Madison Journals

Exploring Madison

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Madison by MarkR37

Farmers Market Photo, Madison, Wisconsin More Photos
Quote: Madison Wisconsin is voted one of the best places to live every year and for good reason. It's a safe small city that offers lots of culture and great outdoor activities. So, how does Madison stack up as a place to visit? Read on.

Exploring Madison

Overview

Biking on the lakeshore path Photo, Madison, Wisconsin
Quote:
There are lots of fun things to do in Madison. You can go to a Univerlity of Wisconsin football game with 80,000 other rabid fans, Shop on state street, bike around the city on the fabulouse bike trails, drink a beer with the students and other people watchers at the Memorial Union, take a short walk to Picnic point for unmatched views of the city, go to one of the best farmers markets in the country on a saturday morning or go to the free zoo for a fun afternoon with the kids.Quick Tips: If you are traveling to Madison for a weekend trip stay in one of the hotels on or near the Capitol Square such as the new Hilton or the Concourse. These will put you close to the action.Best Way To Get ...Read More

Arbor House an Environmental Inn

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Hotel | "Arbor House: An Enviromental Inn"

Quote:
The Arbor House is located on the near west side, right across the street from the Arboretum. The owners are very much into "green" living and have set up an environmentally correct guest house. All building materials in the Arbor House as well as furnishings were chosen from environmentally friendly sources. There are two big drawbacks to the place: First, it is located on a busy street which can be noisy during morning rush hour. Second, it is too far away from the downtown area to walk so a car is a must. Both of these facts take away from a pretty nice idea. My experience with the owners is also a minus. They are a bit pretentious, using their environmental "awareness" as a cudgel to guests and...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 30, 2001

Arbor House an Environmental Inn
3402 Monroe Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53711
(608) 238-2981

Madison Concourse Hotel

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Hotel | "Concourse Hotel"

Madison Concourse Hotel Photo, Madison, Wisconsin
Quote:
The Concourse is a good place to stay if you want to be close to the action. Located just one block from the Capitol Square and State Street, the hotel boasts arguably the best location in Madison. The rooms are nice and large. Nothing spectacular but clean and comfortable. I would rate the Hotel 3 stars and similar to most Hilton properties. The downstairs restaurant, called the Bistro, is good but you have approximately 20 or more choices within 6 blocks of the hotel so blow it off and go explore. The one exception is the Bistro''s Sunday brunch which is one of the best in Madison.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 30, 2001

Madison Concourse Hotel
ONE WEST DAYTON ST
Madison, Wisconsin 53703
608-257-6000

Sa Bai Thong

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Restaurant | "Sa Ba Thong"

Sa Bai Thong Photo, Madison, Wisconsin
Quote:
This is one of our favorite restaurants in Madison. Located in a small strip mall, you would never know about this place unless you were brought here by a local. The place prepares wonderful, authentic Thai food that makes your tongue sing. Not only is the food great but the prices are very reasonable. Lunch for 2 usually sets us back less than $15 and dinner runs about $20. Try #75 which is curried fried rice with your choice of shrimp or chicken. Or number 60 which is string beans and chicken in this amazing fragrant sauce. The place is often very busy so come early or call for reservations for dinner.You won't be sorry.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 29, 2001

Sa Bai Thong
2840 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53705
(608) 238-3100

Michaels Frozen Custard Photo, Madison, Wisconsin
Quote:
Michaels Frozen Custard is a Madison institution. When people are in the mood for a treat on a late summer evening this is where they come. I should explain that frozen custard is a midwest thing and it is similar to ice cream but there is more fat and a creamier texture.

Michaels serves 3 or 4 flavors each day and my favorite is chocolate. Ordering takes place outside and if the weather is nice, take your treat around to the park in back and sit on a bench overlooking Lake Wingra. Enjoy!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 30, 2001

Michaels Frozen Custard
2531 Monroe Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53711
608-231-3500

Monty's Blue Plate Diner

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Restaurant

Quote:
Located on the hip near east side is a wonderful little retro diner named Monty's Blue Plate. This converted gas station is located right across the street from the Barrymore theater and it has been a big hit with locals since it opened about 10 years ago. Upon entering the restaurant, you can see that the owner has a flare for decor. The diner is idealized and is outfitted with lots of 1930's art deco decor. The place is streamlined and clean and full of stainless steel trim and deco prints and small sculpture on the walls. The wait staff is professional and many of the staff have been there since it opened. The food is fun if somewhat limited. They stick with the theme and serve retro diner fo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 3, 2001

