Being from Chicago, a trip to Madison is an easy weekend getaway. I am lucky enough to have friends that live there which make it an even more appealing mini-vacation option! After visiting multiple times, I have found what I consider the “hidden gems” of Madison.
Madison has a gorgeous capital building that is perfectly positioned in the city so that you can see it down many of the main streets. It is the heart of the city and many events revolve around the capital building. During the winter it tends to be quieter, but in the summer there is an amazing farmer’s market where you can buy everything from a beautiful bouquet of flowers to homemade hot sauce. This is a must-see!
I have gone to many different bars in Madison that have very different vibes. I’ve been to country bars full of college students and microbreweries full of hipsters. But out of all of them, the bar that I liked the most (and that I think most people would really enjoy) was Lucille’s. They had great drink options and delicious cheese curds, and who goes to Wisconsin and doesn’t get cheese curds? I went on a Saturday and they were offering $3 daiquiri shooters… Um, yes please! They also helped me discover a new pineapple rum for me to use in my way-too-tropical-for-the-Midwest drinks. Great deals, great drinks, great food. What more could you want?
There is a lot to do in Madison. In the summer it is a very active place to be – you can kayak, bike your way around the city, go for gorgeous hikes, etc. In the winter there are still some outdoor activities you can try if you catch some snow like snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. However, there was no snow when I was visiting so I decided to go for another Midwest activity – HOCKEY! I am a huge hockey fan and love going to games. What’s great about Madison is that it is a college town with a Big 10 school (GO BLUE! ;)), so we get to watch some amazing college sports. We went the UW Madison hockey game which was so fun because of the dedication that college athletes show. I would highly recommend checking out some of the college’s activities if you visit because of the great price and how much fun it is!
Finally, it’s time for my favorite part!!! In the summer when I was able to go to the farmer’s market outside of the capital building, I discovered the most glorious bread there has ever been. This bread was soft, freshly made, spicy AND cheesy. I’m not kidding. This deliciousness exists. And it is only in Madison. So when I was visiting in the winter I was a little worried about how I could get this bread that I HAD to have. Thankfully, I discovered that they have a physical location and this was the first place I went when in Madison. Stella’s is this magical place and one you have to visit.
Guys, I’m really serious about this bread.
I definitely love Madison and have even considered living there before, so I highly recommend it as a place to visit for a weekend! If you have any other suggestions for places to visit in Wisconsin, please let me know in the comments.