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Visitors to Madison, Wisconsin, may notice the chilly winter temperatures, but residents really know how to heat things up. Famous art and architecture, lauded outdoor gardens, and passionate sports fans get things cooking in this Midwestern town. Inspiration can be found in many places in Madison. The Chazen Museum of Art displays paintings by Sonntag, sculpture by Rodin, and drawings by Pevsner. Modern tastes can browse more than 5,000 pieces at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Architecture fans can also tour the State Capitol, which boasts the only granite dome in the U.S., or make the short drive to Frank Lloyd Wright's home. The house, named Taliesin, is considered the source and "sketchpad" for the man's famous creations. Those who want to head outside can see bison, prairie dogs, and badgers living together at the Henry Vilas Zoo, or wander through the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, one of the best in North America. Madison is also located near five lakes, making it a perfect location for water sports and activities during the summer months. The city may be located in America's Dairyland, but don't look for any cheeseheads here. The University of Wisconsin-Madison's Badgers football is the hometown team. In the off season, tourists can become part of the more than one million fans who have cheered on the Madison Mallards baseball team. Dane County Regional Airport sees more than 100 daily arrivals and departures, so finding flights to Madison should be an easy task from most cities.

When To Go

Madison is a year-round destination with many indoor and outdoor events and attractions. The most popular times to visit are the summer and fall, when the weather is warm and sunny. The spring can also be a pleasant time. The winter sees the fewest visitors, because of cold and snowy weather, but prices drop and many people still visit for recreational activities like snow sailing and ice fishing.

high season: June to mid--October
low season: lateNovember to May
shoulder season: May to June, mid-October to mid--November

Weather Information

Madison experiences four seasons. Summers can be warm, with average highs in the low 80s. Spring and fall see mild temperatures, peaking in the 60s and 70s. Winters can bring chilly weather, with heavy snow and highs in the 20s and 30s.

Crowd Information

The city rarely gets crowded, but the summer and fall tend to be the busiest times to travel.

Closure Information

Hotels, shops, and attractions remain open year-round.

When to Save

Madison is an affordable destination year-round, with packages available in the spring and winter. Spring getaways are available from mid-March through early May, while winter getaways are offered from early December through mid-February.

When to Book

Visitors with flexible travel plans can take advantage of low last-minute airfares. However, those with a set schedule should book flights at least three weeks in advance to obtain lower prices and ensure availability, especially for travel during the high season. Last-minute lodging is available most of the year, but it's wise to book at least two to three months in advance for visits during the high season, conventions, or popular events to ensure availability.

Information provided by the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau