Best Neighborhoods in Madison for Singles & Young Professionals

Moving to Madison? One of the best cities for singles and young professionals, Madtown offers clear lake views, an excellent dining scene, unique entertainment options, and more. Check out these five best neighborhoods in Madison for young adults!

Capitol

Photo via @photowhore94

  • Home Price: $107,322 median purchase price; $849 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 17% of Madison neighborhoods

If you’re looking for a central and affordable place to live in Madison, consider Capitol! Called Downtown Madison by locals, Capitol is a vibrant, historic neighborhood featuring the Wisconsin State Capitol and many cultural landmarks within walking distance, such as Period Garden Park and Wisconsin Veterans Museum. Because it’s so close to the capitol building, this neighborhood is popular among young professionals looking for government jobs in Madison. Another reason why young professionals love Capitol is its walkability and public transit via Madison Metro. As for housing, young adults living in Downtown Madison can find affordable options like Craftsman bungalows, Italianate apartments, and modern condos—some even with views of Lake Mendota and Lake Monona!

Things to Do in Capitol

Catch live musical performances, dances, or theater productions at the Overture Center for the Arts. Learn the gossip and mysteries of Wisconsin on a walking tour with the Wisconsin Historical Museum. Connect with your neighbors at the Dane County Farmers’ Market. Complete challenges and puzzles with themes ranging from Sherlock Holmes, to Ancient Egyptian mysteries at Escape This. Scale over 8,000 square feet of bouldering space and a variety of climbing paths at Boulders Climbing Gym. Eat brunch favorites like Blueberry Pancakes or Chorizo & Sweet Corn Relish Omelettes, and sip on a Poppin’ Paloma at Marigold Kitchen. Order Chicken Pastor Tacos, Shrimp Diablo Tacos, or a Baja Griddled Burrito at Canteen. Chow down on unique burgers like Melting Pot, Heart Throb, or a Bison Burger at gift-shop-turned-restaurant Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry. Or end your evening with Wild Atlantic Seared Scallops or Kurobuta Pork Secreto at modern Japanese restaurant RED.

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Dudgeon-Monroe

  • Home Price: $366,567 median purchase price; $1,185 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 65% of Madison neighborhoods

Want to live in a trendy, fun neighborhood in Madison? Move to Dudgeon-Monroe! This area is home to the annual Monroe Street Festival, as well as unique local boutiques, cafes, and more—which you can find intermixed with Craftsman, Cape Cod, and Colonial-style homes on Monroe Street. Despite having an urban-suburban feel, residents have ample green spaces with Wingra Park, Glen Golf Park, and UW-Madison Arboretum nearby and can take advantage of Madison BCycle. Dudgeon-Monroe is also perfect for students, young adults working in academia, and families in Madison, as it’s located next to the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison), Edgewood College, Wingra School, and Edgewood High School.

Things to Do in Dudgeon-Monroe

Go hiking or biking at sunrise, or attend the Sunday Nature Walk on the UW-Madison Arboretum Trail. Rent a boat to fish or kayak with friends, or volunteer for a lake cleanup at Lake Wingra. Spend your afternoon browsing aromatherapy products, furniture, apparel, and other handpicked lifestyle goods at Good Day Shop. Make your own mug, bowl, or ceramic during night classes at Dongzhu Pottery Studio. Enjoy a slow morning with a Canadian Bacon Croissant, Garden Goddess Sandwich, or Cold Brew Oat-Chata at Colectivo Coffee. Create your own Poke Bowl or choose from classic menu options like Unagi Style, Hawaii Style, or Rainbow Style at Miko Poke. Enjoy a full-course meal with Bluepoint Oysters, Pan Seared Walleye, and Door County Cherry Pie for dessert at Gates & Brovi. Or treat yourself to a scoop (or two) of award-winning ice cream flavors like Zanzibar Chocolate, Mint Avalanche, or Lemon Poppy Seed at Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream.

Marquette

  • Home Price: $277,183 median purchase price; $1,030 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 49% of Madison neighborhoods

As one of the oldest neighborhoods in Madison, Marquette is known for its tenderly preserved historical Italianate, Craftsman, and Bungalow homes. In fact, to maintain the architectural style of these older houses, Williamson-Marquette has two historical districts—Third Lake Ridge Historic District and Marquette Bungalow Historic District. Filled with safe sidewalks and bike paths, this highly-walkable and bikeable Madison neighborhood is perfect for young professionals looking for an active or short commute to work on Williamson Street. Wil-Mar also provides opportunities for water activities like diving or fishing in Lake Monona. Plus, with year-round community events, including the Marquette Waterfront Festival, La Fete de Marquette, Orton Park Festival, and Willy Street Fair, you’ll always find something to do in this Madison neighborhood!

