Madison's population was estimated at 221,735 as of 2005. Nearby cities include Maple Bluff, Middleton, Fitchburf, Monona and Shorewood Hills.
Madison's land mass, called an isthmus, was formed by glaciers around 13,000 years ago. The area was settled by Native Americans called "mound builders" at one time. Then, the Yankee settlers arrived in the 1800s. In 1829, James Duane Doty bought 1200 acres of the land. Then, President Andrew
Jackson developed the territory of Wisconsin in 1836. The State of Wisconsin became the 30th state in 1848.
In 1856, the City of Madison was established, named after President James Madison, and also became the state capital. The city's capitol building was completed in 1917, and then recently refurbished to resemble the original structure. It is often recognized as one of the most beautiful capitols in
The State Capital
Those visiting the area must be sure to see the state capital. It's a beautiful Roman Renaissance structure with a granite dome and more than 40 types of stones inside. Murals and detailed furniture decorate the interior. An observation deck is open during the summer with fabulous views of the lakes and city. Capital Square is the location for several events
each year including the Folk Festival and the State Farmer's Market.
The museums of Madison offer a relaxing environment to kick back and enjoy learning about history and culture. The Elvehjem Museum of Art features paintings, sculptures, photos and more from the prehistoric and modern times. Children can explore and learn at the Madison Children's Museum. To discover Wisconsin's history, one can visit the Wisconsin Historical Museum and view some very interesting exhibits.
Loving the Outdoors
For those who are seeking outdoor adventure or a relaxing stroll through nature, Madison offers both. There are the Allen Centennial Gardens and the Olbrich Botanical Gardens (http://www.olbrich.org) where visitors can enjoy nature's beauty and color. Or, for a little more action, there's the Ice Age National Scenic Trail with its hiking trail by the glacial formations. Also, outdoors men will love the University of Wisconsin Arboretum with its cross-country skiing trails, runners loop, and visitors center. During winter, Elver Park offers a variety of activities such as hockey, skating, snowshoeing, sledding and more!
For a family outing, a trip to the Henry Vilas Zoo (http://www.vilaszoo.org) will do! The zoo is located inside the Vilas Park and has a variety of animals from around the world.
Other places of interest are Warner Park, Tenney Park, Madison Farmer's Market and Lake Mendota.
Local Festivals and Events in Madison, WI
Madison hosts several festivals each year including the Taste of Madison Festival on Labor Day. During the Labor day weekend, the local restaurants present delightful foods for the tasting, while live music and drinks are available on the city streets. The Great Taste of the Midwest Beer Festival is another big event that's held by the Madison Homebrewers & Tasters Guild. There are also concerts on Capitol Square, the Opera in the Park by the Madison Opera and more!
Madison has so much to offer that many people return again and again to visit this great city. More about Madison, Wisconsin USA can be found at the Greater Madison Convention site. (http://www.visitmadison.com)
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