We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Lake Mendota

Certificate of Excellence
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Madison, WI
Website
Improve this listing
Description:

Ideal for boating in the summer, and ice skating or ice fishing in winter.

Ideal for boating in the summer, and ice skating or ice fishing in winter.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 83 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 45
    Excellent
  • 26
    Very good
  • 7
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 4
    Terrible
The best place to enjoy aquatic activities

Mendota, Madison's largest lake, is the best place for great power boating, canoeing, kayaking and general relaxation

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
MikeRipp
,
Waunakee, WI
Add Photo Write a Review

83 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Waunakee, WI
Level Contributor
34 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Mendota, Madison's largest lake, is the best place for great power boating, canoeing, kayaking and general relaxation

Helpful?
Thank MikeRipp
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
53 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2016

Madison is surrounded by five lakes and Lake Mendota is the largest. The University of Wisconsin sits along the lake. The Union Terrace is one of the best spots to enjoy the lakes in Madison. You need to go with a student, staff or member. The sailing club is located here. You can sail, canoe, fish and cross country ski... More 

Helpful?
Thank MarySt54
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2015 via mobile

Great Lake year-round, a tad busy in the summers but overall a great lake to live on, absolutely gorgeous sunrise and sunsets, breathtaking!

Helpful?
Thank 220stef
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
160 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2015

I was amazed at how beautiful and large Lake Mendota was.... We saw several views of it while touring the city of Madison and the University. Very scenic. I'm sure that people certainly choose their dorms, homes and restaurant seating based on the lake views.

Helpful?
Thank Arturo4
Bellevue, Washington
Level Contributor
394 reviews
126 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 237 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2015

Whether taking in a sunset from the Union Terrace, picnicing in Middleton or boating at Northport, Lake Mendota has something for everyone. Part urban, part rural, it gives Madison its distinct character as a city of lakes.

Helpful?
1 Thank Steve F
Tulsa
Level Contributor
36 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2015

Gorgeous lake offering many watersports, boating, and recreational activities. Water is nice but doesn't look super clean or transparent, however, saw many people swimming and having fun.

Helpful?
1 Thank MauiTulsa
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
97 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2015

There is a lot of places to visit by Lake Mendota. UW Madison has a food court with a large outdoor seating area by the lake. There is also a large park by the lake. There is a hiking trail along the lake

Helpful?
Thank Treesad
Norwood, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
174 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2015

This is a great lake to walk or run around while in madison. There are bike/running lanes around most of it. Also once down there you can get some good views of the city from that view point.

Helpful?
Thank cardello
Verona, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
248 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2015

We were at the Memorial Union Terrace. The view was beautiful. Kids on the dock, sail boats! But there was an underlying smell from the algae. Too bad they can not get this cleaned up.

Helpful?
2 Thank kmalmberg1
Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
130 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2015

We picked up bikes that you can rent from public stands all over the City in anticipation of a ride along the lake. Unfortunately, in most places you cannot actually get to the lake because of the private houses fronting onto the lake. At almost the far eastern side of the lake (Tenney Park) is a beach with a lifeguard... More 

Helpful?
Thank diversitylady

Travelers who viewed Lake Mendota also viewed

 

Been to Lake Mendota? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Lake Mendota and other visitors
2 questions
Ask a question
Questions? Get answers from Lake Mendota staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?