I have lived here for 16 years, and love this Midwest spot. Near Chicago, Minneapolis, but doesn't have that massive feel, although it is growing quickly. It offers many of the same amenities and some of the best eateries around. I have lived in several places, and would recommend this spot as one of the best!
There is so much to acknowledge about this great, micro metropolis. I was born and raised in Wisconsin. I came from a split family and moved around a lot when I was younger but I always found my way back to Madison. As far as excitement is concerned, I hated growing up in Wisconsin. I spent most of my you and adolescence in the greater Madison area. I couldn't wait to leave. So I left! I lived in San Francisco for a number of years. When the city was too expensive, I packed what I could and came home, with a new found, adult appreciation for my home city. Madison is home to a vast, eclectic mix of personalities, communities and social scenes. I like to think of it as my own little island of misfit toys. Just as anywhere, there are pros and cons and which side they lie on will be personal to the I individual. Growing up here, I thought it was too small. I thought it was boring. I thought it was dull. When i came back as an adult, with the freedom to experience the city on my own terms, I quickly fell in love with Madison for the first time. Anyone who says there's a polite rudeness is probably taking plenty out of context. The people here are polite. Some of them are rude (as they will be anywhere you go) but it is a city with an unspoken expectation of courtesy and manners. It is a neighborly city and you'll quickly see what a small town it can really be. The city is still large enough, however, to keep a certain degree of separation from one another. There are innumerable bars and restaurants in the city, especially downtown. This creates a great (and most often locally owned and sourced) nightlife scene as well as a constant supply of service related employment. I received an excellent education, primary nd secondary. There are so many educational opportunities as well as community outreach. We are all about creating new networks nd close knit social circles within our communities and amongst them as well. The public transit is a little undependable in the suburbs s but if you're living in Madison proper, especially downtown, you're solid. Crime isn't a huge issue if you know where to go and where not to. Allied drive, eagle heights and some other neighborhoods are an issue but the greater part of the city is safe and peaceful. After leaving San Francisco, I personally have to say that rental/cost of living is not nearly as high as some might make out. I live in the upper half (one bed, one bath) of a home on Winnebago. I'm a 15 minute bus ride to the Capitol and my partner and I split a $700 rent monthly. Overall, Madison is great to visit and it's a wonderful city with lots of life and entertainment. It may be a bit boring for your tweens and teens, but I kept out of trouble and made my way. I am still not ready to commit any longevity here, bit not because I don't love it. I'd like to explore more and see what else is out there. That being said, Madison is a place I do imagine I will return to one day when I am ready to settle and raise my own. Children.
This is probably the worst place I have lived in all of my life. Madison has some of the nicest, but also, some of the rudest, arrogant people!!! Also, the crime rate is high, and the cost of living is expensive, especially if they keep raising your rent every single time you renew your lease.If you are planning to move to the Madison area in the future, I would strongly recommend living in the suburbs (i.e., Sun Prairie, Verona, etc.), where things aren't so bad. Otherwise, inside the city limits, the people are rude, cost of living is expensive, and the atmosphere is extremely dirty (filthy).
I was born and raised in Madison, WI and I lived there for more than twenty years. Growing up, I was under the impression that I was lucky to live there in comparison to living most other places. Now I've lived in other cities in other states, and while Madison is by no means a bad place to be, it is not as superior as many of the locals seem to think it is. I once felt very nostalgic toward my hometown until I visited two years after having moved away. It didn't strike me as very welcoming. There is a "polite rudeness" you notice almost right away. I was once a local and I feel like an outsider now. It's a relatively small city, but it has it's own way swallowing you whole, especially if you don't really know anyone. I once had plans of returning home, but I changed my mind.
I was born in Madison, WI and lived there well into my adult life. Madison is a great city, it does however, have its bad points as well, but overall it's a great place to raise a family. There are certain areas of the city you DO NOT want to live in such as Allied Drive, Simpson St, Kennedy Heights, and Eagle Heights. These neighborhoods are the worst in Madison for crime.
Some of the best attractions are the Dane County Zoo, which has undergone many renovations and updated animal enclosures. It's a great FREE day out for the family. It is the only zoo in the state that still has free admission. Overture center is another great day out if you love architecture. There are quite a few buildings in Madison that have been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. His home, Taliesin located in Spring Green is only a half an hours drive from Madison.
If you're looking for live music Madison has plenty of clubs to choose from. Red Rock at the University of Madison campus has live music each weekend and in the cooler months they have an outdoor fire pit for the smokers to keep warm around. You can also find music at Union South on the University Campus. Some of the best kept secrets for shopping can be found on State Street on the University Campus. One word of caution if you are planning to drive on Campus be prepared to be frustrated. Construction is always going on and the roads are all one way going the opposite direction you want to be heading. Just remember each street is a square if you find yourself heading one way and needing to go the other. Take the first left and then left and you will be going the right way.
