Local Area

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Local Area


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5 College Freshman

Local Area: Madison is what made me choose this school. Yes, the academics are also a bonus but Madison is such a gorgeous place to go to school. In between two beautiful lakes, and a really nice downtown area, you get the best of both city and the peaceful life.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Area: Madison is an amazing city in which to live. The campus is situated between two lakes, and the downtown area is minutes away from the center of campus. There are plenty of options for outdoor activities like walking along the lakeshore path, swimming in or ice fishing on the lakes, and events like 5ks, marathons, and an Iron Man triathlon. There is a rich history and culture here, and the locals and students take part in it. Any night of the week there is something going on, whether it be an event on the lake terrace at Memorial Union, a concert at the Overture Center, or something like a football game, there is never a reason to be bored.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Local Area: Great place for college students and their family!

5 College Freshman

Local Area: Nowhere else in the midwest has such atmosphere

5 College Freshman

Local Area: Madison is one of the best cities to live in in the United States.

2 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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With two large lakes bordering opposite ends of campus and the Capital building sitting at the top of State Street, visually, there aren’t enough positive things UW students can say about the locale of this college. Apart from the gorgeous aesthetics, students find the areas near campus to be very accessible. State St. offers a multitude of restaurants, shops, bars, and cafés. Capital Square also offers dining and shopping, but at a little higher price. Students acknowledge the nearby universities, but at the same time, admit to not interacting with them much. In general, students feel the placement of campus creates a very picturesque and “college-esque” atmosphere.

Madison itself is a comfortably-sized city located in the heart of the Midwest. Most students feel its locality creates a friendly and safe environment. The UW campus sits right next to the city’s trendiest street, complete with shops, restaurants, and bars. However, the campus is also close to a strong business district. The meshing of these two worlds exposes students to college life, and that of the ‘real world’. Overall, students at Madison will be provided with the comforts of a small town, as well as the opportunities of a large city.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. According to Forbes Magazine, Madison is ranked 2nd in the nation of top places for overall education.
  2. Madison is the 82nd largest city in the U.S.
  3. The cornerstone for the capitol building was laid down in 1837.
  4. The original population of the city in 1846 was 626 people.
  5. Madison is known as the "The City of Four Lakes." Those lakes being Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Kegonsa, and Lake Waubesa.
Notable Natives
  • Chris Noth - "Sex & the City" actor known as Mr. Big, originally from Madison
  • Phil Hellmuth - famous championship poker player, born in Madison and attended UW-Madison
  • Meinhardt Raabe - born in Wisconsin, attended UW-Madison, and currently living in Madison, he is the only surviving munchkin of The Wizard of Oz movie.
  • Butch Vig - drummer for the band Garbage, grew up in Madison
  • Chris Farley - comedian and actor, born in Madison
Local Slang
  • Bubbler: Water fountain ("I need a drink from the bubbler.")
  • Cheese-head: Wisconsin native ("Oh, you're from Madison? You cheese-head!")
  • Disc-Golf: A hippie sport that incorporates golf and frisbee ("Wanna play a few rounds of disc-golf?")
  • Doozy: Unfortunate situation ("She dumped you, now that's a doozy!")
  • Froke: Past tense of freak ("I failed my test and froke out right in class.")
  • Jack: To assault or attack someone ("I'll jack you!")
  • Salty: A way one feels after being defeated ("After we lost at disc-golf I was feeling pretty salty.")
  • Soda: Carbonated beverage ("To drink? I'll just have a soda.")
  • Tight: A phrase to show approval ("You have a date tomorrow?! Tight!")
  • Tyme Machine: ATM ("I need to get cash, where's the closest tyme machine?")
Points of Interest
  • Camp Randall
  • Capital Square
  • Lake Mendota
  • State Street
Shopping Centers
  • East Towne Mall
  • University Square Mall
  • West Towne Mall
Movie Theaters
Eastgate Cinemas - Madison
5202 High Crossing Blvd.
(608) 242-2117
Movie Theaters
Orpheum Theater
216 State St.
(608) 255-8755
Movie Theaters
University Square Theaters
62 University Square Mall
(608) 251-FILM
Major Sports Teams
  • Green Bay Packers: football
  • Milwaukee Brewers: baseball
  • Milwaukee Bucks: basketball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Chicago: IL: 3 hours
  • Milwaukee: WI: 2 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 133 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 133 responses

  • 58% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 35% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 4% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 4% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 0% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 133 responses

  • 39% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 45% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 16% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 133 responses

  • 33% Totally.
  • 54% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 13% No way.



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