The capital of Wisconsin is a place all mid-westerners should visit at least once. Having both friends and family located in Madison, I’ve spent a few weekends in this city over the years. If you’ve got 48 hours, I recommended checking out the following sites:
3 Most Iconic Things to Do in Madison
- Visit The Capitol. Besides Bucky Badger, I’d say The Capitol is the most recognizable symbol of Madison, Wisconsin. As the tallest building in the city’s skyline, The Capitol is one of the central points of the city and a considered a National Historic Landmark. Visitors are invited to check out the granite structure for themselves from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, with free tours offered daily Monday-Saturday (check out the official website for more info). If you’re interested in history and/or architecture, this is a must-see. (Side note: If you aren’t familiar with the area, driving down here can be kind of confusing and Siri doesn’t always cooperate.)
- Shop and eat on State Street. This is probably where I have spent most of my time during a weekend trip to Madison. There are just so many shops, bakeries, and restaurants explore, from classic chains to local businesses!
I usually am in need of a pick-me-up mid-way through this excursion. One of my favorite places I’ve stopped in was Michelangelo’s Coffee House. Very warm, friendly environment with, as its name might imply, artwork covering the walls. The Madison area is one that values being socially responsible, and Michelangelo’s is no exception. They pride themselves on providing “socially conscious, fair-trade” coffee.
- Relax on the Memorial Union Terrace. No trip to Madison would be complete without enjoying the views of Lake Mendota from a colorful chair at the famous student union terrace. Though usually packed with people in the summer, it is a great place to grab a brat, ice cream, or beer (and on occasion, live music).
Laugh at the Comedy Club on State. When I visited a friend in Madison, I finally got to check off a bucket list item of mine, which was to attend a comedy club show. Tickets are $10-$20 depending on the day of the week. There is a two drink minimum, but I enjoyed the cozy, lounge atmosphere.
Have a beer at the Ale Asylum Brewery. You probably know by now that one of my go-to activities when traveling is checking out the breweries/wineries. This microbrewery and taproom offers locally brewed and bottled beers with a dark, edgy vibe. The choices were a little overwhelming at first, but I settled on the Ambergeddon. It was pretty busy on a Saturday night, so we ended up sitting in a lounge upstairs. Good beer, unique atmosphere, look forward to visiting again!
Cheer on the Badgers at Camp Randall. I only put this one last because I’ve never actually been to one…yet. I hear they’re a pretty good time though, if you like football, beer, and don’t mind an enthusiastic student section;)