Madison, Plan Your Visit, Sights

Explore Madison: Museums and Cultural Sites

To kick off our “Explore Madison” series of posts, we bring you a list of museums and cultural sites that are within walking distance of the conference venue (The Madison Concourse Hotel).

Health guidelines vary between organizations but most require masks to be worn. Visit the respective websites for current information about health and safety protocols.

Wisconsin Historical Museum

Photo credit: Wisconsin Historical Museum

Located on the Capitol Square, the Wisconsin Historical Museum shares the stories behind Wisconsin’s heritage. Highlights include exhibits featuring:

  • Native Nations and Tribes
  • The immigrant experience
  • Frontier life
  • Agriculture and industry
  • Politics

Address: 30 N. Carroll St. (0.2 miles from the conference; about a 3 minute walk)
Hours: 11 AM – 3 PM, Thursday through Saturday 
Cost: Free ($5 suggested donation)
Plan Your Visit:
Events: Currently no events scheduled during the conference dates
Accessibility: The Wisconsin Historical Museum is fully accessible by wheelchair. Visitors with limited mobility may be dropped off and picked up directly in front of the Museum on Carroll Street. For additional information about accessibility, visit their website.

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Photo credit: Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Formerly known as the the Madison Art Center, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) is dedicated to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving modern and contemporary art. Located on State street,  just a stone’s throw from the conference venue, this museum offers 51,500 square feet of interior space as well as a 7,100 square foot sculpture garden. The building itself is a work of art, having been designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli.

Address: 227 State St (0.2 miles from the conference; about a 5 minute walk)
Hours: 12pm – 6pm; Friday through Sunday
Cost: Free
Plan your visit: 
Events: (There is a Gallery Night on May 6)
Accessibility: Contact the museum for accessibility information

Chazen Museum of Art

Photo Credit: The Chazen Museum of Art

Located on the UW-Madison Campus, the Chazen Museum of Art boasts the second-largest collection of art in Wisconsin, and is the largest collecting museum in the Big 10. Within its 176,000 square feet of museum space is a collection of approximately 23,000 works of art covering diverse historical periods, cultures and geographic locations, from ancient Greece, Western Europe and the Soviet Empire to Moghul India, 18th-century Japan and modern Africa.

Address: 750 University Avenue (0.7 miles from hotel; 15-20 walk; Accessible by bus)
Hours: 10am – 7pm Monday through Friday: 11am-5pm Saturday and Sunday
Cost: Free
Plan your visit: 

Wisconsin Veterans Museum

Photo credit: Wisconsin Veterans Museum

If you’re unable to join the MAC tour of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum but are interested in learning more about the role of Wisconsin veterans in the United States of America’s military past and present, you can visit as a guest! The museum is composed of two galleries that chronicle the history of Wisconsin citizens who served in the U.S. military from the American Civil War to present day.

Address: 30 W. Mifflin St (0.1 miles from the conference; less than 5 minute walk)
Hours: 10am – 5pm Tuesday through Thursday & Saturday;  10am – 6pm Friday; 12pm – 5pm Sunday
Cost: Free
Events: (Live from The Storefront: Veteran Artists Create May 6th)
Plan your visit: 
Accessibility: Contact the museum for accessibility information

Tour the Capitol Building

Photo credit: Wisconsin Historical Society

A recognizable feature of Madison’s skyline, the Capitol Building reaches a height of over 265 feet. It holds the distinction of having the only granite dome in the United States. Inside, visitors are treated to the unique textures of 43 varieties of stone from around the world, hand-carved furniture and exquisite glass mosaics. The building is open to the public so feel free to explore on your own to participate in a free guided tour.

Address: 2 E. Main St (0.2 miles from the conference ; about a 5 minute walk)
Hours: Building is open to the public Weekdays 8am-6pm; Tours start at the information desk Monday through Saturday at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 a.m. and 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 p.m.; and Sundays at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 p.m. A 4:00 p.m. tour is offered weekdays (Monday – Friday)
Cost: Free
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible

Madison Children’s Museum

Photo credit:

The Madison Children’s Museum is designed for ages birth to 12. It has a wide variety of exhibits on various topics including  the arts, sciences, history, culture, health, and civic engagement.

Address: 100 N. Hamilton St. (0.2 miles from the conference; approximately 5 minute walk)
Hours: 9 am–4 pm, Thursdays through Sundays
Cost: $12 for children age 1+ and adults, $11 for grandparents and seniors, and free for babies under age 1.
Plan your visit: 

University of Wisconsin Geology Museum

Photo credit: UW Geology Museum

A destination for all ages, the Geology Museum examines the fascinating geological history of Wisconsin! From volcanoes to coral reefs to caves to Mastodons, visitors will learn all about the natural history of Wisconsin.

Address: Weeks Hall, 1215 West Dayton St (1.2 miles from the conference; about a 30 minute walk; Accessible by bus)
Hours: Weekdays 8:30am-4:30pm; Saturday 9am-1pm
Cost: Free!
Plan your visit:
Accessibility: Contact the museum for accessibility information

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