City Cast

✨ How to Live Your Best Madison Life

Hayley Sperling
Hayley Sperling
Posted on September 11
Pedestrians walk and bike down State Street on a sunny day with the Capitol Building in the background

Pedestrians walk and bike down State Street on a sunny day with the Capitol Building in the background. (Walter Bibikow)

Every city has its own set of unwritten rules and insider information that can only be learned through time, trial, and error.

But thankfully, you don’t have to search far and wide or wait years to learn Madison’s secrets because you have us.

Here are a few tips and tricks for living on the isthmus we’ve put together after (many) years spent in this crazy and special place we call home.

After Hours Beer Run

In the state of Wisconsin, liquor and wine sales must end by 9 p.m. but beer can be sold up until midnight. With that said, counties and municipalities can implement their own laws and restrictions on alcohol sales. In Madison, licensed retail stores can sell beer, wine, and liquor until 9 p.m.

But if you find yourself in need of a six-pack and it’s after 9 p.m., head to Vic Pierce on Sherman Ave. The liquor store is technically part of the Village of Maple Bluff, which doesn’t have any ordinances restricting alcohol sale times beyond Wisconsin state law. This means you can get beer there until the store closes at midnight. You’ll pay a little extra though!

Have You Considered the Bus?

If you’re planning a big getaway, odds are, you’ll be flying out of Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Rather than taking a flight over the state border, City Cast Madison Producer Dylan Brogan recommends taking the bus.

There are plenty of options that run daily, which can save you money and lighten your carbon footprint.

Save Money at Shows

When buying concert tickets to shows at The Sylvee, High Noon Saloon, Majestic Theatre, or Orpheum Theater you can avoid the added online service fees by buying directly from the in-person box office. The one drawback is that the hours are limited, so plan ahead.

Listener Dan F. also noted for concerts and other events at The Sylvee, parking is free and open to the public after 6 p.m. in the Madison Gas & Electric lot.

Grocery Shop like a Champ

If you’re looking for peace and quiet at the grocery store, the best time to go is during sporting events. Whether the Badgers are playing at Camp Randall or the Packers have a game in Green Bay, you can expect empty aisles and short checkout lines.

City Cast Madison podcast host Bianca Martin also recommends taking advantage of Woodman’s 24-hour schedule. Who says you can’t make a grocery run at 10 p.m.?

Want more? Take a listen to the City Cast Madison podcast on things we wish someone told us about living in Madison.

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