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, 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

frederick's hill pheasant branch conservancy middleton wisconsin
This photo was taken at the Pheasant Branch Conservancy, on one of the boardwalk sections.

MORNING: Fuel up with a cinnamon bun or breakfast skillet from Prairie Café and Bakery, or grab something from Scooter’s drive-through on your way to Pheasant Branch Conservancy.

PHEASANT BRANCH: Hop in the car for a very short drive to any of the access points of Pheasant Branch Conservancy — 519 acres of beautiful, protected conservancy land. All Middleton parks and conservancy lands are free — no permits 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.

Another easy access point is Orchid Heights Park (3960 Valley Ridge Road), which has public restrooms, seating, tables, grills and more. It’s the perfect place to have a picnic! You can pick up supplies at the Pick ‘N Save or Willy Street Co-op grocery on your way to the park.

On the south side of the conservancy is a beautiful bridge on Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor Trail that is often photographed.

Bird watching: Are you a birder? Pheasant Branch Conservancy is home to more than 200 different species of birds.

Bike trails: Looking for a bike trail in Middleton? There are trails throughout the conservancy and by Pleasant View Golf Course. Check out more here. See and download a map here.

Looking for a smaller park? Playground equipment? Dog parks? Click here.

LUNCH TIME: When it’s time to break for lunch, there are so many options on the north side of Middleton from C’s Restaurant, to Gino’s Italian Deli, Craftsman Table & Tap, Camino Real Mexican restaurant, Taqueria Gonzalez Mexican restaurant, Red’s Falbo Brothers pizza, Mid Town Pub, and just a bit down the road is Amber Indian Cuisine, Jimmy John’s, and more!

DINNER TIME: There are more than 70 dining options in Middleton but if looking for dinner on the north side, check out Craftsman Table and Tap, Amber Indian Cuisine, Taqueria Gonzalez, Camino Real Mexican Restaurant, and the historic 1847 at the Stamm House, which has a beautiful outdoor patio and is only open at dinner.

 

PLEASANT VIEW GOLF COURSE

See golfing details
Pleasant View Golf Course

MORNING: You can enjoy breakfast at the Goat Hill Grill at the golf course, or grab an amazing diner breakfast to stay or go 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, 2019 and 2020, and Silver is 2021.

LUNCH: 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.

DINNER: The golf course is minutes from Greenway Station — an outdoor shopping and dining center — and downtown Middleton. The choices for lunch or dinner are endless — from Dhaba Indian Restaurant to Ancho & Agave, to Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Fuji Sushi & Hibachi, to Longtable Beer Cafe, Taigu Chinese Restaurant, Villa Dolce, Sofra Family Bistro, The Village Green, Hubbard Avenue Diner, K-Peppers Korean restaurant, Takara 88 Japanese restaurant, Compadres Mexican restaurant, Free House Pub, Roman Candle Pizzeria, Louisianne’s ETC., and so much more!

 

ON THE WATER

Marshall Boat paddleboard
Enjoy Lake Mendota! Middleton has two public docks and Marshall Boats provides rentals.

MORNING:  There are so many fun breakfast options in Middleton from hometown diners and cafes like My Sister’s Kitchen, C’s Restaurant, Prairie Café & Bakery, Hubbard Avenue Diner and Barriques. In a hurry? Hit a drive-through at Scooter’s or either Starbuck’s location (one in Greenway Station and one on the way to Marshall Park).

MARSHALL BOATS:  Middleton has boat docks at Marshall Park and Mendota Park Boat Launch to drop your own seafaring vessel, but if you are looking to rent something floatable to enjoy on Lake Mendota, stop by Marshall Boats, Board & Boat Rentals at Marshall Park. Marshall Boats rents pontoons, kayaks, tandem kayaks, paddle boards and paddleboats, as well as canoes. They also offer a lakeside patio that can be enjoyed by any patron or reserved for parties 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: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday-Sunday only, Sept. 7-Sept. 26, 2021.

