Michele Narowetz

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Area Information | 25 Posts
November
22

Shop Small in Dane County

Shop Local

There's something special about shopping at small local businesses for the holidays. Not only do you get the satisfaction of supporting locally-owned shops and boutiques in your community, but you can also find some amazing holiday gifts that the big chain stores simply can't offer. 

Luckily, we have some cool local shops here in the Madison area. With Small Business Saturday coming up on November 26, our real estate agents are excited to share some of their favorite places to shop small in Dane County. 

  • Madison Modern Market - 310 State St, Madison, WI 53703
    An independent, locally-owned boutique in the heart of Downtown Madison, Madison Modern Market is heading into its 10th year offering unique gifts and home goods. With an eclectic selection of unique yet functional gifts ranging from books, board games, and stationery to kitchenware, candles, and décor, you'll find something for just about anyone on your list here. Madison Modern Market is conveniently located just minutes away from many Madison homes for sale and within walking distance of many of the city's best shops and eateries.

  • Good Day Shop - 1925 Monroe St #120, Madison, WI 53711
    Offering a unique array of local and mindfully made goods, Good Day Shop always offers something unexpected. They primarily carry products made by independent artists, makers, and small brands, ranging from home goods to pantry items and apparel. Good Day Shop is a great place to find gifts for any occasion, but they really go all-out during the holidays, including a huge selection of themed gifts and décor, as well as pop-up events throughout November and December.

  • The Soap Opera - 319 State St, Madison, WI 53703
    A mainstay of Madison since 1972, The Soap Opera is one of the city's finest purveyors of bath and body products. From soaps and grooming supplies to essential oils and skin care, they have a truly outstanding array of gifts for everyone, including some great curated gift baskets filled with hand-picked items. You can order online, but browsing the store in person is half the fun, and their friendly staff is always happy to help you find something special.

  • Booth 121 - 6203 Monona Dr, Monona, WI
    It doesn't get more one-of-a-kind than Booth 121. With a huge selection of clothing, gifts, and jewelry, this Monona shop is perfect for finding a creative gift, even for those on your list who are notoriously hard to shop for. Stop by their shop to see their ever-changing selections of handmade goods and see what their makers are up to near Monona homes for sale.

  • The Regal Find - 1834 Parmenter St, Middleton, WI
    Looking for handmade gifts in the downtown Middleton area? The Regal Find has you covered! Their selection offers a true taste of what local makers are creating in the Dane County area. Browse their wares online and opt for curbside pickup for a convenient way to shop before looking at Middleton homes for sale. Or shop in person Monday through Saturday.

Contact us today to learn more about life in Madison, WI, and the surrounding areas. If you're on the search for your dream home, you can count on our real estate agents to help you find it in Dane County. 

November
3

National Cappuccino Day: Madison Area Coffee Shops

Madison Coffee Shops

Our real estate agents don't need any excuse to sing the praises of our favorite local coffee shops here in the Madison area... but with National Cappuccino Day coming up on November 8, now is a better time than ever. Be sure to check out these awesome Dane County coffee shops in honor of the occasion!

  • Bradbury's Coffee - 127 N Hamilton St, Madison, WI 53703
    Noted for its hipster vibes and lively atmosphere, Bradbury's Coffee is a beloved hole-in-the-wall shop within sight of the Wisconsin State Capitol building in Downtown Madison. They serve some expertly-made lattés and cappuccinos, along with artisanal crêpes and other treats. Bradbury's also stocks whole-bean coffee from some of America's finest roasters. 

  • Hodge Podge - 160 Keenan Ct Suite 1, Verona, WI 53593
    The folks at Hodge Podge make a killer cappuccino, not to mention plenty of other great coffee and tea drinks. This Verona coffee and cocktail bar also serves up some tasty craft cocktails during weekly happy hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Just footsteps away from many Verona homes for sale, Hodge Podge is committed to using as many local ingredients as possible, from locally-roasted coffee beans to locally-distilled spirits. 

