The best place to visit in Madison WI
Tourist Attractions

The 15 Best Places To Visit in Madison WI (Rating and Reviews)

Madison WI is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. With so many amazing places to choose from, it can be hard to know where to go. To help make your decision easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit in Madison WI based on traveler ratings and reviews. So whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway spot or an adventure playground, there’s something for everyone in this metropolis!

The Best Place to Visit in Madison WI

Henry Vilas Zoo

  • Address: 702 S Randall Ave, Madison, WI 53715, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (7746)
  • Phone: +1 608-266-4732
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
    Tuesday: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
    Wednesday: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
    Thursday: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
    Friday: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
    Saturday: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
    Sunday: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
The best place to visit in Madison WI
The best place to visit in Madison WI

5 Replies to The 15 Best Places To Visit in Madison WI (Rating and Reviews)

  1. I love this little zoo!! It’s on the smaller side, but there are plenty of animals to visit. The updates and expansions they’ve done over the past few years to the enclosures have been great to see. It’s a free zoo, but always still plan to bring a donation, because of course taking care of all these beautiful creatures is not free!

  2. We love coming to this zoo. It’s the perfect size for little kids to be able to walk and not get too worn out. It’s nice in the winter too, if you bundle up and it’s not too cold you can still have a great experience. The lions are often active and roaring. The polar bear is very active and likes to swim. There is a family of 5 otters to see too. We miss being able to go into the monkey and reptile area that has been closed to the public since COVID started. In the summer time the playground is open and is a great place to run around and play.

  3. Such a wonderful gem in Madison. The park is clean and the volunteers/workers are friendly. The animals are always fun to see and the fact that it’s free still blows my mind. Nothing better than a nice stroll through the zoo on a sunny day with some Chocolate Shoppe ice cream too!

  4. If you want to have a nice little walk around a beautiful park with the family and see some animals while doing so this is a great place to go. It’s small but quaint with a nice variety of animals and plenty of fun things for your little ones to do. Entrance is free which is another plus. Only issue was parking which is why I gave it a 4 star rating.

  5. I was glad to see that they have more animals now, there’s more places to eat/snack inside the zoo. Last time we were here(6 yrs) they were doing some construction and they didn’t have a lot of animals. We all had a great time. My personal favorite was the tiger. There is no fee to enter the zoo, they just ask for a donation. The parking lot is small so I would recommend going early. You can also park on the street around the park.

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Top 15 Tourist Attractions in Madison WI

The best place to visit in Madison WI
The best place to visit in Madison WI

Vilas (Henry) Park

  • Address: 702 S Randall Ave, Madison, WI 53715, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (4074)
  • Phone: +1 608-266-4711
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 4:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Tuesday: 4:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Wednesday: 4:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Thursday: 4:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Friday: 4:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Saturday: 4:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Sunday: 4:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    After living in Madison for 10 months, my son and I enjoyed a great visit to this zoo!! Free admission!! Most of the animals were out and enjoying the gorgeous Spring weather!! Limited parking lot but there’s plenty of street parking. Not too crowded for a Saturday. There’s no doubt that is is a popular space for all ages!! Look forward to many return visits!!!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Mike Toral (7 months ago)
    Every once in a while I will happen to drive past the zoo, and I think “might as well stop in. It’s free, after all!” It’s always a wonderful way to spend an hour or so. A wide variety of animals, a pleasant and beautiful walk, all around a really nice experience!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Susan S. (3 weeks ago)
    The Henry Vilas Zoo is a phenomenal anomaly! They care for so many amazing animals and offer adventures for the whole family. It astounds me that you can enjoy this magnificent treasure for the low, low price of free. That’s right, $0 entry regardless of your age or residency and $0 parking.

    They offer a pleasant little Cafe where you can order and eat your food in the presence of polar bears. The food was perfectly priced for what you get.

    My daughter is in love with their tree-inspired playground. We finally rode their “Conservation Carousel” (even though it’s technically a merry-go-round as it offers more than just horses to mount.) My daughter was fascinated that she was able to sit on a caterpillar. We hope to take a tour on their mini-train on our next visit.

