6 Best Neighborhoods in Madison, WI

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Thinking about moving to Madison, Wisconsin?

No question, the city of Madison has some of the best neighborhoods for families and young professionals in the Midwest. Living in Madison neighborhoods means easy access to affordable real estate, a vibrant downtown area, excellent schools, and many job opportunities.

best neighborhood in madison wi

More than just a college town, Madison’s reasonable cost of living and nearby outdoor amenities like Lake Mendota and Monona are incredible perks.

Whether raising a family or starting your career, here are the 6 best neighborhoods in Madison, WI to live in. View a map of all the best Madison neighborhoods.

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1. Wexford - Madison, WI

No question, Wexford Village is an up-and-coming neighborhood of Madison, WI. Located just south of Middleton on Madison’s west side, Wexford’s lovely suburban feel and access to amenities stand out the most.

Accordingly, it’s far enough from State Street and Downtown Madison to avoid college crowds but close enough to walk to the city.

wexford madison wi neighborhoods

Consequently, there’s plenty to do nearby. This includes family-friendly activities at Wexford Park and walking the paths between the neighborhood’s two ponds.

Similarly, living in Wexford also means you’re near West Towne Mall and within walking distance of restaurants. Since Wexford is located just east of the Beltline, you’ll have easy freeway access which cuts down on commute times.

  • Typical Zillow Home Value: $472,939
  • Schools Rating: B+
  • Crime Rates: Very Low

For families, Wexford is a clean and close-knit Madison area neighborhood with good schools and low crime rates. Certainly, home prices have skyrocketed since 2018 in this top Madison neighborhood.

Likewise, each home is unique which means this isn’t a cookie-cutter Dane County subdivision. However, there are still some reasonably priced condo complexes for young professionals.

2. Dudgeon-Monroe

Madison’s Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood is a desirable and wealthy alcove along Monroe Street. Located on the west side next to Lake Wingra, Dudgeon-Monroe is an 8-minute drive from downtown Madison.

What’s more, hospitals and the University of Wisconsin-Madison are within walking distance if you want to catch a badger game.

dudgeon monroe neighborhood dane county

No question, Dudgeon-Monroe is one of Madison’s most highly sought-after neighborhoods to raise a family. Its proximity to Henry Vilas Zoo and the arboretum means there are plenty of convenient and family-friendly activities to do.

Moreover, neighborhood schools are top-notch and the area is relatively safe and quiet.

  • Typical Zillow Home Value: $530,743
  • Schools Rating: A
  • Crime Rates: Low

Indeed, the Monroe Street corridor is home to tons of shops and a nearby fine arts center. Accordingly, you can walk to a number of wonderful restaurants including Everly and Miko Poke.

In fact, Dudgeon-Monroe is considered the most walkable neighborhood on Madison’s near west side. Filled with craftsman and bungalow houses from the early 1900s, it’s an ideal neighborhood for historic home enthusiasts.

3. Westmorland Madison, WI

Another west side Madison neighborhood that’s awesome for young families and professionals is Westmorland.

This relatively affordable yet safe neighborhood is known for its quiet streets, mature trees, and gorgeous homes. In Westmorland, you’ll find a mix of classic mid-century ranch homes, Cape Cods, and Colonials.

westmorland madison wisconsin

Moreover, this quaint neighborhood has 12 acres of green space, parks, and bike trails if you love the outdoors. In fact, Westmorland is ranked as one of Madison’s most bikable neighborhoods.

  • Typical Zillow Home Value: $442,809
  • Schools Rating: A
  • Crime Rates: Very Low

Lastly, the area boasts some of Madison’s best schools, including Van Hise Elementary School and Hamilton Middle School.

With its great schools and convenient location, Westmorland is a top choice for families seeking a comfortable place to call home in Madison, WI.

4. Marquette Neighborhood Madison

Located on the isthmus between Lake Monona and Mendota, Marquette is the most popular neighborhood on Madison’s east side. Also known as Willy Street or Wil-Mar, you’ll find an eclectic mix of restaurants, bars, and cool local shops nearby.

marquette madison wi willy street

Just an 8-minute drive east of the city center, this trendy Madison area neighborhood has an artsy and historical vibe.

People here are friendly and take pride in their diversity which makes it an amazing place to raise kids.

Do you have a green thumb? Nearby Olbrich Botanical Gardens was voted one of the most inspiring gardens in North America.

