The Widget 'include' is not enabled please contact your administrator.The Widget 'include' is not enabled please contact your administrator.The Widget 'include' is not enabled please contact your administrator.


Madison, Wisconsin consistently ranks as a top community in which to live, work, play, and raise a family. This Midwestern getaway is also growing in recognition as a premier meeting and convention destination. Read on to discover which lists we've topped and why--from being the best in business to creating phenomenal food--and countless criteria in between.


Growing Recognition for Going Green

The Best Cities on Earth for Biking
Yahoo Travel, June 2015

#2 Best Midwest Cities for Green Commuters, May 2013

#1 Most Compact Mid-Sized City in U.S. (13th in U.S. Overall)

#1 Greenest City in America
Nerdwallet, April 2014 

Madison Leads the Way in Meetings Sustainability
Meetings Focus, February 2014 

Madison Named Best Green Town in Wisconsin's 12 Best Towns
Wisconsin Trails, 2013  

10 great places to blaze a (bike) trail of good food, September 2012

Madison Ranked #6 Bike-Friendly City
Bicycling Magazine, June 2012

Madison ranked in Top 12 for Water Conservation
Wyland Foundation, May 2012

Madison in Top Ten for Greatest Cycling Cities
USA Today, 2011

Madison Ranked 43rd for Providing 'Green' Jobs
Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, July 2011

Madison Named Best Green Town
Wisconsin Trails, May/June 2011

Dane County Farmer's Market #1
The Huffington Post, July 24, 2009


A Happening Place to Be Healthy

Most Bike-Friendly States in the U.S.
Fast Company, May 2014 

#3 in Top Ten Healthiest Cities, April 2015

#4 Best Cycling Towns
USAToday Travel, April 2014

Travel Active Getaway
Midwest Living, June 2014 

Madison Ranked #8 in Happiest, Healthiest Cities in America, September 2013 and Huffington Post, January 2014

#14 Best Half Marathon in the U.S.
Runner's World Magazine, February 2013

Madison ranked as one of 10 great places to try stand-up paddle boarding
USA Today, August 2012

Madison Ranked 5th most Bikeable City
Walkscore, May 2012

#4 in Best Cities for Health Care
The Daily Beast, January 2011

Best City for Men, 2011
Men's Health, December 2010

University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics #5 in adult specialties
U.S. News, April 2010

Madison Rated #7 Most Bike-Friendly City in America
Bicycling Magazine, April 2010

Madison 8th Healthiest Place for Women
Self Magazine, October 2009

Madison 13th Best Place to Live
Triathlete Magazine, September, 2009


Sweet Spot for Sports

A Silver Lining to Winter: Best U.S. Outdoor Skating Rinks
USA Today Travel, January 13, 2015

#1 in America's 10 Best College Football Towns
USA Today, December 2014

#1 Best College Football Towns
NCAA, September 2014

#7 in Top 50 U.S. Swim Cities
USA Swimming, August 2014


Perfect Place to Live

#3 in Top 100 Best Places to Live 2016, September 2015 

10 U.S. Cities Perfect for a Weekend Getaway
Buzzfeed, July 2015

25 Weekend Getaways Near Chicago
Midwest Living, June 2015

Best Places to Honeymoon Near Chicago
CBS News Chicago, May 2013

Most Livable Cities in America
Forbes, April 20, 2015

10 Most Livable Neighborhoods in the U.S.
AARP, April 16, 2015

5 Reasons Madison, WI Might be the World’s Best Place to Retire
Huffington Post, February 27, 2015

Top 10 Happiest Cities in the World
National Geographic, January 2015

#9 in 10Best Travel-Worthy State Capitols
USA Today, January 2015

Top 10 Things to Do on a Budget
Midwest Living, January 26, 2015

Photo Tour: Beautiful Wisconsin
USA Today, January 16, 2015

#5 Queerest Cities in America 2015
The Advocate, January 12, 2015

5 Free Things to Do in Madison, Wisconsin
Miami Herald, January 8, 2015

Three Wisconsin Destinations Make Perfect Mid-Winter Getaways
Chicago Sun Times, December 2014

Take Off! With the Savvy Stews—Madison
See it on hulu!

