Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America
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Exploring Madison

Wisconsin's charming state capital is a fantastically enticing university city, which boasts tons of family-friendly attractions, eclectic nightlife, and one of the most varied and exciting selection of restaurants in the state. Madison is frequently praised for its quality of life – it's extremely walkable and bike-friendly, full of beautifully maintained parks and green spaces, and surrounded by stunning countryside and pristine freshwater lakes. With world class shopping, free museums and galleries, and a thriving arts and culture scene, there's something in Madison to delight every visitor.

Things to see

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum is a lovely nature reserve thriving with plant and animal life. It's a perfect spot for hiking, cycling, bird watching, and photography. Nearby you'll find Henry Villas Zoo, which is home to an amazing array of exotic creatures from all over the world. It's open all year round, and completely free to visit. Another incredible free attraction is the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Its fantastic permanent collection includes work by some of America's most acclaimed modern artists, and its exciting programme of temporary exhibitions ensures that no two visits are ever the same. Culture vultures will also want to check out what's on at the Overture Center for the Arts, which plays host to operas, ballets, classical music performances, and touring productions of top Broadway musicals. If you're in need of a retail fix, East Towne Mall is Madison's original indoor shopping center, packed with department stores, designer boutiques, and tempting restaurants.

Hotels in Madison

There's an extensive selection of hotels in Madison to choose from, and prices across the board are very competitive. In particular, there's a large number of modern mid-range hotels operated by major international chains. Shared facilities are likely to include an indoor swimming pool, spa tub, and fitness center, while you can expect your room to have a flat-screen TV, coffee and tea making facilities, and complimentary toiletries. There are also a number of smart, modern motels in town, which offer fantastic value for money. These generally offer amenities such as free WiFi and onsite parking, security safes, and laundry facilities.

Where to stay

Downtown Madison is the city's commercial and cultural hub. Here you'll find glitzy malls, quirky independent shops, cozy cafés, trendy night spots, and restaurants serving everything from cheap and cheerful pizza-by-the-slice to world class haute cuisine. Middleton has repeatedly been hailed as one of the best places to live in the US. This picturesque small town is just minutes away from Madison's top sights, and boasts many unique attractions of its own, such as the Capital Brewery and the National Mustard Museum. South Madison is home to a fantastic farmers' market, where you'll find an incredible array of fresh specialty produce.

How to get to Madison

Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) is just a 15 minute drive from Madison. The airport receives regular non-stop flights from many major US destinations, including New York, Washington, Atlanta, Dallas, and Orlando. If you're traveling from overseas, Madison is just over 2 hours by car from Chicago O'Hare Airport. Madison is also served by a number of long-distance bus services, and Columbus train station is a 30 minute drive away.

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