Madison, Wisconsin, is one of America’s greatest college towns. The youthful, vibrant city is chock full of excellent dining, drinking and entertainment opportunities. As a smaller city, you can enjoy much of what it has to offer for less than $100.
Breakfast at Yola’s Café is a great option for coffee lovers or anyone craving a breakfast sandwich or scone. You can fill up here for less than $15. If you’re in town on a Wednesday or Saturday you’ll want to head to the Dane Country Farmer’s Market. It’s the largest producer-only farmers market in the United States. Set aside $20 for treats.
Next, make your way over to State Street. This quirky little avenue is popular among the university students. It features boutique shops, bars and a great view of the State Capitol building. Wandering around here is free, of course.
Since it’s close by, swing by Parthenon Gyros for lunch. The Mega Gyro is enough to keep you satiated until dinner. A meal here will run you less than $13.
The afternoon can be spent further exploring the city on bike. Madison is one of the top bike-friendly cities in the country and you can borrow one through the B-cycle bike share program. Begin around Lake Monona with a stop at Olin Park for breathtaking views. Then, continue on to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. The 16-acre gardens are free to explore and house the stunning Thai Pavilion.
Continue on your journey by following the local bike paths through Lake Wingra and Lake Mendota. Madison is the City of Lakes, after all, so it’d be a shame not to fit in as many as you can.
Splurge a little on dinner at The Old Fashioned. The lively, welcoming atmosphere and delicious cheese curds made it a local favorite for years. Dinner will run you roughly $25.
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