Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison

4.8
See the granite Roman Renaissance structure of Wisconsin State Capitol, which houses chambers of the state's legislature, its supreme court, and the office of the governor. Take a free tour (offered daily) for a first-hand look at the building's marble floors, glass mosaics, and door knobs with the state's seal carved into them. From outside, look up at the capitol statue--the three-ton bronze figure covered in gold leaf symbolizes the state's motto--Forward. Plan to visit Wisconsin State Capitol and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Madison attractions using our Madison day trip site .
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Wisconsin State Capitol Reviews
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4.7
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  • The capitol is a beautiful piece of architecture (political preferences aside) that is rich in history and interesting facts. Depending on the tour guide you get, all were great just some were a bit b...  more »
  • Try once you are in Madison, is what. I tour as they walked around. Nice weather and good prospects, take clean pictures look too.
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  • The capital building was surrounded by Saturday Farmers Market which happens spring thru fall. The building is gorgeous inside and out. Great views from the top...short walk to UW campus. We had a gre...  more »
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  • This was an unplanned, fun and educational surprise. I happened to step inside the building after picking up a few items from the farmers market outside the building. I had noticed people meandering in and out of its doors on this particular Saturday morning that was also Veterans Day. After taking a peek at the beautiful interior, I noticed a young man at the information desk and found out a tour would take place in fifteen minutes. I thought, why not since I was already there. It turned out to be a fun, and interesting hour. To learn of the buildings 284.4 height, 100% Bethel White granite from Vermont and that Wisconsin was considered a bread basket state prior to being known as a dairy one. The interiors marble is comprised from Greece, Algeria, Italy and France as well as other materials from other states. The dome is one of the largest by volume in the world with a beautiful painting at the top called “Resources of Wisconsin.” There are 100 badgers in the capital as statues, in paintings, etc. You’ll tour the Governor’s Conference Room, The Supreme Court, Senate Chamber, Assembly Chamber, GAR Memorial Hearing Room and the North Hearing Room. The latter has walls that are of Italian marble. With in the walls we viewed snail fossils. Above, the skylight is made of leaded glass. Throughout the tour you will also observe original furnishings, paintings and their meanings and significance as well as the history and purpose of each room. After the tour you can take an elevator to another level, climb a short flight of stairs and step outside to view the city as well as the beautiful statues along the capitol dome. Overall: It was worth taking time out of my busy day to gain a little history on an interesting state.Take advantage of the free, tour narration booklet for even more information.
  • The Wisconsin State Capitol is one of the most beautiful capitol buildings in the USA. Its beautiful architecture is absolutely captivating. The best way is to join in the frequent guided tours that happens every day and get to the know the various features and the history of the place. Its a building that forms an inevitable part of this nice little city's history and culture. Around the building are sprawling parks where one can sit and relax. In the afternoons, the place is filled with great food trucks. There are free concerts during afternoons which you can enjoy over lunch. Its a place worth spending your time and the majestic settings is a great photo op.
  • A must see if visiting Madison. It has 43 different types of beautiful marble, granite, and limestone. The observation deck has a gorgeous 360-degree view of downtown Madison. There is also a ton of information about the construction, and rebuilding after the 1904 fire of the capitol building itself on the upper levels inside. This building and its guided tours are free to the visiting public. Even if you don't care about politics, this building is a must see.
  • Thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Wisconsin's Capital Building in Madison. It's set between two lakes atop of hill between them offering some great views. Both exterior and interior are beautiful as well as photo worthy.
  • Wow! Beautiful building. Wandered around for a couple hours, from the basement to the observation deck on top. Very nice air-conditioned get away on a hot day... American craftsmanship at its best. Helpful and nice staff around but you can wander on your own unmolested too. The views from the top of the isthmus, the lakes, the university and city layout are not to be missed. Best free attraction in town! Unless your a tax payer, in that case your paying plenty for admission.

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Where to stay in Madison

The university and state politics draw a constant stream of visitors to Madison, so you'll find a wide range of accommodations in the city. Numerous hotels circle the campus, and some of these overlook Lake Mendota. Moving onto the isthmus between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, you'll find a handful of charming inns and bed and breakfasts, most of which offer panoramic views of the water. Areas south of Lake Monona feature national chain hotels and motels. These sit farther away from the action around campus and the State Capitol Building, but they can also offer water views and quiet settings near some of Madison's many parks.
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7 days in Madison BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, kids, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, kids, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 5 days in Wisconsin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Madison BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Wisconsin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in Madison BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE June, culture, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Wisconsin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, kids, outdoors, beaches, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, kids, outdoors, beaches, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Wisconsin BY A USER FROM KENYA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Wisconsin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, kids, popular PREFERENCES: February, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Madison & Cape Coral BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, teens, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: February, teens, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Wisconsin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Wisconsin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
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