Local Places to See
- Dane County Farmer's Market - Saturday morning around the Capitol - a long-standing local tradition of direct-from-the-farm sales
- University of Wisconsin Geology Museum - Strong collection highlighting the local geology
- University of Wisconsin Physics Museum - A hundred years of physics demos and illuminations
- Chazen Museum of Art - Strongly curated art museum
- Madison Museum of Contemporary Art - Small museum with an eye on local, national, and international art of today, biennial is well regarded
- Memorial Union Terrace - Each evening students, locals, alumni and visitors to town come together over beer, boats, music and swimming in Lake Mendota
- Frank Lloyd Wright Homes - His home and workspace out in Spring Green is about an hour drive away, but there are several FLW homes and his final large scale project (built long after his death), the Monona Terrace on Lake Monona is located just on the far side of the Capitol on Lake Monona
- Elvis Gas Station - Elvis famously broke up a fight at a local gas station - honor the memory of the Elvis-the-peacemaker avatar by visiting and worshipping
- Federal Courthouse - I swear, it looks like it should be a movie theater
- Overture Center - Performing arts center near the Capitol and State St. - the Broadway play Anastasia is playing here during the ICRC week - Check with the Overture Box Office for tickets
- Washburn Observatory (on campus) - Public observing at the historic telescope every Summer Wednesday evening, weather permitting - the historic 15.6" Alvan Clark refractor is in excellent condition and a joy to work with
- Wednesday, July 31st, Concert on the Square with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, you can leave a blanket to reserve a viewing spot anytime after 3pm. Food vendors will be on hand. More details on the concert here.
- Spring Green - An hour west of Madison by car is the Frank Lloyd Wright museum and home at Tailesin, the pride of the State of Wisconsin, the ever mesmerizing House on the Rock (as featured in American Gods), and the American Players' Theater, an outdoor Shakespeare (and others!) plays
- Blue Mounds State Park - Forty minutes west of Madison, a relaxing state park, great for picnics and exploration
- Hunting and Fishing - The State of Wisconsin requires licenses for all non-resident hunting and fishing in the state - get your license here!
- Stoughton - Twenty minutes south of Madison is the Norwegian town of Stoughton, birthplace of the coffee break (which is also important at scientific meetings) and home to one of the last great rural midwestern opera houses
- Mount Horeb - Twenty minutes west of Madison is the US hometown of trolls. Also, a pleasant small midwestern downtown with good food, drinks (local winery and cidery), and eclectic shops
- EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) AirVenture Oshkosh: The world’s busiest airport for one week each year is located in Oshkosh, WI less than two hours north of Madison. This fly-in and airshow is 22-28 July and Oshkosh is accessible by bus, rental car, and by riding or flying there with participants (sign up on the EAA webpage). Highly recommended for any technical person regardless of level of specific airplane interest.