by Laura Kocum
on Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 at 10:43am.
Have you heard the news? Expedia.com released a list of the nation's "Super Cool" cities. In their final list of 21, Madison made #2. But if you look at their point structure, Madison tied Austin, TX, for #1. It's not clear how they made their final decision on the list. We know we're the "coolest."
That said, Expedia noticed what locals already know: Madison has the best assortment of restaurants, farmer's markets, social events and quality of life. The rating looked at the number of restaurants per 10,000 residents. Madison easily passed this standard, with a broad assortment of unique options and fabulous chefs. Graze, on the Capitol Square, is even named in Expedia's review as a favorite. Of course, the Dane County Farmer's Market, along with the vast number of neighborhood markets throughout town, helped the city's score. The variety of cultural events, like the Wisconsin Film Festival (March 30-April 6- get tickets now!) also helped. Having a robust museum scene didn't hurt either, especially since so many of them offer free admission! In addition to these criteria, Madison won points for enjoying a low-crime environment and attracting a significant population of young professionals.
After looking at their criteria, I think a few additional facts are worth mentioning. Madison is full of free-admission, outdoor enjoyment! The Henry Vilas Zoo, UW Arboretum and Olbrich Botanical Gardens all offer entertaining places to relax. The extensive park systems offered by both Dane County and the City of Madison provide year-round fun. In the winter there is snow shoeing, cross country skiing, sledding and ice skating. Summertime opens splash pads, lakeside beaches, hiking trails and playgrounds. There truly is something for everyone.
Let's also consider live music venues. The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra offers a much anticipated concert series each summer on the Capitol Square. Monona Terrace hosts live music overlooking Lake Monona during the summer season. Additional concerts are scheduled regularly throughout town. Again, most are free admission.
If you already live here, celebrate the fact that you've found a fabulous home. Enjoy the restaurants, entertainment, museums, zoo, parks and more that make the city great. And, if you're relocating, we look forward to showing you why we love this city, and all that it has to offer!