  • Michelangelo's Coffee House - 114 State St, Madison, WI 53703
    Established in 1997, Michelangelo's Coffee House has been a mainstay of Downtown Madison for 25 years. Michelangelo's is known for friendly service, a warm, welcoming space, and great coffee. Whether you're looking to slowly savor a cappuccino or just want to grab a quick cup of joe to go, this place has you covered. 

  • Prairie Café & Bakery - 3109 Pheasant Branch Rd, Middleton, WI 53562
    Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day at Prairie Café & Bakery, a favorite local breakfast, brunch, and lunch spot just minutes from these Middleton homes for sale. In addition to their all-day-breakfast menu packed with staples like omelets, pancakes, and waffles, Prairie Café & Bakery also offers a well-rounded selection of coffee and espresso drinks. 

  • Mother Fool's Coffee House - 1101 Williamson St, Madison, WI 53703
    Known for its funky atmosphere as well as excellent coffee, Mother Fool's Coffee House is always a great place to enjoy a cup of joe. They serve excellent espresso and have a menu of delicious baked goods with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. Mother Fool's Coffee House is also a fun gathering place for the local community, with walls adorned with the works of local artists and frequent live music, poetry readings, and other events. 

  • Barriques -  5957 McKee Rd., Fitchburg, WI 53719
    With a huge selection of sandwiches, espresso drinks, and wine, Barriques offers something for everyone! This market-style setup is perfect for picking something up on the go near Fitchburg homes for sale. Or stay a while and enjoy one of their tasting sessions, where they pair beverages and cheeses. Skip the line and order your National Cappuccino Day drink in advance on their app.

  • Ancora Cafe + Bakery - 107 King St, Madison, WI 53703
    With over 25 years in business, Ancora Cafe + Bakery is an established Madison favorite for coffee lovers. Their Downtown Madison store started it all and has been open since 1994. Besides their fantastic espresso-based beverages, they have three different varieties of brewed coffee for your morning cup of joe. Brunch is served every day and makes a fantastic accompaniment to your drink of choice.

Contact us today to learn more about life in Dane County and talk with our real estate agents about finding your dream home in Madison, WI, and the surrounding areas. 

October
4

National Pizza Month: Where to Order a Pie in Dane County

Dane County Pizza

Order a pie or grab a slice, October is officially National Pizza Month. No matter if you are looking at Sun Prairie homes for sale or Fitchburg homes for sale, there are plenty of pizza options in Southern WI.

Here is a closer look at just a few places to score a slice or a pie with your favorite toppings:

  • Buck's Pizza – 219 Cottage Grove, Madison, WI 53716
    Buck's Pizza is a Madison tradition that has been around since 1960. All the details come together for a truly unique pizza – including an award-winning sauce recipe, the secret sausage recipe, and the fresh homemade dough. Recently, Buck's began to sell "half-baked" pizza, giving its fans the opportunity to enjoy the genuine Buck's Pizza experience from home.

  • Pizza Brutta – 1805 Monroe Street, Madison, WI 53711
    Pizza Brutta is the place to go for authentic Neapolitan pizza made fresh using local ingredients from small producers. Using family recipes passed down for years, it is a local institution that also works hard to strengthen the local food system and community. A popular pick for catering, it features indoor dining, curbside pickup, and delivery. The Margherita is the most popular pie.

  • Ian's Pizza by the Slice – 100 State Street, Madison, WI 53703
    With three locations in Madison and several more across Wisconsin, Colorado, and Washington, Ian's Pizza by the Slice is one of America's fastest-growing pizza parlor chains. Don't miss out on the growing pizza craze distinguished by signature pizzas like "Mac n' Cheese" and "Maui Wowie." Ian's also stands out with its robust selection of vegetarian pizzas, a dozen in all. There's something for everyone at this shop.

