13 Best Places and Things To Do in Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin is a vibrant and picturesque city that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and a thriving food scene. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or a foodie, Madison has something for everyone. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Madison:

1. Olbrich Botanical Gardens

File:Bolzconservatory 2.jpg

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olbrich_Botanical_Gardens

Escape the city and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Olbrich Botanical Gardens. This 16-acre garden features stunning outdoor display gardens, a tropical conservatory, and a Thai pavilion. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, enjoy the vibrant flowers, and find tranquility in this peaceful oasis.

2. Vilas Park

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g60859-d279033-Reviews-Vilas_Park-Madison_Wisconsin.html

Enjoy the outdoors at Vilas Park, located on the shores of Lake Wingra. This picturesque park features walking trails, a sandy beach, picnic areas, and a zoo with free admission. Rent a paddleboat or kayak to explore the tranquil lake, or simply relax and soak up the peaceful atmosphere.

3. Wisconsin Historical Museum

File:The State Historical Museum of Wisconsin - Madison, WI - DSC02781.JPG

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisconsin_Historical_Museum

Learn about Wisconsin’s rich history at the Wisconsin Historical Museum. The museum showcases exhibits that cover the state’s Native American heritage, early European settlement, industrial development, and political history. It’s a fascinating place to gain insight into the state’s past.

4. Henry Vilas Zoo

File:Henry Vilas Zoo - panoramio.jpg

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Vilas_Zoo

Take the family to the Henry Vilas Zoo, a free zoo that offers an exciting experience for animal lovers of all ages. The zoo is home to a diverse range of animals, including lions, giraffes, monkeys, and penguins. Explore the exhibits, attend feeding sessions, and even participate in interactive educational programs.

5. Wisconsin Veterans Museum

File:Wisconsin Veterans Museum - Madison, WI - DSC02778.JPG

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisconsin_Veterans_Museum

Pay tribute to the brave men and women who have served in the military at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. Discover the stories of Wisconsin veterans through exhibits that showcase artifacts, photographs, and personal accounts. Gain a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices made by those who have served their country.

6. Madison Children’s Museum

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g60859-d109918-Reviews-Madison_Children_s_Museum-Madison_Wisconsin.html

Perfect for families with young children, the Madison Children’s Museum offers hands-on exhibits and interactive learning experiences. From art and science activities to climbing structures and a rooftop garden, there’s something to engage and inspire children of all ages.

7. Chazen Museum of Art

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g60859-d109920-Reviews-Chazen_Museum_of_Art-Madison_Wisconsin.html

The museum boasts an impressive collection of over 20,000 artworks spanning a wide range of periods, styles, and mediums. From ancient to contemporary art, visitors can explore works from Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, textiles, and more.

8. Tenney Park

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g60859-d299840-Reviews-Tenney_Park-Madison_Wisconsin.html

The park’s prime location on the eastern shore of Lake Mendota provides stunning views of the lake and its sparkling waters. Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline or find a peaceful spot to sit and enjoy the tranquility of the lake.

9. Warner Park

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g60859-d280426-Reviews-Warner_Park-Madison_Wisconsin.html

The centerpiece of the park is Warner Pond, a scenic lake surrounded by lush greenery. The pond provides a peaceful setting for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Anglers can try their luck catching fish such as bass, bluegill, and catfish.

10. Elver Park

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g60859-d280434-Reviews-Elver_Park-Madison_Wisconsin.html

Elver Park is famous for its expansive sledding hill, making it a favorite winter destination for thrill-seekers. The hill provides an exhilarating experience for sledding, snowboarding, and tubing. It’s a fantastic spot to enjoy a snowy day with family and friends.

11. Olin-Turville Park

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g60859-d8699077-Reviews-Olin_Turville_Park-Madison_Wisconsin.html

The park’s prime location along Lake Monona provides stunning views of the lake and its surrounding landscape. Visitors can relax on the shoreline, take a leisurely walk along the lakefront, or simply sit and admire the serene beauty of the water.

12. Owens Conservation Park

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g60859-d8064737-Reviews-Owens_Conservation_Park-Madison_Wisconsin.html

On a hilltop overlooking Madison’s west side, this park was the farm and personal retreat of former University Professor Edward T. Owen.  Today, prairies and oak savannas have risen like a phoenix to reclaim the landscape.  Coneflowers, goldenrod, and bluestem are among the many plants that yield a harvest of ever-changing color and texture throughout the year.

13. Brittingham Park

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g60859-d10700236-Reviews-Brittingham_Park-Madison_Wisconsin.html

Brittingham Park features a sandy beach area where you can relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the beautiful lake views. Picnic tables and grills are available throughout the park, making it a great place for outdoor gatherings and picnics with family and friends.

These are just a few highlights of what Madison, Wisconsin has to offer. The city’s vibrant culture, natural beauty, and friendly atmosphere make it a delightful destination for visitors of all interests.