Madison, WI: Neighborhoods Overview

Madison is divided into two parts thanks to the isthmus that crosses Lake Mendota and Lake Monona.

West

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is located on the west side of Madison, but that doesn’t mean the area only has apartment buildings to offer residents. One of the area’s best known neighborhoods is early 20th-century neighborhood Nakoma. It features many attractive homes and is close to the university’s arboretum.

The Westmorland neighborhood lies to the north, and is known for Westmorland Park and the stone Westmorland gate at the intersection of Mineral Point Road and Westmorland Boulevard. To Westmorland's east is Glenway Street, which borders the nine-hole Glenway Golf Course.

To the northwest of Nakoma and Westmorland is the Hill Farms area, developed in the 1950s from land that was once a University farm. The upscale Hilldale Mall, just south of Shorewood Hills, is along Midvale Boulevard.

Isthmus

This narrow strip of land between the two sides of the city is home to one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in Madison, Mansion Hill. Located just north of Capitol Square, the neighborhood shows off Victorian architecture as well as some influences from the German Romanesque revival. The McDonnell-Pierce house, now the Mansion Hill Inn, is just one example of the historic dwellings seen in this area.

East

On the east side, the wealthy village of Maple Bluffis is known for its older, large homes. The Governor's Mansion and the Maple Bluff Country Club are also in this area.  

A larger suburb is Monona, located on the east shore of Lake Monona and to the west of Monona Drive. Neighborhoods on this side east side include Marquette and Fair Oaks.

Learn more about activities in Madison.

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