  • Greenbush Bar – 914 Regent Street, Madison, WI 53715
    Authentic Sicilian pizza is the star at Greenbush Bar. You can find this local favorite in the basement of Madison's historic Italian Workman's Club building. The restaurant is committed to using fresh organic ingredients from local farms whenever possible. Use these ingredients to build your own pizza with a variety of toppings, including basil pesto, mushrooms, and kalamata olives, plus a variety of meat and cheese options. Opt for dining on your pie at the bar or ordering for carryout. Don't forget to end your meal with one of their delicious cannolis!

  • Sugar River Pizza Company – 1390 Cabela Drive, Sun Prairie, WI 53590
    With locations in Sun Prairie and Verona, you're never too far from a Sugar River Pizza Company pie. The Sun Prairie location features a weekly Happy Hour, lunch specials, and weekly specials that are sure to tempt your tastebuds without breaking the bank. Regular menu items include specialty pizzas such as their Amazon Deluxe, Garden Bella, Buffalo Chicken, and Baked Potato. Dine-in or enjoy carryout options, or check their website to see if they deliver to your area.

Contact us today to find out more about real estate opportunities here in Dane County.

August
29

Labor Day Weekend Activities Near Madison

Labor Day in Madison

How will you spend the last three-day weekend of the summer? Join our real estate agents at these lively Labor Day weekend events taking place around Madison. 

  • Taste of Madison - Capitol Square, 100 Wisconsin Ave., Madison, WI 53703
    Celebrate 40 years of "the largest picnic on Capitol Square" at the Taste of Madison. Indulge in your favorite dishes or try some new ones from more than 75 food vendors on hand. Help some good causes by tipping beverage stand staffers who are from local volunteer groups near Madison homes for sale. A full lineup of live music is headlined by Daughtry, platinum artist and American Idol finalist. Hours are 2:30  8:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 3, and 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 4. Admission is free.

  • Shifting Gears Bike Path Dance Festival - Capital City State Trail, Fitchburg, WI 53711
    Take a break from viewing Fitchburg homes for sale and get your groove on at the Shifting Gears Bike Path Dance Festival. For the second year, green spaces alongside Capital City State Trail will be transformed into performance spaces for an assortment of local dance groups. Join in the fun by walking, biking, or skating along the trail to visit the different sites. The festival takes place on Monday, September 5 from noon - 6 p.m., and admission is free.

  • Devil's Lake State Park - S5975 Park Rd., Baraboo, WI 53913
    Devil's Lake State Park is a slice of heaven, just minutes from Baraboo homes for sale. With 29 miles of trails, there are gorgeous hiking opportunities for people with all levels of abilities. Experienced hikers enjoy the challenge of Balanced Rock Trail, with its namesake formation and sweeping views of the park. Water lovers head to Devil's Lake for swimming, canoeing and kayaking, scuba diving, and fishing. Picnic facilities include a number of shelters, both reservable and first-come-first-served. Park hours are 6 a.m. - 11 p.m., seven days a week. The entrance fee per vehicle is $13 per day or$28 annually.

  • First Friday on Monroe Street - 1400-3600 Monroe St., Madison, WI 53711
    Get a head start on the holiday at First Friday on Monroe Street. During this popular monthly event, participating shops along Monroe Street keep later hours and offer a variety of specials, from discounts to prizes. Other features include pop-up vendor stands, live music, and kids' activities. First Friday is also a great chance to dine at the incredible restaurants in the area. Hours are 4 p.m. - 7 p.m., and admission is free.

  • Riverfront Terrace - 27 Broadway, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
    Wisconsin Dells homes for sale are near some of the most scenic spots in the state. It's the perfect location for Riverfront Terrace, an outdoor entertainment venue on the banks of the Wisconsin River. This year, Riverfront Terrace has added a food cart serving appetizers, pizza, and specials to go with their drink menu of beer, wine, specialty cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages. The music lineup for Labor Day weekend includes the jazz ensemble String Fever on Saturday, singer-songwriter Noah James Hittner on Sunday, and acoustic guitarist/vocalist Brian Beard on Sunday. Riverfront Terrace is open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. - 11 p.m., Friday from 5 p.m. - midnight, Saturday from noon-midnight, and Sunday from noon - 11 p.m.