  • Typical Home Value (Zillow): $470,271
  • Schools Rating: B
  • Crime Rates: Medium/Low

With homes dating back to the 1800s, Marquette is one of Madison’s oldest neighborhoods. Accordingly, you can find vintage homes and landmarks throughout the Marquette neighborhood including Williamson Street and Rutledge Street.

However, there are newly built homes located right on Lake Monona with epic waterfront views. Notable east-side Madison neighborhoods nearby include Schenk-Atwood and Tenney-Lapham.

5. Vilas Madison WI

Vilas is another amazing historic neighborhood that borders both Edgewood College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Also home to the Henry Vilas Zoo, it’s only a 7-minute drive from the Wisconsin State Capitol building.

Residents include professors, students, and professionals who appreciate a warm community atmosphere. Accordingly, the Vilas neighborhood is just east of the Monroe Street Farmers Market a popular place for fresh local food.

vilas madison area neighborhood

Because of its proximity to the university, Vilas is within walking distance of Monroe Street. This means there is no shortage of live music and nightlife to enjoy. Furthermore, you can catch a football game at Camp Randall Stadium, located just north of Regent St.

Additionally, you can visit the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House nearby which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

  • Typical Home Value (Zillow): $662,923
  • Schools Rating: B
  • Crime Rates: Low

One key real estate stat in Vilas is that 50% of residents are renters. This makes the neighborhood a prime investment property location.

Having said that, there are a plethora of family-friendly activities like ice skating at Vilas Park. For more relaxing activities you can go boating on nearby Lake Wingra or take the kids to Vilas Park Beach.

6. Maple-Prairie

Maple Prairie is made of the smaller Maple Grove and Prairie Hills neighborhoods located just north of Verona and Fitchburg.

This is a quiet and safe Madison area neighborhood with affordable homes and access to great public school districts. It has a small-town feel. Correspondingly, Maple Prairie Park has wonderful playgrounds for kids to play outside.

maple-prairie madison wisconsin
  • Typical Home Value (Zillow): $392,520
  • Schools Rating: A+
  • Crime Rates: Very Low

Not only is it the most affordable neighborhood on our list, but it also has some of the best schools. Children in the neighborhood attend Verona schools, which are some of the best in Wisconsin. This includes Verona High School and Verona Area International School.

Madison, Wisconsin Neighborhood FAQs

From Shorewood Hills to Monona, Madison is one of the best cities in the country for young families and professionals. Here are a few of the most asked questions that homeowners have when considering a move to Mad Town.

Should I move to Madison, WI?

Yes! As Wisconsin’s capital city, Madison is consistently ranked as one of the best mid-sized cities in America to move to. When you move to Madison you get all of the big city amenities with a small-town feel. From the famous Dane County Farmers Market to boating on Lake Mendota or Monona, there’s always something to do. All in all, Madison is like a grown-up version of a college town, perfect for new families looking to settle down.

What is the weather like in Madison?

Madison's weather is similar to other midwestern cities like Chicago and Milwaukee. This means Madison gets cold and snowy in the winter and warm and humid in the summer. The city of Madison gets all four seasons and is known for its beautiful Spring and Fall.

What are the best suburbs near Madison?

Located just northwest of the city, Middleton is a fantastic upscale Madison suburb known for its friendly neighbors and incredible public schools. More top-rated Madison suburbs include Verona and Fitchburg, both located southwest of downtown Madison. Verona is home to Epic health systems and has tons of economic opportunities.

Similarly, Fitchburg is known as an innovative business hub with tons of green space. Not to mention, both Fitchburg and Verona have incredible school districts. Additional top Madison suburbs include Waunakee, Oregon, and Sun Prairie, WI.

How much does it cost to hire a professional painter in Madison on average?

According to a recent local survey, the average price to hire a professional painter in Madison is $559 to paint a standard bedroom. The average full interior home painting project costs $5,414 in Madison, WI across all local painters. Similarly, the average entire exterior painting job costs $5,823 and should include all paint, materials, and labor

A photograph of the author Andre Kazimierski
Written by
Andre Kazimierski
Founder, Improovy
Years Painting Experience
Houses Painted
More about the author
I have been building and scaling successful home service businesses for the past 17 years. Growing up in Chicago, I saw the struggles of contractors and small business owners first-hand. Having spent most of my life in home improvement, I founded Improovy to help bring trust back to the trades.

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