Community And School Information

Whether you're buying a home, selling your home or relocating to Madison, the following information, resources and tools will help to guide your decision.

 

Community Reports

 

School Comparisons

 

A quick and easy way to find useful information about your community, nearby schools and local businesses.

 

AREA ATTRACTIONS, EVENTS, BUSINESSES AND FUN THINGS

 

Dane County Farmer's Market - Saturday morning 10 to 1 at the State Capitol- don't miss it- it's an amazing farmer's market- the biggest in the country! Make sure to try the pipin' hot cheese bread from Stella's Bakery.

 

World's Largest Brat Festival.  http://www.bratfest.com/

 

Memorial Union Terrace- Located at the university overlooking Lake Mendota, this is a place where a large mix of people hang out to grab a bite to eat, watch sailing and just people watch. Free concerts and movies occur quite commonly. http://www.union.wisc.edu/terrace/

 

The Terrace is a Madison icon. There are colored metal "union chairs"--your parents need a picture together on these. It's a Madison thing. The Terrace overlooks Lake Mendota, where they would be in the company of a real mix of people (young, old, college students, alumni) and could watch the sailing, etc http://www.union.wisc.edu/

 

Biking - Madison is known as the biking capital of the US. Rent bikes from Machinery Row (machineryrowbicycles.com), and bike the Capitol City Trail or the Southwest Trail. Maps avaiable here: www.cityofmadison.com/trafficengineering/bicycling.cfm/bikemap/bikemap.pdf

 

Rent a Canoe, Kayak, Sailboat or Windsurf - Madison is sandwiched between two large lakes. Rentals for Lake Mendota are available www.union.wisc.edu/outdoorrentals

 

Olrich Botanical Gardens - 16 acres of outdoor gardens including a Thai Pavillion and conservatory- a great place to take a stroll and relax. Free to the public! www.olbrich.org

 

Henry Vilas Zoo - Free to the public! http://www.vilaszoo.org/

 

Visit or tour the Wisconsin State Capitol - Looks like the US Capitol building, and really impressive interior. www.wisconsin.gov/state/capfacts/tour_select.html

 

Walk and Shop State Street - Lively pedestrian commercial area that ties the state capitol building to the university. A little less than a miile long. For those from California, this is Madison's version of State Street in Santa Barbara, or Telegraph in Berkeley.

This website has a lot of great information on things to do in and around Madison: http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~dyer/cvpr2003/thingstodo.html



Places to Eat

Breakfast/Brunch:

 

Sophia's Bakery - Everything is good here- save room for their pastries (especially cakes) or go just for their pastries. We love this place! www.yelp.com/biz/sophias-bakery-and-cafe-madison. Located on Johnson Street on the east side of town. Only open on the weekends unfortunately.

 

Marigolds Kitchen - Located downtown.www.marigoldkitchen.com. Yummy potatoes!

Monty's Blue Plate Diner - Located on Atwood Avenue.www.montysblueplatediner.com.

 

Lazy Jane's Bakery and Cafe - http://www.yelp.com/biz/lazy-janes-cafe-and-bakery-madison Located on Williamson Street. Yummy scones, homey place with play area upstairs- great place for kids.

 

Lunch

Cafe Soleil - amazing soups, salads and sandwiches and local ingredients. Right by the capital under L'Etoile! www.letoile-restaurant.com/cafemenu.html. Highly recommended!

 

Marigolds Kitchen - see above

 

Himal Chuli- Himalayan/Nepalese food located on State Street. http://www.yelp.com/biz/himal-chuli-restaurant-madison

 

Ian's Pizza- Try the macroni and cheese pizza! Located on State Street . http://www.ianspizza.com/

 

Mediterrean Cafe- Good cheap Greek food. http://www.yelp.com/biz/mediterranean-cafe-madison

 

Coopers Tavern- Awesome beer selection and good sandwiches, located right by the square. http://www.thecooperstavern.com/

 

Dinner

 

L'etoile - French fine dining. Definitely rated as one of the best restaurant in town- the food is really delicious, but pricey. Reservations recommended. www.letoile-restaurant.com

 

The Old Fashioned - The best of traditional Wisconsin food- you can find the staples here- beer, brats, and cheese! www.theoldfasioned.com

 

Monty's Blue Plate Diner- See above. Fun diner food and great vegetarian options. We love this place! www.montysblueplatediner.com.

 

Takumi- Great Japanese food located only a few minutes away from the hotels. Steph had the best Chirashi Sushi she's ever had here. http://www.takumirestaurant.net/

 

Sardine - Yummy bistro with a good bar and great atmosphere. A bit on the pricey side. www.sardinemadisoin.com/about.php

 

Avenue Bar - The best fish fry (fish and chips) in Madison. Reservations highly recommended if you don't want to wait for an hour. Ambiance not the best, but the fish is worth it! www.avenuebarmadison.com

 

Weary Traveler- Fun, late-night menu and bar. Awesome vegetarian options. We love this place! http://www.yelp.com/biz/weary-traveler-inc-madison

 

Restaurant Muramoto- Innovative Japanese food. People really love this place, but we thought it was okay. http://www.muramoto.biz/

 

Lao Laan-Xang- Laotian food. Steph dreams about the acorn squash curry. Two locations with one on Williamson Street and another on Atwood. Atwood is bigger but Williamson Street is better. http://www.yelp.com/biz/lao-laan-xang-restaurant-madison

 

Pizza Brutta- Located a bit further away on Monroe Street (across from Trader Joes), this place makes pizza the way so many (including me) likes it- thin crust, oven baked and simple. http://www.pizzabrutta.com/

 

 

Other Stops:

 

Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier - We are picky about our chocolate, but this definitely passes the test. Amazing chocolate and Madison made. You can find the chocolates at the chocolatier on Atwood, or at local markets (Willy St. Co-op) and shops (Fromagination). www.gailambrosius.com

 

Matcha Tea House - This is a perfect place to unwind, have a cup of tea and some cookies or a cupcake. The owners are sooo nice, and make sure to try the Thai Basil and Cardomon cookies! www.matchateahouse.com/matcha/html

 

Fromagination - Swanky cheese shop near the capital- sample cheese and bring some home! Steph's favorite is the Gran Queso. www.fromagination.com

 

Trader Joe's - For those of you who don't live near a Trader Joe's, we have one in town. It's a fun food shopping experience, because not only is everything good, but it's cheap too!

 

Michelle Hall is a full time, professional Realtor in Madison.