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Know All About Madison, Wisconsin

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Madison, the Madtown, settled on an isthmus is considered to be one of the best places to live in the United States, thanks to its diverse and lively cultural scene. The city offers a diversity of attractions, from art galleries and museums to historical sites and parks, events and music festivals. 

Madison is the capital of Wisconsin
Image by Dori via Wikimedia Commons

History of Madison

In 1829, James Duane Doty traveled through Isthmus and he liked the site very much that he got about 1,200 acres of land and planned out a grid of streets. In 1836, James Doty named the city Madison after James Madison, the fourth president of the United States. In 1837, the foundation of the city was established. In 1838, the legislature was formed. In 1846, it was formed into a village with a populace of 626. It remained the capital when Madison was incorporated into a state in 1848.  Later in the same year, University of Wisconsin was established in Madison. In 1854, the Mississippi Railroad and Milwaukee were connected to Madison. In 1856, Madison was formed into a city. 

Important Locations in Madison

Madison is chock full with museums, art galleries, parks, historic sites and many outdoor attractions. Set your sights on the wonderful locations that make the Madtown a worth-visiting spot!

Wisconsin State Capitol: Tour the Wisconsin State Capitol that is adorned with more than 256 ft high dome. Noteworthy inside are the hand-carved furniture, beautiful glass mosaics, murals and varieties of stone from across the world.  

Monona Terrace: Enjoy the panoramic views of Lake Monona and stunning downtown views from Monona Terrace

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art: Peruse the beautiful pieces of contemporary and modern art by local and international artists at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens: Walk through the Olbrich Botanical Garden featuring a rose garden, a gilded Thai pavilion, and the glass enclosed tropical conservatory. 

Henry Vilas Zoo: Get nose to nose with variety of animals from around the world at Henry Vilas Zoo. The zoo also has educational programs and rides for kids.  

Chazen Museum of Art: Explore the art from the ancient times to the present day at Chazen Museum of Art. It has permanent exhibits, including sculptures, paintings and drawings, as well as several temporary exhibits. 

Wisconsin Veterans Museum: Learn about the history of the Wisconsin men and women who took part in military struggles from the Civil war to the present day at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum

Wisconsin Historical Museum: Know the history of Wisconsin from prehistoric times to the present day through exhibits at the Wisconsin Historical Museum.  

University of Wisconsin: Arboretum and Geology Museum: Explore the UW Arboretum that features varied habitats and houses several flowering trees. Highlights of the Geology Museum are the rocks, minerals and fossils.

Madison Children's Museum: Browse around the educational and interactive exhibits on history, art, culture, sciences and health at the Madison Children’s Museum.   

To know in detail about the important locations in Madison, click here

People and Culture of Madison

Madison has a diverse cultural scene. The city offers a wide array of artistic and cultural activities. The people of Madison are active, friendly and welcoming. Expect the city’s people to say “hello or hi” to you on the street here.  The city is ranked as one of the best places to live, work and play.

Some of the famous personalities who have their roots in Madison, Wisconsin are: Frank Lloyd Wright, Chris Noth, Chris Farley, Andrea Anders, Tyne Daly, John Bardeen, and many more. 

Time Zones and Phone Code of Madison

Time Zones

Madison, Wisconsin is in the Central Time Zone

UTC/GMT Offset: Madison is GMT/UTC-6th during Standard Time;  Madison is GMT/UTC - 5th during Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time Usage: Madison, WI does utilize Daylight Saving Time

Phone Codes

Area Code: 608
Dialling code: 1

Best Time to Visit Madison

The best time to travel to the Madtown is summer. Indulge in outdoor recreational activities, like boating, fishing, camping and hiking during the summer. Fall is also a pleasant time to visit Madison. For lesser crowds, pleasant climate and outdoor fun, visit the Mad City in April, May and November. 

High season runs from June to October, and December to February
Low season is March and November
Shoulder season goes from April to May

There are plenty of festivals and events held throughout the year in the Madtown. Some of the festivals/events are:

Taste of Madison  (September)
Freakfest  (October)

Operational Hours in Madison

Post offices: Monday to Friday: 9:30am-5:30pm
Banks: Monday to Friday: 8:00am-5:00pm
Shopping malls and centers: Monday to Saturday: 10:00am-9:00pm; Sunday: 12:00pm-6:00pm
Stores: 10:00am-9:00pm
Nightspots and bars/clubs: Open until 2:00am

Madison General Information Map Guide

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