(608) 238-2981

The Beauty of Our Neighborhood

We offer one hour of FREE CANOEING or KAYAKING on Lake Wingra, Memorial Weekend through late-September, as well as mountain bikes for your use. REI (7483 West Towne Way, 833-6680) has cross-country skis and snow shoe rentals - the Arboretum serves as a winter wonderland.

We're fortunate to be in a neighborhood that has so many activities within walking distance. If you're looking for a brief walk (10-15 minutes), there is an unmarked path across Monroe Street, left of the cross walk. Along this path of the UW Arboretum, you'll discover birds, natural springs, an old boardwalk and an oak savanna. A second walking path is across Monroe Street right off the inn. The Southwest Bike Path is great for walking, biking or jogging.

Odana Hills and Glenway are public golf courses within blocks of the inn. Nakoma is a private course. Monroe Street offers the city's best blend of shops, restaurants and homes. There is a retail district just left of the inn five blocks and another ten blocks left on Monroe.

Our Favorite Things to Do

  1. The UW Arboretum, any season. Winter skiing, spring lilacs and bird watching, summer canoeing and fall hiking.
  2. Biking. Madison is the 4th best city to bike in America.
  3. Memorial Union for a glimpse of student life and relaxing on the terrace.
  4. The Farmer's Market on the Capital Square. April through early November, Saturdays 6 am to 1 pm.
  5. Monona Terrace is a great gathering place.
  6. State Street's pedestrian mall with 150 shops and restaurants.
  7. Olbrich Gardens featuring beautiful rose perennial, woodland and herb gardens.
  8. Concerts on the Square. Madison Chamber Orchestra's free performance Wednesday evenings through mid-summer.
  9. Take in the culture. Check out the Isthmus in your room for program listings at the Overture Center for symphony, repertory, and other events.
  10. Picnic Point. One of Madison's best picnicking spots located right on Lake Mendota.

When It Rains

  1. Museums. The State Historical Museum, the Children's Museum and the Veteran's Museum are all at the State Capitol end of State Street. Art lovers will enjoy the Chazen Museum of Art and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.
  2. Take a tour of the State Capitol modeled after the nation's Capitol.
  3. Browse one of Madison's many bookstores.
  4. Olbrich Gardens Bolz Conservatory. For a mere dollar, you can leave the rain behind and step into the lush environment of the conservatory.
  5. Dodge the rain drops by going store to store on Monroe Street. There are two retail districts within our mile-long street. Finish with a latte at Victor Allens.
  6. Enjoy a steaming cup of love at Crescendo Espresso Bar and Café on Monroe Street.
  7. Find an inspiring book in our Environmental Resource Center and curl up in front of one of our wood-burning fireplaces.
  8. Play chess, cribbage, cards, or a board game. Sip some tea while outsmarting your opponent.
  9. Take in a movie. Check the Isthmus or one of the other newspapers for times. Market Square, West Towne, Point and AMC Star Fitchburg are all in our area. Robert Redford's Sundance Cinema in the Hilldale Mall, whcich is less than two miles from the inn, is the first of its kind in the country.
  10. Borrow one of our umbrellas (just inside the Annex) for a walk in the rain. 


Madison has an abundance of quality dining establishments. And dining out is one of our favorite past times. Here are a few of our recommendations:

A special night out...

Heritage Tavern 131 E Mifflin St. 283-9500. They transform basics like cod and duck to culinary excellence in an atmosphere that is modern and beautiful.

L'Etoile 1 S. Pickney St. (downtown) 251-0500. This restaurant has been featured in many major culinary magazines. Memorable, sustainable, organic, gourmet cuisine with a great view of the Capitol.

Harvest 21 N. Pinckney St. (downtown) 255-6075. Sustainable food and nearly downstairs from L'Etoile. American & French cuisine. Quiet and well-lit with the most attractive servers in Madison..

Osteria Papavero 128 E. Wilson St. 255-8376. Service is exceptional.

