A Perfect Day in Middleton
Middleton is home to nearly 70 restaurants and cafés, 55 places to shop, a beautiful golf course, 36 parks and green spaces...
Middleton is home to nearly 80 restaurants and cafés, 50 places to shop, a beautiful golf course, 36 parks and green spaces, and 835 acres of conservancy land, The National Mustard Museum, Capital Brewery and Bier Garten, and shares a border with Lake Mendota.
Middleton has something to offer everyone.
With that in mind, use the following to choose your own Middleton adventure! Here are three OUTDOOR itineraries to mix and match with SHOP-DINE-RELAX options to create your own PERFECT DAY IN MIDDLETON! Hint: There are enough options here to fill a long weekend, if not a week!
A Perfect Day in Middleton — OUTDOORS
HIKING, BIKING, SIGHTSEEING, BIRD WATCHING AT PHEASANT BRANCH CONSERVANCY
PHEASANT BRANCH: Hop in the car for a very short drive to any of the access points of Pheasant Branch Conservancy — 549 acres of beautiful, protected conservancy land. All Middleton parks and conservancy lands are free — no permits are required. For a relatively short but beautiful hike, we suggest beginning with parking by the historical marker at 4865 Pheasant Branch Road and hiking up to Frederick’s Hill with beautiful views of the area, including a Native American effigy mound and the Wisconsin State Capitol.
Another easy access point is Orchid Heights Park (3960 Valley Ridge Road), which has public restrooms, seating, tables, grills, and a scenic 3.5-mile loop through the Conservancy. It’s the perfect place to have a picnic! You can pick up supplies at the Metro Market or Willy Street Co-op grocery on your way to the park.
On the south side of the conservancy is a beautiful bridge that is often photographed along the Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor Trail.
Bird watching: Are you a birder? Pheasant Branch Conservancy is home to more than 200 different species of birds.
Looking for a smaller park? Playground equipment? Dog parks? Click here.
FOOD TIME: When it’s time to break for lunch or dinner, there are so many options on the northeast side of Middleton. Choose from breakfast food at C’s Restaurant & Bakery, submarine sandwiches, salads and premade meals at Gino’s Italian Deli, burger and fries at Craftsman Table & Tap, fish fry at Mid Town Pub, Indian food at Amber Indian Cuisine, modern “like” supper club food from the historic 1847 at the Stamm House and Mexican food from Pasqual’s Cantina, Camino Real Mexican restaurant or Taqueria Jalisco. Then, stop into Miggy’s Bakes for delicious baked goods that are almost too cute to eat. Make sure to check out business hours before choosing where to dine, some restaurants are only open for lunch or dinner.
PLEASANT VIEW GOLF COURSE
MORNING: Enjoy breakfast at the Goat Hill Grill at the golf course, or grab a fantastic diner breakfast at Hubbard Avenue Diner or an Albanian-American breakfast spread at Sofra Family Bistro — both in downtown Middleton, about seven minutes from the course.
PLEASANT VIEW GOLF COURSE: Maybe living your best day includes a combo of outdoors and sport, in that case, Pleasant View Golf Course on the west side of Middleton is the perfect answer. Enjoy 27 holes of well-maintained championship golf, a nine-hole scenic par 3 course and an outstanding practice range. The course was awarded gold in Madison Magazine’s Best of Golf Courses for 2018-2020 and 2022, and silver in 2021 and 2023.
FOOD: No need to even leave the course, you can enjoy The Goat Hill Grill, open for outdoor seating — weather permitting — and there is a full-service bar. The grill offers Wisconsin bar fare such as cheese curds, fried pickle spears, burgers, sandwiches, and more. The Grill also serves light breakfast options, like English muffins and bagels — and the heartier Hole-N-One breakfast, all before 11 a.m.
The golf course is minutes from Greenway Station — an outdoor shopping and dining center — offering multiple great food options. If looking for something quick, make a stop at Freska Mediterranean Grill, Cafe Zupa’s, Noodles & Company, and Jersey Mike’s. If you have time to spare, there are also multiple great dine-in options, from Dhaba Indian Bistro to Ancho & Agave, to Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Fuji Sushi & Hibachi and Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano.