Crash Course: Madison, Wis.
Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 2014

#1 in Top 100 Places to Live, September 2014

"7 reasons why Madison, Wisconsin is the best place to live in America"
Business Insider, September 2014

#1 Best U.S. Cities for Quality of Life, August 2014

#8 in Top Ten Hardest Working Cities
MyLife, July 2014

2013 Great Places in America: Neighborhoods
American Planning Association

People Are Most Satisfied with Life in These 10 U.S. Cities
Business Insider, April 2014 

2014 Best of the Midwest Travel
Midwest Living, Spring 2014 

#3 in 15 Best Cities for Young Adults
Forbes, January 2014 

#5 in Top 100 Best Places to Live, January 2014 

#7 in 2014's Gayest Cities in America, January 2014

A Far Cry from Cheese & Beer
Senior Focus, Dec 2013/Jan 2014  

A Jewel of the Midwest, December 2013 

#5 in Best of the Midwest Concert Venues
Drake Magazine, January 2014

#5 in Top Ten Places to Live, November 2013

Madison Gets Perfect Score on Equality Index
Wisconsin Gazette, November 2013

#2 Best Small Cities for Starting Over
Credit Donkey, October 2013

#1 Best Small Cities to Live
Credit Donkey, August 2013

Madison #2 Best City for Recreational Activities
NerdWallet, August 2013

A Best Place to Retire
Huffington Post, April 2013

One of "5 Happiest Cities in America"
AARP, August 2012

Best College Game Day Tradition
Sports Illustrated, November 2012

Madison Ranked One of 10 Best Cities for Men
Men's Health, September 2012

Madison Ranked 15th Best Place to Live in the Future
WTAQ Radio, August 2012

Allstate's Safest Places to Drive
Washington Post, August 2012

Great Place to Raise a Family
MSN, August 2012

Madison Ranked #1 "Best City for Young Adults"
Kiplinger, July 2012

Madison Ranked #4 Brainiest City
Atlantic Cities, June 2012

Madison Ranked 3rd Best-Run City
24/7 Wall St., January 2012

Madison ranked 8th Best Music Scene, March 2012

State Street Ranked in Top Eight Shopping Districts in America
MSN, January 2012

Madison has 6th Most Dog Parks
USA Today, December 2011

Madison in Top 5 U.S. Cities for Winter Biking
Metaefficient, November 2011

Madison Ranked 10th Best Town to Live
Outside Magazine, October 2011

Middleton Ranked 8th Best Place to Live
Money Magazine, September 2011

Madison Named 3rd Best City for Young Professionals
Forbes, July 2011

Madison Named City with Best Job Market, July 2011

Madison Ranked 6th Best City for Families, June 2011

Madison Ranked 6th Best College Town in Renter Satisfaction
Apartment Ratings, May 2011

Madison Ranked 15th Most Socially Networked City in the US
Men's Health, March 2011

Madison Ranked in Top Ten for America's Best Getaway Cities, March 2011

Madison Ranked Best City for an Active Retirement
Forbes Magazine, February 2011

Madison Ranked Most Secure Place to Live in America
Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, December 2010

Madison Ranked #7 in Best Places for Military Retirement
USAA /, December 2010

Madison Ranked 7th Best City to Relocate to in America, October 2010

Madison Ranked #3 in Most Secure US Places
AOL Real Estate, October 2010

Madison #4 in Top 10 Midsize US Metro Areas for Quality of Life, June 2010

UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health ranked Top 20 for "Social Mission"
School of Medicine and Public Health, June 2010

Madison #7 Among Innovative Cities Nationwide, June 2010

Madison 2nd Best City for College Grads
The Daily, May 2010

Madison 5th Gayest City in America
The Advocate, February 2010


Best in Business

Wisconsin's Vibrant Metro All-Around Charmer
Meetings Focus, February 2015

#2 City for Young Entrepreneurs
NerdWallet, November 2014

A Welcome Flair for Drama, November 2014

#5 in Cities Winning the Battle for Information Jobs
Forbes, May 2014 

#9 in Top 25 Tech Hot Spots
The Atlantic Cities, October 2013

Forbes Best Places for Business & Careers
Forbes 2013, Madison Profile

Madison Ranks 5th for High Tech Jobs
MarketWatch, June 2013

The Best U.S. Cities for Working Women
Co.EXIST, May 2013

Top 7 Cities for Last-Minute Meetings
Smart Meetings, May 2013

Madison ranked 2nd best-run city in America
24/7 Wall St., January 2013

Madison Ranked #2 Best Small Metro College Town, October 2012

Madison Ranked #19 Creative Class Metro City
Atlantic Cities Magazine, July 2012

Madison Ranked as the City with the 3rd-Highest Credit Score in America
Experian, October 2011