Sushi Muramoto 546 Midvale Blvd. Hilldale Mall 441-1090. Japanese, raw specialities. Pick up a treat from David Bacco Chocolates (233-1600) next door.

Nostrano 111 S. Hamilton St. (downtown) 395-3295. Farm to table, creative Italian and Mediterrean combinations.

Places we frequent...

Whole Foods 3313 University Ave. (near west) 233-9566. This grocer's deli offers healthy choices for dine-in or take-out.

Graze 1S. Pickney St. 251-2700 - L'Etoilie's thrifty little sister.

Cooper's Tavern 20 West Mifflin Street 256-1600. Pub food, downtown, you’ll find our family dinning in "the snug."

Brocach 7 W. Main St. 255-2015. A true Irish Pub located on the capital square.

Lombardino's 2500 University Ave. (near west) 238-1922. As best said by one of our frequent guests, "It's the best dining value in town." Close by and delicious.

Weary Traveler 1201 Williamson St. 442-6207. Locally sourced foods. International cuisine served in a welcoming environment. Great late night menu.

If it's fresh fish you want...

It must be Sardine 617 Williamson St. (downtown) 441-1600. The bright lights and big city conversations remind us of a San Francisco eatery.

Tempest Oyster Bar 120 E. Wilson St. (downtown) 258-1443 Sleek and sustainable with a tempting happy hour.

Blue Marlin 101 N. Hamilton (downtown) 255-2255. Bustling with good conversations and great seafood.

A steak would be great...

Johnny Delmonico's 130 S. Pickney (downtown) 257-8325. Currently the "it" place for steaks, has a retro atmosphere.

Tornado Steakhouse 116 S. Hamilton 256-3570. A gritty, old-fashioned atmosphere but they really deliver on the steaks.

Delaney's 449 Grand Canyon Dr. (west) 833-7337. Mile high pile of onion rings. Choice prime rib.

Fleming's Steakhouse and Wine Bar 750 N. Midvale Blvd At Hilldale Mall 233-9550. You could skip the entrée and have an over the top martini and the lobster tempura appetizer.

Strolling down State Street, our favorites include...

Casa de Lara 341 State St. 251-7200. Casual Mexican cuisine.

Wasabi (Japanese) 449 State St. 255-5020

Takara (Japanese) 315 State St. 268-0188. For great sushi or hibachi grill.

Himal Chuli 318 State St. 251-9225. Tasty Nepalese foods and great atmosphere.

For a local pub that you can walk to and watch a game...

The Laurel Tavern 2505 Monroe St. (neighborhood) 233-1043. Late night eats, when most other places are closed. Good to watch a game in a classic pub environment. Remember Madison is a smoke-free town, including our taverns.

Gates and Brovi 3502 Monroe St. (neighborhood) 819-8988. Literally our neighbor to the south by a block. Affiliated with two great downtown restaurants. Oysters, sandwiches, lobster, mac and cheese—no fooling.

A dinner with a view...

Mariner's Inn 5339 Lighthouse Bay Drive (East) 246-3120. Quite a drive from the inn, but worthy fish and steaks.

Vegetarian and gluten free friendly and fresh...

Forequarter 708 1/4 E Johnson St. 609-4717. Fresh seasonal plates of other high-end restaurants only at a lower price point. The menu does a paradoxical job of pleasing vegetarians and carnivores.

Bunky's Cafe 2425 Atwood Ave 204-7004. Homemade ravioli, pasta, and kabobs, along with a selection of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free entrées and desserts. Décor includes photos and artifacts from the vibrant Greenbush era.

Silly Yak Bakery 7866 Mineral Point Rd. 833-5965. A full-time certified gluten-free baking facility, wonderful bread and doughnuts.

Ethnic wonders. Madison scores high in this category, here are just a few...

