Introduction to Madison
Madison, Wisconsin, with its population of 208,000, is the second largest city in Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin calls Madison home, and the city is 77 miles away from Milwaukee. Outdoor activities, distinctive cultural amenities, and fine restaurants and shopping make Madison an enjoyable place to visit or live. The city is surrounded by five lakes and boasts over 200 parks for an incredible array of cross-country skiing, biking, swimming, sailing, ice fishing, hiking, and snow sailing. It’s a city that combines aspects of urban vibrancy with small-town friendliness.
The city of Madison offers its residents a wide array of cultural activities not typically found in a city of its size. High-class entertainment can be found virtually any night of the week at the University of Wisconsin performance venues. The Madison Repertory Theater, the Madison Opera, and the Madison Symphony all offer performance year-round. Small town charm meets urban activity in an area known for its natural beauty. The city has an active music scene, including rock bands, opera, and folk singing. There are plenty of museums to choose from, including the University of Wisconsin’s Chazen Museum of Art, the Wisconsin Historical Museum, the Wisconsin Veteran’s Museum, and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. The performing arts are alive and well in the city, with performances by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and the Madison Ballet.
Madison Sports and Leisure
Residents and visitors of the Madison area can always find something to do that involves sports. The area boasts a range of golf courses open to the public, including championship courses and par-3 alike. Tennis courts are popular throughout the city, usually available on a first come, first served basis. Spectator sports opportunities include the University of Wisconsin’s athletics, minor league baseball with the Madison Mallards, and many other events.
Madison has five lakes and hundreds of miles of trails that can satisfy any outdoor enthusiast. This has resulted in the city repeatedly being ranked one of the best small cities in the United States. There’s Lake Monona and the UW Arboretum, two spots perfect for biking and hiking. The Madison Parks Division maintains over 240 parks, 10 beaches, 4 off-leash dog areas, and 14 conservation parks. During the winter months, there is plenty of outdoor sports to be enjoyed, including skiing, skating, and sledding at the many lakes and parks. Madison is also considered the bike capital of the Midwest because it has more bikes than cars and over 100 miles of bike trails.
Madison at Night
When nighttime rolls around in Madison, the entertainment and social scenes kick into high gear. There’s always something going on, from comedy to dancing to billiards to pub crawling. Madison is a vibrant college town, and there are many activities to keep people, both young and old, satisfied and entertained. The university has had a reputation for decades as a party school, earning it the nickname Mad Town. The Mifflin Street Block Party and the State Street Halloween Party are commonly attended by tens of thousands of partiers, including many who come from other states to take part in the festivities.