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  • Middleton, Wisconsin
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    Middleton,

    Wisconsin

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    Middleton is a city in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States, and a suburb of the state capital, Madison. Middleton's motto is "The Good Neighbor City." The population was 21,827 at the 2020 census. In 2007, Middleton was chosen as the best place to live by CNN Money magazine. CNN Money magazine praised Middleton's "small-town charm, booming economy, extensive parks and bike trails." In 2009, Middleton was placed 4th, and 8th in 2011, on CNN Money magazine's list of best small towns to live in the United States. In 2021, Middleton was chosen as the "Best Suburbs to Raise a Family in Dane County" by ranking and review website Niche.
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    Middleton Articles

    Inspiration

    5 perfect rentals for plant lovers

    The home gardening trend that bloomed during the pandemic has planted roots for the long term, with nurseries continuing to report record sales as consumers test and refine their green thumbs. Plant-loving travelers looking to take their plant parentings skills to the next level will be rewarded with stays at these five botanical vacation rentals courtesy of Vacasa, the leading full-service vacation rental management company in North America. As an added bonus, there are parks, greenhouses, gardens and more nearby, offering plenty of additional opportunities to enjoy nature’s beauty in full bloom. Source: Vacasa Arcadian Gardens (Sequim, Washington) - It’s fitting that this vacation home is in The Evergreen State, where an indoor koi pond—and hot tub—are surrounded by an impressive display of tropical plants that create a jungle-like oasis. Spend an afternoon at Pioneer Memorial Park, a beautiful 4-acre park and arboretum located right downtown and maintained by the Sequim Prairie Garden Club. Home Run House (Warren, Vermont) - This custom-built vacation home uses greenery to soften the steely gray of its industrial-style interior architecture, with a two-story living wall of plants and a forest of potted trees. Nearby, the Von Trapp Greenhouse in Waitsfield has been growing all of its own plants from seeds, cuttings, or divisions for more than 40 years. Source: Vacasa Mellow Marsh (Folly Beach, South Carolina) - Wicker baskets and plant stands dot the living area of this beachside rental, proving that even with a view of palm trees from the deck, a fiddle leaf fig tree can really bring a space to life. Head about 20 minutes inland to Charleston and stroll through acres upon acres of romantic blooms at the popular Middleton Place or Magnolia Garden. Source: Vacasa Yellowtail Home in the Meadow (Big Sky, Montana) - This Big Sky sun porch, complete with skylights, is decked out with a container garden of trees that artfully brings the outdoors in, but will keep any chilly evening temps at bay. An abundance of wildflowers line area hiking trails nearby, including Beehive Basin and Cinnamon Mountain, but remember to leave the colorful buds rooted—picking them is against hiker (and plant enthusiast) etiquette. Tabor Treehouse (Portland, Oregon) - As a house in a plant, this vacation rental gives guests the true “one with nature” experience. If that’s not enough, nearby Leach Botanical Garden (which unveiled a $12 million renovation this spring) is home to a diverse collection of more than 2,000 plants across its 16.5 acres Source: Vacasa This content has been provided in partnership with Vacasa.

    Inspiration

    London: Royal wedding-themed vacations

    So it's April 29th, and you're all invited: H.R.H. Prince William is making his marriage to Catherine Middleton into a "People's Royal Wedding." In the works are a parade, street parties, and a military fly-over. Soon, tickets will go on sale for a concert that weekend, starring Elton John and Susan Boyle. A special national holiday (combined with a previously scheduled one on the following Monday) will create a four-day weekend for locals. Many Londoners plan to celebrate, dressing up in spiffy clothes and fancy hats. There is political pressure on the Mayor to find budget money to put giant TVs in Hyde Park, which would broadcast the ceremonies. Local boroughs are certain to sponsor street parties, about 30 in every borough. Book your travel now. Prices will only rise from here on out. One sample offer: British Airways is selling wedding-themed air-plus-hotel packages from $865, before taxes. Can't make it April 29? Not to worry. Here's a guide to the top London attractions related to the royal wedding. Visit when you can. Westminster Abbey As you've heard, William and Kate chose this palace for the 15th royal wedding in its 1,000 years. £15 ($23), westminster-abbey.org. The Royal Mews See the Royal Carriage, the coach that the couple will most likely use on their wedding day. The queen's working horses are in the stable next door. £7.75 ($12), royalcollection.org.uk. Garrard & Co. Garrard claims to be the world's oldest jewelry shop. It's the source of Princess Diana's sapphire and diamond engagement ring, which Prince William took out of his rucksack and presented to Kate during a getaway in Kenya. garrard.com. Jigsaw After graduating from college, fashion maven Kate worked in the Kew branch of British boutique chain Jigsaw. You can check out her taste at the London branch at 126-7 New Bond Street. The store is a minimalist marvel, designed by renowned architect John Pawson 15 years ago. The fashion is relatively affordable for London. If you're looking to buy one "splash out" dress for the weekend's festivities, this is one place to shop for ideas and accessories. jigsaw-online.com. Club Mahiki One of Prince William's favorite hangouts, this nightclub is likely to be part of his stag party. mahiki.com. Clarence House Prince William currently lives near his Royal Air Force base in Wales, but his father, Prince Charles, announced the engagement from their official home lives at Clarence House.* Glimpse this Tudor building by walking up the Mall from Buckingham Palace to Admiralty Arch. Soldiers in sentry boxes guard out front. Book now for summer tours. royal.gov.uk. *CORRECTED on Wed. Sorry for the error. MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL London shopping: A new mall with spectacular views Quiz: Think you know London? London hotels: Want that towel? You have to pay $2.40

