Last weekend, Eric and I decided to take advantage of the long holiday weekend by planning a road trip to Madison, Wisconsin to do what we do best – adventure, travel, and be ridiculous together.
All week we asked friends and co-workers who went to the University of Wisconsin for their must-dos and favorite spots. I always check out other blogs and Trip Advisor for recommendations too.
We had such a fun time and felt like we covered an awesome spread of stuff, so I wanted to put together a quick travel guide of spots I recommend if you ever find yourself in Madison or are nearby in need of a mini-vacay!
What To Eat
Dane County Farmers’ Market // This huge market is amazing! Tables are set up all along the perimeter of Wisconsin’s capital square, with foot traffic heading all in one direction. Eric and I stuffed our faces with more cheese samples than I thought possible.
Everyone said this was a must-do, and I 100% see why. Fun Fact: This is the largest producers-only farmer’s market in the country – meaning those who made created the product are standing behind the table.
Stella’s Hot & Spicy Cheesy Bread // OMG. This stuff is outta this world. A huge loaf of the softest, most flavorful and delicious smelling cheese bread…that Eric and I may or may not have eaten as our meal for the entire day just between us too. You cannot go to Madison and not try this treat.
Old Fashioned’s Cheese Curds // Like I said, we ate a lot of bread and cheese – but don’t worry, we semi-redeem ourselves with a hike (more below). This restaurant was listed as a top place to grab some of these famous bites. The other food was probably just okay, but totally worth the visit for the curds.
Marigold Kitchen // Such a killer brunch spot, friends. Loved the order at the counter, then pick your spot, oh-so-relaxed vibes. You could most definitely taste fresh ingredients and there were wild flowers on every table. The limitless coffee from Colectivo was sooooo good!
Colectivo // Same coffee mentioned above, we went to their two beautiful locations around town over the course of our stay! Great teas, coffee, bakery, and café type foods. We picked up breakfast here on our way out.
The Daily Scoop // Another must – directly linked to The Terrace below! The University of Wisconsin agriculture students actually make this ice cream and it is SO YUM. Like some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had without a doubt. I got strawberry and mint chocolate chip, even the scoops looked beautiful.
What To Do
Tour the Capital // Easy to do right after the market! Anyone can walk in and look around. You can even go to the very top observation deck. The state mammal and university mascot, the badger, is sculpted above the Supreme Court door, and that made me really happy. Then, you can stroll down State Street and hop shops all the way to the University at the other end of downtown.
University of Wisconsin // We didn’t do much on campus, but we did walk around and snap a few photos! It seemed to have so much history and there were some beautiful buildings. I stomped around pretending to be alumni J.J. Watt, my NFL crush/our favorite Houston Texan’s player.
THE TERRACE // This was our favorite spot in town. A big terrace filled with friends and families enjoying beers, brats, and scoops in the sun. There’s the prettiest view of the lake! Saturday afternoon there was a DJ, and Sunday when State Street seemed like a ghost town, the Terrace was poppin’. Make sure to try the famous brew only sold in Wisconsin – Spotted Cow. Bonus: you can rent boardgames to play!
Where to Venture Outside of Town
Wollersheim Winery & Distillery // I was really hoping to tour a winery over the holiday since there are so many throughout the Midwest! Wollersheim is family-owned and has received several awards. The winery tour, including a tasting, is just $5! Additional tastings also just $5. Can’t beat that. (3o min. away)
Devil’s Lake & State Park // Eric really wanted to get in some nature time, so this was perfect and just a half hour from the winery. There were lots of people out on the huge web of trails, grilling along the water, and playing in the lake. We hiked about 2.5 miles – burning some cheese calories I hope! (1 hour away)
Whew, that was a pretty packed list, folks! Hope this inspires you to visit to this sweet little college town, and eat your weight in all their delicious treats.
Did I miss something? Fill me in with a comment!