Welcome to Fifty Grande’s Best of the U.S. Bucket List series. This is your one-stop travel guide to the best, most unique and quintessential experiences of a city, state or event. Want to know how to “do” Madison? We’ve got you covered. Curated by experts, vetted by in-the-know locals, this is all you need to have the best trip ever. If we’ve written a Bucket List, we recommend you go. If it’s on this list, it’s the best the city has to offer right now. Consider this your one-stop answer to “What are the best things to do in Madison?”
Don’t call Madison, Wis., a flyover city. As the second-largest city in the state (and home to the flagship school in the University of Wisconsin system), Madison is dynamic. If you’re into seeing live music, you may be interested in the fact that Madison has some of the cheapest concert tickets in the nation. If you’re into beer, it’s worth knowing that the city hosts the Great Taste of the Midwest, one of the largest beer festivals in the country. If you like visiting places with natural beauty and outdoor activities, you’re in luck, because the city is sandwiched between two lakes, Mendota and Monona, perfect for running along or noodling around in.
With lakefront views, myriad trails, stellar college sports teams, a beautiful State Capitol building, craft breweries with cult followings and the fact that most restaurants have cheese curds on the menu makes this progressive, inclusive and unabashedly itself city an all-around fun place to spend a couple of days.
Here are some of the greatest hits to help you get to know one of the most vibrant cities in the Midwest.