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.




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.


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.


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


Biking - Madison is known as the biking capital of the US. Rent bikes from Machinery Row (, and bike the Capitol City Trail or the Southwest Trail. Maps avaiable here:


Rent a Canoe, Kayak, Sailboat or Windsurf - Madison is sandwiched between two large lakes. Rentals for Lake Mendota are available


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!


Henry Vilas Zoo - Free to the public!


Visit or tour the Wisconsin State Capitol - Looks like the US Capitol building, and really impressive interior.


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:

Places to Eat



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


Marigolds Kitchen - Located Yummy potatoes!

Monty's Blue Plate Diner - Located on Atwood


Lazy Jane's Bakery and Cafe - Located on Williamson Street. Yummy scones, homey place with play area upstairs- great place for kids.



Cafe Soleil - amazing soups, salads and sandwiches and local ingredients. Right by the capital under L'Etoile! Highly recommended!


Marigolds Kitchen - see above


Himal Chuli- Himalayan/Nepalese food located on State Street.


Ian's Pizza- Try the macroni and cheese pizza! Located on State Street .


Mediterrean Cafe- Good cheap Greek food.


Coopers Tavern- Awesome beer selection and good sandwiches, located right by the square.




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


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


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


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


Sardine - Yummy bistro with a good bar and great atmosphere. A bit on the pricey side.


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!


Weary Traveler- Fun, late-night menu and bar. Awesome vegetarian options. We love this place!


Restaurant Muramoto- Innovative Japanese food. People really love this place, but we thought it was okay.


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.


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.



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).


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!


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


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.