    Inspiration

    Where in the world will your interests take you?

    CNN recently spoke to travel writer Tony Perrottet, who journeyed across Europe in search of sites so salacious, they've become the stuff of legends. Among them, the Venetian home that once belonged to Giancomo Casanova, and the Stufetta del Bibbiena, a very closely guarded washroom in the Vatican's papal quarters decorated with some decidedly secular imagery by Raphael himself. You can get all the juicy details on Perrottet's trip in his book The Sinner's Grand Tour, which hit bookstores last month. The interview itself is a pretty fascinating read—and while I won't presume to guess what train of thought it will lead you to, I can tell you what it got me thinking about: all the varied, off-the-wall themes that can inspire and shape a trip. Sure, you can visit a place with nothing more on the agenda than discovering it organically—some might say that's the only way to travel. But it seems that now more than ever, you can take off to anther part of the world in an effort to trace the steps or follow the trail of just about anything: the book you'll find on every Nook and Kindle (Stockholm has seen a jump in tourism since introducing Girl With the Dragon Tattoo tours, based on the wildly popular series of novels by Stieg Larsson, last year); a real-life historical figure (among those honored with their own itineraries: Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Che Guevara, and Kate Middleton); your taste buds (one of BT's recent dream trips urges travelers to take in Paris via patisserie); or even...toilets (yes, really). As someone who was dragged along the Da Vinci Code trail in Paris (and despite herself, managed to enjoy it), I'm curious to hear from others who have ventured into themed travel: What's the wackiest tour you've heard of, been on, or can't wait to try? Around what theme would you base a trip, and where would it take you? MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL: 12 Mysterious Underground Tours New trend: Urban bike tours in Los Angeles and New York Chernobyl officially opens for tours

