There are plenty of fun ways to be a tourist in Madison, WI, from guided walking tours to self-guided experiences to boat cruises on our beautiful lakes. Here is a round up of the best tours and tourist attractions that you can enjoy like a local this summer or year round. From food and drink tours to city tours and nature experiences, Madison WI has it all!
- Madison Eats Food Tours
Of course I’m including our top-rated food tours:). The best way to get to know a place is through food. Why not take a food tour and eat like a local! Madison Eats Food Tours offers walking and biking tours throughout the city, sampling bites of food from local restaurants, food artisans and more! Our tours last about 3 hours, and you will sample food from a diversity of places. We offer more than beer and cheese curds, but we have that, too! Here is a list of food tours we offer:
Atwood Brew and Chew – 6 stops in Madison’s historic working class neighborhood
Bike n Bites – bike on the east side of madison on B-cycle electric assist bikes – 5 stops and lots of food
Downtown Capitol Square – visit the heart of our city and sample classic Wisconsin dishes at 5 stops
2. American Ghost Walk Tours
Explore the spooky side of Madison! Hear history and stories of ghosts, murders and more on this guide led tour around the Capitol square and in several Wisconsin cities. This is a super fun tour for ghost story enthusiasts!
3. Betty Lou Cruise
What better way to see Madison than from the water? Betty Lou Cruises offers regular public cruises on Lake Mendota with different food themes including Mexican fare, fish fry and pizza! Cruise around the largest lake in Madison and let someone else do the driving, which means you can enjoy that glass of wine or two.
4. Trolly Pub
Pedal your way up State Street on the trolly pub. The Trolley Pub lets you experience the city in the open air, while you enjoy your favorite beverage. And someone will be pedaling even if it’s not you, so don’t worry.
5. Cherokee Marsh – self guided hike
Cherokee Marsh is a beautiful, and not too crowded, natural area to visit in Madison. There is so much to do here, from hiking to canoeing and bird watching. The units are spread out around the north side and there is even a dog park. Maps and info can be found here on the website: http://cherokeemarsh.org/visit/
6. Capitol Boat Club
Taking pontoon cruising up a level! Capitol Boat Club offers chartered boat cruises OR you can drive yourself (but why). Enjoy a beautiful and comfortable pontoon boat, cruise the lake and see the sights such as the terrace. Book it for a small private party of 12 or less. Add-ons include decorations with Ash & Arrow and cheeseboards. BYOB.
7. Capitol Tour
This free tour of our capitol building is a great way to get to know more about our city and its rich history. The capitol building is unique and a work of art. Learn more about how it was constructed, the fire that destroyed the second capitol and take a step out onto the observation deck for an unparalleled view of the city and surrounding area.
8. J. Henry Bourbon Farm tour and tasting
Enjoy this farm to glass experience at the J. Henry farm in Dane, WI. An incredible distillery with an equally amazing story, the farm is worth a visit if you are a bourbon fan – or a fan of great views. From the rick house to the bar, the tasting tour and experience is comprehensive, fun and of course, their award-winning bourbon is delicious. You can schedule a tour on their website or just enjoy the tasting room.