If what you want is a great patch of grass to sit on then Madison has no shortage of these. Bascom Hill is perhaps the most convenient and popular, the Capitol Square provides a nice area too, and students have been known to sun outside the Kohl Center as well. In the warm times before exams these areas are filled with students, faculty and Madisonians soaking in the great weather.
If what you want is a little bit of an outing, perhaps you enjoy a nice picnic or a game of frisbee, then James Madison Park is for you. Located on East Gorham, away from campus and past the Capitol, James Madison Park is a great place to spend a Sunday afternoon. It was voted best city park in Madison by Isthmus readers in 2005 – 2006.
Originally, when drawing up plans for Madison in 1836, James Doty had planned to place a canal connecting Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, right where the park now stands. Luckily he did not and we now how have our wonderful park.
Its right up against the lake, complete with swimming area and lifeguard. Although I think swimming in Lake Mendota is one of the worlds largest acts of bravery, many people don’t seem to mind it. In addition they have a basketball court and a playground to keep people of all ages occupied. I think it is best for relaxing (don’t forget a blanket or towel) and soaking in some sun.
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Hours: 4am – 10pm