Madison is alive with politics, history, arts and education. This progressive, cosmopolitan city of over 220,000, is home to the seat of State government and the respected University of Wisconsin-Madison. The city has an eclectic, environment that energizes a visitor's stay. Madison offers both small town charm and a range of cultural and recreational opportunities. With four lakes and over 200 parks, it is one of the state’s most scenic and outdoor active cities. Madison has been recognized for numerous special recognitions, one of which was cited by Outside Magazine, 2005, as one of 10 "New American Dream Towns". An abundance of year-round outdoor activities for sports enthusiasts, from hiking, biking, swimming and sailing along with cross-country skiing, snow sailing, and ice fishing are the most popular.
The city was built on an isthmus between lakes Monona and Mendota. The urban culture has picturesque surrounding towns and natural beauty along with stimulating cultural offerings, distinctive restaurants and shops. The city is also noted for its large medical complexes, the Capitol building- where community activities often surround the circular complex, such as the well attended farmers market in the summer months and other cultural activities.
Amid the rolling green landscapes there are some of the state's most interesting tourist attractions. Just to the west is the Spring Green area featuring Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin estate, and the American Players Theatre. To the southwest the visitor can venture to the "mustard capital of the world" along the "trollway" of Mount Horeb, and further on, a restored Cornish miner settlement in Mineral Point. Just east is the village of Cambridge, known as the "pottery center of the Midwest. The greater Madison area is consistently ranked one of the top small cities in the US. This is in part due to the mecca of recreational opportunities. The lakes and the hundreds of miles of trails provide year-round sports and recreational fun for everyone. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a hiking trail that passes some fascinating geological formations formed by the recession of giant glaciers during the Ice Age.
The University of Wisconsin is the second largest employer in Madison and is mainly responsible for the cities title as a sports crazed city. The football stadium, Camp Randall Stadium, has a capacity of over 80,000. The Kohl Center is home to the basketball and hockey teams. The men’s and women’s hockey teams won the NCAA Division I championship and the women repeated in 2007. Go Badgers!