Remote and hybrid work schedules have expanded our idea of what a workplace is. Can you work your desk job from a shoreline, a shop or a shanty? Absolutely. It's your opportunity to see more of the world while maintaining the normalcy of a steady career. 

If your job allows you to work around the world, your first question should be: what's a good place to visit while working? And we have an answer. 

Madison, Wisconsin's proximity to nature, welcoming downtown and overall walkability make it an ideal place to visit while you work. In one trip, you can work in a variety of venues by day and then have fun exploring, tasting and vibing at night. 

When it comes to finding a great place to stay while working in Madison, places like The Saddlery and The Wilson offer sleek extended stays with apartment-like settings that feel like home.

Places to Work Outdoors

Trade your desk for a picnic table with just a little help from a mobile hotspot. There are more than 270 parks in Madison which means 270 opportunities for having the best Zoom background in the group call. And being one of only two cities in the country on the isthmus (a city between two lakes) means there are lakeside parks within walking distance from downtown hotels, restaurants and coffee shops

Our parks are popular community gathering places and many have great accommodations that make them easy work spaces. Some of the top places to work outdoors in Madison include:

James Madison Park

The beautiful 12 acres of lakeside park in downtown Madison is a perfect place to stretch out and get some work done. It's just a nine-minute walk to from the Wisconsin State Capitol meaning there's quick access to anything you need downtown. And if you find yourself working until sunset, you will have one of the best views in the city of the sun setting over Lake Mendota.

Willy Street Park

This small community park in the eclectic Willy Street neighborhood is a perfect little hideaway to spend your day. The park consists of several picnic tables surrounded by trees that provide lots of shade (great for laptop readability) and native plant life. When you want to stretch your legs or take a break for lunch, you're within walking distance of several restaurants and the locally-loved Willy Street Co-op.

The Biergarten at Olbrich Park

Plenty of picnic tables, a lakeside view and beer. What more could you ask for from your office on the go? Olbrich Park on Madison's east side is a sprawling urban park on the shores of Lake Monona. And during the warm-weather months (generally from late April through October) the park offers a biergarten with rotating local brews on tap and a variety of snacks. You can work at the biergarten tables during the day and stick around to enjoy a brew when the 'garten opens in the late afternoon. 

Coffee Shops, Patios and Cafes

Working the day away at a coffee shop is a classic for a reason: great seating, abundant Wi-fi, yummy treats and a front-row seat to the people that make a community special. Madison is known for having an excellent lineup of cafes and coffee shops. And when patio season starts, Madisonians flock to their favorite patios and outdoor dining spaces during and after work.

Among many fantastic local coffee shops, a few stand out for their one-of-a-kind locations and offerings:

Black Locust Cafe

Black Locust Cafe is in Madison's up-and-coming Capitol East neighborhood that's also home to Vintage Brewing, The Sylvee and Breese Stevens Field. The cafe is a part of Robinia Courtyard, a shared dining space home to Black Locust, Jardin and MadisonTap. The courtyard is nestled between two great places to stay: the brand-new Moxy Hotel and Hotel Indigo, making it among the most conveniently located coffee shops for travelers. Their full food and drink menu makes it easy to hunker down and stay the whole work day.

Leopold's Books Bar Caffe

Leopold's is every book lover's dream spot. This ultra-cozy cafe is home to a coffee shop, bar and bookstore all in one and the vintage aesthetic is unmatched. If you visit during the times when Leopold's and the adjacent Fabiola's Spaghetti House and Deli overlap, you'll have a lineup of great food and drink options to fuel your work day.

Northstreet Collective

Coffee. Baked goods. Beer. The three main food groups. And all available at Northstreet Collective, home to Cafe Domestique, Young Blood Brewing and Bloom Bake Shop. The mid-century modern inspired decor and indoor-outdoor hybrid space is a relaxing environment with plenty of room to work and enjoy three different small businesses in one.

Hodge Podge

While the name suggests the idea of mismatch and jumble, that's not what you'll find here. Hodge Podge is a coffee, cocktail and mocktail bar in Verona that specializes in sustainability. Eco-friendly decisions are seen throughout the cafe from the lineup of thrifted glassware, herbs grown in the cafe's indoor hydro-garden and eco-friendly bathroom supplies. 

Built for Bleisure

Some of Madison's coolest venues for remote work don't quite fit in a category. Each provide a quintessentially-Madison experience that allow you to get your work done while also feeling like you're connecting with the city.


Madison-based American Family Insurance, one of the city's largest employers, operates a one-of-a-kind space that's a great hub for bleisure travelers traveling solo or with a group. Dreambank is a community gathering hub where big dreams and ideas can be fostered through education, events, art installations and other programming. The space is open to anyone to work or host meetings. 

Garver Feed Mill

Garver Feed Mill is one of Madison's premiere event venues and a local business hub that's open during weekdays as a space for anyone to work, dine or gather. Inside the renovated, historic sugar beet factory and feed mill is Ian's Pizza, Calliope Ice Cream, Kosa Spa, NessAlla Kombucha and other local businesses. Once you get to Garver, there are few reasons to leave until your work day is over.

Memorial Union Terrace

You can work and get your best travel pics taken care of all in one spot. The Memorial Union Terrace, home of the iconic sunburst chairs, is a beloved Madison locale. Located on the UW Campus but open to everyone from April through October, the Terrace is a lakeside gathering place where you can work, meet up with friends, enjoy food and take in the views of Lake Mendota. Once the day is done, stick around for live music and other events happening throughout the week.

Brix Coworking

You'll have few worries getting down to business in this space built for remote work. Brix Coworking offers meeting rooms and event spaces that are great for small groups or teams traveling together or in need of an offsite work space.