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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

#4 Greenest Cities in the US, August 2020


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

#2 Best Cities for Bikes, June 2020

#9 Best Cities for Runners, August 2020

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

#2 Most Walkable Cities, May 2018


#1 10 Best Places to Retire in America, December 2020

#2 Happiest Cities in America, December 2020

#3 Top 100 Best Places to Live, October 2020

#2 Best Places for Outdoor Enthusiasts to Live and Work, October 2020

#2 Best Cities for Millennials, September 2020

#3 Best State Capitals to Live In, February 2020

#1 Cities with 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

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 Best College Football Town in America, August 2019

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


#1 Best Cities for Work Life Balance, November 2020

#1 20 Best Places to Live and Work Remotely, September 2020

#7 Best Cities for STEM Professionals, January 2020

#1 Cities Where Women Are the Most Successful, April 2019

#2 10 Best Cities to Start Your New Career, August 2018

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

#3 10 Cities Where Women Are the Most Successful, September 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


#8 Best Cities for Beer Drinkers, December 2020

Best Food Trucks in America, February 2019

#4 Best Beer Destination in the World, January 2018

#2 Best Beer Festival, March 2018

More Things To Do

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Things To Do in Winter

From indoor relaxation to outdoor adventures, these winter activities will turn your winter from...

Things to Do With Kids

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


Think Madison’s sparkling lakes are gorgeous in the summertime – just wait for the...

Festivals and Fairs

Looking for Madison, WI, festivals & fairs for your 2022-23 season? These events are sure to top...

Things To Do in Summer

Check out our list of 99 summer activities and then book your trip.

Things To Do in Fall

Stunning colors. Crisp air. Warm beverages. Corn mazes and pumpkins. Fall is an undeniably special...


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,...

Free Things to Do

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

Arts & Culture

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

Spas & Wellness

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

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...