There are multiple great dining options downtown, all of which are unique to Middleton. Downtown dining options include Longtable Beer Cafe, Taigu Chinese Restaurant, Taza Mediterranean Cafe, Villa Dolce, Sofra Family Bistro, The Village Green, Hubbard Avenue Diner, Takara 88 Japanese Restaurant, Compadres Mexican, Free House Pub, Fajitas, Tapas & Bar, Louisianne’s ETC., and just north of downtown off Parmenter Street, you will find Paul’s Neighborhood Bar & Restuarant, Trio Ramen, Jet’s Pizza and Pikkito. Don’t forget dessert from Clasen’s European Bakery or Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream.
ON THE WATER
MORNING: There are so many fun breakfast options in Middleton from hometown diners and cafes like C’s Restaurant & Bakery, Prairie Café & Bakery, Hubbard Avenue Diner, Grace Coffee and Barriques. In a hurry? Hit up the drive-through at MOKA, Scooter’s or one of the two Starbucks locations (one in Greenway Station and one on the way to Marshall Park).
MARSHALL BOATS: There are boat docks at Marshall Park to drop your own seafaring vessel, but if looking to rent something floatable to enjoy on Lake Mendota, stop by Marshall Boats, Board & Boat Rentals. Marshall Boats rents pontoons, kayaks, tandem kayaks, paddle boards, and canoes. They also offer a lakeside patio that can be enjoyed by any patron or reserved for parties of up to 50. Marshall Boats is open (summer hours) from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Fall hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday (starting Sept. 5, 2023).
LUNCH: After a morning on the water, grab lunch and continue enjoying the outdoors with a picnic in one of Middleton’s parks. Pick up provisions at Metro Market or Willy Street Co-op, or grab a delicious meal to-go from ILike Sushi, Gino’s Italian Deli, Taqueria Jalisco, Amber Indian Cuisine, Jimmy Johns, and more.
DINNER: After a full day on the water, it’s essential to recharge. Middleton has more than 80 dining options and many have outdoor patios — like Craftsman Table & Tap, 1847 at the Stamm House, Longtable Beer Cafe, Free House Pub, Ancho & Agave, Trio Ramen, Tanner’s Bar & Grill, The Village Green and more. Middleton’s restaurant scene offers a world of flavors from Japanese to Mediterranean to Indian to Chinese to Mexican to Italian to Albanian-American to the flavors of New Orleans!
A Perfect Day in Middleton —
Shop-Dine-Relax in downtown Middleton and Greenway Station!
MORNING: Ease into your day and enjoy a leisurely diner breakfast at Hubbard Avenue Diner, the café experience at Grace Coffee or Barriques, or an Albanian-American breakfast spread at Sofra Family Bistro — all in downtown Middleton.
RETAIL THERAPY: With more than 50 shops and boutiques, Middleton is the perfect place to shop the day away. Find well-known brands at Greenway Station’s outdoor shopping center, including World Market, DSW, HomeGoods, J. Jill, LOFT, Marshalls and more.
Stroll through a very walkable downtown to find locally owned boutiques in downtown Middleton, including Chauette Fashion & Home, Cloth & Metal Boutique, Journeyman Co., The Regal Find, John/Christine Designs, Little Pop Color Shop, Diny’s Jewelers, Tradition Women’s Market and Tradition Children’s Market.
RELAX: Looking for a little self-care? Check out Happy Nails and Spa, Ideal Image, Renu Massage Energy and Bodywork, Elements Massage, ANiU Salon & Spa, Massage Envy, Blue October Spa, Studio 262 Salon, and more.