I live by Hilldale mall in Madison, which is on the near west side. The area is safe and I'm 15-20 minutes from anywhere I'd want to get (including Middleton, downtown Madison, and Fitchburg). The farmer's market on the capitol square tends to get crowded, but there's lots of fresh local produce, meat, and bakery items for sale every Saturday during the summer. Madison has a big health culture. Many people get around via bike, we have a few co-ops that stock lots of natural food items, and there's quite a few vegetarians/vegans. But if you're not into any of that, nobody is going to force it on you. There's a lot of recreational opportunities because we have multiple lakes and many nice parks. We don't have any big water parks or theme parks, but Wisconsin Dells and Devil's Lake are within an hour drive. Wisconsin Dells is known for having Noah's Ark (huge water park) as well as other vacation-y things to do. Devil's Lake has some really cool hiking, as well as swimming and other activities. Downtown Madison has lots of loud college students, so I prefer to not live right downtown or on campus. One of my favorite things to do is stand on top of Monona Terrace and look over the water. Many people also gather at Memorial Union because there's another lookout of a lake, fresh ice cream, and often music. I'm not sure that we have anything super exciting if you're looking for somewhere to vacation, but I love living in Madison (besides the cold winters of course)!
If you are looking for a place to live, stay away from here. Unless you plan on going to the University of Madison. Downtown Madison is a great stomping ground for college students if you don't mind all the homeless people. The public school system is horrible, there are no exciting shops or stores if you are in to shopping. The bars are okay, if you are 21. Older people could find a better place to retire. The lakes are dirty. Lastly, when people say "diverse" they mean you barely see any white people and to build on that you barely meet any person of any race that is gang related, doing drugs, selling drugs, and/or ignorant. This is coming from someone who has lived here 19 and whose parent/grandparents grew up here. Its a shame, Madison use to be beautiful. You'd be better off in the suburbs.
I lived in Madison, Wisconsin for four years while getting my degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I quickly fell in love with this thriving city. There are many great aspects of Madison: the setting, the arts, the culture, the nightlife, and more.
A perfect summer Saturday in Madison would start out with coffee and breakfast at a restaurant near the Capitol square. I would recommend shopping the Dane County Farmer's Market, which is very large and encircles the Capitol building. After the market, take Martin Luther King Jr. Drive down to the Monona Terrace. This is a very impressive convention center with great views of Lake Monona from the rooftop. Walk back toward the Capitol and down State Street. State street is the most vibrant street in the city. It is closed to all traffic other than buses and bicycles. There are many unique shops and restaurants in the 6-block long street. For lunch, I would recommend Ian's Pizza, which is on State Street and also on Frances Street. This is the BEST pizza by the slice I have ever eaten. They have tons of gourmet pizzas to choose from, and they try to source their ingredients locally. After eating and shopping, walk over to the Memorial Union on the campus. Enjoy a beer at Der Rathskeller and sit on the terrace, watching the boats on Lake Mendota. For a romantic meal, try Tutto Pasta on State Street. For a locally grown meal, try Harvest in the Capitol square. Finish the night off with a beer at the Essen Haus on Wilson Street east of the Capitol building. This German restaurant is lively, and has great decor. If you stay awhile, Madison offers great theater,arts and entertainment. Madison is truly a one-of-a-kind city situated on a beautiful isthmus.
Madison, Wisconsin is a great place to come on a vacation or as a place to live. The city of Madison is home to a dazzling array of different high quality restaurants. One of the best restaurants in Madison is Quiveys's Grove Restaurant on Nesbitt Road. This is a place that serves authentic food that is culturally popular with the people of Madison. The restaurant's claim to fame is that they make everything completely from scratch. People interested in enjoying an evening of fine dining should make a reservation to have dinner at the Edgewater Admiralty Room on Wisconsin Avenue. The Edgewater offers a fantastic view of Lake Mendota at sunset. A great wine bar in Madison is the Eno Vino Bar and Bistro Restaurant on 601 Junction Road. The amazing fact about this place is that they have over two-hundred and fifty varieties of wine.
There are other Madison attractions throughout the city that are worth checking out as well. The Wisconsin Historical Museum is one of those attractions. Complete with an amazing prehistoric exhibit that everyone will enjoy.
Madison is a beautiful city that is populated by fun-loving friendly people who keep the city clean and functioning well. People should give Madison a look as a vacation destination or place of relocation.