Madison boasts of five area lakes, over 260 parks, 120 miles of shared-use trails and paths, 6,000 acres of parkland and is home of the world’s largest Brat Fest! If you are a foodie, you’ll love their seasonal fairs including the Great Taste of the West Beer Festival, the Taste of Madison, Food for thought Festival, Isthmus Food and Wine Festival and Madison Restaurant Week.
Madison claims as their own, Frank Lloyd Wright (architect), Tyne Daly (actress), Chris Farley (actor), Eric Heiden (Olympic speed skater), John Bardeen (Nobel prizewinner, science) and Thornton Wilder (playwright). The University of Wisconsin-Madison houses over 42,000 students and is the home of “Bucky” the Badger, their famous mascot. The university alone attracts scholars from all over the world, making Madison a true college town and intellectual hub. Greater Madison is an energetic metropolis with over 500,000 residents. With four beautiful seasons to enjoy, the city and surrounding area is a vibrant location with plenty to do and see any time of year, and getting there has never been easier—just buy bus tickets to Madison online and you’ll enjoying Mad City in no time!
If you love art and culture, Madison will not disappoint. There are numerous museums such as the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Absolutely Art, and the Madison Children’s Museum. If sports are your pleasure, the greater Madison area is a mecca for recreational activities. The University of Wisconsin Badger games are always exciting and Madison Mallards Baseball, a summer Collegiate Minor League, is a fun afternoon out at the “Duck Pond” with the whole family. If hiking, biking, boating, fishing, golf and other summer sports are your desire, check out www.visitmadison.com/things-to-do/sports more details and maps.
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As the Capital of Wisconsin, Madison has an interesting history. In 1829, people who knew James Doty at the time probably thought he was a bit peculiar, since the Wisconsin Territory wouldn’t even be formed until 7 years later. But Doty (once a federal judge) went ahead and finalized his purchase for more than 1000 acres of swamp and forest, with the idea of building a city there. He named this hypothetical city Madison, after James Madison who had just passed away. It was hypothetical because until territorial legislature voted, the city existed only in Doty’s mind, complete with 39 streets named for other founding fathers. This, and its position geographically between new and old cities in the area, made the legislature opt for Madison as the capital of the territory. Actual construction began in 1837 and 9 years later, it officially became a village with 626 people. Over the next 10 years, the population grew tenfold, finally becoming city-worthy in 1856. However, even before that occasion, the University of Wisconsin was founded there in 1849, only a year after Wisconsin’s statehood. The capital was destroyed and rebuilt twice: some of what remains today was built between 1906 and 1917.
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