    The quaint gift shop offers a few items that help support the caretaking the various animals require. I would love to see the educational level of their toys to grow as I know kids are sponges that absorb knowledge faster than the animals they’d read about can swim or run.

    The real treasure that makes a world of difference to the zoo are their caring volunteers. Every volunteer I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with has been so kind and has passed on some of their knowledge to me and my family. Their time and efforts deserves so much respect and I thank them all for having such passion for what they do.

    I can’t wait to return and see more that there is to explore in this gem that Madison has.

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Shayleen Thistlewaite (a month ago)
    Nice quiet day. Didn’t know if any of the animals would be out since it was still early in the year and a little cold. There were a few big cats, orangutans, giraffes and some others. The gift shop is remodeled and has a very nice selection of souvenirs.
    ✭✭✭✭ By John McCamey (7 months ago)
    I loved this place! There is a zoo and there was no cost to go in. The park was inside the zoo. It was a lot of fun, and there was a mini beach just outside of the zoo about a half mile to mile walk. There was a park and picnic areas just outside the zoo. The lakes in the park had white lotuses in them.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By PJ Pat (4 months ago)

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

  • Address: 3330 Atwood Ave, Madison, WI 53704, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (3869)
  • Phone: +1 608-246-4550
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Thursday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Friday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Saturday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Sunday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    I wish I could give more than 5 stars. These gardens are BEAUTIFUL! Very nice environment outside to walk around, plenty of plants to see as well as wildlife. There are some areas that may be inaccessible for visitors in wheelchairs, but the paths in general are very well kept! Stopping by the Thai gardens is a MUST – stunning architecture and design. Gift shop has fun items as well!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Victoria Schwutke (5 months ago)
    If you love plants and love walking through them, this is your place. When I visited it was very pleasant and relaxing. My wife and I spent some time in some Adirondack chairs for a while. You can hear several different birds around the outside portion of the gardens. They have a commemorative penny you can get at the gift shop.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Adam “John Sovereignton” Ramsey (a month ago)
    Beautiful Gardens and their Conservatory is also really nice! Loved seeing tropical plants, water ponds and quails! The Gardens are free which is very nice, they do accept donations. The Conservatory is not free, but the ticket entrance is not expensive at all. Parking is also free which is nice. Will definitely be back once everything has bloomed.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Jen Romero-Stentella (7 months ago)
    If Google Maps had ten-star reviews, I would give this place 20 stars. This place is amazing, and it is run by very dedicated folks! I saw so many plants and trees you normally don’t find in the Midwest, such as banana trees, elephant ears, and many many SE USA tree species like magnolia, bald cypress, castor plants and sycamore. The gorgeous Thai temple is a highlight but there are so many little paths, nooks and crannies just filled with botanical delights. I am definitely going to come back here next time I’m in the area. This is truly a top 10 (no, top 5) destination in Madison.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Jackie LaVaque (2 months ago)
    This botanical gardens is the best!! On Saturday mornings from 10am-12pm the garden is FREE! When you enter the dome, be prepared for your jaw to drop! It is amazing! Tropical trees yielding fruit, birds flying around, quail running around, flowers I’ve never seen before, koi fish pond, a waterfall and so very much more! We were there in winter, but we’re told that in May-ish the outdoor garden walk is stunning!This place will not disappoint!! Definitely a must experience when visiting Madison!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Sarah Dennis (8 months ago)

Madison Children’s Museum

  • Address: 100 N Hamilton St, Madison, WI 53703, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (1866)
  • Phone: +1 608-256-6445
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: Closed
    Tuesday: Closed
    Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Thursday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Friday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Saturday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Sunday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    Fun day. We went in April with 10 & 7 year old. Rooftop and outside areas were too cold to use. A warmer day may have made the experience better. Kids definitely had a good time. Took about 2 hours. Several areas were a little too young for my 10 year old. Staff was kind and helpful.
    ✭✭✭✭ By Josh Orendi (7 months ago)
    This place is very well thought out and a sensory overload of fun, interesting, and interactive things!! There is a small “pay your own price” meals in a sitting area. Staff was great and had geckos and chickens to pet. Overall a great time and easily spent 2 hours exploring, learning, and playing!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Chris Wes (3 months ago)
    It’s a touch on the expensive side if you’re just doing a day visit ($36 for 2 adults and 1 child); however in my opinion it’s worth every penny if you stay a few hours or more. The main area is pretty good size and 2.5 floors. There’s lots to do there with a few large playground type areas. I was disappointed at first until I realized (because it’s not very well marked) that there’s a great rooftop area and of course the ground level playground. When you add those in- along with a craft room for slowing down between runs- the place is an excellent overall experience. Plenty of bathrooms and some shared coats if you’re visiting in the winter like we did. Fun place- kid was happy!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By M Sumner (11 months ago)
    Don’t miss this place!

