Madison WI #14 in “Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2024-2025


What’s it like to live in Madison, WI?

Against a backdrop of high-tech businesses and acclaimed academic institutions, Madison, Wisconsin, exudes the casual, down-to-earth feel you’d expect in the capital of America’s Dairyland. On any given night, Madisonians can enjoy food prepared by award-winning chefs and take in performances by national and international musicians and actors. Other Madisonians will take their time perusing produce, meats and baked goods at the Dane County Farmers Market, likely grabbing breakfast and coffee or hot spots like Marigold Kitchen and Michelangelo’s Coffee House.

A hotbed of the health care, information technology and manufacturing industries, Madison has steadily welcomed new residents over the past decade and is growing to accommodate and entertain these transplants. Developers are quickly erecting mixed-use luxury housing with ground floors occupied by trendy restaurants and coffee shops. Madison’s options for fine dining, microbrews and craft cocktails are constantly expanding.

As in New York City, it is somewhat rare to encounter a native Madisonian. Some who have relocated attended UW-Madison and never left. Others relocated to Madison for work. Nevertheless, the small-town vibe of Madison shines through.

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