Written by: Jeff Schrader - Director of New Business Development
With the holiday season upon us many of us will be making traveling plans to go back to our hometowns and spend time with our families. A Midwest Tourist Destination and My Hometown is Madison, Wisconsin. Growing up in this Midwestern town I had lived through many Wisconsin winters. I graduated from James Madison Memorial High School, on the far west side of Madison in 1973. This summer the graduating class of 1973 celebrated our 40th high school reunion.
Coming back to Madison this past summer made me think of how much the area has changed, and that the many sights and activities that draw a very diverse group of tourists and leisure travelers to Madison at any time of the year, has grown. The greater Madison area has a population of over 560,000, and features two major institutions that drive the economy of the area: the University of Wisconsin with over 41,000 students and Madison is the State Capitol of Wisconsin.
The ‘university setting’ is a catalyst for cultural events, and sporting activities year-round in the area. Money Magazine identified Madison as the best place to live in 1996, and it has ranked near the top of the best places to live in subsequent years.
The Dane County Farmers Market is held on Saturday morning around the Capitol, and many locally owned shops line State Street which connects the State Capitol to the University of Wisconsin campus.
Of course a tour of Madison would also include Camp Randall which can accommodate over 80,000 spectators for the University of Wisconsin football games, and visitors will also want to see the Kohl Center, where the ‘Badgers’ play ice hockey and basketball in the winter.
Craft beer brewing is big business in Madison, and the City sponsors The Great Taste of the Midwest craft beer festival, established in 1987, and it is the second longest running event in North America. Local breweries in the Madison area include the Capital Brewery in Middleton, Wisconsin, and Cross Plains Beer Company, located in Cross Plains, Wisconsin, and Great Dane Brewing Company with locations in Fitchburg and Madison.
Vineyards and wineries are located close to Madison and include Wollersheim Winery located in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, near the Wisconsin River (about a 20 minute drive from the northwest side of Madison), and Botham Vineyards and Winery which is located in Barneveld, Wisconsin (about a 20 minute drive to the southwest of Madison).
Performing Arts are abundant in the area and feature the Madison Opera, Madison Symphony Orchestra, and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Many different types of architecture is on display in Madison including the Monona Terrace convention center and community center that is based on a Frank Lloyd Wright design, and the Overture Center for the Arts designed by Cesar Pelli stands on State Street near the State Capitol.
If you do find yourself visiting Madison on pleasure or business, make sure to stay at Kinseth Hospitality’s - Country Inn and Suites, located in Middleton, Wisconsin, near the interchange of Hwy 12 and University Avenue. Go to: www.countryinns.com for more information about the hotel and to check on availability.
This holiday season many of our Kinseth hotels are offering a Home for the Holidays special rate. Visit our portfolio page at www.kinseth.com/portfolio.php to see which of our hotels are near your hometown, give them a call and mention this blog post to get information on these special rates during the holidays.
Then put on your favorite sweater and enter our Ugly Sweater Facebook contest! We are giving away one free night stay at any of our Kinseth hotels for those who have enough flare to wear that sweater and post a photo of it online. Visit www.facebook.com/kinseth.hospitality for more info!
We hope you have a safe and happy holiday season!