Takara (Japanese) (near west location) 696 S. Whitney Way 270-1188

Ginza of Tokyo (Japanese) 6734 Odana Rd. 833-8282

Sa Bai Thong (Thai) 6802 Odana Rd. 828-9565

Lao Laan-xang Restaurant 1146 Williamson St. 280-0104

Greenbush (Italian) 914 Regent St. 257-2874

Ha Long Bay (Thai) 144 Williamson St. 255-2868

Eldorado Grill (Mexican, Tex-Mex) 744 Williamson St. 280-9378

It's a nice evening for a walk...

Gates and Brovi 3502 Monroe St. 819-8988. One block south of the inn. Great happy hour, family friendly as well.

Jac's 2611 Monroe St. 441-5444. Daily specials, but they always have the frites and big salads. They now do take-out and it's just a stone throw from the inn.

Taste of India 2623 Monroe St. 218-9200 Something for everyone, great lunch buffet, too.

Pasqual's 1851 Monroe St. 238-4419. Casual, Tex-Mex style.

Michael's Custard 2531 Monroe St. 231-3500. The neighborhood's dessert hangout.

Brasserie V (European) 1923 Monroe St. 255-8500 Fanciest digs on the street. Enjoy a cold Belgian beer.

Pizza Brutta 1805 Monroe St. 257-2120. When we've had a long day, it's our favorite local eatery.

Most entertaining fish fry...

Essen House 514 E. Wilson St. (downtown) 255-4674. German style with warm pretzels and an oompah band.

Captain Bill's 2701 Century Harbor Rd. (Middleton) 831-7327. Classic nautical, traditional seafood, on the water.

Avenue Bar 1128 E. Washington Ave. 257-6877. Madisons origional Fish Boil.

Blue Moon Tavern 2535 University Ave. 233-0441. Nearby, serving seafood, and a great fish fry on Fridays.

Peruse the menu baskets in the historic house sitting room for more suggestions. We also have a dining journal in which former guests have written about their Madison dining experiences.


To learn about events and activities during your time in Madison, check out these websites:

The Isthmus, Madison's alternative weekly newspaper, details events in the arts and entertainment.


Visit Madison, created by the Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau, is a great source to learn about all the events around town and activities specific to the area.


Madison Datebook is the community’s comprehensive guide to nonprofit events. From galas, runs, walks and auctions to support groups and free community events, you’ll find it all and more in the Datebook.


Amenities and Other Services

The sauna and sunroom is located on the main floor of the Annex. Appointed in recycled woods and tile, the sauna is our latest natural approach for a healthier lifestyle.

Oasis Day Spa, 828-9470, (8080 Watts Rd in the Princeton Club) provides full service massage and other spa services 7 days a week. They even have an arrangement for childcare during your appointment. Rejuvenation Spa, 831-7546, (7420 Mineral Point Road) is an Aveda concept spa. Our favorite services: the Le Stone Massage and Foot Reflexology. Our newest, best massage practioner tip is Susan Chiaro of Why Knot. Talented, affordable and just a few minutes from the inn. She's a staff favorite. 608-630-1001 to schedule an appointment.

A complete 24 hour fitness center is available to guests at the Princeton Club, located at 8080 Watts Road. A day pass is $20.00. Cardiovascular equipment, weight room, pool, sauna, steam room, and whirlpool. Aerobic, step and spinning classes.

Trader Joe's A twenty-minute walk up Monroe Street. Groceries 8:00 – 9:00 daily.

Our Lady Queen of Peace 401 S. Owen. 231-4600. Our Catholic church. Drive through our driveway, right on Glenway 3 blocks. Left at traffic lights (Mineral Point) church is on the left 3 blocks. Masses Saturday 5:00 and 7:00 pm. Sunday 8:00, 9:30, and 11:15 am.

Barrique's Wine Cave 1825 Monroe St. 284-9463. Sample wines and visit their Wall of 100.

Fritz & Associates Hair Salon 3526 Monroe St. 231-1919.

Oasis Day Spa 8016 Watts Rd. 828-9470

Why Knot? 6629 University Ave Suite 102 608-630-1001  or visit whyknotmassage.net to book an appointment