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It depends,are you talking about Madison or Milwaukee?
Sorry can't help with that. :(
There are Walgreen's on and around campus as well as other such places (CVS, for example). The dorm and housing areas pretty much have everything you'd need close by: small grocers, drug stores, entertainment, dining, bars, etc. The city is essentially split into two mirror-like sides with the isthmus (where most of the campus is located) separating the East and West side. It used to be that if there was one of something on the West side, there would be one on the East side - like a Best Buy, or a restaurant. It's still mostly like that, but not as much as it used to be.
In terms of shopping: Hilldale Mall is close to campus and very swanky. East and West Towne malls are on opposite ends of the city (naturally), but neither are more than a 15 minute drive from campus. I don't know what that translates into for a bus ride.
There are also several community car organizations around town, so if you need to get off campus for something, it's not difficult.
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Written by Marie Puissant
With two large lakes bordering opposite ends of campus and the Capital building sitting at the top of State Street, visually, there aren’t enough positive things UW students can say about the locale of this college. Apart from the gorgeous aesthetics, students find the areas near campus to be very accessible. State St. offers a multitude of restaurants, shops, bars, and cafés. Capital Square also offers dining and shopping, but at a little higher price. Students acknowledge the nearby universities, but at the same time, admit to not interacting with them much. In general, students feel the placement of campus creates a very picturesque and “college-esque” atmosphere.
Madison itself is a comfortably-sized city located in the heart of the Midwest. Most students feel its locality creates a friendly and safe environment. The UW campus sits right next to the city’s trendiest street, complete with shops, restaurants, and bars. However, the campus is also close to a strong business district. The meshing of these two worlds exposes students to college life, and that of the ‘real world’. Overall, students at Madison will be provided with the comforts of a small town, as well as the opportunities of a large city.
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