A Girl’s Weekend in Madison Wisconsin

View From Eno Vino located in the AC Hotel, Madison

Madison may not be the #1 destination as your planning a night or two to catch up with your girls. Maybe you think there is nothing to do, or it’s too small of a city. But, for us midwest ladies, that tend to have friends Minneapolis to Chicago, Madison is a perfect meeting place.

I recently hosted my bestie from the Chicago area to celebrate our birthdays. We had all the fun from pampering, crafting, to sips and snacks in Madison. Here’s what we hit around town as well as some suggestions as you plan your next girls gathering in Madison, Wisconsin.

Where to Stay

AC Hotel Madison

I’m a city girl. I like a big city and the fancy, swanky feel that comes along with it {yes, Chicago, I’m thinking of you}. When I get together with my girls I want that little ‘extra’ in where we stay. Let’s be honest, champs and jammies in your hotel room is always the best part of the weekend with your girls, right?

My absolute favorite place to stay in Madison is the AC Hotel. It’s relatively new, swanky, centrally located, has the best capitol view, and has amazing food and drinks all within the hotel.


The rooms are clean and modern with simple clean lines. The bathrooms {I always check out first thing when I walk into a hotel room} are also fabulous with a really great shower and high-end toiletry items – absolutely perfect for a girl’s weekend stay.

The AC Lounge:

Located in the hotel lobby is a swanky, cool lounge. Either sit at the bar, or on a cozy couch, order a drink and wait for your girls to arrive. Craig, the famous bartender, makes seriously amazing drinks. Not to mention, he is one of the nicest humans I’ve met. Definitely make this a stop whether you stay at the AC Marriott or not.

Cool vibe in the AC Lounge

If you are visiting WI {or your girls are} make sure to treat yourself to one of Craig’s specialty Old Fashion’s – WOW, a little too delicious if you know what I mean!


Eno Vino Downtown:

During your stay at the AC Hotel, it’s a must to head up to the 9th floor to see the gorgeous view of the capitol. I’d suggest ordering your favorite drink and getting a seat by the window to really take in the sights.

While the view is fabulous, the food at Eno Vino is equally as great! It’s the perfect place to grab some appetizers or even dinner. The ambiance is swanky, the bar is huge, and they are known for their vast wine selection.

Eno Vino Downtown

What to do in Madison:

There’s a lot to do in Madison! I am simply skimming the top of the list with these ideas. I’m focusing on what my bestie and I did during our night out for this post. However, make sure to check out the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, the beautiful lakes {and outdoor activities they offer}, and the shops on State Street {an eclectic mix for sure!}.

Here’s what my friend and I did for our daytime activities:



Revel Craft Bar

I know what you’re thinking, I don’t want to sit around with old ladies at JoAnne fabrics to craft. Well, that’s not what I am talking about here. There’s a hip, ultra-cool place, Revel, that has totally reinvented the idea of crafting. Trendy cocktails, the cutest snacks and really cool, modern crafts that you actually want to incorporate into your home or office.

Basically, you make something really fun while chatting, sipping and snacking with your gals. Located steps off the square, you won’t be disappointed adding this stop to your itinerary. We had a blast making jewelry boxes.

The bar at Revel



If you are looking for the BEST nail studio in Madison, it’s here! Their motto is “Not Your Granny’s Mani,’ and it’s just that. Laquerus offers the latest and greatest in all things nails. The salon is pristine {I have high standards}, they use non-toxic nail products {and yes the gel stays on forever – 3 weeks for me!}, and use a waterless technique for both mani’s and pedi’s. Laquerus has the most talented nail artists that can add a little ‘extra’ to your nails to make them pop! The tunes are always bumping and the atmosphere is perfect for chatting and laughing with your ladies.

Because they are so fabulous, make sure to book in advance as it is a popular place. An appointment is needed, especially for a group.

Arch Apothecary

Wanting a fun braid, or the perfect beachy curls in your hair for your night out? Or that dramatic smokey eye with lashes applied? Don’t worry, right on the capitol square, you can make it all happen. Arch Apotharacry is such a beautiful space to hang out and you will leave feeling like a million bucks!

Maybe you don’t want a service, but instead want to shop and try the latest and greatest in makeup and beauty products, they have a vast selection. A must stop shop with your girls.

Madison Eats Food Tours:

Have some foodies in your group? Believe it or not, Madison has a fantastic food scene for being on the smaller side. It’s hard to hit all of the best establishments for full meals, but a great way to learn and try the cuisine in Madison is to schedule a Madison Eats food tour. The tour will take you to the best places.

Your tastebuds will be delighted and let’s just say you might leave feeling a little ‘happy’ with the liquor and wine tastings along the way. You’ll also learn some interesting history of Madison and some tours bring you into the stunning capital building. This food tour is one of my favorite experiences in Madison.

Sips and Eats:

As I mentioned, Madison had a great food scene. Here are some of my favorite restaurants and bars. Any of them {depending on what you’re looking for} would be fun with your girls. In no particular order:

Eno Vino Downtown – Tapas-style, great small plates.

The Lounge – AC Hotel – Amazing cocktails.

Heritage – Nicer restaurant, reservations are a must. Great bar!

Estrellón – Tapas Style, homey atmosphere, my favorite dessert in town! Famed chef Tory Miller opened this restaurant.

Graft– Small plates, great wine list. Fresh and ever-changing menu.

Fresco – On the rooftop of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Neat views of State Street. Delicious modern American cuisine.

Square Wine Co. – Cool wine shop right on the capitol square. Check their schedule for tastings.

A Pig In A Fur Coat – Small and large plates, modern American. Delicious and cool.

Graze – Casual, gastropub, high-end spin on favorites.

Red – Amazing sushi. My favorite in town. Not limited sushi, truly creative dishes for everyone.

Cento – Great atmosphere, modern Italian.

After reading this have your thoughts changed about planning a girl’s weekend in Madison? It was really fun for me to plan a Madison ‘staycation” and host my friend. It truly felt like I was far away from home.

We had so much fun staying at the AC Hotel, crafting at Revel, getting pedicures at Laquerus and sipping amazing cocktails at the lounge in the AC Hotel lobby. Not to mention the delicious dinner at Heritage.

I’ll be honest, my bestie and I could be anywhere and it would be a fun adventure {that’s why I love her so much}. Trust me when I say, we had a blast boppin’ around Mad-town! Having quality girl time is so good for the soul!

Cheers from Eno Vino located in the AC Hotel Madison

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**I want to thank the AC Hotel Madison for collaborating to make this post possible. While the hotel stay was gifted, I would have stayed there anyway ;). All opinions are my own.

Also THANK YOU to my bestie, Jamie, for putting up with the photo sessions necessary to write this post. I appreciate your support more than you know.

As always, thank you so much for reading and make it a great day!

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