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Madison, Wisconsin - Overview and Essential Travel Information
by cctraveler2 at TravelPost

Madison is the capital of Wisconsin. It blends big city culture with small town charm. The city center is dominated by the State Capitol, modeled after the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Its stunning rotunda is always open to visitors. Saturday mornings from early spring to late fall, area farmers transform the Capitol Square into an open-air market. There's everything from twenty different varieties of bean sprouts to freshly made summer sausage. The people-watching is unbeatable. Directly south of the Capitol, perched on the edge of Lake Monona, is the celebrated Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. The center, completed in 1997, is based on a 1938 design by one of Wisconsin's most notable native sons, Frank Lloyd Wright.

At the opposite end of downtown sprawls the University of Wisconsin campus, a pleasant site for a leisurely stroll. Linking the Capitol and campus is a pedestrian mall dotted with interesting shopping and dining opportunities, as well as museums and galleries.

Nestled on a narrow isthmus between two lakes, Madison has been recognized as one of the country's top canoe towns by Paddler magazine, as well as one of the 10 best bicycling cities by Bicycling magazine.

The city is also a perfect jumping-off point for day trips to dozens of picturesque communities in the beautiful surrounding countryside. Appealing side trips might include the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum, Cave of the Mounds and Little Norway. But visitors always want to return to Madison where everyone feels welcome.
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