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An isthmus itinerary for your out-of-town guests

Do you have guests coming to town for the holidays? We’ve put together an itinerary for the east, west, and center areas of the isthmus.

608 olbrich bolz

It’s always summer in the Bolz Conservatory. | Photo by 608today

It’s the holiday season, which means many of us are gearing up for out-of-town guests. If your in-laws are eager to check out the isthmus, but you find yourself lacking the time or energy to play tour guide, we crafted a walking-friendly itinerary for the east, west, and middle sectors of the isthmus.

On the Square

Marigold Kitchen, 118 S. Pinckney St.
We suggest hitting up Marigold on a weekday to avoid the weekend lines.

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Marigold is a must-try for breakfast enthusiasts. | Photo by 608today

Teddywedgers, 101 State St.
Try a grab-and-go breakfast pasty from this takeout spot situated at the tippy top of State Street.

Capitol tour, 2 E. Main St.
Free guided tours are offered every hour 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (excluding 12 p.m.) Monday-Saturday, and 1-3 p.m. on Sundays. You’ll spend about 45 minutes getting the inside scoop on the historic building.

The arts
Chazen Museum or Art, 800 University Ave.
Art lovers can spend hours in this museum that sprawls 176,000 sqft and has 24,000 pieces.

"Oriental Pharmacy Lunch Counter" sculpture by Adolph Rosenblatt

“Oriental Pharmacy Lunch Counter” sculpture by Adolph Rosenblatt | Photo by 608today

MMoCA, 227 State St.
Check out Federico Uribe’s “Metamorphosis” exhibit at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

James Watrous Gallery, 201 State St.
This hidden gem can be found on the top floor of the Overture Center. Enjoy the artfully intimate space inside one of Madison’s most iconic landmark buildings.

State Street:

  • Anthology, 230 State
  • Princess of India Imports, 306 State
  • Mimosa Books & Gifts, 409 State
  • Mochi, 631 State

East isthmus

Monty’s Blue Plate Diner, 2089 Atwood Ave.
A 50s-inspired vibe featuring all the classics and an ample vegan menu.

Fair Oaks Diner, 44 S. Fair Oaks Ave.
Load up on your favorite breakfast basics before hitting the town.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens, 3330 Atwood Ave
It may be cold outside, but it’s always warm inside the Bolz Conservatory.

The arts
Garver Feed Mill, 3241 Garver Green

  • Gallery | Adriana Barrios’ “Between Land and Sea” exhibit runs through Nov. 26, Public Health Mural Exhibit opens Dec. 2.
  • Glitter Workshop | Sign up for a DIY craft workshop — candle pouring, mini succulent gardens, crystal suncatchers, beaded bracelets, and more.

Atwood Avenue:

  • BarleyPop Tap and Shop, 2045 Atwood
  • Fortune Favors, 2086 Atwood
  • Earth Elements Jewelry, 2716 Atwood
  • Video Game X-Change, 3002 Atwood

West isthmus

The Curve, 653 S. Park St.
A quintessential greasy spoon serving up large portions and good coffee.

ZuZu Cafe, 1336 Drake St.
This eccentric spot offers Mediterranean specials and a colorful ambiance.

Henry Vilas Zoo, 702 S. Randall Ave.
Right across the street from ZuZu Cafe, the zoo is totally free and includes a children’s area equipped with a carousel, playground, and zoo train.

The arts
Mystery to Me, 1863 Monroe St.
Forgot your book at home? Browse the local authors section to find a new read and a Madison keepsake all-in-one.

Milward Farrell Fine Art, 2701 Monroe St.
Madisonians Gary Milward and Brian Farrell have curated a gallery featuring local, national, and international 2D, 3D, and jewelry pieces.

Monroe Street:

  • Orange Tree Imports, 1721 Monroe
  • Art Gecko, 1725 Monroe
  • The Wine & Hop Shop, 1919 Monroe
  • Good Day Shop, 1925 Monroe
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