Travel on a budget
By Bill Malcolm
Have you been to Wisconsin? Don’t miss Madison, the state’s beautiful capital city, located on an isthmus between two lakes.
There’s a lot to do, including biking along Lakes Mendota and Monona, renting a canoe on Lake Wingra, and more.
Don’t miss the UW Arboretum, as well as the Olbrich Gardens.
Rent a B-cycle bike and tour the city. Trek Bicycles are based in Wisconsin.
The UW Campus is a must. The Lakeshore Trail runs along Lake Mendota out to Picnic Point (perfect for one).
Have a beer and microbrew at the UW Memorial Union Terrace where you can watch (or rent) a sail boat or enjoy the free live music.
On Saturday, the Farmers Market around Capitol Square is another must. Sample some cheese curds or buy some cheese at the Fromagination store on the square.
Stay at the newly remodeled Edgewater Hotel overlooking Lake Mendota, or the Hilton overlooking Lake Monona.
Tour the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Monona Terrace convention center.
Get to Madison on the Badger or Lamers Bus from Milwaukee or the Van Galder bus from Chicago (or drive – six hours from Indy).
If you have more time, drive up to Devils Lake State Park for a hike or over to Milwaukee to visit the Art Museum.
New Glarus is a historic Swiss city, south of Madison, along two regional bike trails that run to Illinois. Have a fondue at the New Glarus Hotel (and spend the night). Check out the gardens and garden art at the Epic headquarters in Verona.
West of Madison is Spring Green, home of Frank Lloyd Wright’s home, Taliesin.
Rent a canoe and paddle the undeveloped and beautiful Wisconsin River.
Door County is a four-hour drive northeast. The picturesque peninsula is surrounded by Green Bay on one side and Lake Michigan on the other.
The Apostle Islands on Lake Superior and Minocqua, north of Madison, are two more ideas.
The hilly state is not as hot as Indiana in the summer, and after it rains it cools off.
For more ideas, pick up a copy of Isthmus or Our Lives (or read it online at www.ourlivesmadison.com).
In other travel news
Expect a wait to get through security at airports this summer.
I spent over an hour trying to get through security at SeaTac in March. In April, it took 30 minutes at DCA in DC. In May, even Indy’s airport took over 30 minutes to clear TSA. With budget cuts, TSA lines are long and getting longer. I’m now arriving at the airport over two hours in advance due to the new delays.
Free drinks in Business Class on the Hoosier State
Take the train to Chicago. The four day a week Hoosier State allows kids to ride free. They also have a dome car for business class customers with free adult beverages and more. Check out www.hoosierstatetrain.org. Tickets at www.amtrak.com.
Longtime Indianapolis resident Bill Malcolm also writes the Round the Ripple column in The Broad Ripple Gazette. He also is a contributor to All Aboard Indiana, the official passenger newsletter of the Indiana High Speed Rail Association and maintains the Hoosiers for Passenger Rail site on Facebook.