Madison has something to offer for every couple's version of romance. It's where you'll find classic date night offerings like dinner and a show. Relaxing retreats like visiting a spa. And the chance to embark on adventures that bring you closer together. A romantic getaway in Madison is the perfect solution to breaking up your winter routine and feeling a spark with your favorite person as part of the experience.
Try these tips for a romantic trip when planning the perfect Valentine's Day getaway, or save them for all-year-long fun with your sweetheart. Once you've planned your perfect trip, lock it in by booking one of the best places to stay in Madison.>
There's something so sweet about sharing a classic date night during a weekend away.
Dinner and a show
It's the quintessential date for a reason: You can enjoy a fantastic meal and great conversation before heading to a show where you're sure to make more memories. Find Broadway performances at Overture Center for the Arts, big name performers at The Sylvee and The Orpheum Theater, up-and-comers at Majestic Theatre and The Bartell Theatre and comedy shows ranging from internationally renowned funny people to local jokers at Comedy on State. Find a full lineup on our events calendar.
Before the show, share a meal that will make you say wow. Restaurants like The Harvey House, L'Etoile, Heritage Tavern, Mint Mark, A Pig in a Fur Coat, Rare Steakhouse and Eno Vino provide elevated dishes in intimate settings where you'll surely feel the love. Take your tastebuds around the world at international fare faves like Ahan, Banzo, Bar Corallini, Nattspil, Amara Madison and Tavernakaya. That's just a taste of our culinary landscape. For more, check out our restaurants page.
A great cocktail or mocktail can punctuate a conversation. Go straight to the source of the spirits at local distilleries like State Line Distillery, Old Sugar Distillery, Imaginary Factory, J. Henry & Sons, Dancing Goat Distillery and Doundrins Distilling. Or, take in great vibes at acclaimed cocktail bars like Nitro Beverage Lounge, Gib's, The Robin Room, Leopold's Books Bar Caffe, Merchant and Cask & Ale.
Take your sweet treats game to a new level with artisan offerings from local chocolatiers. Gail Ambrosius is a single-origin fine chocolate store known for its truffles and fun candies shaped like tree frogs and sea turtles. Madison Chocolate Company is an entirely gluten-free chocolate store and coffee shop known equally for great chocolate and phenomenal caramels. Driftless Chocolates makes bonbons and truffles that are indulgent pieces of art with fantastic flavors.
Beautiful greenery and lush floral landscapes never go out of style. Get up close with native and exotic plant life when you stroll through the Bolz Conservatory or 16 acres of outdoor gardens at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Or, visit one of the world’s oldest arboretums with the most varied collection of ecological communities in the heart of Madison at the UW-Madison Arboretum, which is open for hiking and biking year-round.
There are few things as intimate as a relaxing getaway with the person you love.
Staying in a high-end hotel is a sure way to kick up the romance. The Madison Concourse Hotel, located right on the Capitol Square, offers beautiful accommodations with stellar views of the Capitol. The Edgewater was recently named the best historic hotel in America and boasts two restaurants, a spa, an outdoor ice rink in the winter and beautiful lakeside views of Lake Mendota year-round. And for charming luxury off the beaten path, The Mill in Waunakee and Seven Acre Dairy Company in Paoli offer beautiful rooms in converted, historic spaces.
Find a full list of luxury hotels, boutique hotels and bed and breakfast options on our hotels page.
There's nothing like the warmth and comfort of a bed and breakfast or locally-operated inn. Madison is home to several lovely B&Bs like The Buckingham Inn, Hotel Ruby Marie and Mansion Hill Inn. Learn more about all the best cozy vibes with these seven cozy winter stays.
Spas and wellness spaces
Fully decompress with your partner in a spa or wellness facility that will soothe both body and mind. Kosa Spa inside Garver Feed Mill is an Ayurvedic oasis aimed at helping you find balance with massages, facials, organic meals, steam and sauna rituals, and take-home products to help you continue your wellness journey. The Edgewater Spa has all the classic spa amenities with the bonus of being just steps from your hotel room. And you can try something new with your loved one at Float Madison's sensory deprivation tanks that provide ultimate relaxation and stress relief.
There's no better way to express love than sharing new, exciting adventures together.
Love on the lakes
Getting out on one (or more) of Madison's five lakes is a great way to get active with the person you love. The lakes become frozen playgrounds in the winter. What's more romantic than a walk on a frozen lake together watching the sunrise and sipping on coffee? There are many ways to enjoy the frozen lakes based on how much adventure you want to experience! (P.S. The lakes are often at their peak frozen status around Valentine's Day, but always make sure to check local weather reports before adventuring.)
In the warmer months you can share a tandem kayak, hold hands on adjacent paddleboards or paddle together on a large duck-shaped paddle boat rented from Madison Boats. Or, grab beers in The Biergarten at Olbrich Park after a paddle thanks to boat rentals from Rutabaga Outdoor Adventures.
Want to kick back an enjoy the views while someone else drives? Take a pontoon tour of Lake Mendota right from The Edgewater with Madison Boats or enjoy a specialty food and beverage lineup with your tour on a Betty Lou Cruise.
When you're done with fresh-air fun, there are also plenty of adventures to be had together indoors. Take your relationship to new heights at Boulders Climbing Gym, practice your golf game at Blind Shot Social Club or go exploring underground at Cave of the Mounds.
Is an artistic adventure more your speed? Check out our free museums including the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Chazen Museum of Art, Wisconsin Veterans Museum and the one-of-a-kind National Mustard Museum.
Genuine quality time happens when two people have the chance to bond over a new experience, which is exactly what happens when you take on a Madison Ed-venture. There are classes and workshops across the capital city for food lovers, thrill seekers and creative go-getters. For something a little less hands-on and more guided, check out one of the many tours and tastings in Madison.