Botany, Beer and Badgers by Bike
City tour, 9 miles
Get ready to visit the iconic places on Madison's Isthmus that make it a very special place. The city seduces you with green and blue spaces, premium craft beer at jaw dropping prices and Midwestern niceness. As you ride on the Capitol Square and University, we dare you to count the number of badgers you see including a famous one in the Capitol.
Founder's Note: As someone born in Madison who still considers it my home, I deem this route and all the stops to be a first class representation of the Madison experience! Try not to fall in love.
Map & Logistics
Madison BCycle - $3 for 30 minutes
- Budget Bikes - $10+ daily for hybrid, mountain, road, vintage, trailer, trail-a-bike with helmet, lock and map
- Red Bike Project - FREE bike rental from Budget Bicycle when available
Start and end of route - #4 or 7 bus will take you between the Capitol Square and Olbrich Gardens. Just ask the bus driver when you should off. Madbus, Moovit and Ride Scout are great apps for real time bus and route planning info.
What to Bring?
Money for food and beverage but all other rest stops are free, Camera, Water Bottle and a Bathing Suit for a potential swim at the Union.
A. Olbrich Gardens 3330 Atwood Avenue | www.olbrich.org | (608) 246-4550
Olbrich is a magically, expansive private green space featuring rose, rain and sunken gardens as well as the most unique area, the Thai Pavilion and garden. The pavilion was a gift to University of Wisconsin-Madison from the Thai government and the location was chosen specifically because it is surrounded by water, which means good health and prosperity to Thai culture. FREE with suggested donations. Summer hours 8am-8pm
B. Tenney Park 1414 East Johnson Street | www.cityofmadison.com | (608) 261-4281
On the Mendota-side of the Isthmus, Tenney Park is a picturesque retreat with romantic bridges and plush green grass. Relax on the grass, swim in the lake, walk around, or even ice skate in the winter. Note: the jetty was the location of Bikabout founder's wedding ceremony.
C. The Old Fashioned 23 North Pinckney Street #1 | www.theoldfashioned.com | (608) 310-4545
Wisconsin’s classic burger joint, right on the Capitol Square! German and Scandinavian inspired dishes, paired with over 150 beers will leave you with an urge to top it off with some delicious cheese curds. GF, V Open M–F 7:30-2am / Sa 9-2am / Su 9am-10pm
D. Wisconsin State Capitol 2 East Main Street | tours.wisconsin.gov | (608) 266-0382
The focal point of the City and headquarters of the state government, the beautiful architecture and rotunda have seen many political successes and struggles. This is actually the third Capitol due to several fires, it was built by mostly Italian, Greek, and German immigrants who had experience with masonry. Building hours: M-F 8am-6pm / S-S 8am-4pm. Observation Deck is open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day
E. UW Memorial Union Terrace 800 Langdon Street | www.union.wisc.edu | (608) 265-3000
The University of Wisconsin's Memorial Union has expansive terraced outdoor seating under huge trees on Lake Mendota and sells food and great beer to anyone. It's also one of the best settings for live music. Mandatories are a photo on the giant, iconic chair and ice cream from Babock Hall in the front of the building. GF, V Open M-Th 7-12am / F 7-1am / Sa 8-1am / Su 8-12am
F. Weary Traveler Freehouse 1201 Williamson Street | www.wearytravelerfreehouse.com | (608) 442-6207
An inviting wood-paneled interior, an extensive bar, and internationally-inspired cuisine that, while low-fi, is much too good to be simply labeled "comfort food". For meat eaters, try the Bob's Bad Breath Burger. V, GF Open 7 days 11:30am-?
G. One Barrel Brewing 2001 Atwood Avenue | onebarrelbrewing.com | (608) 630-9286
One of the best nano-breweries in town located in the Atwood neighborhood...continue your journey just like Bilbo Baggins (Black IPA). For glutards like Bikabout's founder, they have Greens! GF Open M-W 4-11pm / Th 4pm-1am / F 3:30pm-1am / Sa 12p-1a / Su 12-11pm