There’s something for everybody in the Madison region! With a population of 320,000, Wisconsin’s capital city is known for its unique culture, picturesque isthmus and lakes, thriving arts scene and active nightlife. Another 250,000 people reside in surrounding communities, where they get the benefits of small-town life. Whether you live in Madison’s bustling downtown, in a suburb, or out in the country, you’ll enjoy a reasonable commute to work in Middleton or Mazomanie.
More than half of Madison’s population is 30 years old or younger, including the students who attend local universities and colleges, and a growing number of young professionals who are flocking to Madison to start careers with ETC and other growing technical companies. From coffee shops and
bars to comedy clubs, sports leagues and live-music venues, Madison’s culture caters to this age group. And a recent housing boom has increased the number of apartments, condos and homes on the market.
Top-ranked schools, safe neighborhoods, and strong communities just a few of the reasons why you’d want to raise your children in the Madison area. Wisconsin’s educational system has consistently been ranked at the top of the nation for test scores,
graduation rates and quality of education. Your kids can participate in a variety of sports leagues, academic clubs, arts organizations, and programming at the local colleges and universities. And the Madison Children’s Museum, free-entry Henry Vilas Zoo, and hundreds of parks provide year-round entertainment.
Madison’s culture is centered around the arts. There are more than two dozen performing arts centers in Madison alone, where you can see plays, musicals, concerts and productions of all kinds, any day of the week. The visual arts are also celebrated at Madison’s two largest art museums and in many smaller galleries throughout the region. Every summer, thousands of visitors attend the Art Fair on the Square to take in the works of hundreds of artists. Another popular draw in the summer is the weekly Concerts on the Square, where you can enjoy a picnic and listen to the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra perform for free on the steps of the capitol building. And from street musicians and live-music joints, to festivals and world-class tours in the area’s many concert venues, you’re guaranteed access to a vibrant music scene that has launched the careers of famous bands and musicians.
The city of Madison was built around the flagship University of Wisconsin-Madison, which adheres to the tradition of the Wisconsin Idea, extending its educational outreach beyond the borders of its campus. UW-Madison, along with the other four institutes of higher learning in the city, host a variety of events, seminars, classes and museum and art exhibits that are open to members of the community.
Madison has more bicycles than cars, and miles and miles of safe bike paths. The nearby lakes and rivers provide for great swimming, fishing and watersports in the summer, and ice-skating, hockey and ice fishing in the winter. Water-, downhill-, and cross-country skiers, along with hikers, snowshoers, snowmobilers and rock climbers love the terrain. Madison hosts countless marathons, and is the annual location for the Wisconsin IRONMAN triathlon. And there are tons of leagues where you can get involved in softball, volleyball, golf, yoga, ultimate Frisbee, unicycling, and just about any activity you can imagine.
Area lakes, rivers, hills and valleys are great places for you to get in touch with nature and enjoy the local wildlife. There are hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails throughout Southern Wisconsin, including right by ETC’s factories. The University of Wisconsin Arboretum is a popular destination for walks, birdwatching, or getting away from the bustling city. And even on the coldest, snowiest day in January, Madison’s Olbrich Botanical Gardens are in full bloom.
There is nothing like Madison on game day! You could get tickets to cheer on the nationally-ranked UW Badger teams in football, volleyball, hockey, basketball or any other sport, or just join in on the fun of tailgating. Madison also has its own summer collegiate baseball team, the Madison Mallards, who play at the Duck Pond, a fun-filled stadium on Madison’s north side. You could also support the 56ers, Madison’s amateur soccer team, or the Mad Rollin’ Dolls, the hometown flat-track roller-derby team. If professional sports are more your thing, Lambeau Field, where the Green Bay Packers football team plays, is just a couple hours north, and Milwaukee – with the Bradley Center for the Bucks basketball team and Miller Park for the Brewers baseball team – is a short trip to the east.
Wisconsin’s strong heritage of family farming means fresh produce is right around the corner. Many neighborhoods and communities in the area have their own farmers’ markets, including the Dane County Farmers’ Market, where you can get Wisconsin-grown vegetables, meats, flowers, and (of course) cheese. That fresh produce is also used in the area’s award-winning restaurants, cafes and food trucks. The region is also well known for its top-rated collection of craft breweries and brewpubs. And it wouldn’t be Southern Wisconsin without food festivals, like the World’s Largest Brat Fest, Taste of Madison, National Mustard Day (just a couple blocks from ETC in Middleton!), and multiple OctoBEERfests.