About Madison

In 1911 America's pioneering urban planner John Nolen called Madison "a model city." His ambitious plan for its future blended the urban environment of a vibrant capital city with its most precious natural resources--four lakes surrounded by the richest agricultural soils in the world.

One hundred years later, we invite you to explore the symbiotic balance of urban and rural life, from traditional neighborhood developments and Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired New Urbanism to one of the nation's most well-established and fastest-growing farm-to-table movements and the Kettle Moraine landscape that attracts bicycling tourism from around the world.



Madison – where our natural and human capital enrich hearts and minds from around the world. Madison boasts beautiful four-season scenery, outdoor recreation, stimulating educational and cultural offerings, distinctive restaurants and shops creating a perfect destination for those who live here and those who visit. Since it’s inception as “the model city” by John Nolen, Madison continues its dedication to the balance of urban and rural demands.

Uniquely situated between two glacial lakes, Madison sits on an isthmus of natural beauty surrounded by water. The city has more than 260 city parks and over 120 miles of shared-use biking and walking trails that offer diverse recreational opportunities. Madison was named one of the Top Ten Most Bike-Friendly Cities in America according to Bicycling Magazine’s 2010 rankings.

With more than 6,000 acres of parkland Madison has earned its celebrated reputation as a green destination. Following in the footsteps of a number of environmentalist pioneers with ties to Madison – Aldo Leopold, John Muir, and Gaylord Nelson – the city is dedicated to protecting and sustaining our green space for generations to come. The region has numerous eco-friendly accommodations, restaurants, and attractions, is easily navigated on foot, by mass transit, bicycle or rideshare.

Named after President James Madison, Wisconsin’s state capital is a progressive, energetic metropolis with a wonderfully diverse population. Throughout its history, Madison has been known for strong political activism and forward thinking.

Scholars and researchers from around the world looking to continue their higher educational goals come to Madison to attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW). With over 42,000 students, the UW is a renowned public university and a globally recognized research institution at the forefront of such innovative fields of study as agribusiness, bioscience and engineering. The city was ranked in the top ten most innovative cities by Forbes Magazine in 2010.

Culturally, Madison offers excellent music venues, resident theater groups and visual art centers. The destination lends itself to an urban sophistication usually reserved for larger metropolitan areas. The recently completed $205 million arts district is full of museums, theaters, eclectic shops and diverse, ethnic dining experiences. Overture Center for the Arts presents more than 200 performances, art exhibits, and events every year.

Madison is a lively, unique city, providing authentic experiences and memorable getaways. Discover more about Madison at www.visitmadison.com.

While you are in Madison, take advantage of the following opportunities:

Wingra Boats
On your free time, unwind and relax out on Lake Wingra; a peaceful lake located in downtown Madison. Take out a canoe, kayak, paddleboat, stand up paddle board or sailboat. Open 9am until dusk at two different locations on Lake Wingra. Bring your convention name tag down and receive a 10% discount on boat rentals. Learn more about Wingra Boats at wingraboats.com.

Walking food tour
Are you interested in exploring Madison’s culinary culture? Join Madison Food Explorers on the Lake to Lake Tour.  We explore in small groups on foot and work in partnership with local restaurants to create an intimate experience.
On this guided, narrated walking tour, you'll experience Madison's history, architecture and culture while sampling delicious Wisconsin specialties.
For more detail go to www.madisonfoodexplorers.com  Tours are limited to 15. Reserve early.

During your stay, take advantage of the following events taking place in Madison:
May 30, 2011 (MEMORIAL DAY)
World’s Largest Brat Fest
Willow Island at the Alliant Energy Center
http://www.bratfest.com/

May 31, 2011
T’ai Chi – 12-12:45pm
Monona Terrace, 1 John Nolen Dr.
http://www.mononaterrace.com

June 1, 2011
No events listed at this time

June 2, 2011
T’ai Chi – 12-12:45pm
Monona Terrace, 1 John Nolen Dr.
http://www.mononaterrace.com

Concerts on the Rooftop – 7-9pm
Monona Terrace, 1 John Nolen Dr.
http://www.mononaterrace.com

June 3, 2011
Isthmus Jazz Festival
Memorial Union Terrace
http://www.isthmusjazzfestival.com


June 4, 2011
Dane County Farmers’ Market – 6am-2pm
Around the Capitol Square
http://www.dcfm.org

Cows on the Concourse – 8am-1pm
200 Block of MLK Jr Boulevard (near Capitol Square)
http://www.danecountydairy.com

5th Annual Cars on State – 10am-3pm
100 – 400 Blocks of State Street
http://visitdowntownmadison.com/events/index.php?category_id=3083

Isthmus Jazz Festival
Memorial Union Terrace
http://www.isthmusjazzfestival.com


June 5, 2011
Mad-City Ski Team Water Ski Show – 5:30-7:30pm
Law Park, John Nolen Drive (near Monona Terrace)
http://www.madcityskiteam.com/