Aerial Monona Terrace

Photo by Cassius Callender

Best Places to Live

Madison is consistently named one of the best places to live.

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Rankings and Accolades 

What does one of the world’s happiest cities look like? One of America’s fittest, most walkable, and best places to live? A place for business and pleasure? It looks like Madison, Wisconsin. See where we rank.

Growing Recognition for Going Green

Greenest City in Wisconsin, March 2018


#4 Fittest City in the U.S.
ACSM American Fitness Index, July 2020

#2 Fittest Cities in America
Men's Health, September 2019

#4 Best Cities for Runners, April 2019

#10 Best Cities for an Active Lifestyle January 2019

#1 Surprisingly Bike-Friendly Cities, August 2018

#2 Most Walkable Cities, May 2018


#3 Best State Capitals to Live In February 2020

#1 Cities with the Best Work-Life Balance January 2020

#2 Most Caring Cities in America December 2019

#8 Best Places to Live September 2019

#5 Best U.S. Cities for Renters with Pets April 2019

#3 Top 100 Best Places to Live February 2019

Best Place to Live in Wisconsin
Money Magazine, December 2018

#8 America's Best Small Cities

One of the Best Small Cities in America
National Geographic, January 2018

Top 10 Best City for Recent College Grads, May 2018

#1 Best Cities to Live In if You're Young and Broke, May 2018

#1 Nicest Cities in America, June 2018

#1 for Quality of Life and Industry Diversity
Business Facilities Magazine, July 2018

#3 Top U.S. Metros for Millennials, September 2018

#1 Best Cities for Renters, September 2018

#1 Best College Town for Dating, May 2017


#6 Best U.S. Cities for Biking, May 2018

#1 on 8 Surprisingly Bike-Friendly Cities, August 2018

#4 Sportiest City in the U.S.
Men's Health, September 2017


#8 Best Areas for STEM Professionals, January 2020

#1 Cities Where Women Are Most Successful, April 2019

#2 Best Cities to Start Your New Career, August 2018

#9 Best U.S. Cities to Find a Job, August 2018

#10 Best-Run Cities, July 2018


25 Best College Hotels in the U.S., August 2018

Most Educated City in Wisconsin, July 2018

#15 Best Public Schools in the U.S.
US News, September 2018

#4 25 Best Green Colleges in the United States, October 2018


#1 Best Places in the U.S. for Raising Children, January 2020

#2 Best Cities for Working Moms, March 2019

#1 Best Cities to Raise a Family, August 2018

#12 Best Cities for Millennial Families, October 2018


#2 Best Cities for Farmers' Markets
Better Homes & Gardens, June 2019

#1/#2 Best Cheese Curds in Wisconsin, June 2019

#2 Best U.S. Cities to Open a Brewery, June 2019

#4 Best Beer Destination in the World, January 2018

#2 Best Beer Festival
USA Today 10 Best, March 2018

More Things To Do

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Whether you're here to visit the State Capitol or spend time on our lakes, Madison is a...

Outdoors & Recreation

Why is Madison a haven for outdoors and recreation enthusiasts? Skiing and skating. More than 260...

Museums & History

Madison's museums showcase a unique history. Whether it's a human-sized gerbil wheel or...


From shops that line State Street's pedestrian mall to neighborhoods known for specialty stores,...

Arts & Culture

Love the arts? Looking for a vibrant culture? Madison is the city for you. Come find your...

Things to Do With Kids

There's no shortage of things to do with kids in Madison. From a quirky children's museum to...

Spas & Wellness

Whether relaxing at some of Madison's best spas or just searching for overall wellness, it's...

Free Things to Do

From stunning lakes to one of the nation's best free zoos, there's an abundance of free...

Colleges & Universities

Madison's a progressive city with highly-acclaimed colleges and universities that attract...

Local Sports

Badgers, Mallards, Flamingos. Oh my! Madison's vibrant local sports scene features college and...

Bars & Nightlife

From outdoor patio seating to enjoying nightly live entertainment, you'll enjoy vibrant bars and...

Essential Madison Experiences

Essential Madison Experiences are your guide to unforgettable times. Taste, explore and learn about...

Winter Activities

From indoor relaxation to outdoor adventures, these winter activities await you on your visit to...

Summer Activities

We embrace the cold in Madison but when the sun comes out, the real fun begins. Check out our list...