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Best Public Park

1st Place: Irvine Park
2nd Place: Phoenix Park
3rd Place: Carson Park


For ballgame-goers, anglers, hikers, and other lovers of the outdoors, third-place Carson Park is a home-turf blessing. You’d be hard-pressed to find a local who hasn’t spent a summer evening staring out at the glassy-surfaced Half Moon Park. Downtown Eau Claire’s Phoenix Park, in at second place, feels like an extension of home to those bustling across the footbridge, attending concerts, floating the river – it’s an epicenter of Eau Claire activity. Finally, Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls has been around for more than a century, but for the first time it has taken No. 1 in this category, ending Phoenix Park’s six-year dynasty. If a in the heart of Wisconsin isn’t enough to bring you out on a Saturday afternoon, maybe Irvine Park’s 318 acres of scenic landscape will. –Zack Katz