by Samantha Haas
on Sunday, November 26th, 2017 at 11:18am.
If you enjoy spending time in or around water, you'll be right at home in the Mariners Cove Condos. It truly is a "mariner's paradise," said Judy Wagener.
While Judy and her husband, Walt, used to sail together, they decided to buy a pontoon boat when they moved here to take more friends out on Lake Mendota -- especially since a boat slip is included in the condo fees. "The boating life was a big draw for us ... and it's an easy walk to the docks," she said.
There is year-round water activity here, from water skiing or ice skating on the lake to kayaking the Yahara River toward Cherokee Marsh.
And the same is true at the condos, where you'll find people swimming in the indoor and outdoor pools. People seem to congregate in these spaces, which makes socializing easy for those who live here, especially those around retirement age.
"It's just a really fun way to get to know people," Judy said. "And we've really enjoyed the people we've met," Walt added.
Many people who live at Mariners Cove are enthusiastic about outdoor activities and sports, which Judy said "lends to a group of people who like to get together and watch games."
Aside from the annual meeting in the fall with food at the clubhouse and this summer's first sanctioned fishing contest between all five buildings, most events are organized by individuals rather than the condo association. For example, people will invite residents to watch the Packer games in one place together, or rent a van to go to the Brewers game. The Mallards baseball team also plays nearby.
The clubhouse includes a fitness center, updated locker rooms, a sauna and a 15-person whirlpool. That's another big gathering place for people in the winter, Judy said, noting that there's "a big window so you can look at the snow coming down" while you're relaxing inside. There is also a second floor room with a kitchen and deck that can be reserved for free, making it an ideal spot for anniversaries, birthday parties or graduations.
With over 1,800 square feet they can easily entertain a crowd, especially with an updated kitchen that faces the dining and living room.
Their sunroom, where they spend most of their time, features large windows facing west for some beautiful sunsets over the water.
That room also connects to their master bedroom suite, which has "lots of storage space," Judy said.
And with a second bedroom and bathroom that can be closed off with another door, their friends love to stay over because "they have their own little guest suite," Judy said.
They are also within walking distance to two waterfront restaurants: across the parking lot is Mariner's Inn, known for its steaks and seafood, and on the other side of Westport Road is Nau-Ti-Gal, which offers live entertainment twice a week in the summer.
Located in the town of Westport on Madison's north side, it's close to the Willy Street Co-Op along Sherman Avenue and the new Drumlin Ridge Winery. It's also only about 20 minutes to get to downtown or the city's east or west sides, making it "very, very convenient," Judy said.
She also enjoys using the walking trail at Warner Park, and some people in the condo community also have garden plots at Troy Community Gardens. There are more beautiful views of the city from Lake View Hill Park.