Taliesin Preservation#8 in Best Things To Do in Madison, WI
Price & Hours
A National Historic Landmark and the only UNESCO World Heritage Site open to the public in the state of Wisconsin, Taliesin Preservation is the home, studio, school and 800-acre agricultural estate of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Located in Spring Green, about 40 miles west of Madison on land that was homesteaded by Wright's Welsh grandparents, the estate makes for an interesting daytrip, especially for architecture buffs. Here you'll see buildings from nearly every decade of Wright's career, including his only restaurant design.
There are a variety of tours available. If you're more interested in the grounds and the Driftless Area in general, sign up for the hourlong Driftless Landscape Tour, which focuses on the landscapes surrounding the estate. Those more interested in the architect's home should opt for the two-hour House Tour, which showcases not only the interior and its furnishings, but also the courtyards and gardens surrounding the property. For a more comprehensive look at the entire estate, sign up for the four-hour-long Estate Tour, which includes visits to some of the pivotal structures housed on the property, including the home Wright built for his sister, as well as Romeo and Juliet Windmill Tower, the oldest design on the estate. For a more abridged experience, there's also the two-hour Highlights Tour that explores Wright's home and studio and includes a shuttle across the estate to view the grounds.
Past visitors highly recommend planning a visit to the estate, applauding the hillside views and knowledgeable guides. If you can, try to time your visit for a clear day since you'll want to wander the property, according to recent travelers. Several reviewers recommend opting for the Highlights Tour for a comprehensive experience suited for even the most casual visitor.
The easiest way to reach Taliesin Preservation from Madison is via car. The attraction closes for the season from Nov. 1 to May 1. Check the website for the most up-to-date hours. Tickets for tours start at $25 for adults. Keep in mind that the Driftless Landscape Tour is the only all-ages tour. All others are recommended for visitors 10 and older. Joining a tour is the only way to visit the property. A restaurant and gift shop are also located on-site.
More Best Things To Do in Madison, WI
#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.