America's Coolest College Towns
Madison, WI (University of Wisconsin)
Like oases in deserts, college towns in the Midwest can be refreshing splashes of hustle and
bustle amid the plains. The Wisconsin capital squeezes cafés, art galleries, and the
César Pelli–designed Madison Museum of Contemporary
Art onto an invigorating pedestrian-only thoroughfare. In warm weather, the museum’s roof
is the setting for concerts and films. Elsewhere are found lively neighborhood block parties, like
the Atwood Summerfest, which annually offers
rock bands on multiple stages. And there’s no shortage of aquatic fun: the city is located on
an isthmus between a pair of glittering lakes.
Local Taste: L’Etoile
Restaurant is the region’s slow-food mecca.