Nestled between two lakes, capped by a stunning Capitol, and with residents who own more bicycles than cars, Madison is one of the 10 greenest cities in the nation. The city’s eco-friendliness abounds in its recreational opportunities, parks and gardens, miles of bike trails and thriving local and organic cuisine. To locate Madison’s many eco-conscious lodgings and other offerings, visit www.TravelGreenWisconsin.com or call (800) 432-8747.
Arbor House: An Environmental Inn
This historical inn features organic mattresses and linens, in-floor radiant heat and organic gourmet cuisine. Take to the bike trails on complimentary bicycles or float Lake Wingra’s waters on one of the inn’s canoes.
3402 Monroe St. (608) 238-2981
Hilton Madison Monona Terrace
This luxury 240-room hotel overlooking Lake Monona works to conserve energy and water. The hotel restaurant, the Capitol Chophouse, sources many organic ingredients directly from local farmers and cheesemakers.
9 East Wilson St. (608) 255-5100
L’Etoile Restaurant and Café Soleil
More than 80 percent of the organic and seasonal ingredients on the menu here arrive directly from regional farmers. Seasonal dishes are served with flair and a second-floor view of the Capitol. On the first floor, Café Soleil serves farmer-inspired gourmet sandwiches and salads for lunch.
25 North Pinckney St. (608) 251-0500
Willy Street Co-op
One of the nation’s largest retail food co-operatives features a delicious selection of organic and local foods.
1221 Williamson St. (608) 251-6776
Authentic Italian cuisine prepared with the best of local, organic and imported ingredients.
2500 University Ave. (608) 238-1922
University of Madison-Wisconsin Arboretum
Let the 1,260 acres of restored prairies, forests and wetlands of the arboretum—the birthplace of ecological restoration—serve as your nature-filled refuge. Its Visitor Center, featuring a theater, a library and many exhibits, is powered by a solar electric system and heated passively by the sun.
1207 Seminole Highway (608) 263-7888
Dane County Farmers Market on the Square
The Midwest’s largest farmers market, held every Saturday and on Wednesdays in spring and summer, features fresh produce, flowers and other local products.
Capital City State Trail
Part of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, which follows the edge of the glaciers that once covered parts of Wisconsin, this bicycle and pedestrian route twists through the scenic Capital Springs State Recreation Area. Ride on to connect with the John Nolan Path alongside Lake Monona and the spectacular Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.
State Street Shopping District
Plying the route between the Capitol and the University of Wisconsin campus, this eclectic shopping and restaurant district features everything from fair trade coffee to aromatherapy at the co-op Community Pharmacy.