Life near Madison is special every day of the year. Contact us for all your real estate needs.

July
7

Downtown Madison Summer Events

Downtown Madison

Our real estate agents love all that the downtown area has to offer, especially during the summer! From craft fairs and farmers markets to music festivals and marathons, there are plenty of ways to enjoy our small big city during some of our favorite months. Be sure to mark your calendar for these summer happenings in downtown Madison.

  • Lunchtime Live - N Hamilton St, Madison, WI 53703
    If you're looking for something to do during your lunch breaks this summer, we have the answer! Lunchtime Live is a weekly event that takes place across 13 consecutive spring/summer Tuesdays through August and features a different live music performance every week from noon to 1 pm. The music takes place on the lawn at the Hamilton Street corner of the Wisconsin State Capitol, just minutes from these Madison homes for sale.

  • Concerts on the Square - King St, Madison, WI 53703
    A longstanding summer tradition in Madison since 1984, Concerts in the Square is a live concert series performed by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. The orchestra brings exciting guest artists throughout the six-concert series, which takes place at the King Street corner of Capitol Square. This year's events include Reflections on Liberty on July 13, The Planets & Ho-Chunk on July 20, and Rachmaninoff's Third on July 27.

  • Maxwell Street Days - 100 State St, Madison, WI 53703
    You could call Maxwell Street Days Madison's biggest annual sidewalk sale, but it's much more than that. For a few days every summer, State Street transforms into a full-fledged pedestrian mall lined with vendors selling everything from local arts and crafts to food and drinks, clothing, jewelry, and books. Around 30,000 people attend this event, which takes place July 14-17, 2022.

  • Madison Mini-Marathon - Corner of Lake St & Langdon St, Madison, WI 53703
    Saturday, July 23, 2022, will bring the return of the annual Madison Mini-Marathon & 5k. Participants are welcome to register for the 13.1-mile half marathon, which starts at the corner of Lake Street and Langdon Street, or the 5k walk/run, which kicks off at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Union. Be sure to stick around after for the legendary 14th Mile Post Race Party!

  • Jazz at Five - 100 State St, Madison, WI 53703
    Jazz at Five is a music series that occurs several times each summer. Along with great music, there will also be food trucks and a craft beer tent at each event. New this year, Jazz at Five events will be split between two locations. The concerts on August 3 and August 10 will take place at McKee Park in Fitchburg, while events on August 17, 24, and 31 will occur at the top of State Street.

  • Madison Night Market - State St, Madison, WI 53703
    There are two Madison Night Market events left in 2022. Artists and other local vendors set up all along State Street and neighboring portions of Gilman Street, and Lisa Link Peace Park hosts live music during the events. The final two markets of the season take place on August 11 and September 8 from 4–8 pm.

Contact us today to learn more about life in Madison! If you're planning on moving to Wisconsin's capital in the near future, our real estate agents are dedicated to helping find the perfect home for you and your family.

June
20

Summer Festivals Throughout Dane County

Summer Festivals Dane County

Get ready to live life to the fullest in the Dane County area this summer! Local annual summer festivals bring music, food, and fun to many Southern Wisconsin communities throughout the summer, and our real estate agents are excited to share the upcoming festivities. 

Mark your calendars for these great summer festivals in Dane County.

  • Oregon Summer Fest - 245 Brook St, Oregon, WI 53575
    The Oregon Summer Fest is a beloved annual tradition in the community of Oregon, Wisconsin. This year's festival spans four days from July 23 to 26 and will offer enough fun, food, and festivities to keep you going all summer long! It starts with a fireworks display on Thursday evening and ends with Sunday's BBQ 'Thrilla on the Grilla'. In between, there will be a car show, craft fair, carnival games, cornhole tournaments, and much more. The festival takes place in Kiser Park, just minutes from these Oregon homes for sale.

