Madison, the capital of Wisconsin, is home to the University of Wisconsin, and the diversity of this small Midwestern city is due largely to its sizable and mixed student population. Many of Madison's activities revolve around the university. Water sports and athletics are hugely popular in Madison, and the city hosts an official Iron Man triathlon every September. Both Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Chicago, Illinois, are easy day trips by car from Madison.
The university campus, on the shores of Lake Mendota, is a hub of activity for both students and city residents. While it's not necessary to have a car in Madison, it certainly helps to go farther afield than downtown and the campus area. Car rentals are readily available at the Dane County Airport (MDN), to transport you to your hotel of choice. Prime destinations include the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in the Nakoma neighborhood, and the Monona Terrace Convention Center, originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, on Lake Monona to the east of downtown.
In warmer months, a farmers market is held every Saturday morning on the square surrounding the Capitol building. The city boasts many fine unique restaurants, with an emphasis on locally grown and raised food, from nearby farming communities. Madison experiences extremes in temperature, from hot, humid weather in the summertime to sub-zero weather in winter. Visitors to Madison can expect the weather to change precipitously year-round.