This state capital literally shakes on game days during Badger football season as the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s energy filters out to the city at large. The center of the city lies on an eight-block-wide isthmus between Lakes Mendota and Monona and is energized by frequent live-music concerts, poetry readings, art-gallery openings, and foodie events nightly.
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Things You Can't Miss
Join University of Wisconsin students on the terrace of the Memorial Union overlooking Lake Mendota. Grab ice cream made on campus at the Daily Scoop.
The university arboretum’s 1,200 acres of forest, prairie and wetland are an oasis in the middle of the city. Get there on Sunday morning for a guided walk.
The Wisconsin State Capitol dominates the city’s skyline. The dome looks like the one on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., but with a Wisconsin badger on top.
With these tips, take advantage when an airline, cruise or hotel has open bookings and wants to fill them at a discounted price.
The Friday-night fish fry is a Wisconsin tradition. Drive a little north of Madison to Poynette and try the cod at the Owl’s Nest.
Great spots to wander among gorgeous flowers and take in the scents of spring (or summer or fall).
The National Mustard Museum displays antique mustard pots and more than 5,000 mustards from around the world. The real attraction: a tasting bar!
Before you check in, check out these fabulous foyers.
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