While Wisconsin is a four-season state, it’s my personal opinion that Madison has two distinct seasons: with and without students. The city is special for many reasons, and a great number of those reasons can be directly connected to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. While I appreciate that fact, there’s always a small squeal of joy that erupts from me each spring commencement. Those of us over 25 aren’t as outnumbered for three whole months! That said, there’s also something quite wonderful when the flurry of fall semester activity returns in September. It’s a different state of liveliness, and I enjoy that as well.
Not all that’s great is contained within the borders of downtown, although it’s the center of our community and capitol building. There are numerous places to go and things to do inside, outside, throughout, and around. If you live here, you understand why we love to live here, and if you’re visiting, you’ll quickly learn why Madison repeatedly places on numerous Top 10 lists. To you, our fair city, we devote this Quintessential Madison issue.
Enjoy the stories, images, and lives shared within these pages, and don’t forget to visit our sponsors, all of whom are fabulous! And don’t forget to tell them that Madison Essentials sent you.