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- 17 Dec 2019, 3 nights
- 2 Guests
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As potentially the friendliest place in the USA, days spent in Madison, Wisconsin might have a bit of extra sparkle. It's ranked as one of the best small cities in America, and has also been awarded the titles of the country's nicest, fittest and greenest city. Foodies can explore its agricultural roots at the historic food markets, while outdoor enthusiasts have lakes, parklands and more than 300km of cycle routes and hiking trails to play on. Wander the diverse neighbourhoods discover the architectural gems and university culture of this liberally minded city.
Madison hostels are more than just a place to drop your bags. Many have handy extras like kitchens and laundry rooms, as well as budget-friendly freebies including Wi-Fi, linen and towels. You'll find plenty of shared spaces for socialising, including outdoor terraces for barbecues and common rooms with TVs. Stay in a comfortable and colourful Madison hostel that's close to lively pubs and has its own on-site café for handy snacks.
From bookish to bohemian, Madison's neighbourhoods have their own characters and quirks. The eclectic and innovative Atwood neighbourhood is full of ethnically diverse restaurants, specialty stores and colourful shops. Its neighbouring Williamson-Marquette district, aka Willy Street, has a hippie spirit. There's a range of cuisine-specialist restaurants (from Laotian to Cajun) and music lovers will be in their element at its summer music festivals. In the city's oldest district, Downtown, you'll find the historic Capital Building and a cosmopolitan collection of dining and entertainment venues.
Madison has plenty of things to do and places to see. Rent a canoe, kayak or boat and explore the area's five lakes or stroll through the museums and galleries on 'Museum Mile'. Monona Terrace, a building by Frank Lloyd Wright, has a rooftop café with water views and offers events like free yoga. If music is your thing, get involved in outdoor concerts and themed party nights in front of Majestic Theatre.
The closest airport is Madison Dane County Regional Airport, with Chicago Rockford (112km) and Milwaukee General Mitchell (136km) also within reach. There are local buses running from Madison's airport to Downtown every 30 minutes (hourly on weekends). Buses to the city from Milwaukee and Chicago take 2 and 4 hours respectively. In the centre, Madison Metro Bus system has a network of routes covering the city. You can also make the most of visiting this bicycle-friendly community and get around on two wheels.