3 days in Madison - what to do?

Old Jun 17th, 2002, 08:43 AM
  #1  
Cammie
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3 days in Madison - what to do?

I will soon be in Madison for a few days with my husband while he attends to some business. Can you suggest things I should do or see while there? Any great places to eat or quick side trip suggestions would also be welcome. Thanks in advance!
Cammie
 
Old Jun 17th, 2002, 09:41 AM
  #2  
cl9
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Madison, Wisconsin I assume?
if so
I just went there about a month ago.
Go wander around State street, and UofW campus.
Mickies Dairy Bar (on Monroe across from Camp Randall Stadium) is a great little whole in the wall place if you like cheap diner food (my husband will drive to Madison from Ames, IA (5 hrs) just for their Cinnammon roles).
There's a nice state park nearby but I can't recall the name.
 
Old Jun 17th, 2002, 09:44 AM
  #3  
dan woodlief
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I will preface my advice by saying that I have not been back to Madison for over six years, so some advice, particularly restaurants, may not be entirely up-to-date.

Sights:

The state capitol - modelled after the U.S. building

The university, particularly the area between Bascom Hill and State Street - do not miss the Memorial Union Terrace (great atmosphere and views - relaxing)

State Street - people watching, shopping, food

The arboretum is nice if you like flowers and plants

There is the Henry Vilas zoo, not great compared to many zoos but can be good for a couple of hours and right next to Vilas Park on Lake Wingra

The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed convention center - they were just building it when I left a few years ago

The Evejham art museum at the university

Shopping at either East Towne or West Towne mall (East is slightly larger)

The capitol square had popular concerts in the evening once a week; I can't remember which night (during the week I think)

From the top of Van Hise Hall, you can get a great view of the city from the windows

Some of my favorite places to eat (there are so many good ones and lots of variety):

State Street Brats

Parthenon (gyros)

Chinese - Imperial Garden - actually in Middleton (basically an adjoining suburb) or Red Pepper

Pizza - Paisan's for thin; stuffed at Edwardo's or Gino's - very good pizza in Madison

The Edgewater Hotel is nice if you want a great view of the lake and to splurge a little - great service

Smokey's is supposed to be great for steaks, but I never ate there.
 
Old Jun 17th, 2002, 09:45 AM
  #4  
dan woodlief
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Assuming you mean in WI. I will preface my advice by saying that I have not been back to Madison for over six years, so some advice, particularly restaurants, may not be entirely up-to-date.

Sights:

The state capitol - modelled after the U.S. building

The university, particularly the area between Bascom Hill and State Street - do not miss the Memorial Union Terrace (great atmosphere and views - relaxing)

State Street - people watching, shopping, food

The arboretum is nice if you like flowers and plants

There is the Henry Vilas zoo, not great compared to many zoos but can be good for a couple of hours and right next to Vilas Park on Lake Wingra

The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed convention center - they were just building it when I left a few years ago

The Evejham art museum at the university

Shopping at either East Towne or West Towne mall (East is slightly larger)

The capitol square had popular concerts in the evening once a week; I can't remember which night (during the week I think)

From the top of Van Hise Hall, you can get a great view of the city from the windows

Some of my favorite places to eat (there are so many good ones and lots of variety):

State Street Brats

Parthenon (gyros)

Chinese - Imperial Garden - actually in Middleton (basically an adjoining suburb) or Red Pepper

Pizza - Paisan's for thin; stuffed at Edwardo's or Gino's - very good pizza in Madison

The Edgewater Hotel is nice if you want a great view of the lake and to splurge a little - great service

Smokey's is supposed to be great for steaks, but I never ate there.
 
Old Jun 19th, 2002, 01:20 PM
  #5  
juligrniis
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Hopefully you'll be there on a Saturday. They have a FABULOUS farmer's market that encircles the State Capital Building. Starts relatively early in the a.m. - runs into early p.m. In additiona to the vendors for the market, there will be artisans, bakers, etc. selling their wares across the street from the market (on all 4 sides!). Then you must veer off from the market to wander State Street...great shops, wonderful food, no cars allowed. If I could find my same wonderful job in Madison, (I'm in Milwaukee), I'd be gone by tomorrow!unding the area will be artisans,
 
Old Jun 19th, 2002, 08:00 PM
  #6  
Di
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I live an hour from Madison and frequent the city often because I have three children attending UW. It is a great city.
I agree with the above posts-Farmers Market, State Street, etc.
If you enjoy gardens, I suggest the Allen Centennial Garden on the UW campus and the Thai Pavilion at Olbrich Gardens on Atwood Ave (I believe that is the street.)
Madison has many great and diverse restaurants - those on State Street are fun. The Oertheum (sp?) on State St is a must for nostalgia - a good place for lunch or dinner. It is a restaurant/movie theater in its original decor and still plays old movies. You will feel like you've gone back in time.
The Avenue Bar on Washington Ave is a fun place with a diverse menu-steaks, fish, pasta, etc. Lots of clocks, UW memoriabilia, collections in the decor.
If you like good German food and accordian polkas, there is the Essen Haus on Wilson St.
My daughter and son worked at Porta Bella on Francis St, just off State St. It has a most unique atmosphere. Customers must walk through a garden courtyard before entering the restaurant. The food is Italian and for the most part very good. It's less expensive sister-restaurant is Piazan's on University Ave. and is good for lunch or dinner.
Bellini's on Washington Ave has also Italian food in an interesting atmosphere. It used to be a church and they've kept the feel of it very well. Food was good.
We've enjoyed each of these restaurants and they are all within a short distance of the capitol, State St. and the UW campus.
http://www.foodspot.com is a helpful site for Wisconsin restaurants. It lists over 500 for Madison.
Hope you have a fun day. Madison is a very interesting and eclectic city.
 
Old Jun 22nd, 2002, 09:12 AM
  #7  
sara
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I live in Madison and all of the above are great ideas. You should definately hit the farmer's market on Saturday. From there, you can easily do the University area and State Street. A smaller version of it also runs on Wednesday on King Street, which is right downtown. If it's beautiful weather, go and hang out at the UW-Memorial Union which is right on the lake near State Street. Some good upper scale restraurants to keep in mind: The Restraurant Magnus, Johnny Delmonico's, and The Tornado Lounge (great steaks). Don't go to Smokey's, its way over-rated!! A great place for breakfast would be The Original Pancake on Monona Drive or University Drive. Expect to wait 1+ hour unless you go early. There's a magazine called the Isthmus that you can find all over the city that tells you what's going on in the area. Have fun...it's a great city.
 
Old Jun 22nd, 2002, 09:55 AM
  #8  
dan woodlief
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Ah, Sara, I am glad you pointed out the Original Pancake House. I forgot that one. We ate there fairly often the first few years in Madison. A terrific breakfast spot.
 
Old Jun 22nd, 2002, 10:45 AM
  #9  
Jane
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I also live near Madison, about 25 miles away. If you want to venture further out and see some beautiful country here are some possibiities less than a hour away.

l. Devil's Lake State Park, near Baraboo

2. Circus World Museum, Baraboo

3. International Crane Foundation, Baraboo

4. Wisconsin Dells-take an upper Dells boat tour or ride the Ducks

5. Prairie du Sac (my home) Wollersheim Winery

There is lots of beautiful places in Madison and the surrounding area. It is a great place to live and visit.

http://www.gosmartravel.com
 
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