Best lakes in Madison

Check out the top lakes in Madison, reviewed and ranked by the city’s locals
1. Memorial Union Terrace
1. Memorial Union Terrace
host-0host-1host-2
58 local reviews
800 Langdon St, Madison
+1 608-265-3000
Movie theaterRestaurantPoint of interest
Marcia
Sitting on the Memorial Union Terrace overlooking the lake in the shadow of the Memorial Union is the place of…
Laura & John
Recently renovated, we actually haven't been to the new space but we've heard wonderful things about the…
Shawn
In the Summer, the Terrace is one of my favorite places in the U.S. Set on the Lake Mendota lake-shore, they…
1. Memorial Union Terrace
1. Memorial Union Terrace
host-0host-1host-2
58 local reviews
800 Langdon St, Madison
+1 608-265-3000
Marcia
Marcia
Sitting on the Memorial Union Terrace overlooking the lake in the shadow of the Memorial Union is the place of choice for many students and…
Laura & John
Laura & John
Recently renovated, we actually haven't been to the new space but we've heard wonderful things about the updates they've made. My…
Shawn
Shawn
In the Summer, the Terrace is one of my favorite places in the U.S. Set on the Lake Mendota lake-shore, they serve traditional grilled…
2. Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center
2. Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center
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32 local reviews
1 John Nolen Drive, Madison
Closed · Opens 8:00 AM
+1 608-261-4000
Point of interestEstablishment
Hilary And Bradley
Known as the "cake on the lake," this Frank Lloyd Wright design offers guided tours, a gift shop, a rooftop…
Jessica
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, this stunning building is right on Lake Monona. Check out the views from the…
Donna
If nothing interesting is happening inside the Convention Center, it's at least worth walking to, seeing the…
2. Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center
2. Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center
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32 local reviews
1 John Nolen Drive, Madison
Closed · Opens 8:00 AM
+1 608-261-4000
Hilary And Bradley
Hilary And Bradley
Known as the "cake on the lake," this Frank Lloyd Wright design offers guided tours, a gift shop, a rooftop cafe in summer, great views and…
Jessica
Jessica
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, this stunning building is right on Lake Monona. Check out the views from the roof top terrace or enjoy a…
Donna
Donna
If nothing interesting is happening inside the Convention Center, it's at least worth walking to, seeing the cool statuary, and looking out…
3. Memorial Union Terrace
3. Memorial Union Terrace
host-0host-1host-2
19 local reviews
800 Langdon Street, Madison
+1 608-265-3000
Movie theaterElectronics storeRestaurant
Tiffany
The student union is not just for students. They have a variety of food options. They have live music on the…
Hilary And Bradley
Home to the Rathskellar, it's the only union at a public university in the U.S. to serve alcohol. In summer on…
Ray
Excellent hang out spot. Enjoy the view of the lake or a concert or cheap local beer. This is the heart of…
3. Memorial Union Terrace
3. Memorial Union Terrace
host-0host-1host-2
19 local reviews
800 Langdon Street, Madison
+1 608-265-3000
Tiffany
Tiffany
The student union is not just for students. They have a variety of food options. They have live music on the weekends, free movies on Monday…
Hilary And Bradley
Hilary And Bradley
Home to the Rathskellar, it's the only union at a public university in the U.S. to serve alcohol. In summer on the massive patio overlooking…
Ray
Ray
Excellent hang out spot. Enjoy the view of the lake or a concert or cheap local beer. This is the heart of Madison on a warm summer day. …
4. Picnic Point
4. Picnic Point
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24 local reviews
2002 University Bay Drive, Madison
Open · Closes 10:00 PM
+1 608-262-2511
Point of interestEstablishment
Marcia
Picnic Point is a spit of land into Lake Mendota. Lovely short hike to the end gives good views of the Capitol…
Randy & Aaron
A 1 mile hike to the tip of the point gives you a panoramic view of the University of Wisconsin and downtown…
Mark
The UW has lots of paths for walk/run/bike activities. Picnic Point is great walk with a great view of the…
4. Picnic Point
4. Picnic Point
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24 local reviews
2002 University Bay Drive, Madison
Open · Closes 10:00 PM
+1 608-262-2511
Marcia
Marcia
Picnic Point is a spit of land into Lake Mendota. Lovely short hike to the end gives good views of the Capitol and downtown and across the…
Randy & Aaron
Randy & Aaron
A 1 mile hike to the tip of the point gives you a panoramic view of the University of Wisconsin and downtown Madison. Located in the heart…
Mark
Mark
The UW has lots of paths for walk/run/bike activities. Picnic Point is great walk with a great view of the city and lake. You will have to…
5. Sardine
5. Sardine
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23 local reviews
617 Williamson St, Madison
Closed · Opens 4:00 PM
+1 608-441-1600
BarRestaurantPoint of interest
Bethany
My favorite restaurant in Madison. It's beautiful, has delicious food and great drinks and a view of the lake…
Avery
Great French food. Oysters, mussels and fries. On the pricy side. Can sit outside by the lake during non peak…
Catherine
My favorite restaurant in Madison. Consistently high quality food, with lots of locallly sourced ingredients…
5. Sardine
5. Sardine
host-0host-1host-2
23 local reviews
617 Williamson St, Madison
Closed · Opens 4:00 PM
+1 608-441-1600
Bethany
Bethany
My favorite restaurant in Madison. It's beautiful, has delicious food and great drinks and a view of the lake. I recommend sitting at the…
Avery
Avery
Great French food. Oysters, mussels and fries. On the pricy side. Can sit outside by the lake during non peak times. Nice bar too, and the…
Catherine
Catherine
My favorite restaurant in Madison. Consistently high quality food, with lots of locallly sourced ingredients. On the lake. Lovely zinc bar.
