Madison, WI

78 Reviews

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Madison, WI

About Madison, WI

Madison, Wisconsin is a vibrant city with a unique mix of culture and history. Take a stroll through State Street and explore the city's many art galleries, bookstores and some of the best restaurants in the Midwest. Visit University of Wisconsin-Madison for some stunning architecture and inspiring scientific research, or take in an outdoor concert at Breese Stevens Field. With its beautiful lakeshore backdrop, lively farmers markets, and incredible cultural events,Madison is an ideal place to live and visit! Capital city/College town - South-central Wisconsin.

Location Details

State: Wisconsin
County: Dane County
Metro Area: Madison Metro Area
City: Madison
Zip Codes: 53711, 53704, 53719, 53703, 53705, 53713, 53716, 53714, 53715, 53718, 13 total
Cost of Living:
Time zone: Central Standard Time (CST)
Elevation: 863 ft above sea level
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Dig Deeper on Madison

The state capital and home to the University of Wisconsin, Madison is clean, attractive, progressive and well-planned. The city itself surrounds a pair of lakes- Lake Mendota and Lake Monona- both of which provide recreation and attractive views from many city business and residential locations. The downtown is exceptionally clean and gives strong evidence of the city’s twin roles as state government center and college town.

The area boasts many buildings of architectural interest, most particularly those designed by Frank Lloyd Wright including the spectacular Monona Terrace convention center on the Lake Monona shore but also including churches and several residences. The surrounding countryside is beautiful and includes an assortment of outdoor recreation areas and attractions such as Taliesin, Wright’s former home and studio, and the Wisconsin Dells, a collection of good but somewhat touristy family attractions. The economy is anchored by the university and state government but also is supported by a number of small “new economy” firms, mainly in biotech and software. East of town is a more traditional commercial complex with distribution centers and light manufacturing.

Excellent albeit expensive residential areas lie all around the town, with more middle class neighborhoods southwest and northeast towards the small town of DeForest. More upscale areas lie along the Lake Mendota lakefront north. Educational attainment is high, and college-town amenities abound, but one pays the price literally in housing and figuratively in winter chill. For those who can accept these negatives, the area is hard to beat.

The downtown sits on a narrow isthmus of land between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. Madison has a continental climate with an extreme temperature range, from 110 degrees to –40. Madison lies in the path of frequent storm systems during fall, winter, and spring. Winters are cloudy with occasional outbreaks of cold arctic air, and many days below freezing. Summers are pleasant with only occasional periods of extreme heat or high humidity. Summer months are prone to thunderstorms, and winter precipitation is lighter but lasts longer. Snow cover is common in the winter months. First freeze is early October, last is late April.

Madison Cost of Living

Attractive downtown, college-town amenities, and architectural interest make Madison a great place to live.

-0.2% lower than avg
+2.1% higher than avg
$1,209 /mo
Monthly rent (2br)
+5.0% higher than avg
Madison Crime
41.6 / 100
Crime is ranked on a scale of 1 (low) to 100 (high). US average: 35.4
Minimum annual income
To live comfortably in Madison, Wisconsin
for a family
for a single person
Pros & Cons of Madison
   Attractive downtown
Cold winters
   College-town amenities
Cost of living
   Architectural interest
Recent employment
Reviews for Madison
    See all (78)

Unfortunately, a number of these reviews are politically based. Madison remains the only shining star in Wisconsin’s economy. The economy is broadly based, with  More

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Have been living in Madison for almost 3 years. It’s very safe, ppl generally friendly and for a town of its size it has fair number of good restaurants and interesting  More

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Lacks balance and zero accountability.   More

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