Madison Tourist Information and Tourism

(Madison, Wisconsin - WI, USA)

Founded in the late 1830s as the future state capital and incorporated in 1848, this highly walkable and extremely friendly city is named after America's 4th president, James Madison. There is plenty of tourism appeal here, ranging from family and history themed museums, to state government buildings, sizeable sports stadiums and arenas, and a hugely popular public zoo, not to mention the enormous Dane County Farmers' Market on Capitol Square.

The setting of Madison is truly unique, with the eastern and western sides of the city being almost entirely separated by lakes Mendota and Monona, and connected only by a relatively narrow bridging strip of land (referred to as the 'isthmus').

State Street is an important thoroughfare in the city and links the imposing domed Wisconsin State Capitol Building with the campus of the University of Wisconsin. This lengthy tree-lined pedestrian mall is brimming with trendy eateries, coffee shops, bakeries and quirky independent stores, and is known for its fun street entertainers.

Tourist information is easy to come by at the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau on East Washington Avenue, at the Town Center Welcome Desk on North Orchard Street, and at the Downtown Visitor Center on State Street. There is also a further information desk at the nearby Dane County Regional Airport, which lies within the northeastern suburbs of the city.

Madison Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

A number of the tourist attractions in Madison are of a sporting nature, including stadiums and arenas, such as the Camp Randall Stadium on Monroe Street, which is one of the world's oldest and dates back to 1917, being capable today of accommodating over 80,000 spectators. Close to the Turville Point Conservation Park, the Alliant Energy Center is where you will find the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, while the Kohl Center on West Dayton Street and the Wisconsin Field House on Monroe Street are two further arenas, both of which fall under the umbrella of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Many of the city's biggest events tend to take place at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, next to Lake Monona. This impressive structure was originally conceived by Frank Lloyd Wright towards the end of the 1930s, although his designs only became a reality when the center was finally built in the 1990s.

Families on holiday in Madison will generally choose to pay a visit to the extremely popular Henry Vilas Zoo. Here you can see a real assortment of exotic animals, housed in landscaped enclosures and paddocks, with the zoo's very own Discovery Center providing more of a hands-on experience. If you are simply in the mood for a stroll, jog or cycle, then the Capital City State Trail will more than meet your needs, particularly as it leads to the Military Ridge State Trail and through the scenic Capital Springs State Recreation Area. More information about Madison Tourist Attractions.

A visit to the Wisconsin State Capitol Building is certainly at the top of many a tourist's sightseeing agenda, and with free guided tours, there really is no good reason to overlook this imposing landmark, which interestingly manages to boast the largest granite dome anywhere in the world. Spread around the city center are numerous additional sights worth looking out for, such as the First Unitarian Society of Madison on University Bay Drive, which is instantly recognisable as a fine Frank Lloyd Wright building, with its distinctive sweeping roof and angular architecture. The Herbert and Katherine Jacobs First House on Toepfer Avenue was also designed by this world-famous modernist architect and guided tours of this early 'Usonian' home can be arranged. If you are in the vicinity of the university campus, then you may notice a number of its attractive buildings, five of which are now listed as National Historic Landmarks, namely the Armory and Gymnasium, the Bradley Harold C. House, the Dairy Barn, the North Hall and the Science Hall. And in the suburb of Maple Bluff, the Wisconsin Governor's Mansion (Executive Residence) also warrants a look and enjoys healthy visitor numbers in the region of 20,000 people per annum. More information about Madison Landmarks and Monuments.

It will soon become apparent that a number of the principal tourist attractions and most important government buildings are within close proximity to the Wisconsin State Capitol Square, such as Madison City Hall, the Grace Episcopal Church and some very notable museums. The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is close by and resides on West Mifflin Street, where it is packed with military memorabilia relating to all of America's major conflicts. Just around the corner is the Madison Children's Museum, on North Hamilton Street, which opened in the early 1980s and welcomes in excess of 150,000 visitors per annum. North Carroll Street is where you will need to go if you are interested in information relating to the early days of Frontier Wisconsin and the formation of its capital, since this is where the Wisconsin Historical Museum lives. For an afternoon of classical art appreciation, consider either the Chazen Museum of Art on University Avenue or the Overture Center for the Arts on State Street, and for more modern canvasses, head down the road to the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. More information about Madison Museums and Madison Art Galleries.

Madison is in the perfect position to explore the southern portion of Wisconsin and is relatively close to the state border with Illinois. Interstate I-90 leads southwards and crosses the border, passing the Sugar River Forest Preserve and connecting the Iowa city of Rockford in just over one hour and 30 minutes. The Burpee Museum of Natural History is one of a number of attractions in Rockford. A little closer to Madison and still to the south is the popular Rock Cut State Park, where day trippers come to hike, bike, cycle, fish, kayak and birdwatch. Other possible excursions include destinations such as Devil's Lake, the small city of Dubuque, the suburb town of Middleton, the charming Swiss village of New Glarus and Spring Green, a small village frequently visited by devotees of Frank Lloyd Wright, since it is here where arguably his most renowned creation resides, his former summer home and studio named simply Taliesin. More information about Madison Attractions Nearby.

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