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Area Information | 15 Posts
March
3

Madison Restaurants

Madison foodies rejoice! Some truly amazing restaurants are joining Madison's vibrant culinary scene. Looking to try something new next time you dine out or order takeout? Read on for suggestions on new restaurants and cafes to try.

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February
22

Snowshoeing Trails

Middleton is a great backdrop for outdoor adventures throughout all Wisconsin seasons. A Wisconsin favorite, snowshoeing, is a great way to explore the beautiful scenery and snowy landscapes. With the expansive beauty of the Pheasant Branch Conservancy, as well as the purpose-built trails and amenities at the new CXC Outdoor Recreation and Sports Center, you have outstanding options for snowshoeing close to home. Our real estate agents have the info you need to explore snowshoeing trails in Middleton this winter.

Pheasant Branch Conservancy – 4864 Pheasant Branch Rd., Middleton, WI 53562

With 519 acres of wetlands and forests to explore around the scenic Pheasant Branch Creek, the Pheasant Branch Conservancy is a popular destination for outdoor adventures all year long. Buyers interested in Middleton homes for sale often cite these outdoor areas as a great benefit to living near Middleton.

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February
3

Dane County

  • Olbrich Botanical Gardens - 3330 Atwood Ave., Madison, WI 53704
    With 16 acres containing an incredible assortment of plants and flowers, Olbrich Botanical Gardens is the equivalent of a visual amusement park. Global delights such as the Thai Pavilion, the only one in the continental United States, and the Bolz Conservatory, a 50-foot glass pyramid replicating the vegetation of the tropics, can instantly transport your mindset. Other specialty gardens include the Rose Garden, Sunken Garden, and Herb Garden. Grow your green thumb with classes, workshops, and lectures. Admission to the Conservatory is $6, but the outdoor gardens are free, though donations are gratefully accepted. Hours are 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily.

  • Chazen Museum of Art - University of Wisconsin, 750 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706
    Located on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, just blocks away from Lake Mendota, the Chazen Museum of Art is stunning. Its two buildings hold approximately 23,000 pieces, making it the second-largest collection in the state and the largest collecting museum in the Big Ten. Cultures and periods represented include ancient Greece, 18th-century Japan, and modern Africa. The visiting exhibition, Seeing Audubon: Robert Havell, Jr., and the Birds of America, will be on display through the first quarter of 2022. Admission is free to the public. Hours are 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on weekends.

  • Henry Vilas Zoo - 702 S. Randall Ave., Madison, WI 54715
    A trip to the Henry Vilas Zoo is a treat for "kids" of all ages. The park sits on land donated by Col. William and Anna Vilas in honor of their young son, the zoo's namesake, who died due to complications from diabetes. In an act of further generosity, they stipulated that the land be used for a park that would remain free to the public. Henry Vilas is one of only ten zoos in North America where visitors can see more than 650 animals from around the world for no admission fee. The zoo is open seven days a week from 9:30 - 5 p.m and is a delightful stop in Downtown Madison.

  • Madison Eats Food Tours - Madison, WI
    Our local culinary game is strong. Surprise your senses with Madison Eats Food Tours, which highlight Madison's longtime favorites and trendy new spots. Each tour theme focuses on a specific cuisine or neighborhood, creating an immersive experience. Current tours include Capitol Square Downtown, Atwood Brew & Chew, and Bike n' Bites. For the adventurous diner, Madison Eats also offers international culinary tours to places like Mexico and Belize. Local tours run for approximately three hours. Visit the website for schedule and prices.

  • University of Wisconsin Geology Museum - Weeks Hall, 1215 W. Dayton St., Madison, WI 53706
    Dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes delight visitors of all ages. Spend an educational day disguised as fun with your family at the University of Wisconsin Geology Museum. Exhibits featuring more than 120,000 specimens will take you back to the times when the state was variously covered with ice, water, and volcanoes. Admission is free to the public. Museum hours are 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday.