  • Concerts in the Park - 100 E Main St, Cambridge, WI 53523
    The Summer Concert Series in Cambridge, WI, will be returning this year, with live music on select Fridays throughout the summer at Veterans Park. Upcoming shows include Mad City Jug Band on 6/17, Small Blind Johnny on 7/8, and The Tooles on 7/29. All concerts are free to the public and convenient to many Cambridge homes for sale. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs, and there will be food available onsite (usually in the form of a taco truck or the Cambridge Lions Club pizza/beer tent).

  • Coffee Break Festival - 400 Mandt Pkwy, Stoughton, WI 53589
    Sure, Wisconsin might be known for our cheese curds and local craft beer. But did you know the vital role coffee has played in our communities? In fact, the area around Stoughton homes for sale is known as "Home of America's Coffee Break." Celebrate your favorite caffeinated beverage at the Coffee Break Festival on the third Saturday in August. Coffee tastings are available for $6 at the festival. 

  • La Fête De Marquette - 202 S Ingersoll St, Madison, WI 53703
    Live music is also the central focus of La Fête De Marquette, which will be returning to Madison's Eastside neighborhood this summer. In addition, to live bands on three stages, the festival will feature food, beer, and wine tents, as well as family games and activities, and a three-story Ferris wheel. The festival takes place July 14-17 at McPike Park, which also happens to be the setting of Madison's beloved Eastside Farmers Market every Tuesday from April through October. All proceeds from La Fête De Marquette benefit the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center.

  • Concerts at McKee - 2930 Chapel Valley Rd, Fitchburg, WI 53711
    By now, you've probably noticed that Dane County has plenty of summer festivals that involve talented local musicians. And the area near Fitchburg homes for sale is no exception, thanks to the Concerts at McKee series! On the third Monday of June, July, and August, you can enjoy a free concert at beautiful McKee Farms Park. Be sure to check out their website for the latest band announcements for their concert series.

Contact us today to learn more about life in Southern Wisconsin and the surrounding areas! When you're ready to find your dream home in Dane County, our real estate agents are here to help every step of the way. 

February
3

5 Places Worth Exploring in Dane County This Year

Dane County

  • Olbrich Botanical Gardens - 3330 Atwood Ave., Madison, WI 53704
    With 16 acres containing an incredible assortment of plants and flowers, Olbrich Botanical Gardens is the equivalent of a visual amusement park. Global delights such as the Thai Pavilion, the only one in the continental United States, and the Bolz Conservatory, a 50-foot glass pyramid replicating the vegetation of the tropics, can instantly transport your mindset. Other specialty gardens include the Rose Garden, Sunken Garden, and Herb Garden. Grow your green thumb with classes, workshops, and lectures. Admission to the Conservatory is $6, but the outdoor gardens are free, though donations are gratefully accepted. Hours are 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily.

  • Chazen Museum of Art - University of Wisconsin, 750 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706
    Located on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, just blocks away from Lake Mendota, the Chazen Museum of Art is stunning. Its two buildings hold approximately 23,000 pieces, making it the second-largest collection in the state and the largest collecting museum in the Big Ten. Cultures and periods represented include ancient Greece, 18th-century Japan, and modern Africa. The visiting exhibition, Seeing Audubon: Robert Havell, Jr., and the Birds of America, will be on display through the first quarter of 2022. Admission is free to the public. Hours are 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on weekends.

  • Henry Vilas Zoo - 702 S. Randall Ave., Madison, WI 54715
    A trip to the Henry Vilas Zoo is a treat for "kids" of all ages. The park sits on land donated by Col. William and Anna Vilas in honor of their young son, the zoo's namesake, who died due to complications from diabetes. In an act of further generosity, they stipulated that the land be used for a park that would remain free to the public. Henry Vilas is one of only ten zoos in North America where visitors can see more than 650 animals from around the world for no admission fee. The zoo is open seven days a week from 9:30 - 5 p.m and is a delightful stop in Downtown Madison.

