Affectionately known as the Cream City, Milwaukee is Wisconsin’s largest metropolis and a vibrant hub of culture, industry, and natural beauty, boasting a population of 582,348. Nestled along the shimmering shores of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee enjoys a temperate climate with four distinct seasons if you are considering travelling and relocating to Milwaukee.
The city is notably affordable, with a median home price of $181,500 and the cost of living 10% below the national average, making it an attractive option for families and professionals. This concise city guide will equip you with essential information about the city. You ensure a well-informed and smooth transition, whether relocating for work, education, or a lifestyle change.
Interesting Facts about Milwaukee, Wisconsin that You Probably Didn’t Know
- Known as the “City of Festivals,” Milwaukee buzzes excitedly, hosting over 150 festivals yearly. This city is also where the iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycles first roared to life.
- The Milwaukee Art Museum is a jewel in the city’s crown, featuring the awe-inspiring Quadracci Pavilion, a masterpiece designed by the renowned architect Santiago Calatrava.
- Nestled on the western shore of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee boasts over 100 miles of picturesque coastline, offering stunning views and waterfront activities.
- Beer enthusiasts find a haven in Milwaukee, a city steeped in brewing history. It’s home to famous breweries like MillerCoors and many craft breweries.
- As Wisconsin’s largest city, Milwaukee is a bustling urban centre, home to over 582,348 people, each adding to the city’s vibrant tapestry of life.
- For those considering relocating to Milwaukee, the city’s cultural landscape is as diverse as its population, with theaters, music venues, and neighborhoods rich in history and character.
- Sports are a big deal here. Milwaukee takes pride in its teams, including the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers, igniting the city’s spirit with each game.
What is It Like to Relocate to Milwaukee?
Relocating to Milwaukee is a journey into a city where small-town charm meets big-city amenities. With over 600,000 residents and a 96% friendliness rating, according to Apartment Guide, you’ll find yourself in a welcoming and warm community. The city boasts 15 unique and right neighbourhoods, each with character, from Bay View’s Bohemian vibe to the East Side’s hipster scene. Enjoy Brewers games, the Harley-Davidson Museum, and the Milwaukee Art Museum to taste Milwaukee’s urban life.
Living here is surprisingly affordable, with the cost of living 5% lower than the national average, as noted by NerdWallet. Plus, nature is always close to Lake Michigan’s shores, offering year-round activities from kayaking to cosy pub visits in winter. With its friendly atmosphere, cultural richness, and perfect urban and natural beauty balance, Milwaukee could be your ideal new home.
Climate and Weather ⛅
The place has a distinguishable four-season climate, with each season presenting its unique charm. The city’s Weather varies significantly throughout the year, from warm summers perfect for outdoor festivals to cosy, snowy winters ideal for indoor activities. If you’re considering relocating to Milwaukee, this overview will help you understand what each season in Milwaukee offers.
Milwaukee’s summers are lively with outdoor activities. Average temperatures range from 20°C to 26°C (68°F to 79°F), perfect for Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival. The lakefront and parks are ideal for beach outings and water sports, while summer nights invite exploration of the city’s dining and nightlife.
Fall in Milwaukee is picturesque, featuring crisp air and stunning foliage. Temperatures range from 9°C to 17°C (48°F to 62°F), ideal for hiking and visiting apple orchards. Parks like Whitnall Park transform into canvases of red, orange, and yellow leaves. Autumn in Milwaukee features the Film Festival and seasonal flavours from local breweries and cafes, creating a cosy, artistic vibe.
Winters in Milwaukee are cold and snowy, with temperatures often below freezing, averaging between -8 °C and -1 °C (18°F and 30°F). The city transforms into a winter wonderland, ideal for ice skating, attending the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival, and enjoying seasonal festivities. Cosy cafes, vibrant cultural events, and community gatherings add warmth and cheer to the chilly season.
Spring sees Milwaukee gradually warming up to an average of 8°C to 16°C (46°F to 60°F). Gardens and parks, like the Boerner Botanical Gardens, burst into colourful bloom, ideal for various outdoor activities. Spring also marks the eagerly anticipated opening of beer gardens and vibrant outdoor farmers’ markets, offering a delightful feast for food and beer enthusiasts.
