Are you moving to Madison this year? You are not alone! Madison will gain approximately 7,500 new residents this year. Relocating from across the state (or country!) is a huge undertaking. New residents often find themselves in a new city without friends or family to lean on for support. We adore our new neighbors. So we’ve created a guide chock-full of resources to make your transition to Mad City as smooth as possible.

A Breakdown of some of Madison’s Neighborhoods

It takes a while for a new city to truly feel like home. Discovering a neighborhood that suits your lifestyle is key to creating your best life. Madison has so many incredible neighborhoods, each with a unique flavor and culture. 

Shorewood Hills

This village sits on the south beach of Lake Mendota near the university. Shorewood Hills residents love that their neighborhood is quiet and scenic, yet still within biking distance of all the best downtown attractions.  

Maple Bluff

Maple Bluff is a picturesque waterfront community. The neighborhood is lined with brightly colored maple trees. It’s the perfect place for any household that loves enjoying views from their front porch. 

Marquette / Willy

This is one of Madison’s oldest neighborhoods. The area is full of unique charm and attracts a diverse mix of artists, performers, and affluent residents. 


Life in downtown Madison is a cosmopolitan dream. You can easily ditch your car- downtown is highly walkable. Bike lanes, nightlife, shops, and cafes are sprinkled throughout the beautiful tree-lined streets of downtown. 


A beloved Madison suburb that hugs the sunset side of Lake Monona. It’s conveniently only 5 miles from downtown and hosts the best views of the Madison skyline in all of Dane county. But that doesn’t mean it’s unattainable for the average Joe. There are luxurious waterfront homes, of course. But there’s also a comfortable mix of approachable bungalows and ranches in the area. 


Verona sits 10 miles south of downtown Madison and can rightfully be called “the burbs”. But it’s also rated one of the best places to live in Wisconsin. It’s known for its amazing schools and bountiful employment opportunities at the nearby Epic headquarters. 


Bordering Madison’s west side, Middleton is one of the fastest growing areas in Wisconsin, yet it retains a small-town feel. In Middleton, you’ll find friendly neighbors, ponds, trails, parks, and its own bustling downtown.  


Waunakee is 25 minutes north of Downtown Madison. The community lives in a sun-dappled valley with a historic downtown and many beautiful new subdivisions.  


Fitchburg is a suburb of Madison only 5 miles south of downtown Madison. It’s a perfect midway point between downtown life and classic Wisconsin farmland.  For this reason, there is a nice balance in the town. Green design and green spaces are scattered throughout the area, making it highly bikeable. 

Cottage Grove

Cottage Grove is a quiet blend of farmland, wetlands, and subdivisions. The village hosts many family-run businesses and is responsible for much of the produce found in the weekly farmers’ market.


Oregon, Wisconsin is situated about 20 minutes south of downtown Madison. It’s a small community with a small-town vibe.

Sun Prarie 

Sun Prairie is the second-largest area in Dane County (second only to downtown Madison). It offers residents convenience, comfort, and a short drive to the airport. 

How to Meet New People in Madison 

Moving to a new city is an adventure. It’s stimulating, exciting, and fun to explore new spots. But it can also be a little lonely. Who hasn’t wished they could pack up all their loved ones alongside their kitchenware? It can be hard to make new friends as an adult. Luckily, Madisonians are extremely welcoming to new residents. If you put yourself out there, it’s easy to meet new people. Several groups around town exist for this reason alone. Here are a few things to check out:

Bumble BFF

The infamous dating app has a new feature just for finding new friends. If you’re already in a relationship you can delete the dating aspect from your profile preferences entirely. It makes it easy to find new people with similar interests and hobbies. 

Madison MeetUps

Whether you’re into board games or bar hopping, there are dozens of different groups and events on the Meet Up website. 

Hoofer Outing Club 

This is a university-sponsored club but it’s open to any outdoor-loving community members. It’s a great option for anyone that loves outdoor adventures. The club plans both local and out-of-town trips doing things like canoeing, whitewater kayaking, backpacking, and skiing.  

Capital Brewery Bike Club

This club meets twice weekly for group bike rides. The ride always ends at a brewery, where club members enjoy a crisp refreshing local brew. 

Madison Supper Clubs

Many local restaurants host supper club events, designed to stimulate new friendships over a special meal. Check out the Wisconsin supper club directory to find one near you. 

Adult sports leagues

Tap into team spirit by joining an adult sports team. Madison has softball, basketball, volleyball, kickball, and ultimate frisbee teams. Click here to learn more. 

Search for a new home

The first step in relocating is finding your new home! Our team is filled with long-term Madison residents who are well-versed in the nuances of local neighborhoods. We love meeting new people. Give us a call when you’re ready to start your relocation process. Who knows? This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.