It’s 4:45 p.m. Your meetings are done, but the day is still young. That’s when it’s time to discover one of the things that makes meeting in Madison so memorable: it’s walkable! 

Madison is famous for its isthmus—not just because that means our vibrant downtown sits between two sparkling lakes, creating tons of stunning scenery. It also means when your meeting is at Monona Terrace, you’re within walking distance of more than 100 restaurants, shops and attractions that make Madison unique. Bonus: WalletHub named Madison the #3 Best State Capital for Safety, so you can fully immerse yourself in every experience without worry. 

Whether you want a route to the closest coffee shop or to check as many Madison must-do’s off your list as you can before heading home, try these top spots:  


You’ll find no shortage of coffee options in our capital city. Whether you’re addicted to the one that lets you order ahead by app or you like to meet local baristas who make lattes that look like art, there are plenty of caffeination stations to try nearby. 
2-3 block walk: Ancora Café + Bakery, Colectivo on the Square, Marigold Kitchen, Starbucks on Main & MLKWonderstate Coffee Madison 

5-10 minute walk: Bradbury’s, Michelangelo’s Coffee House 

10-20 minute walk: Fair Trade Coffee House, Le C’s Patisserie & Tea House, Poindexter Coffee, Colectivo on State 

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Monona Terrace is home to some of the most magnificent views Madison has to offer! Get panoramic views from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the Grand Terrace. Or, try a bird’s eye view from the Rooftop Garden.  
But there’s even more to explore: 

2-3 block walk: The Wisconsin State Capitol rotunda and observation deck (open seasonally), Madison BCycle 

10-15 minute walk: The Edgewater, The Boathouse, James Madison Park, Madison Boats at The Edgewater (pontoon rentals) 

20-30 minute walk: Brittingham Boats, UW Madison’s Bascom Hill, Memorial Union Terrace 

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Also at Monona Terrace: a gift shop that features Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired items from stained glass to tea towels to umbrellas and more. If you’re in a shop ‘til you drop kind of mood, neat boutiques are plentiful around the Capitol Square and along State Street—the majority are locally owned, many with made-in-Madison items. 

2-3 block walk: Fromagination, Square Wine Co. 

5-10 minute walk: Anthology, Little Luxuries, Lake City Books, The Soap Opera 

20-30 minute walk: A New Day Boutique, Art Gecko, August, Duet by Jazzman, Good Style Shop, Madison Modern Market, Mimosa Books & Gifts, Paul’s Book Store, Princess of India Imports, Soli by Jazzman, Sunshine Daydream, The University Book Store 

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An impressive slate of James Beard award-winning chefs. The largest producer-only farmers’ market in the U.S. Plentiful options for plant-based, gluten-free and global fare. It’s well known that Madison’s food scene is beyond compare, including must-do menu items: cheese curds, old fashioneds and ice cream. 

2-3 block walk: BelAir Cantina, Canteen, DLUX, Johnny Delmonico’s, D’Vino, Great Dane Pub & Brewing, Marigold Kitchen, Lucille, Merchant, Nattspil, Osteria Papavero, Settle Down Tavern, Tavernakaya, Tempest Oyster Bar, Tornado Steakhouse 

5-10 minute walk: Casetta Kitchen & Counter, Cento, Eno Vino Downtown, Graze, Heritage Tavern, Ian’s Pizza on State, Jalisco Cocina Mexicana, L’EtoileNaples 15, Rare Steakhouse, Sol’s on the Square, TeddywedgersThe Old Fashioned, The Boathouse, The Coopers Tavern, The Statehouse, Tipsy Cow, Todofresco 

20-30 minute walk: JustVeggiez, Forage Kitchen, Parthenon Gyros, Short Stack EateryAdamah Neighborhood TableLuchador Tequila & Taco Bar, Taiwan Little Eats

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If Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic architecture at Monona Terrace sparks an interest in discovering more of Madison’s cultural side, you’ll love that the majority of Madison’s museums and arts attractions can be found around the Capitol Square, along State Street and on the UW-Madison campus. Art, architecture, history and heritage are all around—and many of our museums are free! 

2-3 block walk: Concerts on the Square (seasonal), Majestic Theatre 

5-10 minute walk: The Bartell Theatre, Madison Children’s Museum, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, The Orpheum Theater, Overture Center for the Arts, Wisconsin Veteran’s Museum

20-30 minute walk: Chazen Museum of Art, UW-Madison campus buildings including the Memorial Union which is home to Wheelhouse Studios and the Wisconsin Union Theater 

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