by: Destination Madison
It's hard to capture Madison in words.
It’s a vibe. A palpable energy pulsing through the city's veins. Each street crackling with personality.
It's the people. An eclectic collection of thinkers, innovators, artists, and blue-collar souls. All ravenous in pursuit of their passion.
It's the scenery. Manicured green-space nestled between sparkling lakes in the heart of a compact city. A distinct harmony of development and nature.
You just have to experience it for yourself.
We can't wait for you to get here to feel that vibe and explore Madison.
Cultural Fun Facts
Madison has a couple of fun quirks to be aware of:
- A drinking fountain is often called a bubbler by Wisconsin natives.
- You can get cheese curds at many local restaurants, but locals know they're fresh if they're squeaky.
- Friday nights are synonymous with fish fries.
- Our official city bird is the plastic pink flamingo – an homage to a 1979 prank in which students filled Bascom Hill with more than 1,000 of the birds overnight.
- The City of Madison is named after James Madison – the fourth U.S. president – and many downtown streets are named after those who helped draft and sign the U.S. Constitution.
- Madison has 15,000 acres of lakes and 6,000 acres of parkland.
- We’re one of the top 5 cities on earth for biking, and we do it year-round – despite the snow.
Rocking the Rankings
Madison is consistently ranked one of America’s best cities to live, work, and play. Some of our recent accolades include:
- #1 City with Best Work-Life Balance, Smart Asset, 2019
- #1 City Where Women Are Most Successful, Smart Asset, 2019
- #1 Best College Football Town in America, Sports Illustrated, 2019
- #3 Happiest Cities in America, Wallethub, 2019
- #3 Top 100 Best Places to Live, Livability, 2019
Inspiration to Explore
Get the most out of your time in Madison with inspiration at visitmadison.com. Discover exciting events, things to do, places to eat, and exclusive experiences.