    Guys if you have little kids you need to check this out!

    It’s worth every penny! I went with my daughter she 8 years old ticket is $12 for her and $12 for me.

    We been there on Sat. since noon and no line to wait staff is very nice. Facilities is clean, restroom is clean…

    Ton of things to do and explore!

    Also things that they’re can learned…

    In door and out door play ground in one place such an amazing fun place for kids with tiny budget.

    Totally satisfy and recommend!

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Traveling with The Lowing’s (a year ago)
    Our favorite place in Madison. I take my daughter there every other week. We love everything they have from Wonderground, Rooftop, play and craft area. The staff are super friendly. Sign up for their newsletters for special events. The marching band event was super fun.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Chimmi Wangmo (6 months ago)

James Madison Park

  • Address: 614 E Gorham St, Madison, WI 53703, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (1379)
  • Phone: +1 608-266-4711
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 4:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Tuesday: 4:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Wednesday: 4:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Thursday: 4:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Friday: 4:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Saturday: 4:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Sunday: 4:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    Nice, Nice, Nice park. Kids played on beach front while we relaxed on a nearby bench. Many walkers, bikers, families, sunbathers, musicians all kinds of people enjoying the great outdoors in the great weather!!!!! Will definitely return.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Ang “Truth” M (3 months ago)
    The park is beautiful. Perfect for picnics.
    My fiancé and I used one of the tables to have one and then we played with the basketball for a while.
    One thing to have in mind is the strong wind since you’re next to the water.
    I love this park
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Lorna Ingui (7 months ago)
    What can I say. This was a perfect day in the park #memorialday22 had a great mix of people various games and activities. Within walking distance to the city’s center. Just gave me another reason to love Madison.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Alicia Christina Aisha (6 months ago)
    This park is conveniently located downtown with plenty of green space. Parking is at a premium, but we live a few blocks away so haven’t had to deal with that much. Perfect for sunset picnics!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Kate McKay (5 months ago)
    Park is really nice, enjoyed having a picnic with the family. It was extremely windy and chilly so we cut our picnic short. Took a star off for the public restroom. It is very badly kept, to be honest it seemed like it had not been cleaned in quite some time.
    ✭✭✭✭ By Jen Romero-Stentella (7 months ago)

National Mustard Museum

  • Address: 7477 Hubbard Ave, Middleton, WI 53562, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (1373)

Chazen Museum of Art

  • Address: 800 University Ave, Madison, WI 53706, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (815)

Wisconsin State Capitol

  • Address: 2 E Main St, Madison, WI 53703, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (748)

Escape In Time – Escape Rooms

  • Address: 6527 Normandy Ln Suite #203, Madison, WI 53719, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (528)

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

  • Address: 227 State St, Madison, WI 53703, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.5 (480)

Wisconsin Veterans Museum

  • Address: 30 W Mifflin St, Madison, WI 53703, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (480)

Picnic Point

  • Address: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2000 University Bay Dr, Madison, WI 53705, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (410)

Escape This

  • Address: 120 E Wilson St #2, Madison, WI 53703, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (374)

University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum

  • Address: 1207 Seminole Hwy, Madison, WI 53711, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.9 (363)

Geology Museum

  • Address: 1215 W Dayton St, Madison, WI 53706, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (362)

Allen Centennial Garden

  • Address: 620 Babcock Dr, Madison, WI 53706, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (303)

Madison WI is a world-famous tourist destination, and it’s no wonder why. Here is our list of the top 15 best place to visit in Madison WI – based on expert opinions and customer reviews. Did your favorite spot make the cut? Let us know in the comments above!