    Inspiration

    What To Eat In Singapore: Lunch Under $5

    This article was written by Sia Ling Xin, who travels and writes about it for Asiarooms.com, a blog and online community focused on travelling in Asia. You can also find her on Twitter. It is undeniable that Singapore is known for great food. For all the talk about how the city-state is sterile, expensive, and without flavour, naysayers have to concede that this tiny Southeast Asian country, known as the Little Red Dot for its placing on the world map, is chockfull of strange and wonderful tastes. The dishes here may not be as famous as Thai food and not as intricate as Japanese cuisine, but they pack a certain punch. Those who have tried them won't forget in a hurry. The second in a series of what to eat in Singapore, here is a list of local lunch choices for under $5. Visiting a new country can get a little daunting and tiring as you traipse up and down the sunny streets—still, look forward to lunch, for you will always be able to find something that will perk you right up. Mee Soto AyamPronounced: Mee So-toe Ah-yum (for the picky eater)Cost: $4This dish of yellow noodles in a mildly spiced chicken broth is the perfect choice for a fuss-free meal. Topped with shredded chicken (ayam means chicken in Malay), beansprouts, and fresh coriander, it tastes fresh and clean. The dish is also a major crowd pleaser—everyone from young kids to grandpa and grandma can appreciate this light and flavourful soup. Mee Soto Ayam is also a common breakfast dish, if you feel like loading up first thing in the morning. Hainan Chicken RicePronounced: Hai-Nan-Jee-Faan (for every single visitor)Cost: $3.50This is hand's down Singapore's most famous dish, no matter for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This dish of sliced poached chicken served atop fragrant white rice was even on the royal menu when Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton visited the city-state two years ago. Properly executed, the chicken meat should taste springy, and the skin smooth with a thin layer of gelatine that makes the dish all the more sinful. The star of the dish is always the rice—cooked with pandan leaves, garlic, and chicken broth, it's fragrant, silky, and delicious. It's the perfect meal that won't leave you breaking out in sweat on a hot day. Minced meat noodle (for the pasta lovers)Pronounced: Bak Chor Mee (Bahk-Chore-Mee)Cost: $3.50Skinny yellow noodles go surprisingly well with morsels of minced meat, silvers of pork liver, braised mushrooms, and the tastiest of all guilty indulgences: crispy pork lard. Usually served with a small bowl of fish ball soup and a leaf of raw green vegetable, this dish relies heavily on a well-made sauce. Various options include: dark (sweet black soya sauce), chilli or tomato sauce (depending on whether you want it spicy) or white (sesame oil). The first few are heavier on the palate; those who love aglio olio would love the last preparation method. Nasi Briyani (for the adventurous spice lover)Pronounced: Na-see Bree-yarn-neeCost: $4 to $6.50 depending on what you addExtremely fragrant, highly exotic, and perfect for when you're in the mood for a hearty meal. Basmati rice is cooked with a variety of herbs such as cinnamon, saffron, and lemongrass, and the result is a plate of orange-and-yellow grains that look like the sunset and tastes just as glorious. Its slightly spicy tang goes great with a side order of fried chicken. If you're bent on having this, order a cold drink to bring down some of the heat. Lontong (for the vegetarian)Pronounced: Long-tongCost: $4.50Vegetarians and meat-lovers alike should check out this traditional Malay dish. Rice is tightly wrapped in banana leaves, boiled, cut into small pieces, and drenched with a mild vegetable curry. The vegetables—usually carrots, beans, and potatoes—are cooked until extremely tender. Sometimes, hard-boiled eggs and bean curd are also added into the mix. Together, they form a whole meal in a bowl of delicious curried stew—especially perfect for rainy days.

