Madison, Wisconsin:

Madison encompasses all of the perks of a big city - world-class entertainment and dining, college sporting events, endless outdoor activity options - but it has the soul and feel of a small Wisconsin town. You will never run out of things to do, but you will quickly feel at home. Whether you settle down in the city or in one of its quaint, nearby suburbs, you are never more than a short drive away from the hum of the city, a peaceful hike, and a swim or a cruise on one of the area's four main lakes.  

Big city perks, small-town feel

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We're Dominic and Ellie, founders of The 608 Team.

With our RE/MAX collection office located in the heart of Madison, we live right in the community that we serve. We are proud to bring you the best that Madison has to offer. 

We compiled the best highlights of Madison in this guide, but there is so much more to the city than could ever be summarized in a book. Please reach out to us if you would like to explore Madison from the perspective of people who have loved living here for decades. We would love to show you around! 

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Dane County is Wisconsin's fastest-growing county, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.. The Madison area attracts young professionals starting their careers, seasoned medical professionals transferring to UW Hospitals, business people and entrepreneurs, and families looking for an active community. 

Fastest growing area in WI

Plenty of housing options

Housing opportunities in Dane County are increasing at the same rate as the population. Vibrant communities are expanding in the city's suburbs and surrounding areas, giving newcomers plenty of living options to choose from.  

what you'll find in madison:

Big city, small town

As Madison grows, its residents will still rave about how everything in the city remains so accessible. Nearly every city perk is within a 30-minute drive, and bike paths reach every nook and cranny. Madison offers the culture, diversity and options of a big city, but the lifestyle of a small town. 

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Lake Life

You can't visit Madison without noticing its lakes. Situated on an isthmus between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, with more lakes within a short drive, Madison boasts of a humming lake life year round. For those who don’t have a means of transport on the water, boat rental shops are open daily in the summer. In a few quick paddles, you'll be kayaking on Lake Monona, in front of the Madison skyline. 

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Madison is well known for its accessible bike paths. In fact, it has continually ranked in the top 10 “Best Cities for Biking” nationwide by People For Bikes. You can bike from one end of Madison to the other, from a suburb right to the downtown Capitol Square, or even to towns far beyond the city limits on paved biking trails.  


Madison is closely surrounded by hundreds of miles of hiking trails. Dane County is home to segments of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, one of the few National Scenic Trails in the country. There are over 100 miles of hiking trails in Dane County Parks alone!  


Outdoor Living

Madison Landmarks

The Capitol Square, home of Wisconsin's state capitol building, is the heart of the city. The block is lined with restaurants, shops, museums and other businesses. One of the most popular summer events is the Dane County Farmers’ Market. Every Saturday from April through November, vendors line the Capitol Square in America’s largest producers-only farmers’ market. Fresh vegetables, fruit, flowers, cheese curds and baked goods are just some of the weekly finds at the market. The Square is also home to huge annual events like the Art Fair on the Square, Taste of Madison, and Concerts on the Square.

Capitol Square

the heart of madison



At the heart of local business and nightlife in Madison is State Street, a pedestrian only zone that connects UW-Madison with the Capitol Square. Unique local shops, popular coffee houses, bars and restaurants line the street.  

Other popular local shopping districts include: Monroe Street, Willy Street, Atwood Ave, downtown Middleton, Verona and Sun Prairie, Hilldale Shopping Center 

State Street


madison's most famous street


World-famous shows, performers, comedians, musicians and speakers cycle through the area year round. The Overture Center for the Arts features seven state-of-the-art performance spaces and five galleries where Broadway tours, national and international touring artists and other shows perform year-round. Performers also stop at other downtown venues, such as the Orpheum Theater, The Sylvee, Breese Stevens Field, the Alliant Energy Center, and Comedy on State. 

The Overture Center

world-famous shows



In the heart of every Wisconsin sports fan, right up there with the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers are the University of Wisconsin Badgers. The D1 Badgers are the heart and soul of Madison sports. From football games at Camp Randall Stadium to basketball and hockey games at the Kohl Center, a sea of red and white fills downtown Madison and the UW campus on the weekends. 

Madison is also home to professional soccer team Forward Madison FC, and summer collegiate baseball team Madison Mallards. Both teams provide a fun, family atmosphere at their games at Breese Stevens Field and Warner Park.

UW-Madison + Camp Randall

the home of bucky badger



Madison’s University Ridge Golf Course is home of the annual PGA Tour American Family Insurance Championship. There are tons of opportunities to hit the links yourself. Golf is one of the most popular summer activities in the area. There are 11 golf courses within Madison, and nearly 30 more within 20 miles of the city. 

University Ridge Golf Course

a favorite summer pastime



It’s no secret that it gets cold in Wisconsin, but thankfully the annual snowfall and generally mild winter temperatures create the ideal environment for winter sports and activities. Madison is intertwined with miles of cross country ski and snowshoeing trails, and surrounded by a number of downhill ski resorts. The lakes and ponds provide ample opportunities for ice skating and ice fishing, and summer mountain bike trails convert nicely into fat tire biking trails. 

Ski hills and trails

ski, snowshoe, skate, ice fish

Winter life


Madison, WI schools and universities

There are more than 15 public school districts in the Madison area, including the state’s second largest district, the Madison Metropolitan School District. MMSD serves over 27,000 students in 52 schools across the city. According to U.S. News and World Report, Madison’s high schoolers rank in the top 25 among U.S. students for college readiness. 

Madison’s suburbs are also home to highly acclaimed school districts, such as the Middleton-Cross Plains district and Verona Area School District, with its new, state of-the-art, $150 million high school. 

There are also dozens of private schools in the Madison area, including Montessori schools, International Baccalaureate programs, and faith-based programs. Edgewood Campus School is a private Catholic school located near the UW campus and downtown Madison. Madison Country Day School, located in the suburb of Waunakee, is Dane County’s only independent, private Pre-K-12 school. It also offers the Madison area’s only International Baccalaureate program. 

Madison is of course home to the University of Wisconsin, the state’s oldest and largest public university, as well as Edgewood College and Madison Area Technical College.


explore by neighborhood

Get to know Madison on a deeper level! Explore the unique personalities that give our city its lively and cultural energy by browsing our featured neighborhoods and suburbs.


Madison neighborhoods and suburbs

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