My 5 Favorite Places In Madison

The two-year anniversary of my move from Nashville to Madison is coming up in the next month, and as the time passes I feel less like a resident tourist and more like a true Madisonian.


We all have places in our city that we love and frequently visit.

Some of these are well known and popular, while others can be more personal and special in their own way. These are my top 5:

Merrill Springs Park

Merrill Springs Park has become one of my favorite places in town. Situated right off University Avenue in West Madison, this park is about the size of a normal backyard and features a picnic table as well as a kayak launch just wide enough for a single kayak. I first discovered Merrill Springs while seeking a sand-free place to launch my kayak, and now it is a go to spot for me.

Westmorland Park (In the Winter)

I can’t speak for Westmorland in the summer, but during the winter months you can find me here at least 5 times a week. Located right off Tokay Blvd on the West Side, Westmorland has (in my opinion) the best outdoor hockey rink in town. The rink is always very well maintained, and on most nights of the week one can always expect a pretty decent pick-up game of hockey to break out for all ages and skill levels.

Olin Park Vantage

The view of downtown from John Nolen Dr is my favorite view in Madison, so naturally the stretch of the Capital City Trail that runs alongside the road is my favorite place to ride a bike. The Olin Park Vantage is the little patch of grass right before the trail begins to cross the lake, and I can’t help but stop every single time I pass by just to take in the view for a couple of minutes.

Memorial Union Terrace

I know this one is so obvious, but I couldn’t leave it off. The Union was one of the first places I went to when visiting Madison for the first time, and as soon as I sat down at one of multi-colored tables and watched the sun set behind the Lake for the first time I knew I was going to love this city.

Any spot in Madison with a Capitol View

I was going to just say “The Capitol”, and while that is true, I really just love any place from which you can see the Dome. This could be at a sidewalk table while eating in the Square, or just the quick glimpse on Century Avenue in Middleton before heading down the hill. I even have to take a quick peek from our conference room or some of the offices here at Berndt – I just can’t help myself.

These are just some of the places I’ve come to love in my short time in Madison. What are some of yours?

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