|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 a preview of transportation options for your trip to the Madison Fling!
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 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 Should I Arrive?
We recommend arriving on Wednesday, or, at the latest, by mid-afternoon on Thursday, 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 26, 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. (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.
(Any other transportation questions? Check this link: cityofmadison.com/get-around.)