Madison is known for its places, people, culture and things to do and see, creating a unique experience for its travelers. A visit to the Madtown is strolling amid the botanical garden or parks, wandering along the State Street and exploring the art and culture of the city, shopping like a local, dining at lively establishments, and enjoying outdoor activities. You can indulge in all these pleasure and leisure pursuits and experience the spirit of the Mad City through this 48 hours itinerary-
Day 1 in Madison
Image by Dori via Wikimedia Commons
A Map Guide to Day 1 Tour in Madison
Mickies Dairy Bar at 9:00am
Start your day with a hearty breakfast at the Mickies Diary Bar. This spot is famous among both locals and visitors alike and attracts sports fans and athletes. The house specialty is malts, pancakes, burgers, fired potatoes, and eggs.
Address: 1511 Monroe Street, Madison, WI 53711, United States
Phone: 1 608-256-9476
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 6:00am-2:30pm; Sunday: 7:00am-2:00pm
Art Tour at 10:00am!
Head over to the Chazen Museum of Art that is home to the permanent collections of drawings, paintings and sculptures, and several touring collections are also housed in this museum. It showcases works of art dating back thousands of years.
Address: 750 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706, United States
Phone: 1 608-263-2246
Opening hours: Tuesday & Wednesday: 9:00am-5:00pm; Thursday: 9:00am-9:00pm; Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm; Saturday & Sunday: 11:00am-5:00pm
Distance from Mickies Dairy Bar: 1.2miles or 4minutes drive
Explore the history at 11:00am!
Next, visit the Wisconsin Veterans Museum that showcases the history of those who served Wisconsin from the Civil war to the present day. It features important events, photographs, military paraphernalia, vintage vehicles, warplanes, several books, archival collection and offers educational programs.
Address: 30 W Mifflin Street, Madison, WI 53703, United States
Phone: 1 608-267-1799
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00am-3:30pm
Distance from Chazen Museum of Art: 1.2miles or 5minutes drive
Explore modern and contemporary art at 12:00pm!
Next, head off to explore the modern and contemporary art at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum houses over 20,000 pieces of contemporary art, and it also has a rooftop sculpture garden that offers stunning views of the State Capitol and the State Street.
Address: 227 State Street, Madison, WI 53703, United States
Phone: 1 608-257-0158
Opening hours: Tuesday to Thursday: 12:00pm-5:00pm; Friday: 12:00pm-8:00pm; Saturday: 10:00am-8:00pm; Sunday: 12:00pm-5:00pm
Distance from Wisconsin Veterans Museum: 0.7miles or 4 minutes drive
Eat like a local at 1:00pm!
Step into The Old Fashioned that is a retro-style spot serving food that depicts the flavors of Wisconsin. This spot is a reminiscent of the nineteenth century packed with antiques. Sample the cheese curd, creamy mac and cheese, brats and the bloody mary. The food menu is full of locally-sourced food and cheese.
Address: 23 N Pinckney St #1, Madison, WI 53703, United States
Phone: 1 608-310-4545
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 7:30am-2:00am; Saturday: 9:00am-2:00am; Sunday: 9:00am-10:00pm
Distance from Madison Museum of Contemporary Art: 0.7miles or 4minutes drive
Tour the Wisconsin Historical Museum at 2:00pm!
Head over to the Wisconsin Historical Museum that showcases the past of Wisconsin. It offers information about the state’s history through photographs, artifacts and several interactive programs.
Address: 30 N Carroll Street, Madison, WI 53703, United States
Phone: 1 608-264-6555
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 9:00am-4:00pm; Sunday: 11:00am-4:00pm
Distance from The Old Fashioned: 0.2miles or 1minute drive
Glimpse of Wisconsin’s geological history at 3:00pm!
Head off to the UW-Madison Geology Museum and get a glimpse of the state’s geological past. Browse the minerals and rocks displays, take a look at the dinosaur exhibits, check out the sea creatures, touch a meteorite, and see the fossils exhibits.
