If there’s one location in the Midwest I can never get enough of it’s Madison.  With its college town cool, five lakes, foodie finds, and cultural attractions, it is always guaranteed a fun time with the family. On our latest visit, we wanted to truly enjoy all that Madison offered so we decided to make a weekend out of it. Our home base? The Edgewater Hotel located on the edge of Lake Mendota. We truly enjoyed our stay here by the water with the fantastic lake views, convenient location, fun concert, epic sunsets and delicious food.  We’re already counting the days we can come back, and I believe you will too after you visit!
RELATED: Ready to plan your trip to Madison with the kids? Here’s your family guide to Madison.


Disclosure: Our family was provided a complimentary stay at The Edgewater Hotel. I was not required to express a particular point of view, and all opinions are my own.

The Edgewater Room Highlights

We stayed in adjoining rooms 405 and 406 overlooking the lake. 

  • Elegant rooms. With two velvet chairs perfect for sitting and admiring the lake view. With dark woods, browns, and beige with hints of navy blue, our room exuded a simple elegance.

  • Magnificent views. We fell in love with our room — primarily due to our view of Lake Mendota. I mean look at this sunset!

  • The comfiest bed. Ever. I had the best night’s sleep, and could have seriously stayed in bed the whole time. 

  • Large bathroom. Surprisingly very huge with a large shower. Appreciated having a long counter so we didn’t have to fight for space.

The Edgewater Highlights

  • Pet-friendly. First things first, we were so happy to hear that the property was dog-friendly. Our dog was beyond excited to join us on vacation.

  • An amazing location. Located right by the edge of the water (get it?), we could watch boats and people from our hotel. There is a pier where people could hang out. The Edgewater boasts as Madison’s Place, and boaters are encouraged to use their slips for free.  It was so nice to wake up in the morning and watch the sunrise. 

But those sunsets. Absolutely breathtaking. 

  • A community gathering. The Plaza, a one-acre public plaza, overlooking Lake Mendota converts to ice rink in winter, and hosts public waterfront activities/entertainment during the warmer months

During the summer, they host a variety of live music. We were lucky enough to visit on Brewgrass Fridays, and could listen to bluegrass music on the grand plaza.

  • The spa.  The Edgewater Spa boasts a beautiful waterfront location. They offer a variety of services to pamper you from facials, salon services, wellness classes, and of course massages. I was treated to a 90-minute spa session with Spring. She really worked her magic and left me feeling totally refreshed (and wishing I had more time with her.)  They also have a steam room and a relaxation pool/whirlpool.

Credit: Edgewater Spa

  • Fitness center. Located on the 4th floor, their fitness center features state-of-the-art cardio equipment. But those views will motivate you to get your work out on!

  • A nod to their rich history. They have a neat 3D interactive media wall that showcases their love for Madison, Wisconsin, and of course The Edgewater. Here you’ll find famous people that have stayed here, The Edgewater’s history, people that have had wedding here and more.  

The Edgewater Restaurants

You’ll never go hungry at The Edgewater – they have 5 restaurants for you to choose from.

The Statehouse

Their flagship restaurant, The Statehouse, offers creative twists on Midwestern classics. Our breakfast consisted of steak and eggs, French toast, and a Croque Monsieur. We absolutely devoured everything. It was all so tasty and portions a pretty nice size. Our entire meal was highlighted by the great views of Lake Mendota. I can only imagine what a beautiful setting this would be for dinner. 

A family fun stay with pets at The Edgewater Hotel in Madison Wisconsin

The Boathouse

Overlooking Lake Mendota, The Boathouse definitely has great lakeside dining.  When in Wisconsin, you have to order cheese curds and their cheese curds did not disappoint. The lobster roll was fantastic with great heapings of lobster on top. My power bowl with salmon over quinoa, sweet potatoes was so delicious! One thing we noticed is that they include locally produced items like Stella’s hot and spicy cheese bread as well as the ice cream from The Chocolate Shoppe.  


The Ice House

Since The Grand Plaza had the special concert, The Ice House was open. Since it was Friday in Wisconsin we of course had to default to fish fry. It was absolutely delicious especially when it’s paired with a few Wisconsin brewed beers. We also picked up popcorn and ice cream and enjoyed it on The Grand Plaza as the music played.


Tip: If there’s an event going on, get there early to grab some food. We happened to be the last customer to get our fish fry order in.

The Cafe

If you’re looking for coffee or a quick bite, you can easily pop down here.

Augie’s Tavern

Augie’s Tavern offers small bites, classic cocktsails, and craft beers.  


Fun Facts about The Edgewater Hotel:

  • Opening its doors in 1948, The Edgewater is the only AAA Four-Diamond property in Madison
  • Famous celebrity guests include Elvis Presley, Elton John, Bob Hope, Bob Marley, Dali Lama
  • When Elvis stayed, he rented out two entire floors of the hotel during his stay.  One floor was for himself and his entourage and the other was kept empty to serve as a buffer from curious fans. 
  • Cyndi Lauper was inspired by the view from her hotel room and wrote the song, “Water’s Edge” while staying at The Edgewater during a US tour with Cher.
  • One of Madison’s most historic buildings, designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, showcasing Art Moderne architecture (similar to Art Deco)
  • The second tower, the Wisconsin Building, was added in 2014.

Bottom Line:

Bring the entire family – including your four-legged friends – to the fabulous lakeside hotel. We absolutely loved our stay!

Nitty Gritty:

Website: https://www.theedgewater.com/
Location: 1001 Wisconsin Place, Madison, Wisconsin, 53703
Check-in and Check-out:  4 p.m. and 12 p.m.
Parking: Self-parking in an underground garage is $18 overnight self-parking or $25 valet parking, and both options include unlimited in and out privileges.

A family fun stay with pets at The Edgewater Hotel in Madison Wisconsin

Looking for more Wisconsin fun?

Lake Geneva offers plenty for families to do

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