The City of Four Lakes has a lot of natural beauty; the glacial waterways layout for more than 250 parks that provide plenty of options for any outdoor enthusiast. This beautiful capital city is fueled by the University of Wisconsin which sets the tone with cafes, bookstores, brewpubs, restaurants and a great active local community full of history.
- Things to do
- Eat and drink
Madison’s origins begin in 1829, when former federal judge James Duane Doty purchased over a thousand acres (4 km²) of swamp and forest land on the isthmus between Lakes Mendota and Monona, with the intention of building a city in the Four Lakes region. When the Wisconsin Territory was created in 1836 the territorial legislature convened in Belmont, Wisconsin. One of the legislature’s tasks was to select a permanent location for the territory’s capital. Doty lobbied aggressively for Madison as the new capital, offering buffalo robes to the freezing legislators and promising choice Madison lots at discount prices to undecided voters. He had James Slaughter plat two cities in the area, Madison and “The City of Four Lakes”, near present-day Middleton. Doty named the city Madison for James Madison, the fourth President of the U.S. Although the city existed only on paper, the territorial legislature voted on November 28 in favor of Madison as its capital.
Madison is located in the center of Dane County in south-central Wisconsin, 77 miles (124 km) west of Milwaukee and 122 miles (196 km) northwest of Chicago. The city completely surrounds the smaller Town of Madison, the City of Monona, and the villages of Maple Bluff and Shorewood Hills. Madison shares borders with its largest suburb, Sun Prairie, and three other communities, Middleton, McFarland and Fitchburg. The city’s boundaries also approach the villages of Verona, Cottage Grove, DeForest, and Waunakee.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 94.03 square miles (243.54 km2), of which, 76.79 square miles (198.89 km2) is land and 17.24 square miles (44.65 km2) is water.
The city is sometimes described as The City of Four Lakes, comprising the four successive lakes of the Yahara River: Lake Mendota (“Fourth Lake”), Lake Monona (“Third Lake”), Lake Waubesa (“Second Lake”) and Lake Kegonsa (“First Lake”), although Waubesa and Kegonsa are not actually in Madison, but just south of it. A fifth smaller lake, Lake Wingra, is within the city as well; it is connected to the Yahara River chain by Wingra Creek. The Yahara flows into the Rock River, which in turn, flows into the Mississippi River. Downtown Madison is located on an isthmus between Lakes Mendota and Monona. The city’s trademark of “Lake, City, Lake” reflects this geography.
Local identity varies throughout Madison, with over 120 officially recognized neighborhood associations. Neighborhoods on and near the eastern part of the isthmus, some of the city’s oldest, have the strongest sense of identity and are the most politically liberal. Historically, the north, east, and south sides were blue collar while the west side was white collar, and to a certain extent this remains true. Students dominate on the University of Wisconsin campus and to the east into downtown, while to its south and in Shorewood Hills on its west, faculty have been a major presence since those neighborhoods were originally developed. The turning point in Madison’s development was the university’s 1954 decision to develop its experimental farm on the western edge of town; since then, the city has grown substantially along suburban lines.
All information about Madison courtesy of Wikipedia.
Madison School District provides many schooling options for public and private schools.
- Madison Public Metro SChool District
- private schools
Pre-K - 8th Grade
Pre-K - 8th Grade
St. Ambrose Academy (6-12)
St. Dennis School (K-9)
Walbridge School (2-12)
Wingra School (K-8)
Wings to Soar Online Academy (PK-12)
With Madison's blend of college town and an active and creative community base, the city provides a variety of different activities for all ages. Whether its performing arts, sporting events, beautiful parks, museums, State Street or the zoo, Madison provides something to do for everyone. Here is a list of activities to get you started exploring Madison!
Free destination with global wildlife
UW–Madison Geology Museum
Showcasing Wisconsin Geology
On The Lake; Music, Food, Drink
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
16 acres of indoor & outdoor gardens
Community Events, Dining, Convention Hall, Shopping
3 Floors of Interactive Exhibits
Beaches, Canoeing, Sailing, Boating, Fishing
Hiking, Sports, Picnic, Cookout
Madison is very rich in it's culinary culture and it boasts to have one of the highest restaurants per capita in the United States. You can truly have any food your taste desires! Here is a list of some of the great local cuisine Madison has to offer.
Local, Fresh, Gourmet
Award Winning Burgers
Fine Cigar Bar
Fine Dinning and cocktails
Brewer and grill
Pizza by the Slice and Salads
From Local Pastures
Italian Restaurant and Bar