Happy Wednesday! We are halfway through the week and I am still recovering from the weekend. If you haven’t heard, Brad and I took off for a long weekend in Madison, Wisconsin. We were invited up for my longest blogging friend’s wedding. Yes, that’s right, Jasmine from The Jasmine Maria tied the knot! Brad and I were so excited to receive her invitation so we jumped at the opportunity to celebrate her marriage and of course, a long weekend just the two of us. While we were in Madison, we fell in love with the city. Not only were there so many places to visit, to eat, and to see, but the city was absolutely beautiful and so clean. Since we loved our trip so much, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share our long weekend in Madison, Wisconsin.
A Long Weekend In Madison, Wisconsin
Friday morning our alarm clock went off at 4:30, an early start so we could make the most of the day. Since Madison was only 6 hours away, plus we went from Eastern to Central time, we were figured the earlier the start, the more time we would have. The road trip was fairly easy as we passed through Indiana, Illinois, and finally arrived in Wisconsin. One thing we underestimated were the tolls. If you are traveling on I-90, I highly recommend looking into the I-Pass to save some money on the tolls. Our toll costs was around $25, each way.
While the tolls sucked, I was able to finally see Chicago. I discovered that we are only 4 hours away from Chicago so a trip back soon is a must. The upside of driving through Chicago during rush hour was that I was able to really look around and see the city, well as much as I could from the interstate. Brad and I did look up to see where the The Gallagher’s house from Shameless was but after reading some articles, we decided to not venture off the interstate. Have you visited The Gallagher’s house?
Outside of Chicago, a nasty storm met us. The clouds were super creepy, the rain was coming down so hard we could barely see, and the streaks of lightning were something fierce. Thankfully that didn’t last too long and the drive into Wisconsin was so pretty. The leaves have started to change a lot more there than they have here in Ohio so I was super excited to see fall. Plus, the temperature was 20+ degrees cooler in Wisconsin than Ohio.
At 11:00 Wisconsin time, we arrived to our hotel. Check-in wasn’t until 3:00 but we figured we would take a chance to see if we could check-in early. Thankfully we could. Jasmine had reserved a block of rooms at the Cambria Hotel Madison East. In Brad’s words, “this is the nicest hotel we’ve ever stayed at”. It was definitely a pretty hotel. We reserved a room with a king size bed which was definitely the best option. When you walk into the room, you’ll be met with a little bar that had a Keurig, mini fridge, microwave, and counter space. In the same space as the bar, you’ll find a couch with an ottoman, TV, and a desk. There’s a wall with a small opening that leads to the king-sized bed, TV, and a closet. I loved how the room was divided, but didn’t feel small.
After getting settled in our room, we ordered a Lyft to take us from the hotel to downtown Madison. We decided to Lyft/Uber everywhere so we didn’t have to worry about finding a place to park and we knew we would be doing some drinking when we got downtown. Tip: I highly recommend checking both Lyft and Uber as one was always $5-$10 cheaper.
Driving into downtown was so pretty, especially since you are met with their gorgeous state capital building. Also, Madison is surrounded by lakes which is super cool. State Street is the place to be. There are so many bars, restaurants, and cute stores to stop in. Plus, the street doesn’t allow cars only bikes and buses, so it’s easy to cross the street.
For lunch, Brad and I met up with Jasmine, her fiance Brian, her two boys, and one of Brian’s friends at HopCat. HopCat was voted #1 bar in Wisconsin and with over 130 beers on tap and delicious food, I can see why it won. The ultimate grilled cheese with roasted red pepper soup and cosmic fries was delicious and I highly recommend. After lunch, the 7 of us walked down State Street to a candy shop. It’s always so fun to go into an actual candy shop.
Brad and I spent the rest of Friday exploring downtown Madison. Since it was mom and dad’s weekend out, we did a lot of bar hopping. Whisky Jack’s Saloon, The Old Fashioned, State Street Brats, and Vintage Spirits & Grill were some of stops. Whisky Jack’s Saloon is like a bar that you would discover in Nashville, it’s very country with a college atmosphere, it was our favorite. The Old Fashioned is definitely a restaurant, however, we stopped for a drink at the bar while we figured out our game plan for the evening. State Street Brats has a great place upstairs to have a few drinks. Their brats smelled amazing and I’m totally kicking myself for not getting one. Vintage Spirits & Grill was another stop that we made to get in from the rain and figure out where we were going to eat dinner. It’s more of a dive bar but was fairly busy.
