Summer in Madison is like no other. As campus slows down, city neighborhoods reveal their own rhythm. Get to know the city that locals know. Wander our streets and you’ll find endless ways to enjoy summertime. We invite you to experience a cityscape that makes the most of its lakes and natural beauty.
Photo credit: Bryce Richter
Madisonians are all about this gorgeous view of Lake Mendota. Visit the historic Memorial Union Terrace once and you’ll understand why. Sunburst chairs and sunset views accommodate hours of socializing. Dip your toes in the water or jump off the pier. For the more adventurous, Memorial Union’s Outdoor UW rents gear for sailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
Photo credit: Richard Hurd
Disconnect and drift away on the smallest—and possibly prettiest—of Madison’s lakes, Lake Wingra. The UW Arboretum surrounds this wake-free lake, so it’s easy to imagine you’re far away. But you’re not: Lake Wingra is tucked behind a vibrant neighborhood with plenty of cafés and restaurants to help you refuel at the end of a blissful summer day.
Photo credit: Ryan Michael Wisniewski
While technically a race, this lake-to-land-to-lake adventure criss-crosses Madison’s isthmus in an endlessly entertaining event for participants and spectators alike. Complete with costumes, course twists, music, and food, this Halloween-like spectacle is not to be missed.