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Along the Banks of Two Large Lakes, Madison is a College Town Full of Festivals, Museums, a Zoo, a Fun Pedestrian Mall and More
Madison, Wisconsin's capital, is in the southern section of the state and is known for its high quality of life. It is home to the University of Wisconsin (45,000 students) and grew up around two large lakes, Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. Two more lakes are just outside of city limits.
The University influences much of life here and creates a rich academic texture. Locals enjoy music, dance and theater performances, numerous galleries, the Chazen Museum of Art and the Overture Center for the Arts. The Madison Opera, the Madison Ballet and the Madison Symphony have full schedules. A zoo, spas, excellent shopping venues and an in-depth dining scene, complete with waterfront eateries, all add to Madison's appeal. The lakes provide year-round outdoor recreation, with beaches for summer sun bathing, boating and swimming and frozen ice for winter skating and fishing. Parks and hiking trails and bicycle paths are plentiful. Downtown's State Street is a fun pedestrian mall.
Festivals are many and include the Great Taste of the Midwest and Atwood Fest. Madison has also been recognized as a great sports city, with Badger football particularly popular. The University has a program called Senior Learning in which people age 60+ may take non-credit classes and audit classes for free.
The city has 120 officially recognized neighborhood associations, with specific areas appealing to various demographics (students, white collar, blue collar, families, etc.). Midvale Heights is one neighborhood that is popular with retirees. Homes come in all shapes and sizes.
Population: 270,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 30%
Cost of Living: 2% below the national average
Median Home Price: $400,000
Climate: Madison has a four season climate with mild humidity throughout the year. Summer temperatures are in in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Winters are cold with temperatures in the single digits, teens and 20s. On average, the city receives 30 inches of rain and 42 inches of snow per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: Yes
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes, the Madison Public Library, and it has nine branches.
Political Leanings: Liberal
College Educated: 58%
Is Wisconsin Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Notes: Madison has grown 10% during the last decade. Home prices have increased 4% during the last year. The city has a long history of left-leaning political activism.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Wisconsin, a Midwestern state, was first discovered by the French but then settled by German and Scandinavian immigrants in the 19th-century. It was admitted to the Union in 1848 and today is a large dairy producer, particulalry famous for its cheese.
The first ice cream sundae was created in Wisconsin in 1881, and the first circus in the U.S. occured in Delavan, Wisconsin.
More than 800,000 deer roam Wisconsin woods, and according to legend, Wisconsin has more ghosts per square mile than any other state.
Just about all the natural lakes in Wisconsin have resulted from glaciers, and the Fox River is one of the few rivers in the country that flows north.
Almost a third of all Americans live within 500 miles of Wisconsin.
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