For dinner, Brad and I settled on Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry. This spot was recommended to us from a person we met at one of the bars. He said he was a former student and it was the best spot for a good cheeseburger. After a
few lot of beers, a good cheeseburger sounded delicious. This place was not a disappointment by any means. The burger was absolutely delicious and the cheese curds were to die for. Seriously, Wisconsin knows what’s up with their cheese, especially their cheese curds. I am seriously craving them after our trip.
After dinner, downtown was busy since it was getting later in the night. We decided to call it an early night since we knew that the later we stayed out the more
tired hungover we would be and we did not want that. So, we were back at the hotel by 9:30. In our defense, it was 10:30 our time and we had been up since 4:30 AM.
On Saturday morning, Brad and I decided to wake up early (Wisconsin time) to get ready and relax before going to explore some more before the wedding. Our first stop was Gus’ Diner in Sun Prairie. THIS. IS. A. MUST. The food here was absolutely delicious! They had the best waffle that I’ve ever had. Brad had the eggs Benedict and he said it was the best thing ever. The atmosphere is so fun and I promise you’ll love it.
After breakfast, the two of us ventured to Mousehouse Cheesehaus. This is a popular spot, especially for tourists. Inside you’ll find everything made in Wisconsin, from cheese to meat to beer and wine, this store has it covered. It was a super cool place to visit, however, we decided not to buy anything there. One of our bartenders told us to visit it but to buy cheese and beer to just go to a grocery store. He was right, everything in the grocery store was 1/2 to 3/4 times cheaper than any of the specialty shops.
We found the grocery store in Sun Prairie where we spent the remainder of the morning walking around. Sun Prairie had a super cute Farmer’s Market that had a bunch of vendor’s with produce that looked amazing. It definitely put our Farmer’s Market to shame. It was so cold Saturday morning that we had to make a pit stop into a local coffee shop for some coffee.
After we did our exploring Saturday morning, we spent Saturday afternoon chilling in our hotel room. At the grocery store we picked up a 6 pack of New Glaus Spotted Cow beer, which everyone raves about in Wisconsin. The beer was so good and I am so mad we didn’t stop to pick up more before we left. Anyone want to ship us some? I kid, I kid. Anyways, we enjoyed a couple beers while watching the Wisconsin football game before we started getting ready for the wedding. It was nice to spend a couple hours just relaxing. Brad and I are bad at prioritizing time just spent with each other so this was much needed.
It was finally wedding time!! Jasmine and Brian had the most gorgeous outside ceremony. I loved that they incorporated their love for Game of Thrones by having the violinists play the theme song. Let me just tell you, it was chilling to hear in person on violins. Jasmine was absolutely stunning. Their love just glowed off of each other. Not only was I thankful to watch Jasmine get married, but I was so thankful to finally meet some of the other gals I met through blogging. Cierra from Cierra Robin Blog, Kelsie at Kelsie Kristine, Chloe from Frizz and Frillzz, Nina from Balkanina, and Ashley at Style 608 were all in attendance as well. We had the best time meeting each other and all of our significant others, taking pictures, and dancing the night away.
Sunday came too quick and it was time for us to head home. We checked out of our hotel by 8:30, stopped for breakfast at Denny’s, and on the road we were. We had the best time but we were definitely ready to see Henry. I’m so ready to go back and this time, Henry will be coming with us.
PIN FOR LATER!
A long weekend in Madison, Wisconsin is the perfect getaway. I hope you enjoyed reading our recap and it encourages you to visit. The people, staff, and waiters were so friendly and respectful. We didn’t have 1 bad experience which just helps prove that the Midwest is the Best. Since having Henry, date nights and alone time have been nonexistent for Brad and I. Going on this trip was such a great reminder on how important it is to keep dating ourselves. Now I’m eager to go on some more dates together this fall.