Tag Archive | Lake Monona

Monona-City of Pride, and it Shows


Monona sign

Monona is a city nestled within the city of Madison, this is a map of the borders.


Strange as it may seem, Monona often flies under the radar as a separate entity because it is embedded in Madison.  It was time though to separate it from Madison and treat it like the city it is. They put out a publication each year, you can read it online here.

To the surprise of many, Monona was founded by disgruntled residents of Blooming Grove.  The site where the residents had their meetings to form Monona still exists, now the business called Monona Motors.

Monona Motors

In the yard is a commemorative plaque on a rock and a two-sided marker. The building used to be called Ernie’s Trading Post.

Ernie's Trading Post plaque




The “main street” of Monona is Monona Drive, starting at the exit off of the West Beltline.  You are greeted by three sails, representing the community on the shores of Lake Monona. Also two monuments of both sides of the road.



If you take a left at the light on Broadway and keep going, you will reach South Towne Mall. In the 1920s, this was the site of Royal Airport,  the Madison area’s first airport before Truax was built. Charles Lindberg landed here twice in 1927 and 1928 in his plane, “Spirit of St. Louis”. There is a historical marker at the edge of the Kohl’s parking lot.





A great many Monona businesses are located along this corridor and nearby, let take a look at some of them!  On the Monona East Side Business Alliance website, you can search for businesses here.

One of my favorite businesses in Monona is Any and All Media, a production company that can turn VCR tapes into DVD’s and much more!  It is located on 6420 Bridge Road.  I had a reel-to-reel tape from 1978 they made into an MP3 for me, thanks! We highly recommend them for all your transfer needs.  They also can shoot video of YOUR event for you. Prices are competitive.


Next door is the Bridge Lounge. (Closed)


Continuing up Monona Drive..

Tully’s II Food and Spirits is on our left, just past the stoplights.  It’s a popular restaurant with an attractive stone exterior. Al and I had eaten there to celebrate our engagement in 1998 when it was a different restaurant called Leske’s Supper Club. We should go back!


Also paid a visit to Roselawn Memorial Park on Femrite Drive to see the beautiful Tower of Memories.



Also on Femrite Drive is the Aldo Leopold Nature Center.  Located behind the big hill and can’t be seen from Monona Drive, it is a hidden treasure in the city.



 Further down Femrite is Treasure Mart.


 On Monona is another place for antiques and collectibles, Monona Antique and Mini Mall.

Monona Antique Mini Mall

We have also enjoyed bowling at Village Lanes too.


Village Lanes inside


In the past, we have enjoyed getting a haircut at The Ultimate Veritas Spa and Salon.  They did my makeup for our wedding since I am unskilled in this area.


On this site was once a homestead before it was developed.  Behind the Ultimate is a little stone/brick house. It no longer has an outlet to the street.  It may be part of the business’s property parcel now.


Fraboni’s is a big draw for Italian food.


A short distance from here on Monona Drive and Owen is Angelos.


On our left is Ken’s Meats and Deli.


Next is Schwenn’s Service gas station (ethanol free).  They pump your gas, no extra charge. They also can service your vehicle and their goal is to make you a loyal customer.



Another favorite gas and service station of ours on Cottage Grove Road is Wayne’s Automotive, no ethanol there either! Family owned since 1980, they offer both self-service and full service at one pump.

Wayne's Automotive

Across the street from here is Chief’s Tavern and VFW Post 7591. Great Fish Fry here on Friday nights!




The Silver Eagle Bar and Grill is also a great place to eat in Monona. You get a free birthday mug too. Great food and fun atmosphere, especially during Packer games!

Silver Eagle Bar and Grill in Monona


Are you tired of throwing away broken appliances? Kiefer Appliance may be able to fix it for you, keeping it out of the landfill.

Kiefer's Shaver and Appliance in Monona

We soon see the Monona Golf Course.


Monona Golf Course pond

Also the Nathaniel Dean House. We enjoyed a tour here in 2014 and 2015. This is a new photo of the building, it now has this great sign in front of it, dedicated on October 9, 2016. Great things at happening at the Dean House! Learn more at the Historic Blooming Grove Historical Society website.  They welcome new members too!



It has a two-sided marker sign too, seen edge-on in the photo above.

Dean House sign


Monona is serious about preserving it’s history. The Monona Landmarks Commission has compiled a list of Monona historic sites and we still have many left to see.


Monona has many beautiful parks, quite a few of them are lakeside.

One of them is Stonebridge Park to see the historic Springhaven Pagoda.  It is over a century old and may be undergoing restoration soon.

Stonebridge park

The plaque.


And the pagoda. Let’s hope this park becomes a major gathering place again, especially for making lemonade on a hot summer day.

Springhaven Pagoda in Park

We have also been to  Schluter Park, also lakeside. It has a beach and gazebo too.

Schluter park in Monona

Schluter Park in Monona

Frost Woods Beach is beautiful too.

Frost Woods Beach sign

Frost Woods Beach in Monona

Next we turn right off of Monona Drive onto Nichols Drive. We first see the Monona City Hall.


It is also home to  WVMO, the Voice of Monona on 98.7 FM.  It is a LP (low power) radio station that went on the air in August 2015 that also streams. Give them a listen!

