Best Places to Study Outside in Eau Claire

With finals fast approaching — whether we like it or not — do yourself a favor and go get some fresh air while you cram your brain with all the knowledge. Here are some of the best spots in Eau Claire to sit back, relax, and soak up those last fifteen weeks of lecture notes and some rays.

Campus Mall

This one is a no-brainer.

Distance from lower campus: literally on campus

Chances are, you’re sitting there right now.

Picturesque and Convenient

UW-Eau Claire is consistently ranked as Wisconsin’s most beautiful campus, and it truly shows in the springtime. Find some shade under a tree, lean up against the rock benches in between Schofield and Davies, or bunker down next to Little Niagara — wherever you choose, you’re sure to have a great view.

Being on campus also means you’re seconds away from that group study sesh in the library, your class in Hibbard — that YES, you still have to go to — and the block meal in Davies calling your name. The world is your sunshiney, homework-filled oyster.

Best for…

Ideal for both on- and off-campus students, studying on the campus mall is best for people who work well in busy environments, enjoy studying-on-the-go, and also don’t mind being stopped every couple of minutes to chat with friends (because socializing is one of the most important aspects of college, am I right?).

Phoenix Park

Watch your grades soar after studying in this vibrant downtown paradise.

Distance from lower campus: 1.3 miles

Admittedly, this is a pretty long walk which would take about 25 minutes. However, biking there only takes 8 minutes, so grab your cycles and head on down!

In the heart of downtown

Being in downtown Eau Claire means you have the best opportunities for study breaks (even though you probably won’t be taking any because you’re so studious, right?). If you can bear to break yourself away from your notes, grab something to eat at one of the amazing local restaurants, take a stroll on the trail, or nap on the riverside. Treat yo self.

There’s also free WiFi. Enough said.

Views on views on views

Phoenix Park is one of the most beautiful places in Eau Claire, second only to the UWEC campus, of course. #represent

Phoenix Park is situated right at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers, providing not only a great place to prepare for finals, but also to appreciate the natural beauty our city has to offer.

Best for…

Obviously, Phoenix Park is the place to be for students living downtown. However, it’s totally acessible for on-campus students as well! Head down to Phoenix Park for a place to prep for finals that really makes you feel part of the Eau Claire community— the whole city has your back, Blugolds!

On the Chippewa River

Because who says you can’t learn cell bio from an inner-tube? You have to hear us out on this one.

Distance from lower campus: 1.3 miles

We all know the best place to put in your tube is at Phoenix Park, which is about a 1.3 mile walk on the bike path. Even though it might take a while, it will be more than worth it.

Benefits: literally everything

Picture this. It’s a warm, sunny day at the end of the semester, and you have two choices: preparing for that last final exam or going floating with your best buds. The solution? Slide your notes into some plastic sleeves and you are 100% good to go. It’s a win-win.

Do try this at home.

We have to warn you that this method has not yet been tested. However, you could lead the revolution. Think about it.

Best for…

Visionaries. People with ambition. People who may have already given up a little (who said that?). Studying on the Chippewa River lets you stay committed to your education while also showing that you’re here to have some fun, making it truly the mullet of all outdoor study spots.

Putnam Park

Channel your inner Thoreau and go sit under a tree for a while.

Distance from lower campus: again, right here!

I hope this is review for all of you. Review? Who said review? Go start reviewing.

The perfect mix

Whether you decide to venture off the trail or find a spot on the rock, you can’t go wrong studying in Putnam Park. You can feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere while also being minutes from the rest of campus, which is perfect for catching up on your reading or maybe even writing poems about transcendentalism — you know, just for fun.

Best for…

Putnam Park is best for people who like to study in isolation without disruption, except for the occasional squirrel trying to steal your snacks. But seriously, sometimes all it takes to shrug off that pre-finals anxiety is a good breath of fresh forest air. Go hang out in the woods and remember that there’s more to life than your grades this semester. (There’s also trees!)

Want more opportunities to study outside after finals week?

There’s still time to register for Summer Session! Visit for more info!

Tweet and Instagram your favorite places to study outside using the hashtag #UWEC to let us know anywhere we missed!

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