Neighborhood Spotlight: Shorewood Hills
The village of Shorewood Hills sits on the south beach of Lake Mendota, adjacent to the university. Homesites are nestled among forested hills dotting the shorelines of the lake. Residents of Shorewood Hills enjoy quiet living, but they’re still within biking distance to downtown attractions. Shorewood Hills has a walkability score of 87. Its bike score is 83. It’s easy to accomplish many errands on foot or bike in this area.
History of Shorewood Hills
Shorewood Hills’ land was originally a mixed plane of oaks and prairies. Native Americans set up camp on the ground where the village exists today, and the waterside location was an ideal site for fishing. Remains of Native American cultural rituals can still be found in the form of effigy mounds in local animals’ shapes. The most famous is the goose mound, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. You can track it down on Blackhawk Country Club’s property.
From its founding in 1927, Shorewood Hills has slowly grown into the peaceful, quaint, tight-knit community it is today.
Architecture in Shorewood Hills
Shorewood Hills has a mixture of architectural styles and offers an eclectic mix of upscale designs. Many famous Wisconsin architects contributed to builds in the neighborhood. You can find original designs by Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Frank Riley, John Flad, William Kaeser, and Edward Tough throughout the community today.
Some of the architectural styles that exist in Shorewood Hills include:
The English Tudor style of architecture has steep roofs, timber framing, masonry, and stonework. This style gained popularity in the late nineteenth century and has stood the test of time. Tudor homes are romantic and slightly medieval.
A group of ambitious Chicago architects dreamed up the Prairie Style of design. Most famously, Frank Lloyd Wright helped develop its signature look. Prairie Style has a strong emphasis on nature with simplistic craftsmanship. They accentuate Midwest landscapes and draw attention to sprawling horizon lines.
International style lives in the same family as modern architecture and often features large glass walls, many windows, and reinforced concrete. International-style homes have wide-open spaces with lots of natural light.
Also known as art-deco or post-moderne. This architectural style often features smooth stucco, metal, bright colors, and geometric patterns. You may also find glass-block windows and asymmetrical features.
Recreation in Shorewood Hills
Dudley Davis Quarry Park
This local park is a popular place for dog-walking and jogging. Its honeysuckle-lined trails are perfect for a quick after-work hike. This park also has fascinating sandstone geological formations. If you have any interest in rock climbing, this is an excellent spot for local bouldering. The sandstone is grippy, and the bouldering spots aren’t too busy. Just be sure to bring a crash pad and a spotter for safety!
Blackhawk Country Club
This shoreline golf course is a local staple. The Blackhawk golf course is one of the best in the city (and an excellent spot for viewing the sunset!). Their farm-to-table restaurant features dishes made from their rooftop garden. The club hosts regular events that make it easy to make friends and keep a busy social calendar. A membership is a staple in the Shorewood Hills neighborhood.
McKenna Park/ Shorewood Hills Boathouse
McKenna Park is also known as the Shorewood Hills Beach and offers a sunbathing beach, pier, a diving platform, and a boathouse. It’s a destination for local anglers and fishing enthusiasts. It also provides winter access to the lake to enjoy ice fishing, ice skating, and iceboating.
Bradley Park is a popular skiing and sledding spot. Residents of Shorewood Hills have been known to host ski jump tournaments at this small green space.
Four Corners Park
Four Corners Park is unique in that it has never been logged. Old-growth forest consumes this park, located on the edge of Blackhawk Country Club. It also has playground equipment for the kids.
Koval Woods is a 1.85-acre wooded natural area known for being home to local woodland birds. It’s unique in that it has very few invasive species. Koval Woods is wild and as Mother Nature intended it.
Post Farm Park
Post Farm Park is the most popular recreation area in Shorewood Hills. It’s an 8.7-acre green space with a community pool, tennis courts, and sand volleyball. 2 acres of community gardens flourish in this park. There are lots of picnic tables and grills to enjoy on a summer’s day.
Shorewood Hills Community
The Shorewood Hills Community League keeps the neighborhood active. They plan ice cream socials, book clubs, bridge clubs, even square dancing.
Every year the community hosts a Fourth of July Celebration. It’s a day-long celebration that begins with a bake sale and art show. Residents go all-out with parades, carnival rides, a picnic, and a fireworks display.
Because of its proximity to the University, Shorewood Hills Elementary has a large population of international students. They host students from Korea, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Chile, Norway, Iceland, Germany, Nigeria, and more. The south end of the school grounds offers a free ice skating rink and Heiden Haus warming house during the winter. This rink was the training ground for Olympic speed skaters Eric and Beth Heiden.
Shorewood Hills Hotspots
Lombardino’s is a family-owned Italian restaurant that combines home-cooked Italian recipes with Wisconsin’s dairyland treasures. Their food is rich and delectable. Regulars have even been able to score full gallons of their famous red sauce for holiday cooking.
Sa Bai Thong Thai Cuisine
Sa Bai Thong Thai has been voted the best Thai in Madison for over 20 years. This restaurant has been praised by both local Wisconsin and visiting Thai natives.
Original Pancake House
The Original Pancake House is a mouthwatering option for anyone who wants to experience an excellent home-cooked breakfast. This restaurant has a cozy, casual diner feel. Choosing between their pancakes, waffles, and crepes is an impossible choice.
Homes for Sale in Shorewood Hills
Shorewood Hills is a beautiful place to live. If it sounds like the kind of place you’d like to call home, check out the local listings.