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A local’s guide to Madison, WI


If you look closely, you can see a rainbow lens flare gracing the terrace. | Photo by 608today team

Table of Contents

The best part about being a Madisonian is knowing the ins and outs of the 608 area code. With National Tourism Day coming up on Sat., May 7, we thought it apt to rack your brain about the best things a tourist should do in Madison.

From classic super clubs like Tornado Room to a walk down Willy Street, which you really shouldn’t skip, here are 10 recommendations for tourists to do according to, well, you.


Botham Vineyards & Winery, 8180 Langberry Rd., Barneveld
Suggested by reader Sarah B., this boutique-size vineyard and winery offers regionally crafted wines accompanied by expansive outdoor spaces + a 120-year-old barn.

State Line Distillery, 1413 Northern Ct.
A hyper-local distillery using Wisconsin-sourced grains + botanicals to create a truly unique Madison drinking experience.


New Glarus Brewing Company, 2400 WI-69, New Glarus
A staple in Wisconsin brewing, NGB offers free self guided tours Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. + beer samples in the tasting room.

Wisconsin Historical Society, 30 N. Carroll St
WHS provides tours of its museum, archives + more every day. We suggest checking out A Walk on Madison’s Weird Side Walking Tour if you want to see just how weird the 608 is.

Editor’s Pick — Buff up on the troll capital of the world and take The Trollway Tour in Mt. Horeb.


The Wisconsin Centennial Mural depicts aspects of state history. | Photo by 608today team

Must see

Terrace at Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.
The city’s favorite meeting place for watching the sunset over Lake Mendota and tipping back a few brews. Pro tip: Don’t leave without a scoop of Babcock Dairy Blue Moon from Daily Scoop.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, 1207 Seminole Hwy. + Olbrich Gardens, 3330 Atwood Ave.
In an earlier newsletter we asked readers to pick between a hike at the Arboretum or a walk at Olbrich + reader Sue M. made it clear that you’d be a fool not to see both of these natural wonders.

Get active

The Great Dane Duck Blind at Warner Park, 2920 N. Sherman Ave.
Nothing beats a day at the ballpark. Except all-you-can-eat food + bottomless beverages while watching the Madison Mallards, of course.

Wingra Boats, 824 Knickerbocker St.
Take a ride on Madison’s classic duck-shaped paddle boats along Lake Wingra. Did someone say floating photo op?