  • Madison Eats Food Tours - Madison, WI
    Our local culinary game is strong. Surprise your senses with Madison Eats Food Tours, which highlight Madison's longtime favorites and trendy new spots. Each tour theme focuses on a specific cuisine or neighborhood, creating an immersive experience. Current tours include Capitol Square Downtown, Atwood Brew & Chew, and Bike n' Bites. For the adventurous diner, Madison Eats also offers international culinary tours to places like Mexico and Belize. Local tours run for approximately three hours. Visit the website for schedule and prices.

  • University of Wisconsin Geology Museum - Weeks Hall, 1215 W. Dayton St., Madison, WI 53706
    Dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes delight visitors of all ages. Spend an educational day disguised as fun with your family at the University of Wisconsin Geology Museum. Exhibits featuring more than 120,000 specimens will take you back to the times when the state was variously covered with ice, water, and volcanoes. Admission is free to the public. Museum hours are 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday.

Making the most of life in Dane County is what Stark agents love to do and what we love to share with our community. For dedicated and knowledgeable help buying or selling a home, contact us at Stark Company Realtors.

January
5

First Fridays on Monroe Street

First Friday Monroe Street

Monroe Street is one of Madison's most charming destinations. Nestled in the shadow of legendary venues like Camp Randall Stadium and the UW Field House, Monroe Street has established its own identity through the unique shopping and dining experiences it offers. Nearby residents walk from shop to shop, stop for a warm beverage at a cafe or grab a bite at a one-of-a-kind restaurant. 

If you haven't attended one of the First Fridays on Monroe Street events, now is the time.

We want to help you plan ahead with these First Fridays on Monroe details.

First Fridays on Monroe Street

Location: 1400 – 3600 Monroe St., Madison, WI 53711

Time: First Friday of Every Month*, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
(*Starting again in February 2022)

Admission: Free

  • Extended Shopping Hours at Your Favorite Boutique Shops
    During First Fridays, many Monroe Street shops will have extended hours that make it easy to explore these wonderful small businesses. If you've been wanting to check out some of these spots but can't make it during the usual business hours, First Fridays are the perfect time to visit Monroe Street.

  • Delicious Dining at Monroe Street Destinations
    Monroe Street is also home to some of the best restaurants near Madison homes for sale, so it's easy to refuel with some fantastic food in between stops. Whether you're grabbing a sweet treat at Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, enjoying a great cup of coffee at Crescendo Espresso Bar, settling in for a delicious meal at Marie's Soul Food, or grabbing a drink at the Laurel Tavern, you'll love the variety and charm of the dining destinations on Monroe Street. Be sure to check the menus for specials!

  • Live Music and Pop-Up Shops
    Live outdoor performances are also part of some First Fridays, along with unique pop-up shops that aren't available at any other time. You never know what you might find on First Fridays, which is part of the fun.

  • Something New Every First Friday
    No two First Fridays celebrations are the same. Different shops and restaurants participate every month, so there's always something new to see. Mix in the live performances, pop-up shops, and other fun surprises and it's easy to see why so many people return for every First Friday on Monroe Street.

  • More Events to Enjoy on Monroe Street All Year Long
    Along with First Fridays, Monroe Street offers a variety of other festive events throughout the year. Holiday Glow on Monroe is a must-see during the holiday season, with carolers, great shopping, and live holiday music. The Monroe Street Festival happens every summer, with live music, fun, educational classes, fabulous food, and plenty of kid-friendly attractions. No matter the season, there's always something to see on Monroe Street.

Searching for a home that makes it easy to visit and enjoy Monroe Street? Let our local real estate team help. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Madison, WI area.

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