Eat, Drink, Travel local in MADISON, WI

A trip to Madison means living life like a local.

Here, you can discover countless dive bars, local breweries, unique restaurants and rare shops all within blocks — and that’s just the inside. Outside, there are 5 lakes to kayak, 270 parks & beaches to bum around, and 6,000 acres of greenery to uncover. In the capital city, it’s easy to dig into whatever ya dig. It’s what makes us, unmistakably Madison.

Indulge in the Local Food Scene

From craft breweries to sushi, finding a foodie spot in Madison is easy. Savor local fare in the city with the most eateries per capita out of any city in the U.S.



Start your day here
Bicyclists ride past a Lake Monona loop sign

9 AM

Bike the Lake Monona Loop. (BCycle e-bike rentals aplenty along the path.)

45 – 60 min bike ride

Bike elevator? Don't mind if we do
The Lake Monona bike loop runs along the shore in front of Monona Terrace

Local secret

Take the bike elevator (located off the Lake Monona Bike Loop at Monona Terrace) to get directly to the farmers’ market from Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Next up: 2 min bike ride

Find goodies at the farmers' market
A producer packs up produce at the Dane County Farmers' Market

10:30 AM

Stop by the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the U.S. for fresh, squeaky cheese curds and local delights to fuel your next adventure.

Next up: 5 min walk

Capitol chill time
Two people do yoga in the Capitol Lawn in Madison, Wisconsin

11 AM

Grab a coffee and stroll inside the State Capitol Building and/or relax on the Capitol Lawn.

20 min stroll

State Street strolling
A couple walks across State Street in downtown with the Capitol Building in the background


Shop local and eat local as you make your way down State Street to Library Mall.

Next up: 3 min walk

Artsy exploration
A large jack sculpture inside the Chazen Museum of Art

2 PM

Explore the expansive (like 23,000+ works in the collection expansive!) Chazen Museum of Art. PS — It’s free.

Next up: 5 min walk

Lively vibes and a view at the Terrace
Dozens of people watching a concert at Memorial Union Terrace, sitting on the popular orange, yellow, and green terrace chairs. The people are facing the stage which is in front of Lake Mendota in the background on a sunny Summer day.

4 PM

Cold and refreshing — try some famous Babcock ice cream or craft beer at the lakeside Memorial Union Terrace.

Next up: 1 min walk

Unmistakably Madison Moment
A view of Memorial Union Terrace from the Lake Mendota shoreline. The sun is setting on a summer day and dozens of people are along the shoreline looking at the lake which is dotted with dozens of ducks.

4:15 PM

Take (or maybe even dip your toes) in the glittering waters of Lake Mendota, as you reconnect with those who matter most.

Next up: 20 min walk

From eatery to streatery (street + eatery)
Patrons fill a downtown Madison streatery on a spring evening

5:30 PM

Enjoy dinner at one of the 120+ restaurants downtown on State Street, the UW Campus, and near the Capitol. Or, head down Willy St. (Williamson Street) for even more local food and drink.

Next up: 5 – 25 min walk

Check out Madison's Newest Spot: Capitol East
The Sylvee Outdoors

6:30 PM

Realize that Madison breaks the Midwest mold and that innovation and counterculture don’t only live on the coasts. Within a few blocks in Madison's newest scene along East Washington Ave., you'll find The Sylvee, a Google Campus, an Art+Literature Lab and even an art bar!

Next up: 5 min walk

Always time for craft cocktails
A cocktail in a whiskey glass with a fruit peel and cherry garnish on top, fastened to the glass with a skewer. The cocktail is sitting on a wooden table.

7 PM

Craft cocktails taste better when they're made of only-in-Madison small-batch liquor from Old Sugar Distillery or State Line Distillery — just two of many in the area.

Next up: 5 – 15 min walk

Catch a vibe
Nathaniel Rateliff Sylvee

8 PM

Vibe like a local at a show at The Sylvee.

Next up: 20 min walk / 4 min drive

Not ready to go home yet?
Streateries line downtown Madison on a spring evening

11 PM

End the evening your way. Head to the bars on the Capitol Square and State Street for craft beer, dancing (wrong moves only?!) or even a quiet rooftop bar.

Your Vibe, Your Stay

Wake up to the view of a glittering lake or sip drinks at your rooftop hotel bar. Wherever you stay in Madison, you'll find a spot to fit your vibe.

It’s not goodbye yet, is it?

We don't believe in mediocre moments.

The Memorial Union Terrace is the quintessential Madison spot — craft beer by the pitcher, live music and sunset views on Lake Mendota. That's why it's one of the Top 5 Most Instagrammable places here.

Two women drink beers while sitting at an orange table surrounded by flowers at Memorial Union Terrace. They are sitting among the popular yellow, orange, and green sunburst chairs.