Beer, bratwurst, and biking, in Wisconsin’s capital.

By Travel & Leisure
May 15, 2012
Bryce Richter, UW Communications

Wisconsin’s state capital is consistently ranked as one of the country’s brainiest and greenest cities. Home to the University of Wisconsin, the city has a robust population (235,000 and counting), endless outdoor activities, and some of the best arts—and brats—for miles. It’s a winning combination of laid-back and energetic that’s perfect for families.

Ella's Deli & Ice Cream Parlor

Stop at this old-fashioned shop, where families share overstuffed Reubens, fried pickles, and hot-fudge sundaes with grilled pound cake.

Hilton Madison Monona Terrace

This hotel has a pool and views of Lake Nonona—not to be confused with Lake Mendota, just across the isthmus.

State Street Brats

Hit State Street Brats for a taste of the famed local bratwurst.

Memorial Union

Do like the UW Badgers and hang out at this Italianate-style palace, with a terrace that has prime lake views.