Things to do

Where to go between the ceremony and cocktail hour

For those looking for a space to relax and catch up in the time period between the ceremony and the reception, we have the following recommendations:

  • If staying at a hotel, you can gather with friends/family at the hotel’s bar and restaurant.
  • If staying at the Best Western Inntowner, you can walk half a block west of the hotel to the Blue Moon Bar and Grill.
  • You can drive or take the hotel's shuttle to Union South. Union South is located directly across Campus Drive from the Institute for Discovery, where the cocktail hour and reception are located. While there, you should be able to enjoy an ice cream, coffee or beer on the patio in the Union’s iconic terrace chairs, or you can lounge inside on the sofas. The building also offers billiards and bowling.

For those who are comfortable traveling around Madison, we recommend the following activities:

  • Madison State Capitol – Take the opportunity to visit Wisconsin's State Capitol, and perhaps take a 45-55 minute guided hour. There is a Saturday tour at 3pm. The Capitol is located at 2 East Main Street.
  • Olbrich Botanical Gardens – The Olbrich Botanical Gardens offer 16 acres of gorgeous gardens, an indoor tropical conservatory, and a stunning Thai Pavilion. Admission is free to the outdoor gardens, and $1 for the conservatory. The Gardens are located at 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI.
  • Memorial Union Terrace – The Memorial Union is located on the shore of Lake Mendota. If the afternoon is beautiful, there is almost nothing better than relaxing on the Terrace with friends and family.
  • For more ideas, please visit

Places to eat around Madison

If you find yourself in Madison for an extended period of time, you may be curious as to where a decent place to grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner is. Our personal favorites in the downtown area are as follows:

Around the Monroe Street Area, we recommend the following solid choices:

  • Mickies Dairy Bar (awesome, sinful breakfast/lunch). Conveniently located next-door to HotelRED.
  • Lombardino's – For, you guessed it, Italian food. Conveniently located across the street from the Best Western Inntowner.
  • Jac's – A decent Taphouse that produces a seriously delicious adult Mac and Cheese.
  • Brassierie V – A comfy European-style pub.
  • Michael's Frozen Custard – This place may just rival Milwaukee’s Copp’s Frozen Custard. You be the judge.

Around the Capitol Area

  • Old Fashioned – True Wisconsin food.
  • Great Dane – Everyone will find something at this delicious micro-brew.
  • Graze – A fabulous local-food place with a stunning view of the capitol.
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