    Inspiration

    How YOU Can Take Prince William and Kate's Royal Tour of NYC

    For first-time visitors to New York City, Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton sure packed in a huge amount of Big Apple highlights in record time. A whirlwind Sunday-through-Tuesday trip had the royals zooming from Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, to the Financial District to the Upper East Side, then back to London via JFK Airport in Queens—all while remaining stately and dignified. As we all know, though, New York welcomes everyone—the tired, the poor, the huddled masses... You catch our drift. Here's how we commoners can follow the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's aristocratic itinerary without spending a pence more than absolutely necessary. 1. The Carlyle Hotel Where it is: NYC's tony Upper East Side, rosewoodhotels.com Highlight you have to see: Take the stairs up to the hotel's bar to peek at the giant wall murals featuring the children's book character Madeline. Her creator, Ludwig Bemelmans, gifted the iconic scenes to the Carlyle in exchange for a year and a half's stay for him and his family. It's worth noting that the hotel was one of Princess Diana's favorites. How you can go for cheap: Reserving a room at the Carlyle this time of year starts at a hefty $585 per night (rumor has it Kate and Wills' luxury suite cost as much as $10,000 a night). But in the early evenings, for the price of a drink (from $9), you can sit at Bemelmans Bar, munch on complimentary nuts and snack mix, and listen to the musical stylings of talented pianists such as Earl Rose and Chris Gillespie. Pro tip: They sometimes take requests. 2. The Barclays Center Where it is: Across the Brooklyn Bridge in Prospect Heights, barclayscenter.com Highlight you have to see: Make like William and Kate and take in a New Jersey Nets game—or grab tickets to shows by acts from Justin Timberlake to The National to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. If you're like us, you'll want to peruse the pre-concert food options: Brooklyn favorites Nathan's hot dogs, Williamsburg Pizza, Fatty 'Cue BBQ, and other innovative standbys all have indoor posts along the stadium's circumference. How you can go for cheap: You'll have to beat Ticketmaster on this one. Military and first responders can score discounted tickets. Otherwise, sign up for Barclays email and newsletter offers and scour sites like Craigslist, CheapTickets, and StubHub for deals. 3. The 9/11 Memorial Museum Where it is: Downtown, in Manhattan's Financial District, 911memorial.org Highlight you have to see: The museum's steel "tridents," two 70-foot columns of the Twin Towers' facade that remain, and the Survivor Tree, a callery pear tree that weathered the attacks and was rehabilitated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. How you can go for cheap: Admission is free every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to close. Book in advance at 911memorial.org/freetuesdays, or head to the ticket window at 4:30 p.m. on the Tuesday you'd like to visit. If you'd prefer to visit the outdoor reflecting pools rather than venture inside the museum, quiet observation is always free. 4. The Door Where it is: The edge of SoHo, thedoor.org Highlight you have to see: The Door is a non-profit organization that aims to assist NYC's "disconnected youth." Programs offered include tutoring, foster care, English language classes, and free meals. How you can go for cheap: There's no admission fee to help the city's young people. The org holds regular volunteer information sessions every Tuesday from 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. Find out more at thedoor.org. 5. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Where it is: The Museum Mile section of the Upper East Side, next to Central Park, metmuseum.org Highlights you have to see: The royals were at the Met to get their black-tie gala on at a fund-raiser for their alma mater, St. Andrews University in Scotland, but for those of us who prefer to view our art in slacks and flats, popular works that see high foot traffic include Jackson Pollock's Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), Claude Monet's Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies, and Emanuel Leutze's Washington Crossing the Delaware. What you'll personally enjoy is subjective, of course. One of our favorite aesthetic pleasures is the Greek sculpture Marble statue of a kouros (better known as the "New York Kouros")—and the view from the Roof Garden Café and Martini Bar on the museum's rooftop. How you can go for cheap: Technically, the $25 admission is a suggested donation, so you don't have to pay the full cost. If cheaping out feels chintzy, you could become a member for a tax-deductible $80 per year, which includes unlimited free admission plus discounted merch. Only in town for a bit? Consider purchasing an NYC CityPASS for $109, which ushers you into a slew of attractions including the Met, the Empire State Building Observatory, the Statue of Liberty, and others—and you get to skip the ticket lines. 6. The Empire State Building Where it is: Smack dab in the middle of Manhattan, as it should be, esbnyc.com Highlight you have to see: The view. It really is worth the 102-floor vertical trip. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio accompanied Prince William to the top, joining the list of famous Empire State twosomes including Cary Grant and Debra Kerr, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, and Mindy Lahiri and Danny Castellano. How you can go for cheap: Riding up only to the 86th floor is the cheapest option at $29, but $46 will take you 16 floors higher, to the tallest vantage point. Just be patient: The "Express" lines move faster, but the prices are nearly double. Also, see the CityPASS option above — it'll get you onto the 86th floor, which could be worth it if you're short on time and plan to pack as many sights as you can into your visit. Just like the royals do.

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    DESTINATION IN Wisconsin

    Madison

    Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the seat of Dane County. As of the 2020 census the population was 269,840 which made it the second-largest city in Wisconsin by population, after Milwaukee, and the 80th-largest in the United States. The city forms the core of the Madison Metropolitan Area which includes Dane County and neighboring Iowa, Green, and Columbia counties for a population of 680,796. Madison is named for American Founding Father and President James Madison. The city is located on the traditional land of the Ho-Chunk, and the Madison area is known as Dejope, meaning "four lakes", or Taychopera, meaning "land of the four lakes", in the Ho-Chunk language.Located on an isthmus and lands surrounding four lakes—Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Kegonsa and Lake Waubesa—the city is home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the Wisconsin State Capitol, the Overture Center for the Arts, and the Henry Vilas Zoo. Madison is home to an extensive network of parks and bike trails; it has the most parks and playgrounds per capita of any of the 100 largest U.S. cities and is one of five communities to have received a "Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community" rating from the League of American Bicyclists. Madison is also home to nine National Historic Landmarks, including several buildings designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, such as his 1937 Jacobs I House, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Residents of Madison are known as Madisonians. Madison has long been a center for progressive political activity, protests, and demonstrations, and contemporary Madison is considered the most politically liberal city in Wisconsin. The presence of the University of Wisconsin–Madison (the largest employer in the state) as well as other educational institutions has a significant impact on the economy, culture, and demographics of Madison.As of 2021, Madison is the fastest-growing city in Wisconsin. Madison's economy features a large and growing technology sector, and the Madison area is home to the headquarters of Epic Systems, American Family Insurance, Exact Sciences, Promega, American Girl, Sub-Zero, Lands' End, Spectrum Brands, a regional office for Google, and the University Research Park, as well as many biotechnology and health systems startups. Madison is a popular visitor destination, with tourism generating over $1 billion for Dane County's economy in 2018. A booming population combined with a lack of housing and ongoing gentrification of many Madison neighborhoods has contributed to rising housing costs, with a 23% increase in median rent between 2014 and 2019.