Sights and Sounds

Madison Wisconsin at Night

Come for Wing Ding, stay for the fun.

Heading to Madison for the 36th Annual Wing Ding? We do hope you will join us in glorious Madison, Wis., this July. We are so proud to be the only community lucky enough to host the Gold Wing Road Riders group for the fifth time. So if you have visited in the past or have never been here at all, be sure to add a couple of extra days onto the front end or back end of your trip to really take advantage of all that our area has to offer. With so many choices of fun activities in the greater Madison area, you’ll surely find something for everyone!

Madison consistently ranks as a top community in which to live, work, play, raise a family and, of course, visit. Water figures prominently in Madison (it’s one of only two cities in the U.S. built on an isthmus — the other is Seattle). Five lakes surround the Madison area, and locals and visitors alike make the most of Madison’s abundant natural resources and unspoiled beauty all year long. There are lots of ways to get on or in the water in Madison, from kayak rentals to shoreline picnics, our amazing water resources are there for everyone to enjoy!

madison-lakeTreat yourself to the cooling lake breeze and experience any of Madison’s five lakes.

The heart of downtown is Capitol Square, where the Wisconsin State Capitol building accents the Madison skyline. The impressive structure sits proudly atop the highest point in Madison and offers amazing views of our city. During the free daily tours, visitors can see the building’s hand-carved furniture, exquisite glass mosaics and 43 varieties of stone from around the world. It’s an amazing example of classic architecture, and the well-informed and knowledgeable docents ferry groups large and small through the massive building pointing out some amazing facts and trivia throughout the hour-long tour.

wisconsin-capitolClimb the staircase to the lookout point on the sixth floor of the State Capitol. While the climb can be a bit steep, the breathtaking view is well worth it.

While on the square, be sure to head down State Street. It’s a pedestrian-only, mile-long street that links the Capitol Square to the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. You’ll find all kinds of eclectic shops, bars, cafes and restaurants that give Madison its unique flavor. One of the most popular summer time strolls is from the Capitol Square to the Memorial Union, which is a sight to behold not only for its architectural significance but also for its great view of Lake Mendota and excellent people watching. It is the spot on campus for people to gather. If you are a fan of ice cream (and who isn’t?), you must save room for a scoop or two of our famous Babcock Hall ice cream. Created on campus by the students of the UW Dairy Science and Food Science departments, this super-premium treat is a sweet part of any trip to Madison. If you have a bit more time, do take a tour of the facilities and learn about how they make their famous ice cream, cheese and more.

ice-creamBe sure to stop in at the Daily Scoop for some Babcock Hall ice cream.

If you’d like to walk off some of that yummy Babcock Hall ice cream, why not take a stroll through more than 6,000 acres of parkland? If you love animals, you’ll have a great time visiting our zoo. The Henry Vilas Zoo is open daily year-round, and both parking and admission are free. The Tropical Rainforest Aviary and Big Cat Complex are just some of the great exhibits you can visit. New additions this year are ring-tailed lemurs that are bound to delight guests with their energetic and acrobatic adventures.

giraffes-madisonCheck out Henry Vilas Zoo and all of our great area attractions while you are in town.

If dining is what you seek, the greater Madison area has an extraordinary and high-regarded dining scene. From food carts to James Beard Award-winning chefs and restaurants, there is something for every taste and budget. Many restaurants feature a farm-to-table concept, with locally produced fare and a passion for sustaining local farmers. It’s a direct result of having proximity to an amazing array of produce and artisanal ingredients here in Wisc

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