6. Wingra Boats
6. Wingra Boats
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9 local reviews
824 Knickerbocker Street, Madison
Closed · Opens Saturday 11:00 AM
+1 608-233-5332
SchoolPoint of interestEstablishment
John
We offer a pass for one hour of FREE CANOEING or KAYAKING at Wingra Boats on Lake Wingra, Memorial Weekend…
James
Boat,Kayak,conoe rental. Lake Wingra and it's tributaries and sorrounding wetlands are amazing to explore.
Linda
Rent a kayak, a canoe, or a swan-shaped paddleboat and enjoy the only no-wake lake in the watershed.
6. Wingra Boats
6. Wingra Boats
host-0host-1host-2
9 local reviews
824 Knickerbocker Street, Madison
Closed · Opens Saturday 11:00 AM
+1 608-233-5332
John
John
We offer a pass for one hour of FREE CANOEING or KAYAKING at Wingra Boats on Lake Wingra, Memorial Weekend through late-September, as well…
James
James
Boat,Kayak,conoe rental. Lake Wingra and it's tributaries and sorrounding wetlands are amazing to explore.
Linda
Linda
Rent a kayak, a canoe, or a swan-shaped paddleboat and enjoy the only no-wake lake in the watershed.
7. Brittingham Boats
7. Brittingham Boats
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9 local reviews
701 W Brittingham Pl, Madison
Closed · Opens 8:30 AM
(608) 250-2555
Point of interestEstablishment
Michal
Rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard for some fun on the lake. The rental facility is less than a two mile or…
Adam
They offer hourly kayak rentals which you can take under the bridge and onto Lake Monona to get stunning views…
Mike
The perfect place to rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard for cheap to check out lake Monona.
7. Brittingham Boats
7. Brittingham Boats
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9 local reviews
701 W Brittingham Pl, Madison
Closed · Opens 8:30 AM
(608) 250-2555
Michal
Michal
Rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard for some fun on the lake. The rental facility is less than a two mile or so walk from the house.
Adam
Adam
They offer hourly kayak rentals which you can take under the bridge and onto Lake Monona to get stunning views of downtown Madison.
Mike
Mike
The perfect place to rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard for cheap to check out lake Monona.
8. The Biergarten at Olbrich Park
8. The Biergarten at Olbrich Park
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6 local reviews
3527 Atwood Ave, Madison
Closed · Opens 3:00 PM
(608) 237-3548
BarPoint of interestEstablishment
Alexis
Outdoor biergarten at a park on Lake Monona. Serving up great beers from Wisconsin based craft breweries. …
Peter & Dawn
Views of Lake Monona and the downtown skyline while enjoying a cold beer and snacks or bring your own picnic.
Tyler
Biergarten on the shores of Lake Monona. Only open in summer, but great city views and sunset.
8. The Biergarten at Olbrich Park
8. The Biergarten at Olbrich Park
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6 local reviews
3527 Atwood Ave, Madison
Closed · Opens 3:00 PM
(608) 237-3548
Alexis
Alexis
Outdoor biergarten at a park on Lake Monona. Serving up great beers from Wisconsin based craft breweries. Good to know: Last call at…
Peter & Dawn
Peter & Dawn
Views of Lake Monona and the downtown skyline while enjoying a cold beer and snacks or bring your own picnic.
