If you are a cold weather sports enthusiast, then Madison offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy these pastimes from December to March. However, the most popular time to book flights to Madison is during June, July and August, when various festivals such as the Rhythm and Boom musical fireworks show take place, and this is when accommodation is a little more expensive, partly due to the U.S. schools summer holidays. The city is located in a temperate climate zone, and the seasons are distinct. The weather can be unpredictable in March to May and September to November.
Madison, the picturesque and friendly capital of the state of Wisconsin, is located on an isthmus between the Mendota and Menona lakes. As well as easy access to some lovely countryside, the city offers good shopping, lots of music, an active theatre community and many excellent restaurants. There are numerous hiking and biking trails in the vicinity, and during the colder months from December to March there’s plenty of opportunities for ice skating, snow-kiting, ice fishing and cross-country skiing. Madison is also noted for its fine cultural heritage. World class museums within the city include the UW Geology Museum and an award winning children’s museum. The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra often stage open air performances in the impressive surrounding of Capitol Square. A tour of the State Capitol building, with its magnificent granite dome, is well worth taking. A day out that all the family can enjoy is at the Henry Vilas Zoo, where the admission is free. Here there are over 800 animals, a superb primate exhibit and an outstanding tropical rain forest aviary. Regarded as the city’s favourite landmark, Memorial Union Terrace offers live music, films and theatre performances by the lakefront, plus art galleries and a wide selection of outdoor recreation. Much of the outdoor activities in Madison centre on the five lakes in and around the city. There are over a dozen beaches, great waterfront dining and a host of water sports options, including boat, kayak and canoe rentals. A natural national landmark, the Cave of the Mounds, with its stunning natural rock and mineral formations, is definitely worth a visit.
For getting around in the city, the Madison Metro Transit is a very popular and efficient public transportation system offering reasonably priced fares. Madison has four major taxi companies, available on an appointment only basis. However, as Madison is a very bicycle friendly city, you might wish to take advantage of the Madison B-Cycle bike sharing scheme, which has thirty five stations throughout the city. An excellent way to become familiar with the layout of the city and to learn all about its history is to take the two-hour, 25-mile (40 km) City Highlights Tour. The six passenger minivans allow for plenty of personal attention.
The Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) is the nearest to Madison. Taxis are reasonably priced for the 6-mile (9.5 km) journey to the city centre. The closest international airport is General Mitchell, located 85 miles (137 km) away in Milwaukee. Taxi, shuttle and bus transport is available.