31/20: One Viewing
10+ bought
“White Jasmine Everyday Cooking” Taping with a Cookbook for 1 or 2 from White Jasmine (Up to 50% Off)
“White Jasmine Everyday Cooking” Taping with a Cookbook for 1 or 2 from White Jasmine (Up to 50% Off)
Madison
5.0
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icon-full icon
icon-full icon
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$55.00 $26.99
50% discount_off
One Ticket to White Jasmine Everyday Cooking Show with a Cookbook
Gaylarious Virtual LGBT Stand-Up Comedy Show (June 25–August 20)
Gaylarious Virtual LGBT Stand-Up Comedy Show (June 25–August 20)
online_deal
$10.00 $5.00
50% discount_off
06/25/20 at 9 p.m. ET: One General-Admission Ticket
10+ bought
Livestream Name that Tune, Dueling Pianos, or Piano Bar Bingo (Through August 29)
Livestream Name that Tune, Dueling Pianos, or Piano Bar Bingo (Through August 29)
online_deal
$5.00
Name that Tune
1 bought
Virtual Stand-Up: Comedy's Best Kept Secret Tour 2020 featuring Dan Frigolette (May 22–July 31)
Virtual Stand-Up: Comedy's Best Kept Secret Tour 2020 featuring Dan Frigolette (May 22–July 31)
online_deal
$41.49 $6.00
85% discount_off
7/17/20 at 12 a.m. EST: One General-Admission Ticket
1 bought
Jazz Age Jeopardy: Virtual Interactive Murder Mystery Experience
Jazz Age Jeopardy: Virtual Interactive Murder Mystery Experience
online_deal
$275.00
Through 07/31/2020: Admission to Virtual Show for Up to 10 People
1 bought
Chippendales@Home! Virtual Party
Chippendales@Home! Virtual Party
online_deal
$200.00 $150.00
25% discount_off
30-Minute Party for Up to 9 Guests + Souvenir Video
1 bought

For grade-A vacationers on the hunt for the best, Madison offers historic sites, funky monuments, and quaint storefronts perfect for a tourist photo.

Popular attractions near Madison include:

  • Grab a sweet treat at the Babcock Hall Dairy Store on the University of Wisconsin’s campus
  • Fill up on famous Wisconsin cheeses at Fromagination on the Carroll St. side of Capitol Square or Carr Valley Cheese store in Middleton
  • Wander down ‘Forever Street’ to explore great eats and unique shops
  • Take a leisurely journey through the galleries at the Chazen Museum of Art
  • Hike and bike to stellar views of the city at Pheasant Branch Conservancy

When outdoor activities are saved for another day, there are other ways to enjoy your time in Madison.

Things to do indoors near Madison include:

  • Tour the Eugene A. Gilmore House, a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece lovingly known as ‘Airplane House’
  • Attend a local artist talk at Janus Galleries
  • Taste Venezuelan and Latin American dishes at La Taguara restaurant
  • Explore the indoor Bolz Conservatory space at Olbrich Botanical Gardens
  • Book a hot stone massage at Bohemian Bodywork Massage