Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center is in the heart of downtown Madison, Wisconsin, just steps away from the history, art, food, shops and architecture that make Madison unique. Experience the city by foot with these Madison moments, all within walking distance of Monona Terrace.
Explore the Capitol
The Wisconsin State Capitol is in the heart of downtown Madison and just a 5-minute walk from Monona Terrace. The Capitol is free to visit, and free tours are offered daily. Experience the history, art and beauty of the Capitol. If you’re here in the summer, make sure to head up to the Observation Deck for the best views of downtown Madison.
Indulge in the local food scene
Madison’s local restaurant scene is one to write home about. Experience true farm to table fare and supper club vibes at downtown restaurants like Heritage Tavern, Graze and Tornado Steakhouse. Indulge in cheese curds (when in Wisconsin) at The Old Fashioned or Tipsy Cow. No matter which downtown restaurant you choose, you’re in for a treat.
@destinationmadison It’s ALL about the cheese curds. 🧀 #oldfashioned #madison #wisconsin #cheesecurds #madisonsiconiceats #foodie #food #foodtok #travel ♬ In the Bosom - Sweet After Tears
Experience the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright
When you’re at Monona Terrace, you’re in an architectural dream realized. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright originally proposed the idea of Monona Terrace in 1938. 59 years later, his vision came to life and Monona Terrace officially opened. The journey of Monona Terrace is documented by an in-house exhibit in the Level 3 Gallery. This exhibit is a great way to gain appreciation for and understanding of such a monumental Madison building. The Wright-inspired gift shop is also a fun Monona Terrace feature.
@destinationmadison One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s greatest works in also a Madison icon (also the exhibit is FREE to enjoy). #madison #wisconsin #franklloydwright #franklloydwrighthouse #architecture #travel ♬ IMPERIAL PIANO - Treia Music
Adventure in the heart of Madison
Monona Terrace sits right on the shore of Lake Monona, so you’re just steps away from kayaking and boating with some serious views. The biking, walking and running path right outside of Monona Terrace is also a great way to see Madison. No bike? No worries. Madison BCycle stations are easy to find and offer e-bike rentals. If you’re looking for indoor adventures, Boulders Climbing Gym is a quick 5-minute walk away and offers indoor climbing for all ages and all abilities.
Meander among the museums
From history to art, Madison’s museums have something for everyone, and they’re free. Head to State Street to experience Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, which features a permanent collection as well as rotating exhibitions. From MMoCA, you’re just a ten-minute walk to Chazen Museum of Art. It’s easy to spend hours exploring at Chazen, with works from artists like Andy Warhol and Utagawa Kunisada spread throughout the expansive space. The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is right on the Capitol Square, and the exhibits offer insights into how Wisconsin interacted with significant historical moments.
Grab a coffee or a bite at a local cafe
There is no shortage of excellent coffee shops in downtown Madison. From Wonderstate, Bradbury's and Colectivo on the Capitol Square to Michelangelo's on State Street or Ancora Café + Bakery and Marigold Kitchen on King Street, when you’re at Monona Terrace, you’re just a quick walk away from delicious pastries, quick breakfast items and perfectly brewed coffee.
Shop local on State Street
There’s no shortage of small businesses to shop at in downtown Madison. Head to State Street to check out boutiques like Little Luxuries, The Soap Opera, Anthology and more. These local gems have the sweetest Madison-themed gifts, products made right in the city and more.
@destinationmadison Lots of Madison vibes at Little Luxuries #madisonwi #wisconsin #travel #shopping #madison ♬ Synchronize (Instrumental) - Milky Chance
Learn something new at UW Madison
A 20-minute walk will take you from Monona Terrace to UW Madison’s campus (via State Street). Enjoy lake views and a drink (or two) at Memorial Union, check out the Geology Museum (free admission) or walk along the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. Just walking through the stunning campus is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Say “Cheese” at Fromagination
When you’re in Wisconsin, cheese is in abundance. Fromagination, located on the Capitol Square, offers cut-to-order cheese in their shop. And you don’t go to Fromagination just to buy cheese, you go to really experience cheese. See, smell and taste delicious dairy as you learn about where it’s from and what it pairs best with. Fromagination even has a stellar sandwich menu for a quick lunch.
@destinationmadison This sandwich was seriously as big as Ashleys head. 😮 #madison #wisconsin #fromagination #food #foodie #sandwich #travel ♬ Paper Birds (3 min) - Jordan Halpern Schwartz
Catch a show
People often remark about how when you’re in Madison, you’re always close to live music – and that’s especially true near Monona Terrace. In the summer, enjoy Concerts on the Square on Wednesdays and Live on King Street. Check out upcoming events at The Orpheum and The Majestic. Catch a musical, play or symphony performance at Overture Center for the Arts.
There’s so much to do and see near Monona Terrace, and it can all be done by foot. Have fun exploring and learning about the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright at Monona Terrace, and then head outside to see even more of Madison.