Making the most of life in Dane County is what Stark agents love to do and what we love to share with our community. For dedicated and knowledgeable help buying or selling a home, contact us at Stark Company Realtors.

January
19

Cheese Curds Dane County

We can all agree that Wisconsin knows how to do cheese. So, are you looking for that signature squeak? Or recommendations on the best dipping sauces? Read below to add some flavor and fun to your day with cheese curds from these must-try Dane County hotspots.

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January
5

First Friday Monroe Street

Monroe Street is one of Madison's most charming destinations. Nestled in the shadow of legendary venues like Camp Randall Stadium and the UW Field House, Monroe Street has established its own identity through the unique shopping and dining experiences it offers. Nearby residents walk from shop to shop, stop for a warm beverage at a cafe or grab a bite at a one-of-a-kind restaurant. 

If you haven't attended one of the First Fridays on Monroe Street events, now is the time.

We want to help you plan ahead with these First Fridays on Monroe details.

First Fridays on Monroe Street

Location: 1400 – 3600 Monroe St., Madison, WI 53711

Time: First Friday of Every Month*, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
(*Starting again in February 2022)

Admission: Free

  • Extended Shopping Hours at Your Favorite Boutique Shops
    During First Fridays, many Monroe Street shops will have extended hours that make it easy to explore these wonderful small businesses. If you've been wanting to check out some of these spots but can't make it during the usual business hours, First Fridays are the perfect time to visit Monroe Street.

  • Delicious Dining at Monroe Street Destinations
    Monroe Street is also home to some of the best restaurants near Madison homes for sale, so it's easy to refuel with some fantastic food in between stops. Whether you're grabbing a sweet treat at Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, enjoying a great cup of coffee at Crescendo Espresso Bar, settling in for a delicious meal at Marie's Soul Food, or grabbing a drink at the Laurel Tavern, you'll love the variety and charm of the dining destinations on Monroe Street. Be sure to check the menus for specials!

  • Live Music and Pop-Up Shops
    Live outdoor performances are also part of some First Fridays, along with unique pop-up shops that aren't available at any other time. You never know what you might find on First Fridays, which is part of the fun.

  • Something New Every First Friday
    No two First Fridays celebrations are the same. Different shops and restaurants participate every month, so there's always something new to see. Mix in the live performances, pop-up shops, and other fun surprises and it's easy to see why so many people return for every First Friday on Monroe Street.

  • More Events to Enjoy on Monroe Street All Year Long
    Along with First Fridays, Monroe Street offers a variety of other festive events throughout the year. Holiday Glow on Monroe is a must-see during the holiday season, with carolers, great shopping, and live holiday music. The Monroe Street Festival happens every summer, with live music, fun, educational classes, fabulous food, and plenty of kid-friendly attractions. No matter the season, there's always something to see on Monroe Street.

Searching for a home that makes it easy to visit and enjoy Monroe Street? Let our local real estate team help. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Madison, WI area.

December
29

Downtown Madison

Madison, WI is one of the top 30 happiest cities in America, according to a poll conducted by USA Today. Madison's residents know that Dane County is a happy, welcoming place to call home and we consider Madison's vibrant downtown one of the biggest attractions. Wondering why Downtown Madison is so highly rated? We have some fun facts about Downtown Madison to help you live the life you want in our charming small big city.

  • Downtown Madison Knows Lake Vibes & Waterfront Views
    Who says you need to live on the coast to enjoy a waterfront lifestyle? Downtown Madison is framed by two large lakes, which provide scenic views and endless opportunities for outdoor fun. Lake Mendota and Lake Monona sit on both sides of Downtown Madison, forming what we call our Isthmus. There are a total of five lakes located near Madison area homes for sale, along with multiple nature preserves, so you'll always have somewhere new to explore.

  • Hundreds of Miles of Trails Connect the Community
    Known as the bike capital of the Midwest, Madison is connected by over 200 miles of trails perfect for biking, hiking, and navigating the city without having to drive. Use your own bike, or grab one anytime from one of the many bike-sharing stations located around the city. Since many of Downtown Madison's attractions are located within a radius of a couple of miles, walking is also a great way to see the city.

