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Madison

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Madison

Your guide to Mad City!

Welcome to Madison, Wisconsin - a vibrant cultural hub of music, art, food, and yes, beer. This naturally beautiful city offers plenty of outdoor activities throughout all four seasons of the year. This area prides itself on not only being livable, but also on being one of the most "green" cities in the United States - and because of that, in conjunction with its resilience to the economic recession - it is seeing large numbers of young professionals and families alike moving into the area to take advantage of all that it has to offer!


It should come as no surprise that Madison, Wisconsin, has ranked highly on numerous "livability" indexes. That is because this city really does offer it all - from affordability, to activities, and diversity - so if you're seeking an across-the-board Midwestern city that truly makes the grade, then you may have just found it in Madison. Opportunity for employment in Madison stems primarily from the state government, as well as from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. However, that may soon change, as the area is starting to see more high-tech employers move in, mainly in the biotech, health, and advertising niches. Google and Microsoft also have operations in the area, which provide opportunity for jobs and job growth. Another key industry in Madison that provides opportunity for employment is insurance, as the area is home to companies such as American Family Insurance and CUNA Mutual Group, as well as National Guardian Life. These and other companies that are headquartered here may have led to Madison being named by Forbes magazine in 2006 as one of the top 200 metro areas for "Best Places for Business and Careers." The area was also named in the past by Money magazine as one of the best places to live - primarily due to the city's low unemployment rate, along with its variety of offerings for its residents. Given the distinct four seasons that are experienced here, those who live in Madison can take advantage of a variety of outdoor activities, including ice-boating, ice skating, ice fishing, cross country skiing, and snow kiting. Many of Madison's residents are also active on ice hockey teams. Five lakes that are directly in the city's vicinity provide ample recreational opportunity such as boating and fishing, while the surrounding area allows for hiking, biking, and even just a short drive to snow skiing. During the warmer weather months, Madison hosts a regular Farmer's Market in its Capitol Square - which is actually the largest producer-only farmers' market in the United States. And, once a week, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra performs free concerts on the capitol's lawn. While there is a plethora of offerings here in Madison, if you really do want to be a part of it, then it may take some footwork in order to determine just exactly where in the area will be the best location for you to reside


What to do in Madison

Madison offers a myriad of activities - all year round - from music festivals to farmers' markets to museums and art galleries to sports - so you are apt to find something that you love, regardless of what it is that you enjoy. You can start by visiting the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, the Gates of Heaven, or the Smart Studios - where many notable alternative rock-n-roll records of the 1990s and 2000s were recorded and / or produced. Or, you can simply sit back and enjoy a bite of cheese while you plan out your next move in this famous "Four Lakes City."


How to Get Around in Madison

Getting around in Madison can be easy - especially once you get your bearings...and you are linked up with the proper app and / or map. Madison offers numerous bus routes through its Metro Transit service. Schedules and times can easily be found online and at the various stops. There are other options, too, for getting you where you need to go. For example, the Madison B-Cycle is a program that offers 39 stations throughout the city where bikes can be checked out and used to ride where you need to be. Bikes can then be returned to the nearest B-Cycle station. This is a great way to get to and from places that are too far to walk, yet too short to drive.


What it's like to live in Madison

So, what exactly is it like to live in Madison, Wisconsin? This can be a great place to live - especially if you love the four seasons and all that they can offer. This city was recently rated as one of the most livable cities in the United States - given factors like access to hospitals, schools, and infrastructure, as well as affordability and income. This cool city offers its residents numerous parks and green spaces, as well as more than 200 miles of hiking and biking trails to enjoy. In fact here, you will find more bicycles than you will cars. Madison also offers some top-notch restaurants and food co-ops. In addition, this area has numerous festivals throughout the year - such as the Great Taste of the Midwest - which take advantage of some of its locally grown, and crafted, items. There are approximately 120 recognized neighborhoods and associations in the Madison, Wisconsin area. Some of the oldest of these are located on the city's eastern border - and it is these that are thought to have the strongest sense of identity - although all are unique in their own individual way.


