Houses in Madison
Things to do
Are you exploring houses in Madison, Wisconsin? We've got everything you need to know before purchasing a home in Mad City.
Madison, WI, is a truly cool place to buy a house and live in. The city has a college vibe, thanks to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The university attracts young people and families from all over the country who either study or work at the university. With an unemployment rate of 2.1%, there are plenty of job opportunities in Madison, explaining why WalletHub ranked it among the top 20 best places to find a job.
There are not only friendly people in Madison, WI but also beautiful neighborhoods and great schools. The city boasts numerous outdoor activities, so you will never have an excuse to stay indoors when you are supposed to be having fun outside. Madison is surrounded by four lakes ensuring you enjoy water sporting activities to the maximum. If you are thinking of the best city to move to, put buying a house (Madison, WI) on top of your list.
Let’s dig into some history of “The City of Four Lakes,” as it’s commonly known.
History of Madison
History of Madison
The Ho-chunk nation lived in Madison, WI, long before the white settlers arrived here, occupying the area around the lakes. Although the Ho-chunk (Winnebago) were the primary group residing in the Madison area before the 18th century, the Sauk and the Fox (Meskwaki) Indians also inhabited the region. In 1829, a former federal judge, James Duane Doty bought over a thousand acres of land on the isthmus between Lakes Mendota and Monona. James intended to build a city in the area that is now Madison. When the territory of Wisconsin was created in 1836, Doty was at the forefront of lobbying for Madison to be the state’s capital. Doty would then name the city that only existed on paper after the fourth president of the U.S, James Madison, who died in June of the same year. In November 1936, the territorial legislature voted Madison as the state’s capital. It was incorporated as a village with only 626 people in 1846. Even after Wisconsin became a state in 1848, Madison remained the capital. By 1849, the University of Wisconsin, now the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was built here. The railroad arrived in Madison in 1854, opening the city to further developments. By 1856, Madison had a population of over 6,000 people, and it was incorporated as a city. By the onset of the 20th century, Madison saw a population boom as Germans, Russians, Italians, African Americans, and Norwegians immigrated to the area. The area was such a mix of many ethnic groups that a community center, the Neighborhood House, was built in 1916 to teach the immigrants the ways of the Americans. Being new in a new place with limited resources bound these communities together. Even though they were deprived in other areas, they were rich in family, friendship, and community.
Things to do in Madison
Things to do in Madison
Go have fun on the State Street
Are you looking for something fun to do over the weekend in Madison, WI? Try out the vibrant State Street. State Street has most if not everything that fun lovers need. You can dine and wine at one of the many restaurants and cafes on the street or sample Madison’s nightlife in various clubs on State Street. The bustling avenue stretching from the Capitol building to the University of Wisconsin has hundreds of shops where you can buy unique gifts. The street is dotted with terrific art galleries and museums that you can also visit. Visiting State Street is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Madison, WI, for visitors and locals.
Visit the Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Sometimes we forget how beautiful life is. If you ever feel this way and need a reminder that life is indeed beautiful, visit the Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, WI. For a moment, you will think that life is perfect because spending time in this garden calms your senses and teleports you to another world of magical tranquility.
Located along the shores of Lake Monona, the picturesque garden is a perfect place to stroll and just appreciate how beautiful life is.
Tour Wisconsin State’s Capitol
If you love architecture and interior design, you will be happy to visit the Wisconsin Capitol. Well, you can still learn about the government in the Capitol, but if that’s not your cup of tea, take a tour of the building and appreciate how creatively everything has been designed. The interior highlights include magnificent marble and mahogany works and striking murals in French, Italian and German styles. The outside view is equally stunning, and you could pose for a few photos for bragging rights.
Spend quality family time at the Henry Vilas Zoo
Henry Vilas Zoo is one of the best places to visit in Madison, WI, with kids. The 28-acre zoo first opened in 1911, is now home to over 115 species from around the world. African lions, giraffes, red pandas, and Amur tigers are a few of the animals you will find at the Henry Vilas Zoo.
Madison, the capital city of Wisconsin is a Midwestern city located in Dane County and is the second-largest in Wisconsin after Milwaukee. Madison is also known as the “City of four lakes” since it’s located around Lakes Mendota, Monona, Kegonsa, and Waubesa. Some part of the city is situated on the isthmus between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. A smaller lake, Lake Wingra, is also within the city of Madison and connects to the Yahara River. The city of Madison lies 80 miles west of Milwaukee and 122 miles northwest of Chicago. Even with five lakes around the city, most of the city is land, and water only takes up about 17 square miles of the total 94 square miles. Like most parts of the state of Wisconsin, Madison has a humid continental climate and gets to experience all four seasons. During summers, temperatures can rise to 90 °F and fall below 0 °F in winter.
According to the 2020 Census, Madison, WI, had 269,840 people. With a 0.69% annual growth, projections show that by 2030, the city will have about 270,000 people. Whites, Asians, and Blacks or African Americans form the largest ethnic groups in Madison, WI. 85% of the population speak English, with Spanish being the foreign language spoken by most non-English speakers in Madison.
With a median age of 31 years, the city is promising more growth which is why you shouldn’t hesitate to buy a house (Madison, WI). The population is well educated, and 95% of people aged 25 years and above have a high school degree or higher. The median household income in Madison, WI, is $67,565 while the poverty level is 16.4%.
At the shores of Lake Mendota is Wisconsin University-Madison which is a major economic driver in the city. Other than education, major industries in Madison include; healthcare, agribusiness, and insurance.
Arts in Madison
Arts in Madison
The arts and entertainment scene in Madison, WI, is simply the best. Your itinerary is well taken care of, from live music, festivals, food, classic clubs to eclectic museums and galleries. You just need to be on the lookout for upcoming events as there’s always something happening in the city.
If you like to watch movies, you can’t afford to miss the Wisconsin Film Festival that happens every May at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Within a period of eight days, they feature about 150 movies, with a section of the festival featuring Wisconsin’s filmmakers. Alternatively, catch a live music performance or a comedy show at the glorious Orpheum Theatre in downtown Madison.
For history and artwork lovers, be sure to check out the Chazen Museum of Arts, the second largest museum in Wisconsin, located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Other museums to visit in Madison, WI, include; the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, the University of Wisconsin Geology Museum, Madison Children’s Museum, and Wisconsin Veteran Museum.
Schools in Madison
Schools in Madison
From the elementary to university level, Madison, WI, has a lot of options to consider when it comes to quality education. Both private and top-rated public schools are available to ensure that your young ones are molded correctly. Madison Metropolitan School District, the second-largest one in Wisconsin, serves over 25,000 students. Parents and learners can also look into Waunakee Community School District and Oregon School District, which are among the best school districts around Madison. The mighty University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the coveted institutions of higher learning in Madison. Edgewood College, Madison Area Technical College, and Memorial Union are other options to consider for higher learning opportunities.
As you can see, buying a house - Madison, WI, isn’t just a cool idea because of the city’s location. A young and vibrant population, a growing economy, and a long list of fun things to do in Madison, WI, are enticing enough for anyone wanting to buy a house. The cool city has its arms wide open to welcome people of all ages. Whether you are a retiree, a student, or a young family at the early stages of your careers, Madison, WI, has everything you’d ever need.
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