Summer is all about relaxing and getting outside in the sun! Fortunately, there is so much to do in Madison during the summer. However, there are many 'hidden gems' to visit that many people don't know about.
Whether you're looking for your next summer adventure or just want to plan a quick and fun day trip near the city, here are five places or 'hidden gems' you should visit this summer.
1. Fireman's Park Beach — Verona, WI
Once a former limestone quarry, this park offers beautiful views. It offers two water slides, a swimming hole and plenty of food to refuel! This is the perfect way to get those beach vibes without having to travel far — it's only a 25-minute drive from Madison!
2. Gibraltar Rock — Lodi, WI
Located about 45 minutes away from the city, Gibraltar Rock is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Madison. Beautiful trees, natural views of the state and hiking trails are aplenty at this location. Gibraltar Rock is a must-see for the summer!
3. MacKenzie Center — Poynette, WI
A perfect place to learn about the natural world, MacKenzie Center in Poynette can be found just 25 miles north of Madison. You'll never be bored here, as there are trails, habitats, museums and exhibits, as well as an arboretum, a study pond and an observation tower.
4. Pheasant Branch Conservancy — Middleton, WI
Love animals and nature? Then Pheasant Branch Conservancy is the 'hidden gem' for you. Only a 15 minute drive from Madison, this conservancy contains an open-water marsh located among forests, hills and meadows. This park has various habitats which house different plants and animals, many of which are threatened or endangered.
5. Kettle Moraine State Forest — Delafield, WI
Another awesome way to get outdoors this summer, Kettle Moraine State Forest is less than 2 hours away from Madison, but is definitely worth the trip. This forest uncovers the beautiful views of Wisconsin and even has paddle boats and canoes available for rent.