Where to find apartments in Madison

You will find that there are neighborhoods both directly in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, as well as in the surrounding area. Depending on your specific needs, you may be able to find your ideal Madison apartment for rent in any of these locations. But, prior to heading out to look, it is a good idea to do a bit of research first. When securing an apartment in Madison, you will usually be required to put down both a security deposit, as well as the first month's rent. This will also typically have to be accompanied by proof from your employer that states you have a steady income that is well above what you will owe in monthly rent - as well as that your employment is stable. Also, you should ideally have a good credit history, as well as at least one or two good credit references. When seeking that perfect apartment rental in Madison, you will also want to determine just what type of attractions you want to be near. For example, is it important to be close to the park, your employer, and / or the downtown area? Also, do you want to be in close proximity to any public transportation hub? After you have narrowed down your location, there are also other items to consider. For instance, do you want to have other "conveniences" such as a laundry facilities in your own unit, or are you willing to pay a little less in monthly rent and go to a laundromat instead? What about a garage (if you have a car) and / or an on-site workout facility? Any or all of these items can make a difference - and a difference in the amount that you pay in monthly rent. So, once you have come up with your list of wants and needs, you will be in a better position to move forward.


Neighborhoods in Madison

Monona


Located on the east shore of Lake Monona, this area can be a great place to live. Monona is considered to be right in the heart of Madison. The area actually includes residential and commercial properties, along with a great deal of green space for its residents to enjoy. It also includes approximately four miles of Lake Monona shore line.
Just in this neighborhood alone there are over 330 acres of park space - which include community parks, woodlands, and wetlands. This can be an ideal location for young professionals and those who love to be active in the outdoors - all year long.

Shorewood Hills


Shorewood Hills is considered to be a prestigious neighborhood. This locale is close to the University of Wisconsin - and, due to its high elevation, some of the best views in Madison can be seen from here.While some of the city's older and more expensive residences can be found in Shorewood Hills, there are more affordable options located on the outskirts of this area. There are also some fantastic restaurants and shops here as well.

Mansion Hill


Mansion Hill is situated just to the north of Capital Square. This, too, is considered to be more on the upscale side, with some of the area's most beautiful Victorian homes.

Maple Bluff


Maple Bluff is located between Sherman Avenue and the eastern shore of Lake Mandota. Here, too, you can find some larger homes, as well as the Maple Bluff Country Club. This area offers some great green space, as well as water activities due to the lake access.

Nakoma


In the Nakoma neighborhood, you will find the University of Wisconsin Arboretun. Many of the streets in this neighborhood have either been named after American Indian tribes or named after various people. This area includes a nice paved trail for biking or walking. This is a great locale for those who like to be active. It can also be a good place for young families.

Wil-Mar


Wil-Mar is considered to be a very culturally rich neighborhood. Progressive and environmentally minded, you will find many who are artistic and creative here, along with families of all ages. There are many businesses in the area that are frequented by residents, as well as some great restaurants and cafes.The area hosts several different events each year, such as the Willy Street Fair, the Orton Park Festival, and the Waterfront Festival. For those who love to spend time outdoors and are on the go, this could be an ideal location, as there are several parks nearby, including bike trails.

Capitol


Appropriately named, this area is where Madison's capitol building is located. Here you will find some of the city's older homes, along with some other cultural landmarks such as the Monona Terrace Community Convention Center, the Overture Center for the Arts, and a number of great shops, restaurants, and cafes. This area is home to many students, as well as young professionals.

Vilas


This area, close to the University of Wisconsin, is known for many of its artistic and young professional residents. There are a number of locally owned shops and restaurants that line the streets of this locale - most of which are in walking distance. There is also a nearby biking and walking trail for those who want to get out and enjoy some fresh air.

Waunona


Situated on the south edge of Lake Monona, this small neighborhood provides more privacy due to its wooded lots. It offers shopping via more clustered stores and businesses that surround the area. For those who wish to reside a bit farther away from the downtown hustle and bustle, this could be a good option.

Glacier Ridge


The homes in the Glacier Ridge neighborhood are located along a long stretch of the Ice Age Trail - and many of these are situated near a green space which offers outdoor environments with peaceful views. This can be an ideal area for those who are active and want a place to hike, bike, or just take a morning or evening stroll. Also a great place for young families.

Westmorland


The Westmorland neighborhood lies to the north of Madison proper. It is known for Westmorland Park and the stone Westmorland gate at the intersection of Mineral Point Road and Westmorland Boulevard. This vibrant and friendly neighborhood is situated near the west side of Madison - and residents are in close proximity to the Southwest Pedestrian / Bike Path to the south, and Glenway Street to the east.

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