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 Pick ‘N Save or Willy Street Co-op grocery, or grab a delicious meal to-go from Gino’s Italian Deli, Craftsman Table & Tap, Camino Real Mexican Restaurant, Taqueria Gonzalez Mexican restaurant, Red’s Falbo Brothers pizza, Mid Town Pub, Amber Indian Cuisine, Jimmy John’s, and more.

DINNER: After a full day on the water, it’s important to recharge. Middleton has more than 70 dining options and many have outdoor patios — like Craftsman Table & Tap, 1847 at the Stamm House, Longtable Beer Cafe, Free House Pub, Ancho & Agave, Tanner’s Bar & Grill, The Village Green and more — and there are restaurants for all tastes 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

Middleton fall shopping guide
Shopping downtown in Middleton at Tradition Children’s Market.

Shop-Dine-Relax in downtown Middleton and Greenway Station! MORNING:  Ease into your day and enjoy a diner breakfast at Hubbard Avenue Diner, the café experience at Barriques, or an Albanian-American breakfast spread at Sofra Family Bistro — all in downtown Middleton.

RETAIL THERAPY: It’s been a long year and we’re all in need of sprucing up our homes, outdoor spaces and wardrobes. Middleton has more than 50 locations to shop. Find well-known brands at Greenway Station’s outdoor shopping center, including World Market, DSW, HomeGoods, J. Jill, Loft, Marshalls, Maurice’s and more.

Stroll through a very walkable downtown to find locally owned boutiques in downtown Middleton, including Chauette’s Fashion & Home; Cloth & Metal Boutique; Fontaine Home; Journeyman Co.; The Regal Find;  John/Christine Designs; 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!

ACTIVITIES: Board & Brush and offer fun activities from sign-painting to crafts for one or the whole family. Another store in town — I’m Board! Family Games and Fun — has a huge 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; Middleton Art & Framing; Driftless Area Artists; and St. John the Baptist Art Gallery.

The Middleton Public Art Trail is an easy guide to nine public pieces of art in town, from sculpture to stained glass to painted murals. Some of the stops are walkable downtown, while others require transportation to visit. Our suggestion is to pick up a fun coffee or specialty drink or milkshake from one of our many cafés — Grace Coffee Co., Barriques, Scooters, Starbucks, Hubbard Avenue Diner — and enjoy the trail!

HISTORY LOVERS: Take an easy stroll through history around downtown Middleton with the help of the Middleton Area Historical Society with this Historical Walking Tour. You can also jump in the car and visit the stops on the Middleton Landmark Tour.

LUNCH & DINNER: With more than 70 options for dining—the sky is the limit. Check out Middleton’s restaurants here!

DON’T FORGET

National Mustard Museum Middleton WI
National Mustard Museum in downtown Middleton. The shop upstairs offers a large selection of mustards and fun novelty gifts and the National Mustard Museum is downstairs and free for all.

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 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 at play, 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 flavors of gelato at Villa Dolce, as well as an assortment of Italian desserts.  Looking for cakes, candies, truffles and bakery items that would put grandma to shame? Clasen’s European Bakery will surprise and delight.

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: 

Farmers Market is every Thursday May 5 – Oct. 6, 2022, find homemade and homegrown jams, baked goods, veggies, flowers, honey, Maple syrup, cheese curds, and so much more at the Greenway Station Farmers Market. Open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

National Mustard Day is Aug. 6, 2022, at the National Mustard Museum. It’s a day of music, fun activities and of course, mustard!

Good Neighbor Festival is Aug. 26-28, 2022, and is a community celebration open to all.

Haunted Hustle is Oct. 22-23, 2022, is a quirky walk/run through Middleton.

Bockfest at Capital Brewery & Bier Garten every February is a winter outdoor festival with live music.

 

QUICK HITS:

Click here to view or order our 2022 Visitor Guide

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