Madison Ranked Best City for Educated Workers
Huffington Post, September 2011

Madison Named America's 14th Most Recession-Proof City, September 2010

Top Ten Most Innovative Cities
Forbes, May 2010

Madison #60 in Best Places For Business and Careers
Forbes Magazine, April 2010

Top ten most important research advances in cardiovascular disease and stroke
American Heart Association, January 2010

Madison #20 Best Place to Launch a Business
CNN Money, January 2010

Cities with the Best Mix of Opportunities for New Grads
Forbes, August 4, 2009

Madison #7 Best City to Live and Work
Kipingler, May 27, 2009

#2 Best Places to Find a Job
Money Magazine, April 2009


Excellence in Education, Arts & Architecture

UW-Madison Sociology Department Ranks #1 in U.S. Private and Public Universities
U.S. News & World Report

UW-Madison Ranks #13 Nationwide in Public Universities
U.S. News & World Report

Pilgrimage: Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright at Home
Arts & Crafts Homes, March 2014 

Madison Ranks 6th in Nation for Students Studying Abroad
Institute for Higher Education, November 2013

Madison Ranked Most Educated City in America
Men's Health Magazine, September 2011

Fabulous for Families

5 Free Things to Do in Madison, Wisconsin
Associated Press, June 2014

#8 Best City to Raise a Family
Parenting Magazine, July 2012

Madison Children's Museum Ranked 5th-Best Children's Museum in the Nation
Parents Magazine, February 2011

Safest City in America for Kids
Men's Health, August 2010

3rd Best City for Families 2010, July 2010

#2 in Top 100 Best Places to Raise a Family
Children's Health, September 2009
Today Show Video, October 2009


Phenomenal at Food

What’s in Season at the Farmer’s Market
Rachael Ray Show, June 2015

Unlikely Foodie Cities
Fox News, June 2015

Best Craft Beer Week events in May
USA Today, April 17, 2015

UW Students Break Record for Biggest Rice Krispies Treat
NBC News, April 2015

Greatest College Coffee Shops in America
Travel + Leisure, February 2015

A Journey by Plates
MS Connection Blog, January 14, 2015

Real Food, Real People
Taste & Travel International, Autumn 2014

14 Best Food Museums
MapQuest Discover, November 2014

15 Best New Restaurants in the Midwest
Condé Nast Traveler, September 2014

"Madison: Wisconsin capital provides tasty eats, unique sights"
Pasadena Star News, September 2014

Road Trips for Food Lovers: Madison
Time Out Chicago, June 2014

5 Wine Destinations off the Beaten Path
The Today Show, June 2014

Foodie Cities: Real Estate for the Restaurant Set
Wall Street Journal

10 Best Cities for Food Trucks This Summer
USA Today, May 2014 

Finest Farm-to-Table Dining
Four Seasons of Food Blog, February 2014 

Madison Named #3 in Best Iconic American Foods
USA Today & 10Best, August 2013 

Madison Named Best Foodie Town in Wisconsin's 12 Best Towns
Wisconsin Trails, 2013

#5 Top Foodie Cities in 2013, April 2013

Best American Beer Fest
Esquire Magazine, August 2011

Madison in Top 12 for Best Farmers' Markets, May 2011

Madison named one of Top 12 Best Local Farmers' Markets in America, October 2010

Harvest recognized by James Beard Foundation
Harvest Restaurant, January 2010

Madison's #1 Best Midwest Food Town
Midwest Living Magazine, April 22, 2009


Nods to our Neighbors

Middleton Rated #4 Best Places to Live
CNN Money's list of America's best small towns, August 2009