On the left is the Monona Public Library, showing off a futuristic look befitting the 21st century.

Monona Public Library

Monona Public Library close up

At the end of Nichols is Winnequah Park, peaceful in the winter.


On the right is the Monona Community Center with plenty of activities and events. The Senior Center is also here.

Monona Community Center

Monona Transit can take you to many points in Monona and Madison.

As you can tell, there is plenty going on in Monona. We hope to explore this beautiful community more this year. Glad we are so close by!

Monona Water Tower

Antique Coca-Cola Bottle

Al and I found this antique Coca-Cola bottle on a scuba dive many years ago, probably Lake Monona.  It was manufactured by Frank Statz & Co., approximately 1905-1915.

Frank Statz Co. Coca Cola bottle

The words “Coca-cola” are embossed on the glass.


You never know what is buried in the muck at the bottom of your local lake.

Betty Lou Cruises – See Madison by Boat

This is quite a treat, especially for those people who don’t have a boat of their own.  My husband and I have taken cruises on this boat a few times and it’s a lot of fun. Betty Lou Cruises began in 1998, offering guests a new way to see Madison.  My most recent voyage was on July 27. The Clean Lake Festival offered free cruises on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The boat was in Lake Monona, we were welcomed aboard and settled in our seats.   I went to the stern for the best views.

Betty Lou Cruise boat

We got under way, the captain gave a running commentary on what we were seeing. Our first views were of lake houses, a view you usually don’t see, from the back.

Lake Monona Houses

We also saw a sailboat regatta, a weekly occurence in the summer.  It was a rather cold day for July (62 F) and I witnessed and Inferior Mirage of another Betty Lou Cruise boat across the lake. The result was an upside-down image of the boat under the real one. The air was colder than the water.

Sailboat Regatta on Lake Monona

Betty Lou Mirage

As we headed towards the Monona Terrace, we got a breathtaking view of Madison’s skyline and more sailboats.

Sailboats on Lake Monona

And here is the Monona Terrace!

Monona Terrace and Capitol

From here we headed back to port, what a great ride!  It’s not too late to take a cruise, they run through October.  Come take a ride in style!

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Marquette Waterfront Festival-Summer Kickoff!

2nd Weekend in June

This is the first of four festivals produced every year by the Marquette Neighborhood Association.  This one is located at Yahara Place Park along the Yahara River and Lake Monona in Madison. It’s the neighborhood’s first summer festival packed full of entertainment for all ages.

This is last year (couldn’t make it this year). It was Saturday afternoon, this is the scene. It was 4:30, great Cajun music was to begin at 5:00

Marquette Waterfront Festival 2012 crowd

Marquette Waterfront Festival 2012 music

De Temps Antan from Quebec were up next.  Their music sure got the crowd out of their chairs and dancing!

De Temps Antan of Quebec

Marquette Waterfront Festival dancing

You can even get a t-shirt of the festival, a different design every year.Marquette Waterfront Festival t-shirt 2012

There is something for everyone here, A great way to begin the summer in Madison, especially if you love live music.

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Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison

9-17-10  1:00 PM

Monona Terrace from water

The Monona Terrace was completed in 1997 after MANY years of the city debating whether to build it or not. It was originally proposed in 1938. They finally did, but at the expense of the mural that is at street level going under the building.  The building is based on a Frank Lloyd Wright design.   The tour began at 1:00, and I was the only person that day. It began at the gift shop. In 2015 it is $5 for a tour.


We went down to the large room where the indoor winter farmers market is held, along with other large events. Here is the room on a different day with an event going on. Its huge!


My guide showed me the Ballroom, appearing even larger due to it being currently empty.

Tour 9

The large windows are part of a room often used for wedding receptions. This one is on the lower level.


Tour 3

The upper level houses a similar room, but larger.

I also saw the auditorium where the radio show, “Whad’ Ya Know?” is broadcast LIVE on Saturdays.

Tour 2

We ended the tour on top of the huge patio overlooking Lake Monona. You can have lunch at the Grandview Cafe, open during the warmer months.

Tour 18

I had a very enjoyable tour of both the Capitol and the Monona Terrace that day.

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Madison’s Cherokee Marsh – South Unit


There is another part to this huge marshland, the South Unit. It is in the process of being restored to its former state before human interference.   The marsh filters the water before it spills into the Yahara River and in turn Lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa and Kegonsa.  They are known as the Madison “Chain of Lakes”.


The terrain is different here, and there is a boat landing also.  The map shows several nice trails.  I just explored a small area today near the boat launch.  There were animals and plants I didn’t see at the north unit, including a beautiful Sandhill Crane.

Sandhill CraneIMG_9738

purple flowerIMG_9806


An enjoyable visit, I be back again for another visit.

Madison – Tenney Park Locks

Tenney Park Locks side in Madison

Tenney Park Locks

Tenney Park Lock Back in Madison_7-13 061

In Madison, between Lakes Mendota and Monona, there is the Tenney Park Locks between the two lakes since they are of unequal depth. and elevation.  Boats ride the Yahara River to Lake Monona on the other side.

Tenney Park marker

I have been in a boat before while going between the lakes and it’s lots of fun!