The University of Wisconsin-Stout is set in a small rural town approximately one hour from a major metropolitan area. Menomonie is a unique town with plenty of character. On Broadway and Main Street, students will find more bars than one could possibly visit in one night. Aside from the drinking, some students will say that there is nothing to do in Menomonie. Sure, there is no real mall; however, the creative student can always find something to keep himself entertained. Interesting places to visit include the Mabel Tainter Theater, Devils Punchbowl, and the Red Cedar River. Menomonie has movie theaters, bowling, mini-golf, awesome parks great for barbecues, multiple disk golf courses, and even a waterpark. The downtown area has numerous small shops, bars, restaurants, and cafés; however, some shops find it hard to stay open. The downtown area has several vacant storefronts that look terrible.
City slickers will sometimes complain about Menomonie not having enough shopping, glamour, or city culture, in general. Be advised that Menomonie is indeed a small town in rural Wisconsin. However, for these city folk, Eau Claire is only 30 minutes away and the Twin Cities are not much farther. Some students get so antsy on campus that they rarely stay there. During the first semester, students will notice that larger parking lots near the residence halls empty out on the weekends. Because of this, many students call Stout a "suitcase campus." Going home on weekends is common for freshman students, although not encouraged. Students routinely go home to work their jobs and be with high school friends. However, the students that stay on campus on the weekends make more friends and adjust more quickly to campus life.