It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure (or both!). There’s one trip that should top your list if you love the benefits of being in a capital city: Washington to Madison. Getting from our nation’s capital to the Wisconsin State Capitol is not only a quick trip. It’s just right for those seeking a nonstop flight that delivers nonstop itinerary ideas

1. There’s a direct flight—and it takes less than 2 hours. 

American and Delta both offer options that clock in around 1 hour 48 minutes, wheels up to wheels down. Plus, once you arrive, it’s less than 15 minutes by car from the airport to downtown. Travel times like these make it an easy weekend getaway or to stay one more day before or after a meeting in Madison.

2. Our capital is walkable. 

One of the reasons people say Madison is so memorable? It’s walkable! We’re famous for our isthmus, which means we live in a lake-city-lake landscape. So you can walk from Lake Mendota to Lake Monona via the Capitol in under 30 minutes. You can walk from Capitol to UW campus in 20 minutes. And there are 25 total accommodation options downtown near the Capitol and the Monona Terrace Convention Center, including the brand-new Embassy Suites by Hilton, The Saddlery Madison and Moxy Downtown Madison

Bonus: we were recently ranked #3 Best State Capitals for Safety and More, so you can feel free to explore without worry. 

3. Madison is clean and green. 

Here, sustainability has never been just a trend. It’s a tradition that’s been in our DNA for decades. Gaylord Nelson—the founder of Earth Day—called Madison home as a student, state senator and Governor before becoming a U.S. Senator. In 1968, we were the first community in the country to offer curbside recycling. Today, our mayor is the National Chair of U.S. Climate Mayors, and our county was the 4th in the U.S. to reach the milestone of using 100% renewable electricity at all county facilities.  

From green meetings to our voluntourism portal to guides for where to drink, dine and shop sustainably, there’s a reason Madison has been repeatedly ranked among the greenest cities in the U.S. 

4. Our intellectual capital is internationally recognized.

Being home to UW-Madison means Madison is home to today’s top thinkers, researchers, and leaders who are frequently sought out to help with the nation’s emerging challenges. Not only is UW-Madison in the Top Ten in the U.S. for research volume, 20 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to faculty & alumni and 400+ startups have formed from UW research. Our capital city is home to successful start-ups including Epic Systems, known widely for developing MyChart software, and Exact Sciences, which created Cologuard at-home cancer screening tests.  

Bonus: Madison makes it easy for meeting planners to arrange speakers and tours to complement conventions and events in Madison. 

5. We’re home to another impressive dome. 

Washington D.C. may be THE capitol, but the Wisconsin State Capitol is the only granite dome in the world and the largest by volume in the United States. What’s more: it’s fully open for visitors to explore! Start with a guided tour—they’re offered for free, seven days a week. In the warmer months, climb the steps to the Observation Deck for a stunning, 365-degree view of Madison’s skyline and surrounding lakes.