Tyler
Tyler
Biergarten on the shores of Lake Monona. Only open in summer, but great city views and sunset.
9. James Madison Park
9. James Madison Park
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15 local reviews
614 East Gorham Street, Madison
Closed · Opens 8:00 AM
+1 608-266-4711
ParkPoint of interestEstablishment
Laura & John
If you like people watching, this is a great little spot right along the lake in the city. Lots of people…
Hilary And Bradley
Great city park with playground, beach, lake path, sand volleyball court and lots of space to run around (or…
Colin
Amazing park on the lake. Perfect for watching the sunset and any park activities!
9. James Madison Park
9. James Madison Park
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15 local reviews
614 East Gorham Street, Madison
Closed · Opens 8:00 AM
+1 608-266-4711
Laura & John
Laura & John
If you like people watching, this is a great little spot right along the lake in the city. Lots of people laying out, playing frisbee, or…
Hilary And Bradley
Hilary And Bradley
Great city park with playground, beach, lake path, sand volleyball court and lots of space to run around (or take a blanket and read a…
Colin
Colin
Amazing park on the lake. Perfect for watching the sunset and any park activities!
10. Henry Vilas Zoo
10. Henry Vilas Zoo
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43 local reviews
702 S Randall Ave, Madison
Closed · Opens 9:30 AM
+1 608-258-9490
ZooPoint of interestEstablishment
Tiffany
The zoo is free and runs on donations. It's a cute little place and its on Lake Wingra which also provides…
James
One of the best Zoo's in the midwest. Be sure to see the Polar Bears, Penguins, Reptile and Primate houses, as…
Colin
I love this zoo. It's located next to a beautiful park and Lake Wingra. Even better, it's free.
10. Henry Vilas Zoo
10. Henry Vilas Zoo
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43 local reviews
702 S Randall Ave, Madison
Closed · Opens 9:30 AM
+1 608-258-9490
Tiffany
Tiffany
The zoo is free and runs on donations. It's a cute little place and its on Lake Wingra which also provides some nice views. The fall colors…
James
James
One of the best Zoo's in the midwest. Be sure to see the Polar Bears, Penguins, Reptile and Primate houses, as well as the beach outside the…
Colin
Colin
I love this zoo. It's located next to a beautiful park and Lake Wingra. Even better, it's free.
11. Lake Monona
11. Lake Monona
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5 local reviews
Lake Monona, Madison
Natural featureEstablishment
Janet
When I want to take my bike to restaurants by the capitol, I like to take the bike path here. I drive along…
Richard
Great walking right from the house. Go one block to Lake Monona, left for a more park like experience or right…
Bethany
One of of the three lakes surrounding Madison. The Monona Terrace is located on this lake.
11. Lake Monona
11. Lake Monona
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5 local reviews
Lake Monona, Madison
Janet
Janet
When I want to take my bike to restaurants by the capitol, I like to take the bike path here. I drive along the lake and past the Monona…
Richard
Richard
Great walking right from the house. Go one block to Lake Monona, left for a more park like experience or right for a more urban experience.
Bethany
Bethany
One of of the three lakes surrounding Madison. The Monona Terrace is located on this lake.
12. University of Wisconsin - Memorial Union
12. University of Wisconsin - Memorial Union
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4 local reviews
800 Langdon St, Madison
(608) 265-3000
Point of interestEstablishment
Ellen
Find great music, food, art, lectures and much more at the heart and soul of the UW Madison Campus. One of…
Peter & Dawn
Unique category. Beautiful lake views day or night, sometimes bands and drinks indoors or outdoors on the…
Maureen
Located on Lake Mendota visitors can sit on the Terrace and admire the sailboats, etc. It also provides food…
12. University of Wisconsin - Memorial Union
12. University of Wisconsin - Memorial Union
host-0host-1host-2
4 local reviews
800 Langdon St, Madison
(608) 265-3000
Ellen
Ellen
Find great music, food, art, lectures and much more at the heart and soul of the UW Madison Campus. One of the most beloved destinations on…
Peter & Dawn
Peter & Dawn
Unique category. Beautiful lake views day or night, sometimes bands and drinks indoors or outdoors on the gorgeous terrace, plenty of…
Maureen
Maureen
Located on Lake Mendota visitors can sit on the Terrace and admire the sailboats, etc. It also provides food and drinks along with music in…