© Curt Lenz

EXPLORING THE AREA

Begin your day at the center of it all: the Capitol Square. There you'll find a variety of restaurants open for breakfast and brunch that can help you fuel up for a day of fun. Then take a tour of the State Capitol to experience Madison's heritage and beauty (including the amazing view from the observation deck). 

Whatever you do, don't skip State Street—also called "museum mile" because of the many museums and galleries that dot the distance between the capitol and UW-Madison campus, including the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and the Chazen Museum of Art. If exploring the outdoors is more what you had in mind, don't miss a visit to one of the more than 260 parks during spring, home to frisbee golf courses, dog areas, trails and more. Or visit the UW-Madison Arboretum, where outdoor trails and interactive exhibits offer the chance to connect with nature.

In the mood for some serious sampling? Try one of the many food events and tours that highlight the local focus on craft culture. Take a short drive to Vetro in Jefferson to sample some of the area's best wine. Or head back downtown to experience the Old Sugar Distillery, Madison's premier distillery that produces world-class spirits using local ingredients. Beer lovers should stop by Ale Asylum, a local microbrewery that serves some of the area's favorite beers.

Experience a natural landmark where you can discover an unforgettable array of crystal formations by making your way to Blue Mounds to explore Cave of the Mounds. Or take the short drive to Spring Green and you'll get a chance to tour Taliesin, the home and school that preserves the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright, and House on the Rock, a Wright-inspired masterpiece showcasing unique collections and the world's largest indoor carousel. 

Whether it's lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch, The Old Feed Mill restaurant in Mazomanie serves midwestern comfort food in an old flouring mill dating back to pre-Civil war. Finish your day trip at the Duluth Trading Company in nearby Mount Horeb, which showcases hundreds of antique hand tools dating from 1865-1950 that document the history of the working man. Then explore Cambridge's downtown shops and stay at one of the local bed & breakfasts: Lake Ripley Lodge or the Oscar H. Hanson House.