  • Living Local is Easy on State Street
    Speaking of walking and biking, Downtown Madison's State Street is a great place to get those steps in and explore small businesses. The stretch of State Street that runs from the UW campus to the Wisconsin State Capitol is a pedestrian-friendly haven, home to some of Madison's favorite local shops and restaurants. Grab a meal, see a show or score a one-of-a-kind find all within a few blocks.

  • Everyone is an Honorary Badger at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
    The University of Wisconsin-Madison campus has been a local institution for more than 150 years, featuring a variety of attractions that both residents and visitors love. A concept called the Wisconsin Idea ensures that the university is meant to benefit the entire state. The University of Wisconsin Arboretum and the Allen Centennial Gardens are showstoppers for nature lovers and moving here will quickly turn you into a UW Badgers fan, with fantastic football games at Camp Randall Stadium.

  • Family Fun in Downtown Madison
    Downtown adventures aren't just for adults. The Madison Children's Museum is filled with interactive exhibits that kids love, along with a busy schedule of special events. People of all ages will love visiting the Henry Vilas Zoo, which offers free admission and many indoor and outdoor attractions, located on the shores of Lake Wingra.

Are you considering relocating to one of America's happiest cities? Our local real estate team can help. Contact Stark to learn more about how we can help you move to the life you want in the Madison, WI area.

December
9

Local Holiday Shopping

Whether you're browsing Madison homes for sale, or looking to score some unique finds for VIPs on your holiday shopping list, our real estate agents have a helpful suggestion or two.

Visit home-grown brands around Dane County, and you'll get to support small businesses while snagging gifts you can't find anywhere else. It's worth the adventure, you may find a new favorite place and you'll knock those hard-to-shop-for relatives off your list.

Stop by these local businesses to discover gifts that will delight your friends & families and give them a piece of our beloved Dane County community:

  • Madison Chocolate Co. – 729 Glenway St., Madison, WI 53711
    Madison Chocolate Co. has an array of delectable delicacies. You can even order with local delivery. Most visitors start with the dedicated gluten-free cafe, featuring scones, apple cider donuts, and pain au chocolat. Gift boxes at the in-house chocolatier include the mixed truffle and caramel box. Make time to savor the Weekend Waffles brunch offerings, too!

  • Tradition Market – 1821 Parmenter St., Middleton, WI 53562
    Tradition Market is divided into two showrooms for women's and children's attire, connected by an inside walkway. Gift cards are available for all your last-minute shopping needs but don't pass up the chance to explore the selection in person. Private appointments are available, and if you don't have time to make the trip, you can even set up a virtual viewing time using Zoom or FaceTime.

  • National Mustard Museum – 7477 Hubbard Ave., Middleton, WI 53562
    Established in 1986 near Middleton homes for sale, National Mustard Museum will delight you with the untold story of one of America's favorite condiments. And, of course, you can also purchase a gift box of gourmet mustards with hand-picked treats from all over the United States.

  • Wisconsin Candle Company – 119 W. Main St., Waunakee, WI 53597
    Wisconsin Candle Company showcases handcrafted candles especially suited to the needs of people with asthma and scent sensitivities. All products are made from 100% soy wax with no additives, and the fragrance oils are 100% free of parabens and phthalates. If you've been browsing Waunakee homes for sale, you might recognize the theme of these inspired assortments, like "Life on the Lakes" or "Hygge Home," then get free shipping on any order over $75!

  • Rust & Lace Collectibles and AntiquesVarious Locations
    Rust & Lace Collectibles and Antiques is the kind of quaint local store you'll want to go back to again and again because there's always something new. A regular attendee of local events like the Vendor Night Market and the Fall Village Market, Rust & Lace offers housewares, antiques, collectibles, clothing, art, and all sorts of fascinating treasures that defy description. 

Contact Stark Company Realtors to find out more about real estate in Dane County.

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