ADULT BEVERAGES: Wisconsin isn’t shy at embracing good food and good drinks. Enjoy a beer at World of Beer, and drinks on the outdoor patios of Longtable Beer Cafe, Craftsman Table & Tap, Free House Pub, and Mid Town Pub. And of course, you cannot visit Middleton without enjoying Capital Brewery & Bier Garten in downtown Middleton. This German-style brewery is located in a historic building and is walkable from multiple restaurants and shops downtown. Want to relax with a glass of wine in a cozy wine bar or on an outdoor café? Grape Water Wine Bar is the answer! And head to Hidden Cave Cidery for fresh, high-quality, unique hard cider.
ACTIVITIES: I’m Board! Family Games and Fun — has a vast selection of games for the whole family.
ART LOVERS: Pick up or just appreciate local and regional art, jewelry and gifts at Gary’s Art & Frame Shop, John/Christine Designs, The Regal Find, Cloth & Metal Boutique, Diny’s Jewelers and St. John the Baptist Art Gallery.
The Middleton Public Art Trail is an easy guide to 14 public art installations, from sculpture to stained glass to painted murals. Some of the stops are walkable downtown, while others require transportation to visit. We suggest picking up a delicious coffee or specialty drink from one of our many cafés — Grace Coffee, Barriques, Scooter’s, Starbucks, Hubbard Avenue Diner — and enjoying the trail!
HISTORY LOVERS: Take a leisurely stroll through Middleton’s history with the help of the Middleton Area Historical Society’s free, guided Historic Downtown Middleton Stroll & Tell or a self-guided Historical Walking Tour. You can also jump in the car and visit the stops on the Middleton Landmark Tour.
LUNCH & DINNER: With more than 80 options for dining—the sky is the limit. Check out Middleton’s restaurants here!
NATIONAL MUSTARD MUSEUM: You cannot come to Middleton and not check out the National Mustard Museum — home to 6,000 mustards, a free museum and a quirky shop. Come and enjoy the free museum while finding the perfect souvenirs to take home to friends or enjoy for yourself.
SWEET TREATS: Sometimes after a long day filled with fun, we all feel like a little sweet reward. Find ice cream at Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, Cold Stone Creamery and Culver’s. You can pick up multiple gelato flavors and an assortment of Italian desserts at Villa Dolce. Looking for cakes, candies, truffles and bakery items that would put grandma to shame? Clasen’s European Bakery will surprise and delight. And, head on over to Miggy’s Bakes for the ultimate sweet satisfaction; choose from a case full of unique-flavored cookies, cookie cups, brownies and bars, and, on Saturdays and Sundays, you can treat yourself to cinnamon rolls right out of the oven.
LODGING: Choose from one of NINE hotel properties which are all just minutes from everything mentioned in these lists! Click here to see all nine properties.
ANNUAL EVENTS TO LOOK FORWARD TO:
Art Walk Middleton is May 18, 2024, and is a free event featuring the works of dozens of fine artists in a variety of media.
Greenway Station Farmers Market is 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday, May 4 – Oct. 5, 2023; find homemade and homegrown jams, baked goods, veggies, flowers, honey, Maple syrup, cheese curds, and so much more.
Experience the largest pre-OSH fly-in bash, Rock the Ramp, each July at Capital Flight.
National Mustard Day is Aug. 3, 2024, at the National Mustard Museum. It’s a day of music, fun activities and of course, lots of mustard!
Enjoy an auto show like no other at Capital Flight Cruise-In. This event is a fundraiser for Cars Curing Kids and takes place each August.
Good Neighbor Festival is Aug. 23-25, 2024, and is a community celebration open to all.
Strollin’ Middleton Jazz Festival is Sept. 6-7, 2024, and is free and open to all.
Haunted Hustle is Oct. 21, 2023, is a quirky walk/run through Middleton.
See Stone Horse Green come alive for the winter holiday season with Light The Green from 5-7 p.m. on November 25.
The City of Middleton Parks and Recreation Department hosts a Candy Cane Hunt that is filled with lots of holiday cheer.
Bockfest at Capital Brewery & Bier Garten every February is a winter outdoor festival with live music.
Click here for a full list of events happening in Middleton
Click here to view or order our current visitor guide
Click here to sign up for our free tourism newsletter (twice a month/unsubscribe at any time)