Monty's Blue Plate Diner
2089 Atwood Ave
Madison, Wisconsin 53704
608-244-8505

Farmers Market

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Attraction

Farmers Market Photo, Madison, Wisconsin
Quote:
For over a quarter century, Madisonians have been flocking to the Saturday morning farmers market on the Capitol Square. This is one of the premier farmers markets in the country. Most of the fun is sitting across the street and watching the people slowly stampede past. You can get all kinds of local produce, local cheese, baked goods, coffee, honey and fresh cut flowers. The earlier the better, unless you enjoy being packed together liked sardines. The whole party breaks up around noon and most people stroll down State Street for some more shopping.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 29, 2001

Farmers Market
Capitol Square
Madison, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Attraction | "Picnic Point"

University of Wisconsin-Madison Photo, Madison, Wisconsin
Quote:
Have a picnic on Picnic Point.

For well over 500 years people have been walking out the 3/4 mile peninsula that juts out into Lake Mendota to enjoy the beautiful scenery in the heart of Madison. American Indians used this area to erect dozens of effigy mounds. Their exact purpose is not completely understood. And while the mound building has ceased, there is still lots of activity as students from the University of Wisconsin and other folks like myself walk, run, bike, camp and fish while enjoying the killer views of the city on the other side of the lake. One of our favorite places to picnic on a sunny afternoon. Picnic Point should not be missed.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 29, 2001

University of Wisconsin-Madison
716 Langdon Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53706
(608) 262–3961

Orpheum Theatre

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Attraction

Orpheum Theatre Photo, Madison, Wisconsin
Quote:
One of my favorite things to do when I visit other cities is to check out a movie at an old time movie palace. The Orpheum is one of 4 surviving movie palaces left in Madison and the only one that still shows mainstream movies. This beautiful temple to entertainment has been recently purchased and its lobby has been turned into a restaurant. The main theater is enormous and still has its original architectural detail pretty much in tact. There is a full balcony upstairs and the theater is also showing live concerts on occasion. Take a trip back to 1930s Madison by visiting this grand old palace. The Orpheum is right downtown on 216 State Street Call for schedules at 608-255-6005.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 29, 2001

Orpheum Theatre
216 State Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53703
(608) 255-8755

Henry Vilas Park Zoo

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Attraction | "Henry Vilas Zoo"

Henry Vilas Park Zoo Photo, Madison, Wisconsin
Quote:
Madison has a nice zoo and it is free! For the past 10 years the zoo has been replacing old cages with more modern "environmental" type displays of animals. There is much to see and do here and kids love it. They have a children's section that is educational and has a petting section. The zoo is located on the near west side of Madison and is part of Vilas Park. It's a great place to spend the day. If you like picnics, this is the place. My personal favorites are the polar bears, but most people like the lion and tiger display in the middle of the zoo as well as the primate center. Currently they are replacing the aviary with a new building. Vilas Park is also connected to a huge network of bike paths...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 29, 2001

Henry Vilas Park Zoo
702 South Randall Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53715
(608) 266-4732

University Heights Walking Tour

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Attraction | "Take a Walking Tour of My Neighborhood"

University Heights Walking Tour Photo, Madison, Wisconsin
Quote:
Twelve years ago my wife and I read about a series of walking tours being offered by the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation. We decided to take them all. The Saturday that University Heights was being toured about 30 people showed up and we walked around the little neighborhood for about an hour while Tim Heggland told us the details of 40 or so houses that he had researched in preparation to make the neighborhood a national landmark. We fell in love. I vowed at the end of the tour that we would move into the neighborhood as soon as we could afford it and being broke and without work at the time the goal seemed unreachable. Our fortunes, however took a turn for the better when we started a Fu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 7, 2001

University Heights Walking Tour
University Heights Historic District
Madison, Wisconsin

Capitol City Bike Path

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Capitol City Bike Path Photo, Madison, Wisconsin
Quote:
This is one of my favorite activities in Madison. The Capitol city bike path is a paved bike only route that starts right downtown and winds around the southern boundries of Madison. The path is incredibly varied and you get to see the lakes, the downtown, the posh neighborhoods on the near west side, the arboretum and farm land all in one trip! Start at Willy Street Bikes which is 3 blocks off the Capitol square on the corner of Williamson Street and John Nolan Drive. Then keep lake Monona on your left and start down the lakeshore bike path. After you pass the colliseum you take a right on the train tracks which is dirt for about 100 yards and you connect with the path and off you go. You stay ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 4, 2001

Capitol City Bike Path
Throughout Madison
Madison, Wisconsin