15 Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin [With Suggested 3 Day Itinerary]


Madison is the capital city of Wisconsin. Boasting with its rich history and amazing attractions, everyone would surely have a fun time going here. From the ever-popular Wisconsin State Capitol to the Madison Farmer’s Market, this city surely has a lot to offer for visitors. 

Photo by Richard Hurd CC BY 2.0

In this article, we listed down the 15 things that you can do while you’re in Madison, Wisconsin. So if you already have a plan on going on a trip here, this list would give you an idea of what to expect.

Other articles you can read:

Best Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin

1. Wisconsin State Capitol

15 Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin
Photo by Jonathan Miske CC BY-SA 2.0

This Roman Renaissance-style capitol would leave you in awe as soon as you enter. The building itself is really beautiful with magnificent architecture. Also, the tour is very informative. So if ever you’re in Madison, never miss this place.

Suggested Tour: Madison Scavenger Hunt: Let’s Roam Musical Madison!

2. Olbrich Botanical Gardens

15 Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin
Photo by Ron Cogswell CC BY 2.0

Get closer to nature and feel the relaxation in Olbrich Botanical Gardens. This garden was founded in 1952. Just a walk in this place would help you feel calm and peaceful. This garden features varieties of gardens such as sunken garden, perennial garden, rose garden, rock garden, herb garden, and a lot more. 

3. Henry Vilas Zoo

15 Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin
Photo by okandasan CC BY 2.0CC BY 2.0

A place for animal lovers. Henry Vilas Zoo has different animals from around the world such as African lions, South American alpacas and tortoises from the Galapagos Islands. People of all ages would surely enjoy their time here.

4. Memorial Union Terrace

15 Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin
Photo by Richard Hurd CC BY 2.0

The best place to enjoy the view of the lake view. If you’re too tired of the hustle and bustle of the city and want to take a rest, just go here. Memorial Union Terrace is a perfect place for the family’s getaway. You can have a beer or ice cream while creating great moments. A must place to visit!

5. Madison Farmer’s Market

15 Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin
Photo by Phil Roeder CC BY 2.0

Madison’s Farmer’s Market is the largest farmer’s market in the U.S. It has a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables that visitors would have a hard time choosing which one to buy. This market is open every Saturday only from mid-April to the first week of November. 

6. Capitol Square

15 Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin
Photo by BobbbyLight CC BY 2.0

Have a lovely walk in this gorgeous square. It is the location of the popular Madison Farmer’s Market. Around the area, there are museums, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and retail stores. You can have a great weekend at this place!

7. State Street & Downtown Madison

15 Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin
Photo by Richard Hurd CC BY 2.0

This lovely town has a lot to tourists. Numerous museums and theaters, restaurants, cafes, bookstores, art galleries, and unique shops. You won’t waste a single minute here. 

Suggested Tour: Trolley Pub Public Tour

8. Chazen Museum of Art

15 Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin
Photo by John Benson CC BY 2.0

If you’re into the arts, then this museum is for you! It features prints, photographs, paintings and sculptures from prehistoric times up to modern-day. Their collections are all wonderful that even people who are not fond of arts would like them.

9. Camp Randall Stadium University of Wisconsin

15 Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin
Photo by Jeramey Jannene CC BY 2.0

Enjoy watching an exciting game at the Camp Randall Stadium University of Wisconsin. This stadium is beautiful and huge seating 80,000 people. The atmosphere, while there’s a game, is a feeling to remember. Have a memorable weekend getaway here!

10. University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum

15 Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin
Photo by Richard Hurd CC BY 2.0

Experience the beauty of nature in this place. The UW-Madison Arboretum features prairies, woodlands, wetlands, savannas, springs, shoreline, a notable horticultural collection, and Wisconsin native plant gardens. Not only that, but you can also go hiking since it also has a 20-miles of walking trails. Have a productive and lovely day while you’re here.

11. Lake Mendota

15 Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin
Photo by William Prost CC BY-ND 2.0

You can visit this attraction anytime you want. You will still have a lot of activities to do here regarding the season. You can go boating during summer and ice skating or ice fishing in winter. A nice place to spend time with family or friends.

12. Madison Children’s Museum

If you’re traveling with kids, you should never miss this one. Madison’s Children’s Museum has a lot to offer for the little ones. It offers exhibits on the arts, sciences, history, culture, health, and civic engagement. Fun family activities await you as you go here!

Suggested Tour: Hands-on Play at Madison Children’s Museum Ticket

13. Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center

15 Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin
Photo by Richard Hurd CC BY 2.0

You can have a great tour here and can get a chance to see breathtaking views. The architecture that you will see here is a sight to see. There’s also a gift shop wherein you can buy something for your friends or family.

Suggested Tour: Paddle Pub Public Tour

14. University of Wisconsin Geology Museum

15 Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin
Photo by John Benson CC BY 2.0

Learn about Wisconsin’s deep history in this museum. By going here, you’d get the chance to see or even touch rocks. You can see corals, jellyfish, and other sea creatures. Their collections are all interesting especially for those who are into geology.

15. Allen Centennial Gardens

15 Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin
Photo by carlycassano CC BY-ND 2.0

This campus garden is a must-see. It serves as an outdoor classroom for the study and research of plant identification, and ecology. This is a free public garden and you’d absolutely enjoy everything that you’ll see here.

Things to do with 3 days in Madison, Wisconsin

15 Things to do in Madison, Wisconsin
Photo by TravelingOtter CC BY-SA 2.0

Day 1 in Madison, Wisconsin

Olbrich Botanical Gardens Start your trip with a relaxing one in Olbrich Botanical Gardens. By going here, you’d be able to feel the real meaning of a vacation because of the calm and peaceful atmosphere of this garden.

Day 2 in Madison, Wisconsin

Wisconsin State Capitol Your Madison trip won’t be complete if you will not go here. The architecture of the building is so breathtaking that you’d be really amazed by how the design was made. Never miss the chance to go here.

Henry Vilas Zoo After a relaxing tour, come and see different species of animals in Henry Vilas Zoo. They have a lot of animals from around the world. People of all ages would really enjoy their time here.

Day 3 in Madison, Wisconsin

Madison Farmer’s Market Never ever forget to visit the largest farmer’s market in the U.S. Madison Farmer’s Market sell a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only that, but it is also located in Capitol Square, so you can take a walk around the area to see different attractions.

Frequently Asked Questions about Madison, Wisconsin

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1. Is it safe to travel to Madison, Wisconsin?

Madison, Wisconsin is relatively safe. In fact, it is considered one of the safest cities in the United States. Tourists or visitors won’t have to worry about wandering around the city. 

2. When is the best time to visit Madison, Wisconsin?

To fully enjoy your short vacation in Madison, it is recommended to visit during the summer or fall season. The weather is nice and calm plus a lot of attractions are open during these months. That includes the Madison Farmer’s Market.

3. How to get to Madison, Wisconsin?

The main airport in Madison is the Dane County Regional Airport. There are some airlines in some states that offer a direct flight going here. However, some states do not, so you need a connecting flight. To check more available flights, just visit Skyscanner.

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About the Writer

Fatima Turla2

Hi there! I’m Fatima. My first major travel was in 2016 in the beautiful city of Cebu. After that, I got interested in traveling. Now I enjoy learning languages and other country’s cultures. My goal is to visit at least one country each year and to share my experiences with other people through writing or blogging. Witness my journey by following me on Instagram.





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