Things to Do in Marquette

Find gnomes, hand-painted bowls, printed pillows, and more at Willy Street Treasure Shop. Lace up your ice skates and glide across Tenney Park Rink in nearby Tenney-Lapham—a perfect date idea in Madison with romantic views of Lake Mendota. Enter your initials on the leaderboard for arcade games like Space Invaders, Tron, or Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 while sipping on craft beers at I/O Arcade Bar. Play Smarty Pints Trivia, learn something new at Nerd Nite, attend Storyslams, or jam out to your favorite artists at the High Noon Saloon. Satisfy your morning sweet tooth with a homemade Choc-almond Croissant or Kouign Amann, or order The Drew Sandwich for a savory brunch at Madison Sourdough. Choose Pate Cha Lua, Sesame Beef, or Khao Pad Sapparod at Ha Long Bay Restaurant. Take home comfort French food like Boeuf Bourguignon, Ficelle Epinard, or a hearty Onion Soup from La Kitchenette. Or munch on pub fare like the Mickey Burger, Basic BLT, or True Blue salad while listening to live music at Mickey’s Tavern.

Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara

  • Home Price: $232,720 median purchase price; $962 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 72% of Madison neighborhoods

Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara (SASY) is of the best places to live in Madison for singles and young professionals. This up-and-coming neighborhood is packed with cool shops and restaurants on Atwood Avenue, along with affordable housing options from bungalows to Craftsman-style ranches. Though Madtown is one of the best college towns in the nation, you won’t get college town vibes in SASY since it’s located farther from the UW-Madison campus. Because of this, SASY is ideal for young professionals fresh out of college and young families. And since the neighborhood association is so active, residents will always have opportunities to get to know their neighbors in this front porch community through events like Winter Solstice and Atwood Fest—one of the city’s longest-running music festivals.

Things to Do in Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara

Sit down for a conversation with local authors or choose a Staff Picks book from A Room of One’s Own. Plan a date in the 16 acres of outdoor display gardens at Olbrich Botanical Gardens—or check out the other things to do in waterfront Olbrich Park. Visit the Tiki Bar for cocktails, craft beer, and great food, or connect with other young adults at events in Madison like Music on the Lake at The East Side Club. Watch a film, stand-up comedy routine, or musical performance at the historic Barrymore Theatre. Fill up on sandwiches like Kosher Bologna, Judy Judy Judy, or Smoked Salmon at Stalzy’s Deli. Order Smoked Lake Trout Dip Crostini or Fried Calamari after a round of golf at Blind Shot Social Club. Or “treat every day like Taco Tuesday” with fresh oysters and unique tacos like the Ramba and Snappy or #42 at Ohio Tavern—and be sure to stick around for karaoke!

Vilas

  • Home Price: $289,450 median purchase price; $1,466 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of Madison neighborhoods

Looking for a safe neighborhood in Madison removed from the college scene? Bordering Dudgeon-Monroe and Greenbush is the quaint, residential Vilas neighborhood. This area is about five minutes from Downtown Madison, and Monroe Street isn’t far off, so singles and young professionals still have plenty of fun things to do close by! Active young adults will also appreciate being near Lake Wingra, the iconic Vilas Park, and one of the entrances to UW-Madison Arboretum. The Vilas neighborhood is also great for those ready to purchase a home—whether that’s one of the Craftsman bungalow, Georgian Revival, American Foursquare, or Tudor homes common to the area. And if you prefer to get around without a car, this neighborhood is one of the best places to live in Madison—it’s a biker’s paradise and offers good access to the city’s bus system!

Things to Do in Vilas

Show support for the Badgers (NCAA) while attending a UW football game at Camp Randall Stadium. Get dry rub seasonings and sustainably sourced, fresh seafood like Red Snapper, Hiramasa, or Halibut at Berke & Benham. Admire the birds in the Tropical Rainforest Aviary, see what animals do after sunset at Pajama Jam, or dine by polar bears at the Glacier Grille in Henry Vilas Zoo. Expand your musical interests with new vinyl or CDs at Strictly Discs. Try brunch favorites like a Shorewood Breakfast Bowl, Pork Quesadilla, or The Kegonsa Market Bowl at Barriques—and keep an eye out for Barriques’ alcohol-tasting sessions! Savor Mediterranean comfort food like Egyptian Kosharie, Shawarma Wrap, or Beef Tenderloin Biryani at Kosharie. Devour Maple Braised Bone In Pork Shank, Butter Basted Atlantic Salmon, or Pan Seared Cod at Kettle Black Chicken. Or pair a crisp red wine with Belgian-French-inspired food like Marinated Trout or Duck Confit at Brasserie V.

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Considering a move to Madison? Extra Space Storage has self storage facilities throughout the Madison area that can help with your transition. Find a storage unit near you!

Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

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