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Summer weekend trip

Indianapolis...
Level Contributor
2 posts
4 reviews
Summer weekend trip

I've got some time off coming up this June - a long weekend, basically. I live in central Indiana and was looking for a weekend getaway in driving distance. Madison showed up a few times on some online searches I did. It would be about a 5 hour drive from where I live.

My plan would be to leave on a Thursday evening, stay over through the weekend and drive back on Sunday. So two full days.

Things I'm interested in: Shopping, especially gifts, housewares, art, etc. Specialty foods, especially chocolate. I read articles that said Madison has some really good chocolatiers. Museums, parks & gardens.

Just wanted to get the community's thoughts on whether it's worth a 5 hour drive to spend two days there. There are closer cities to where I live, but I've heard good things about Madison and never been.

Madison Bead Company
Gift & Speciality Shops
Classy Glass
Gift & Speciality Shops
State Street & Downtown Madison
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
507 posts
70 reviews
1. Re: Summer weekend trip

Based on what you mentioned, the outdoor farmer's market along capitol square on Saturday morning alone would make it worth your drive- shopping, specialty food and art. Also along the capitol square will be restaurants, other food stores and shopping- Fromagination comes to mind as a fantastic cheese store. State street will have a lot of interesting shops. You would also like visiting the chocolatier (Maurice's) and other shops like Orange tree imports on Monroe Street.

We have two smaller but free art museums- Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and the Chazen. People who enjoy architecture like to tour the Capitol and Monona Terrace.

The Obrich has both indoor and outdoor gardens and is close to an amazing Chocolatier- Gail Ambrosious. The Arboretum is a large park and worth a visit.

Although not on your list, a visit to the Memorial Union to have a beverage or ice cream is a Madison experience that shouldn't be missed.

So yes, you will have no problem filling 2 days with what you like to do!

Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1,146 posts
37 reviews
2. Re: Summer weekend trip

I really can't add much to wahoowahuvahoo's excellent suggestions. But if you do add a campus/Memorial Union visit to your plan, the Allen Centennial Gardens are a pleasant smallish garden to stroll on campus: https://allencentennialgarden.org/visit.php

Indianapolis...
Level Contributor
2 posts
4 reviews
3. Re: Summer weekend trip

Sounds good! Much obliged :)

I'll peruse the hotel listings and start considering reservations then

West Bend...
Level Contributor
21 posts
4. Re: Summer weekend trip

I would include the Farmers Market, stroll through the Arboretum and the zoo.

Dodgeville...
Level Contributor
5 posts
16 reviews
5. Re: Summer weekend trip

Some solid suggestions here. The only thing I can add is that the people of Madison can be rather rude. Don't let it bother you, it's just the way they are.

Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
507 posts
70 reviews
6. Re: Summer weekend trip

My opinion is rather different than User's. I have lived on both coasts and another midwestern city and I have found Madison to be the friendliest place I've lived.

Also, since your post I have been paying more attention when I walk around downtown and there are more chocolate shops around the capitol square and state street than I originally thought.

I would recommend staying in the capitol square/state street area so you can get around on foot a lot.

Edited: 01 May 2017, 17:57
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1,146 posts
37 reviews
7. Re: Summer weekend trip

Don't know if it would fit your budget, but there was an article in the paper this week about the new AC Hotel (Marriott) opening just off the Capitol Square, which should be a fabulous location from what I've seen. (…madison.com/wsj/business/downtown-s-new-ac-…)

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Madison
Level Contributor
1,326 posts
33 reviews
8. Re: Summer weekend trip

I too am a bit taken aback by the comments that Madison people are rude. It was not my experience of over 19 years of living there. I found helpful and friendly.

I think everyone's named the best places for chocolate and food. I'd recommend trying to stay downtown. Madison's downtown is made for walking.

Virginia
Level Contributor
4 posts
5 reviews
9. Re: Summer weekend trip

If you are driving from central Indiana to Madison the best route to consider is 74 W from Indianapolis to Bloomington. At Bloomington go north on 39 through Rockford to Madison. We drive from DC to Madison every summer and the around Chicago routes are always conjested and make the trip longer than necessary.

10. Re: Summer weekend trip

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