Welcome to Madison
Madison reaps a lot of kudos – most walkable city, best road-biking city, most vegetarian-friendly, gay-friendly, environmentally friendly and just plain all-round friendliest city in the USA. Ensconced on a narrow isthmus between Mendota and Monona Lakes, it's a pretty combination of small, grassy state capital and liberal, bookish college town. An impressive foodie/locavore scene has been cooking here for years
Top experiences in Madison
Sights in MadisonSee all sights
Walking Food Tour in Downtown Madison
The tour begins at 12:00pm at the first tasting location, The Great Dane. Food and beer samples will be provided as guests learn about the history of the restaurant and bratwurst in Wisconsin. From there the group will casually walk towards the next tasting location, stopping to talk about 2 architectural points and the creation of Madison by James Doty. Once arriving at the second stop, Gotham Bagels, guests will sample and hear about the only NYC style bagel shop in Madison that has been family owned and operated since 2007. Continuing on the walk around the Capitol Square area we stop to talk about the impressive Dane County Farmer's Market and the busting State Street, which is where the third and fourth tastings take place. Sampling Mackinac Island style fudge at Kilwins and deep fried cheese curds at Wisconsin Brewing Tap Haus. From there the tour hears the controversial story behind Madison's first skyscraper and takes a sneak peek inside the beautiful Capitol. The tour ends at a swanky burger joint, DLUX, where the guests get to sample delicious milkshakes made from Wisconsin ice cream, the perfect end cap for a Wisconsin food tour.
Wild Cave Adventure Tour
Meet your guide near the Richland Center at 8am or 1pm, and get ready to embark on a subterranean adventure: for the next 2.5 hours, you’ll have the chance to explore Popp’s Cave. A “wild cave” that has been left in its natural state, Popp’s Cave includes an unspoiled interior full of rock formations, as well as some winding passages to squeeze through. In the company of a small group, and led by an experienced guide, you’ll have the chance to feel like a real adventurer. During the tour, you’ll spend up to two hours inside the cave. As you go, your guide will point out all kinds of special sights, from stalactites and stalagmites to calcium flows and even cave life ranging from bats to salamanders. You’ll be equipped with a headlamp, though you’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy a multi-sensory experience of the cave in darkness. This tour is friendly for beginners and most passages are easy to walk through, though adventurers will also have the chance to squeeze through tighter areas if they wish. Guided by “leave no trace” etiquette, you’ll leave the cave as you found it when you head back to ground level. The tour concludes at the original point of departure.
Admission to Historic Ringling Brothers Mansion in Baraboo
By the late 19th century, the Ringling Brothers managed one of the greatest entertainment shows in the United States. Their circus, full of dancing elephants, fearsome predators, majestic acrobats, jovial clowns, and the ever present sound of calliope music wowed audience, delighted children, and made the Baraboo family rich. This insider's peek into the life of Al Ringling, oldest of the clan and driver behind much of the family's success throughout the late 19th and early 20th century, is available every day between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm. Tour the opulent red-bricked mansion in downtown Baraboo as you see original furnishings, amazing hand-carved woodwork, leaded glass, ornate murals and hand-decorated ceilings. Displays on the Mansion and the lives of the Ringling family will also be featured. Each tour is guided and last approximately 1 hour.Although currently under renovation in order to return the mansion to its former splendor, the house remains opens to visitors. When you arrive at the house, check in at the front and you will paired with a guide in order to begin your guided tour.
Walking Dinner Tour in Downtown Middleton
The Middleton dinner tour begins at 6:00pm where the tour guide will welcome guests out front of the first tasting location, Louisianne's Etc. There the guests will enjoy one of the only fine Creole restaurants in the area for a drink, appetizers, and live piano music. Once the tour departs Louisianne's, they will make the short trek to the Village Green, a historic building in downtown Middleton, where guests get to sip on a very classic Wisconsin cocktail and learn about some of the most notable stories of Middleton's past. After Village Green, the tour will slip out the back door and over to the entree stop of the tour, The Freehouse Pub. Known for being "All Wisconsin, all the time" guests will enjoy a warm meal that uses locally-sourced meat and bread from family-run businesses in the area. Finally guests will make their last journey through downtown Middleton, stopping to talk about two notable buildings, then arriving at Hubbard Avenue Diner for the best part of any meal - dessert! Famous for their pie, Hubbard creates a special tasting specifically for our tour guests to sample while enjoying the fun 50's diner atmosphere that lights up downtown Middleton.The food and drink provided on the tour is enough for a meal. The total walking distance is about half a mile over the course of the 2.5-hour tour. The tour ends about one block from where it began, and there is plenty of free street parking and parking lots available nearby. Both vegetarians and vegans are able to be accommodated on this tour. Tours operate rain or shine; in the event that it is raining, the tour guide will provide umbrellas for all guests who may need one. Tickets must be purchased at least 24 hours in advance.
Private Winery Tours in Madison
Choose the perfect car or request a minibus or limobus to accommodate your group, and then be picked up at your hotel to begin your 5-hour excursion to Madison's vineyards.Start your experience in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Early Mountain Vineyards for a flight of wines from their estate and other producers. Visit Prince Michel Vineyards including a self-guided tour of their production area. And, go to DuCard Vineyards for a tasting of their exclusive wine and relax on the stream-side patios with gorgeous Shenandoah mountain views, where you can enjoy lunch and more wine at this final stop on your private tour.