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About Madison (Wisconsin)
Loveable, livable Madison is hailed as one of the Midwest's most welcoming state capitols. Reasons why? Let's start with its beautiful setting on a narrow spit of land that stretches between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. Then there's the youthful vibe that comes courtesy of the huge state university. And there's the charming Downtown core, awash with boutique shops, art galleries, fair-trade coffee roasters, veggie eats – you name it.
At the heart of it all is the proud Capitol Building, which looms high over the center of the city with its bronze statues and brilliant-white dome. Around that majestic Neo-Classical structure swirls blocks laden with teahouses, pizzerias, Indian cookhouses, and cheesesteak grills, a lesson in Wisconsin's multicultural energy. Head in one direction and you will be in the company of college lecture-goers near the Chazen Museum of Art, which has works by Joan Miró and Rodin galvanizing its exhibits. Go another and you'll be sifting through vintage clothes stores and glugging craft beers down boho Atwood Avenue.
Madison tour guides can also show you the natural side of their town. Union Terrace is a top place to begin, with its gorgeous lake views. From there, you can hit the arboretum or the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, or even breakaway to Devil's Lake for hiking and wild swimming in the summer.