Madison’s near Westside is one of the most sought after areas to live in. The ever popular Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhoods are abundant with charming, two-story homes with front porches that line the quiet, tree-covered residential streets. Monroe Street is a pedestrian-friendly corridor with local shops, eateries and historic storefronts. Some of our favorite spots to visit on Monroe include: Bloom Bake Shop, Trader Joe’s, Strictly Discs, Michael’s Frozen Custard, Everly, Mickie’s Dairy Bar and The Laurel Tavern.
Only a few miles away is the Henry Villas Zoo – a free-admission, community-supported zoo dedicated to exceptional animal care and conserving wildlife through local engagement and global partnerships. Down the road is the immaculate UW Arboretum that is 1,200 acres of tallgrass prairies, savannas, wetlands, and several forest types. The Arboretum is widely recognized as a site of historic research in ecological restoration and includes the oldest and most varied collection of restored ecological communities in the world.
The Arboretum boarders the southern shore of Lake Wingra, the smallest of 5 major lakes drained by the Yahara River in Dane County. Wingra Park, located on Lake Wingra, offers canoe, kayak and paddle boat rentals as well as a family-friendly beach and park area. Just east of Lake Wingra is Edgewood College, an independent Liberal Arts college that has offered students a quality education since 1927. Just a hop, skip and a jump from Edgewood is the Southwest Commuter Path, a 5.6 mile paved path that helps many Madisonians get from point A to point B on a daily basis. Not only does it pass within a mile of the State Capitol and through the southern part of the UW campus, but it also connects with a handful of trails that loop the city or head across the countryside.
The path also leads to the last must-see spot on our near Westside list, which is of course, Camp Randall Stadium. The iconic, outdoor football stadium is a popular stomping ground for UW-Madison students who pridefully cheer on their team every fall. Before being deemed as the University of Wisconsin in 1893, Camp Randall was a training facility of the Union Army during the Civil War, with more than 70,000 recruits receiving training there.