As we all make our way back to campus, we have a few months to soak up the nice weather before it turns to the brutal Wisconsin winter. Returning Badgers know all the spots to hit before it becomes cold out, but brand new Badgers may not. I am going to give you a list of a few things to do while the weather is still nice. I know you are going to be overwhelmed just coming onto campus, but trust me, these things will make Madison feel like home!
- Walk to picnic point.
Looking for a way to enjoy nature and get out of the hustle and bustle of downtown? Get on Lakeshore Path and just keep walking/running/biking until you hit the end of it. It’ll take a while to get there, but I promise the view is worth it. You will be able to see all of downtown Madison and UW’s campus from the other side of the lake. You will also be able to walk and enjoy the outdoors, which can sometimes be a challenge as a student. It is the perfect way to enjoy the fall weather and get some fresh air.
2. Try the food trucks.
As you arrive on campus, I am sure you will notice about 10 food trucks sitting in East Campus Mall. I never got around to trying these food trucks until I was a sophomore and I regret it so much. These food trucks have awesome, fresh, affordable food that is perfect to pick up during a busy day of class and homework. Most of these trucks take cash or Venmo and can have your food ready within minutes. Trust me, some of the food trucks will even provide you with the “home cooked meal” experience. There is anything from hibachi to smoothies to pressed paninis. Whatever you are craving, the food trucks will have something for you. Make sure to get over there and try them out before winter hits!
3. Visit Camp Tripalindee
This is somewhat of a hidden gem, but it is an awesome spot. On the top of The Graduate, a hotel located on Langdon Street, there is a rooftop bar/restaurant/patio. It has a beautiful view of downtown and it has awesome food! In addition, they have games on the roof, like jumbo connect four. In the fall, you can roast marshmallows and make s’mores with your friends! There is so much to do up there if you are looking for a chill, relaxed night in. It’s a must-see spot that will give Madison a homey feel.
4. Go to the Terrace.
The Terrace is a popular spot for most people when they get on campus, but make sure you hit it! The Terrace has a beautiful spot on the lake. Sometimes there is even live music! Not to mention you can grab some tater tots or cheese curds from Der Rathskeller inside the Union and eat them outside in the bright union chairs with your friends. You can also order ice cream from the Daily Scoop and watch a beautiful late-summer sunset to close out the day. This is another spot that is relaxing and provides a good space to get out of the fast pace of downtown.
These are all very simple ideas of how to expand your horizons in Madison as you arrive on campus as a freshman. All of these things are also close to campus! It can be hard to know all of the spots as a freshman, but by following this list, you are on the right path to enjoying the beautiful Madison summer/fall weather before it gets cold.