Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for Madison: A Writer's Road Trip Series

     The Writer's Road Trip Series is brought to you by the Blogging from A-to-Z April Challenge. This month I'm blogging daily about ideal places for an afternoon, weekend or longer stay to focus on your writing. Need a retreat to finish that manuscript? Or maybe a virtual trip to inspire a scene? Take a minute, read, imagine. And thanks for stopping by!
     We were lucky enough to live in Madison, WI for six years while my husband did his graduate work. It was one of those good news/bittersweet moments when he was offered a job in Illinois, and we had to say good-bye to this beautiful and lively city. Madison is one of those places that enjoys an urban culture, yet maintains the homey ambience that smaller cities enjoy. If you visit, you'll hopefully get to take in a festival and/or food tour, the UW Arboretum and Olbrich Botanical Gardens, the free Henry Vilas Zoo, and the Madison Children's Museum. And there's also five lakes and 260 parks, world-class restaurants, and the very awesome Farmer's Market on the Capitol Square from April to October. I miss Madison so much!
     Madison also is home to a wonderful indie bookstore, Room of One's Own, in the downtown area, and only a few blocks from the Capitol. You might also want to plan your visit around UW-Madison Continuing Studies Write-by-the-Lake Writer's Conferences and Retreat, which happens in June every year. This year's conference takes place June 16-20. Classes are offered for beginners as well as those at advanced levels. Since classes take place in the mornings, you have the rest of the day to explore the city.


  1. Love the name of that book store. I really enjoy going to bookstores, specially local ones. I went to Montana last year and there were so many used books stores along the way I was in heaven. :)

    Visiting from A-z
    Decadent Kane (blog)

  2. I like city-towns... just urban enough to be city, but still charming. I understand why you miss this place. I love the picture. I bet it gets cold though, being on the water like that!

  3. I have not been to Madison even though I live in Northern IL. I grew up in a Midwestern city that had a small urban feel which was nice for the culture and yet I knew a lot of people. That kind of gets lost in an urban area of 9 million people... I also didn't realize Madison had so much water around it.

    Hope you're enjoying the A to Z Challenge! My theme is Memorable Characters. Glad to have met you!

  4. Wow! First time out the gates on your blog and I hit a homerun. Or you hit a homerun. Well, SOMEONE hit a homerun.

    I came here because you commented on lit (and thanks for that and putting up with my petulance) and then I see you doing a post on the city I live PRACTICALLY IN. (I live in Middleton, which is kind of a suburb of Madison.)

    You nailed it: I moved here in 1995 for law school and never left. It is my favorite place I've ever lived, and I've lived in, like, FOUR places. Maybe five.

    What's best about Madison I think is the sheer variety of stuff to do. Plus most of it is free. We go to the Vilas Zoo 3-4 times a year, and Olbrich Gardens the same amount. But all around there are great state parks and bike trails and the UW Madison Campus has tons of great places to hang out or see great art or museums, etc. I could go on and I usually do.

    Robin's right: it does get pretty cold.

  5. I love Madison. My husband worked there for two years and we almost moved there but he got transferred back home before we sold our house! It's such a lovely area!


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