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Destination Madison

Key Info

800 University Ave.

Price & Hours

Free
Tues-Fri noon-5 p.m.

Details

Museums, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Situated on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus and spread across two buildings, the Chazen Museum of Art shelters the second-largest collection of art in Wisconsin, with approximately 23,000 artworks. The museum's collection spans a variety of mediums, time periods, geographic locations and cultures. Along with its permanent collection, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and community events. 

Past visitors praised the range of art on display here and said a stop at the museum is a great activity for cold winter days. Others were especially pleased with the free admission and the on-site cafe. 

The Chazen Museum of Art is located in the center of the university campus along University Avenue. It is free to visit. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only the first and second floors of the Chazen building are open to visitors Tuesday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. by appointment. The Elvehjem building is closed until further notice. For more information, visit the museum's official website

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#1 University of Wisconsin – Madison Memorial Union

One of the star attractions of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, the Memorial Union is beloved by students and locals alike. Open since Oct. 5, 1928, and perched on the shores of Lake Mendota, the union is perhaps best known for its terrace, which faces the lake and is filled with colorful sunburst chairs and tables perfect for enjoying the view, a brat and a pitcher of beer. When the terrace closes for the season (typically in late September), retreat inside to Der Rathskeller. With its German beer hall vibe and cozy fireplaces, Der Rathskeller is a popular spot to watch Badger games. There's also a stage for open mic nights and plenty of seating. Other Union attractions include rotating art exhibits and galleries, an ice cream shop, multiple eateries and a store selling grab-and-go items, along with Badger apparel and gifts. 

Past visitors raved about the union, specifically the terrace, with a few calling it among the top spots for Madison travelers to visit. According to reviewers, the best time to visit is in summer, when the weather is just right for enjoying the building's lakefront perch. Just remember: This is a popular spot, so you may have to wait for one of the coveted terrace tables if you're here during the busy evening hours.

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Joey Reuteman/Destination Madison
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