Things to do in Madison

Explore our lovely campus …

Scenic shores of Lake Mendota to the north. Robust wildlife of the Arboretum to the south. In between, you’ll find 936 bustling acres that Badgers call home.

Photo of the Memorial Union Terrace
Our Memorial Union Terrace—a popular campus gathering spot—during an evening movie showing. The Terrace is a great place to grab a beer and popcorn and chat with friends or colleagues.

Built on an isthmus, UW–Madison and the city of Madison seamlessly blend together, creating opportunities and an atmosphere unlike any other campus. When visiting, you can immerse yourself in campus life at lively venues such Union South, the Memorial Union, and State Street. And you can always find serenity at our treasured natural areas, including the Lakeshore Path and Picnic Point. Each campus visit is unique. Get ready to start yours!

Here are some of our more popular campus destinations:

 

In a view seen from Bascom Hill, pedestrians walk up State Street, a vibrant street known for its people-watching opportunities, unique restaurants and shops. On the horizon is the Wisconsin State Capitol building.
In a view seen from Bascom Hill, pedestrians walk up State Street, a vibrant street known for its people-watching opportunities, unique restaurants and shops. On the horizon is the Wisconsin State Capitol building.

Wander downtown, or beyond …

Do you know there are more than 300 downtown Madison restaurants and shops? With a population of more than 240,000, Madison offers the perfect combination of natural beauty, stimulating cultural offerings, distinctive restaurants and shops, and vibrant nightlife.

If you want to know what’s going on in Madison, pick up a free Isthmus weekly newspaper … or better yet, check its online calendar of events and make plans!

You will find fabulous, diverse, eclectic locally owned restaurants throughout Madison—and in particular, on State Street and around our Capitol Square. Locate a few to try here.