Thursday, October 31, 2019

Easy Transportation for the 2020 Fling


Photo courtesy the Madison Concourse Hotel

Good news! Madison is a small city close to Chicago, so there are many options for getting to, in, and around the area. Here’s an early preview of transportation options for your trip to the Madison Fling next June!

Airport

Madison has one airport, the Dane County Regional Airport, located in Northeast Madison. Those familiar with big-city airports will probably find it quaint. The nice thing about a small airport is that it’s easy to find your way around. Another positive about flying direct in and out of Madison is that inexpensive direct flights are increasingly available. With several large and growing employers (including Epic Systems, American Family Insurance, and Sub-Zero, among others), the number of flights in and out of the airport is increasing.

Another option is to fly in and out of O’Hare International Airport, and then bus or drive to Madison. O’Hare is approximately 134 miles, or about 2.5 hours from downtown Madison. Roundtrip fare between Madison and O’Hare, via Van Galder, is $60. Many UW-Madison students use this bus service, and the bus drop-off location at 800 Langdon Street is less than a mile from the hotel. Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport is 84 miles, or about 1.5 hours from downtown Madison. Roundtrip fares between Madison and Mitchell, via Badger Bus, vary based on booking methods, and are also quite reasonable.


Getting to the Hotel

Driving: If you'll be driving to Madison, hotel parking is available for a special rate for our group of $10 USD daily; valet parking $20 USD daily. Max height 6'. Our official Fling hotel is the Madison Concourse Hotel.

Flying: If you'll be flying to Madison, The Concourse provides complimentary airport shuttle service between the airport and the hotel; simply call the hotel when you’re ready for pick-up. We do not recommend renting a car during the Fling tour days (June 19-21) because we'll be busing you everywhere. A rental car will be useful, however, if you'll be staying in the Madison area longer and exploring beyond the downtown area.

Other options for getting from the airport to the hotel:
    >Rideshare options include Carmel, Uber, and Lyft.
    >Taxis can be hailed outside baggage claim, on the lower level. Estimated fare is $25 USD one way.

    >More options can be found on the airport’s ground transportation page.

Getting Around Downtown

Pedicab: Madison is an easy walking town, but if you want a quick ride to a restaurant or other location, hail a pedicab—a “bike taxi” or “cycle rickshaw.” You can hail a pedicab on the street like a taxi. Rates vary, so ask your driver about the price per rider or per trip before hopping in. Most drivers work for tips only.

Bike Rental: Biking is big in Madison, and there are bike paths throughout Dane County, actually. Several bike rental companies operate downtown, like Madison B-cycle, where you can rent a bike at a kiosk, ride it, and return it when you're done. Three stations are near our hotel—at James Madison Park, Peace Park, and Law Park. The Capital City Trail links with several other trails in the county, and is accessible for bicycles, skaters, strollers, walkers, joggers, and wheelchairs.

Trolley Pub: Looking for a fun tour around town? Trolley Pub is a BYOB, pedal-powered, eco-friendly, pub-crawling trolley for up to 14 people at a time, powered by you and your fellow pedalers.

Rideshare: Options include Carmel, Uber, and Lyft.


When Does Registration Open?

We’re aiming to open Madison Fling registration in early January, and space is limited, so be watching for the announcement here and on our Facebook page!

When Should I Arrive?

We recommend arriving on Wednesday, June 17, or, at the latest, by mid-afternoon on Thursday, June 18, so you can attend the Fling welcome event, pick up your name tag and swag bag, and settle in. The Fling ends on Sunday, June 21, with a special surprise that you won't want to miss! We'll have you back to the hotel by early evening. We recommend departing on Monday, June 22. (To be safe, hold off on making any noncancellable reservations until after you're registered.)

Of course we hope many of you will come early or stay later to see more of Madison's attractions. Stay tuned: We’ll highlight many of them in the weeks ahead!

(Any other transportation questions? Check this link: cityofmadison.com/get-around.)

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Blog Badge for the Madison Fling

If you're planning to attend the Madison Fling, or if you simply want to show your support for the Fling, please add the 2020 Madison badge to your website. Here it is:



You can add this badge to your site by right-clicking on the badge image above and selecting "Save Image As..." to save it to your computer. For higher quality, click on the badge to open it in a new window, and then "Save Image As..." Then you can upload the image to your blog. Or you can choose "Copy Image" and paste it into a post or sidebar widget of your blog rather than uploading the image to your site.

Remember to make that image a link, as well, and link to https://gardenbloggersfling.blogspot.com so people can easily find information about the Madison Fling when they click on the badge.

We think of the badge's heart, filled with produce, as a nod to the Dane County Farmers' Market, where we'll open our Saturday morning schedule, June 20. It's America's largest producers-only farmers' market!

Good news: We have some sponsors! Watch the sidebar for sponsorship updates, and be sure to thank our sponsors whenever you have a chance. They make this amazing event possible!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Our Hotel for the Madison Garden Bloggers Fling


When you arrive in Madison—a vibrant cultural hub of art, music, food, and more—you’ll be staying at the Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club, located at 1 West Dayton Street, Madison, WI, 53703. This is where we'll board our buses every morning and drop off at the end of the day.

Downtown Madison is known for easy walk-ability, bike paths for miles, delightful festivals, an awe-inspiring farmers’ market, dozens of live music venues, world-class restaurants, and art museums—all nestled on an isthmus between two sapphire lakes and steps from the Concourse Hotel.

The hotel is also located just a short walking distance from the pedestrian-only State Street, the State Capitol, and the waterfront summer hangout Memorial Union Terrace.

The entire isthmus is a busy, vibrant area full of opportunities to explore and enjoy!


Each room at the Concourse has complimentary wifi access, making it easy to check in on social media and connect with friends and family. An indoor pool and fitness center are also available if you’re so inclined.












You’ll find contemporary American dining at the CIRC restaurant, which crafts seasonal dishes featuring ingredients from local farmers and producers.

The Bar, located on the first floor near the lobby, offers an extensive wine list, an impressive craft beer selection, and artisan cocktails. In addition, a full-service Starbucks is adjacent to the lobby.

The Concourse offers gathering spaces throughout the lobby—perfect for relaxing and catching up with other Flingers.



State Street is just around the corner from the hotel, and you’ll want to explore this seven-block, bustling pedestrian thoroughfare for shopping, dining, or simply people-watching. We're also planning some time on Saturday morning to explore the Dane County Farmers' Marketconveniently located on the tree-lined grounds surrounding the Wisconsin State Capitol building, near the hotel.

We'll be blogging ab
out all of this in much more detail as we get closer to the Fling. If you're planning on an extended stay, we'll also provide information about additional plant shopping, garden visiting, sightseeing, and entertainment opportunities in Madison and the surrounding area. Consider adding a day or two on the front or the end of the Fling dates.



Our reserved (limited number of rooms) room rate is $189/night for single and double; $199 for triple; and $209 for quad. At registration time (very soon!), you'll have access to the special rates.

Registration will open soon, so keep reading the blog regularly for more info and details. We expect to fill up fast, and we want to make sure you can join us!






Photos courtesy The Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club