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What are Some Tourist Attractions in Madison, Wisconsin?

The Madison skyline.
Madison borders Lake Monona, Lake Mendota, Lake Waubesa, and Lake Kegonsa, making it a great spot for kayaking.
A view of downtown Madison, Wisconsin.
The Madison Geology Museum is free.
The Kohl Center in Madison features basketball games.
Many ice skating shows are put on in Madison.
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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
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  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2014
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Madison, the capital of Wisconsin, is known to locals as "The City of Four Lakes" or "Mad City." Madison sits on the water's edge of some of Wisconsin's largest lakes: Lake Monona, Lake Mendota, Lake Waubesa, and Lake Kegonsa.

Madison, Wisconsin has the lowest unemployment rate of any city in the US, and a higher percentage of people holding a master's degree than anywhere else in the country. This alone makes Madison a great destination for area graduates and a popular university spot for out-of-state hopefuls. Madison has been named the healthiest city in the USA by Men's Journal, the best college sports city by Sports Illustrated, and the best large city to live in by Forbes and Money Magazine. It also ranks high in the list of the book 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live.

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Madison is home to many festivals and fairs throughout the year, the most famous being the Rhythm and Booms, a massive display of fireworks set to music that attracts visitors from around the country. Other famous and unique festivals in Madison include the beer fair called Great Taste of the Midwest, the Honda Goldwing Motorcycle convention, and Kites on Ice, a fun gathering of kite enthusiasts who don't let the snowy days get in the way. The Waterfront Festival is especially popular in summer, offering free concerts and attractions for days at a time. Outdoor art fairs are also popular in summer, especially in the center streets, where both amateurs and professionals put up their work for exhibition and sale on summer weekends.

The Kohl Center is a popular attraction in Madison, featuring basketball and ice hockey games throughout the year. The Kohl Center also serves as a concert arena for major bands playing in the city. Ice skating shows, conventions, and exhibitions are also held here throughout the year.

For those wishing to see something different, the University of Wisconsin, Madison Geology Museum is an interesting stop. The 66 exhibits housed in the modest Madison building include fossil plants, phosphorescent rocks, a recreated limestone cave, and a series of fossil skeletons. The museum also has some impressive meteorite displays. As with many other attractions in Madison, entrance to the museum is free.

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