5 REASONS TO VISIT MADISON
Why is Madison one of the best places to live in America? For starters, the lively Wisconsin capital is surrounded by five picturesque lakes making it a naturally beautiful city with ample outdoor activities. In fact, Madison was also recently named the greenest city in America, a ranking that took into account Madison's 200 miles of hiking and biking trails. It's a vibrant cultural hub of art, music and food, playing host to the Great Taste of the Midwest—which celebrates Madison's thriving art and craft beer scene. These are our top 5 Reasons to Visit Madison:
1. THE GARDENS
Madison, Wisconsin is home to not one, but two botanical gardens. Located along the shoreline of Lake Monona, Olbrich Botanical Gardens was the 1916 vision of its founder, Michael Olbrich, a lawyer, politician, and conservationist. Stroll 16 acres of outdoor gardens such as the Perennial Garden, Sunken Garden, Herb Garden, Rose Garden—featuring stunning landscapes and Midwest-hardy plants. Inside the Bolz Conservatory ($2 fee), a sunny 50-foot-high glass pyramid, discover a collection of tropical plants (banana, coffee and vanilla), a rushing waterfall, free-flying birds and blooming orchids. Admission to the gardens is free to the public.
Over at the Allen Centennial Garden, experience an artful living laboratory and public botanical garden of the Horticulture Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The garden is built around a stately Victorian gothic house nestled on the agricultural campus. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, “Lake Dormer” was one of the first buildings on the agricultural campus and served as home for the college's first four deans. Admission is free to the public.
2. THE ARTS
For classic and traditional art head over to the Chazen Museum of Art, where every year, the Chazen organizes and presents between ten and twelve temporary exhibitions. These may be drawn from significant areas of the museum's own collection, designed to showcase the work of a notable living regional or national artist or loaned to the museum from institutions around the world. When the museum opened in 1970, the collection of 1,600 paintings and works on paper had been acquired by the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1885. Today, there are over 20,000 works of art in the museum's collections. These holdings represent the entire spectrum of art history across culture, period, media, and genre. Admission is free to the public.
For modern masterpieces, visit the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. The State Street Gallery is directly off of the museum lobby, the Henry Street Gallery showcases a rotating selection from the Museum's collections and the main galleries are the largest exhibition space—located up the stunning glass stairway, on the second floor. Also on the second floor, is the Imprint Gallery, which provides an immersive environment for artwork based on film or sound. In addition to these galleries, MMoCA displays art in the lobby and in the Rooftop Sculpture Garden. Admission is free to the public.
3. THE COCKTAILS
Located within the walls of the The Hilton Madison Monona Terrace lies Madison’s most inspiring new restaurant. Named after Audrey Munson, "America's first supermodel," Audrey Kitchen + Bar is the perfect spot to snuggle up in an oversized banquette and sample a few shareables with friends. As for craft cocktails, you’ll want to try the MUSE—a stellar combination of Milagro silver tequila, Ouzo #12, Chambord, fresh squeezed lime and ginger.
At Audrey Kitchen + Bar, art doesn’t just live on the walls, it comes to life on plates large and small, and within the confines of your cocktail glass.
From their patron muse, to your amuse-bouche, your only worry is what you’ll nosh on next. Hungry yet?
Guests of The Hilton Madison Monona Terrace’s Audrey Kitchen + Bar enjoy complimentary valet parking.