1. Picnic Point

If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, Picnic Point is one of the best first date spots in Madison. Located right by the UW Madison campus, Picnic Point is a beautiful, mile-long peninsula near Lake Mendota, one of Wisconsin’s largest lakes. It’s a great spot for a first-date picnic or a long walk along the lake. 

2. Vilas Park 

Vilas Park is a beautiful and spacious park located in the Vilas neighborhood of Madison. It’s one of the best first date spots for anyone who loves nature and the outdoors. Vilas Park has lots of open space and gorgeous hidden paths to walk on, so it’s a scenic and fun place to go. There are places to have picnics or just to walk around and explore the park. Vilas Park is also located right by Vilas Zoo, so if you and your date are animal people, make sure to check it out.

3. Memorial Union Terrace

Memorial Union Terrace is a classic spot for any UW Madison student. It’s right by Lake Mendota, giving you a gorgeous view of one of Wisconsin’s largest lakes. The Terrace is also right outside the Memorial Union building, which has tons of restaurants, so it’s super convenient for a date. For the best first date, grab food from inside the Union, and then sit outside on the Terrace by gorgeous Lake Mendota.

4. Indie Coffee

If you’re looking to impress your date with the best coffee, Indie Coffee is one of the best first date spots to hit. It has incredible coffee and pastries, as well as the cutest outdoor patio. Grab a coffee and snack from inside, and then walk back to the patio to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.

5. Monona Terrace

The Monona Terrace is one of the more hidden gems on the UW Madison campus. It’s about a 10-minute walk from the Capitol on State Street, so it’s perfect for an after-dinner walk, or just a great place to sit and chat. The Monona Terrace is right by Lake Monona, giving you and your date a gorgeous scenic view. 

6. Sweet Home Wisconsin

Sweet Home Wisconsin is one of the lesser-known restaurants/bars around the UW Madison campus, but one of the best. It’s about a 5-10 minute walk from the main campus, so it’s not as populated with students as other restaurants/bars in the center of campus are. The food is delicious (highly recommend the ‘Garlic Guitar Lick’ Burger!), and has a huge outdoor patio area.

7. Ian's Pizza

Although Ian’s is known primarily as one of the best late-night pizza places for college students in Madison, it’s also a great first-date spot. Ian’s has super fun pizza flavors (like mac n’ cheese pizza, or barbeque chicken pizza), and it’s the perfect food to grab and take on a walk.

8. Farmers' Markets 

Farmers’ markets are great first dates for all the foodie couples out there. Especially in the warmer months, the farmers’ markets throughout Madison are the places to be. There's a great farmers market near the UW Madison campus, on State Street called ‘Saturday on the Square,’ with all the milk and cheese you could ask for.