Address: 1215 W Dayton Street, Madison, WI 53715, United States
Phone: 1 608-262-2399
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 8:30am-4:30pm
Distance from Wisconsin Historical Museum: 1.4miles or 6minutes drive
Kids fun at 4:00pm!
Head over to the Madison Children’s Museum that is full of interesting and fun things to do and explore. Explore hands-on exhibits and educational programs that encourage learning through play and fun activities. Explore the city of “Possible-opolis”, splash around in water, run in the gigantic Gerbil Wheel, meet the chickens in the rooftop garden, explore the outdoors and indulge in artsy activities.
Address: 100 N Hamilton Street, Madison, WI 53703, United States
Phone: 1 608-256-6445
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 9:30am-5:00pm
Distance from Geology Museum: 1.5miles or 6minutes drive
Shop on State Street at 5:00pm!
State Street is a famous pedestrian mall that houses over 200 eclectic stores and specialty shops, like Fromagination, Madison Sole, Little Luxuries, Indie Bookstore, and more. It has everything from apparel boutiques and jewelry shops to sporting goods stores and artsy stores.
Address: State Street, Madison, WI, United States
Distance from Madison Children’s Museum: 0.7miles or 3minutes drive
Dinner at 7:00pm!
State Street has plenty of restaurants. Step in the Tutto Pasta Trattoria (305 State Street, Madison, WI 53703, United States) serves up authentic Italian fare. Visit the Fresco Rooftop Restaurant (227 State Street, Madison, WI 53703, United States) that serves New American fare. For dessert, visit the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co (468 State Street, Madison, WI 53703, United States) and grab the delectable array of ice-creams full of flavors.
Monona Terrace is where the nightlife begins at 8:00pm!
Head over to the Monona Terrace where many dance events and concerts are held. Live music, spectacular vistas, drinks, great company, dance, and so much more at the Monona Terrace. Catch up with friends at the Memorial Union Terrace (800 Langdon Street, Madison, WI 53706, United States).
Distance from the State Street: 1.0mile or 4minutes drive
Sip on a few local beers and enjoy a great music lineup at 10:00pm!
Step into the High Noon Saloon that offers nightly live music. This spot takes you on a musical voyage stretching across a variety of genres, ranging from rock, metal to folk, world music, indie, bluegrass, jam, pop, hip hop, and more. Dance, drinks and music, all together with the locals at the High Noon Saloon!
Address: 701 E Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 53703, United States
Phone: 1 608-268-1122
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 4:00pm-2:00am; Saturday & Sunday: 12:00pm-2:00am
Distance from Monona Terrace: 0.9miles or 2minutes drive
Day 2 in the Madtown!
Image by Pbrown111 via Wikimedia Commons
Take in Breakfast at 9:00am!
Have a scrumptious breakfast at the Michelangelo’s Coffee house. Sink back into a sofa, sip a coffee, grab a sandwich and enjoy the laid-back environment at this spot.
Address: 114 State Street, Madison, WI 53703, United States
Phone: 1 608-251-5299
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 7:00am-11:00pm
Take a tour of the Wisconsin State Capitol at 10:00am!
Next, head off to the Wisconsin State Capitol that lies in the heart of Madison. Tour the building and enjoy the spectacular views of the city. Check out the murals, marble work, historical paintings and mosaics inside this stately building.
Address: 2 E Main Street, Madison, WI 53703, United States
Phone: 1 608-266-0382
Distance from Michelangelo’s Coffee House: 0.6miles or 3minutes drive
Family fun at 11:00am!
Head over to the Henry Vilas Zoo for some family fun. It houses wide variety of animals from across the world at the Henry Vilas Zoo. It features grizzly bears, seals, lemur, badger, orangutan, polar bears and more. The admission to the zoo is free.
Address: 702 S Randall Avenue, Madison, WI 53715, United States
Phone: 1 608-258-9490
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 9:30am-5:00pm
Distance from Wisconsin State Capitol: 2.0mles or 9minutes drive
Experience outdoors at 12:00pm!
