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  • Overview

    The capital of Wisconsin and home of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison is a small city bursting with vibrancy and progressiveness. It has the same abundance of youthful energy and innovation combined with the richness in arts, culture, and history that make college towns such beguiling destinations.

    Nowhere are all these attributes more prominently on display than State Street, an outdoor pedestrian mall anchored by the stunning Wisconsin State Capitol building at one end and the university campus at the other.

    State Street is a picturesque walkway packed with eclectic boutiques, sidewalk cafes, coffee shops, ethnic restaurants, rare booksellers, and arts and theatre venues. The lovely Capitol Square at the top of the street is the site of popular community events, including art fairs and food festivals, Saturday farmers' markets, and evening chamber orchestra concerts.

    Nearby neighbourhoods Mansion Hill and University Heights abound with architectural sights, from imposing sandstone mansions to designs by Frank Lloyd Wright and other Prairie School masters. Madison, however, has yet another advantage with which to lure travellers: beautiful scenery.

    Situated on an isthmus between Lakes Monona and Mendota, the greenest city in the nation is surrounded by three more lakes, an extensive range of parkland, and the spectacular UW-Madison Arboretum, a 1,260-acre research centre featuring the oldest and most varied collection of restored ecological communities in the world.

    It is open to the public for hiking, biking, skiing, and snowshoeing. Sailing, boating, swimming, and ice fishing are also highly popular sports in the area. This proximity to the great outdoors, along with Madison's many other charms, has been a key factor in the city consistently being ranked among the country's top places to live, work, play, and raise a family.

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    Madison has a humid continental climate. Summers are warm and pleasant, with highs around 82°F (28°C), though thunderstorms can be frequent. Winters can be bitterly cold, sometimes dropping as low as 10°F (-12°C) in January, and snow is common and plentiful throughout the season. Tornado season is from March to June, and the wettest month of the year is August.

    Dane County Regional Airport
    Location: The airport is located five miles (8km) northeast of Madison.
    Time: GMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
    Getting to the city: The Madison Metro Transit System Route 20 bus runs to the airport every 30 minutes on weekdays, and every 60 minutes in the evenings and on weekends and holidays. Travellers going to downtown Madison should take the westbound bus marked 'Route 20 - North Transfer Point', while those heading east can take the bus marked 'Route 20 - East Towne Mall'. Many hotels in Madison offer complimentary shuttle transfers from the airport.
    Car Rental: Car hire companies operating from the airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National. Car rental desks are located in the baggage claim area.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are located at Door 7, at the north end of the baggage claim area. Taxi companies operating in the area include Green Cab, Badger Cab, Union Cab, and Madison Taxi. Ride-hailing apps like Lyft also operate out of Dane County Airport.
    Fascilities: Airport facilities include a business centre and conference rooms, massage services, a first aid station, information desks, pet relief areas, baby-changing and breast-feeding facilities, a family lounge, newsstands, souvenir shops, restaurants and bars, and public phones. Disabled services are available.
    Parking Short and long-term parking is located directly across from the terminal, while the economy lot is roughly a ten-minute walk away. The first 15 minutes are free in the Hourly (Ramp) Lot, then $1 for 30 minutes, $2 for 60 minutes, $3 for 90 minutes and $4 for two hours. Thereafter, parking is $2 per hour with a $16 daily limit. Daily rates are $10 in the Long Term (Ramp) Lot, $8 per day in the Surface Lot, and $6 per day in the Economy Lot.

    Useful Contacts:

    The Madison Metro Transit System is a good way to get around the city, although coverage is spotty in some neighbourhoods farther from the centre of town. Visitors planning to regularly travel outside of the city centre will find that hiring a car is the easiest way to get around.

    Drivers unaccustomed to snowy conditions should note that the roads can be treacherous in the winter and so taxis may be a better choice. However, they must be booked by phone. Ride-hailing apps, such as Lyft and Uber, operate in the area.

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