Head off to the UW-Madison Arboretum that features a diverse collection of restored ecosystems, including savannah, tall grass prairies, wetlands, woodlands and other forest types.
Address: 1207 Seminole Hwy, Madison, WI 53711, United States
Phone: 1 608-263-7888
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9:30am-4:00pm; Saturday & Sunday: 12:30pm-4:00pm
Distance from Henry Vilas Zoo: 2.3miles or 9minutes drive
Out to Lunch at 1:00pm!
Head over to Taqueria El Jalapeno (1318 South Midvale Boulevard) that serves up Mexican fare, or go to Le Petit Croissant (1310 Midvale Boulevard) for French fare. For American cuisine, head off to Bonfyre American Grille (2601 West Beltline Highway The Arbor Gate Towers). Go to Feiler's (4506 Verona Rd) that serves Seafood, steak and American cuisines.
Take a nature walk at 2:00pm!
Explore the rose garden, tropical conservatory and Thai pavilion at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Check out the glass pyramid with full of exotic flowers and plants, birds, orchids and other outdoor display gardens.
Address: 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704, United States
Phone: 1 608-246-4550
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00am-4:00pm; Sunday: 10:00am-5:00pm
Tour the Kohl Center at 3:00pm!
Head off to the Kohl Center, home to University of Wisconsin Basketball and Hockey teams. Several sporting events are held here. Catch a game of Wisconsin Badgers team at this spot. It also has more than 100 sports memorabilia items and artefacts from Badgers who took part in the world championships and the Olympics.
Address: 601 W Dayton St, Madison, WI 53703, United States
Distance from Olbrich Botanical Gardens: 4.5miles or 12 minutes drive
National Mustard Museum at 4:00pm!
Visit the National Mustard Museum that features over 5,500 mustards from across the countries. On display are several items of mustard. You can sample the mustards at the Tasting Bar, and shop at the Museum gift shop that sells different types of mustards.
Address: 7477 Hubbard Avenue, Middleton, WI 53562, United States
Phone: 1 608-831-2222
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 10:00am-5:00pm
Go Shopping at 5:00pm!
Shop at the Hilldale Shopping Center that features plenty of local and national retailers ranging from Cornblooms to Michael Kors, Macy’s, and more. This shopping spot has a great selection of specialty shops, including clothing, shoes, music, gifts and jewelry shops.
Address: 702 N Midvale Blvd, Madison, WI 53705, United States
Phone: 1 608-238-6640
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00am-9:00pm; Sunday: 11:00am-6:00pm
Distance from National Mustard Museum: 3.7miles or 8minutes drive
An aperitif at 7:00pm!
Head over to the Wisconsin Brewing Company (1079 American Way, Verona, WI 53593, United States) and sample a few brews. Or sip on house-made craft spirits at the Old Sugar Distillery (931 E Main Street, Madison, WI 53703, United States). Relax and Unwind with a beer at the Capital Brewery (7734 Terrace Avenue, Middleton, WI 53562, United States).
Dinner at 8:00pm!
Head over to the A Pig in a Fur Coat (940 Williamson St) that serves Italian, Spanish and Mediterranean cuisines. For Thai food, step into the Bahn Thai Restaurant (944 Williamson Street) or Eldorado Grill (744 Williamson St Ste 2) for some Mexican visit the Burrito Drive (310 S Brearly Street). Relish the French cuisine at the Chez Nanou (805 Williamson Street).
The nightlife in the Mad City starts heating up at 10:00pm!
Put your drinks up and keep your body moving to the live music at the Cardinal Bar (418 E Wilson St, Madison, WI 53703, United States). Sing along, enjoy dueling piano while sipping drinks at the Ivory Room Piano Bar (116 W Mifflin Street, Madison, WI 53703, United States). Or rock it up on the floor of the Liquid (624 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53715, United States) where the DJs spin the best of the music.
A Map Guide to Day 2 Tour in Madison