The Cost Of Living in Milwaukee 💰
Milwaukee boasts a vibrant soul and friendly Midwestern spirit, all at a surprisingly attractive price tag. It’s roughly on par compared to the national average, with housing hovering around the same mark and transportation costs coming 7% lower. Groceries also offer a slight reprieve, averaging 3% less than the U.S. norm.
In Milwaukee, the housing market is notably affordable, with the median home price around $181,500, significantly lower than in many other major U.S. cities. This affordability extends to various housing options, from urban apartments in bustling neighbourhoods to quieter suburban homes catering to different lifestyles and budgets.
Milwaukee’s Utility expenses, including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage, align closely with the national average. Residents can expect to spend approximately $161.72 per month, based on a standard 915 sq ft apartment, according to Numbeo. Various utility providers allow residents to manage and reduce monthly costs.
The cost of public transportation in Milwaukee is reasonable, with a regular monthly pass priced around $72. For car owners, expenses like fuel and maintenance are comparable to the national average, making Commuting by car a viable option. The city’s infrastructure supports efficient traffic flow, enhancing transportation’s convenience and affordability.
The cost of groceries and dining out in Milwaukee, essential considerations for anyone relocating to Milwaukee, mirrors similar mid-sized American cities. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant averages around $15, while a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant is typically about $50. Grocery shopping is budget-friendly, with staple items priced competitively.
Community and Lifestyle
Milwaukee’s community is known for its inclusivity and vibrant cultural scene. The city hosts over 150 festivals annually, reflecting its rich heritage and diverse population, including communities representing Germany, Poland, Mexico, Hmong, and more, with a foreign-born population of over 20%. With over 100 languages spoken within city limits, Milwaukee embraces diversity.
The Milwaukee Public Library system, one of the nation’s largest, provides access to knowledge and culture. The city thrives in the arts, boasting over 200 galleries, studios, and a vibrant street art scene. Whether you seek traditional neighbourhood festivals or contemporary art exhibits, Milwaukee’s inclusive community promises a tapestry of enriching and connecting experiences.
Dining and Food Scene in Milwaukee 🍹
Milwaukee’s dining scene is a hidden gem, with over 2,500 restaurants and eateries catering to various budgets and preferences. It consistently earns an average rating of 4.5 stars across popular platforms, reflecting its commitment to quality and service. The city is recognized for its culinary excellence and is home to award-winning establishments like Sanford, Bacchus, and Braise.
Milwaukee also enthusiastically embraces the farm-to-table movement, consistently sourcing fresh ingredients from local producers, and boasts a thriving craft beer scene with over 100 breweries offering unique and flavorful brews. Whether you’re exploring trendy restaurants, cosy pubs, or neighbourhood gems, the city offers a diverse culinary landscape to tantalize every palate.
Local Cuisine and Food Culture
Milwaukee’s culinary scene goes beyond beer and cheese, embracing a diverse range of international cuisines. With a strong German heritage, you can savour bratwurst and sauerkraut in the heart of the city. Fusing flavours from Mexican, Polish, Hmong, and other communities adds depth to the local food culture.
Popular Restaurants and Food Markets
Milwaukee’s food scene thrives, offering everything from upscale fine dining establishments to cosy neighbourhood eateries. Renowned restaurants like Sanford and La Merenda consistently receive accolades for their culinary excellence. Meanwhile, markets like Milwaukee Public Market offer local flavours and artisanal products.
Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning
Milwaukee residents can access various options for grocery shopping and meal planning. Local markets and grocery stores offer a wide selection of fresh and locally sourced produce, making cooking and enjoying meals at home convenient. This diversity in food options contributes to the city’s reputation as a food lover’s paradise.
Housing and Accommodation
Milwaukee’s housing scene is a diverse kaleidoscope of affordability and charm. From historic neighbourhoods like Bay View with its Victorian gems to sleek downtown apartments offering panoramic city views, there’s something for everyone. Renters can find cosy studios in the East Town hub for under $1,000 or spacious two-bedrooms in family-friendly suburbs for around $1,500.
For those with house-hunting vibes, the median price of a single-family home in Milwaukee is a delightful $165,000, significantly lower than the national average. Walkable neighbourhoods like the bustling Third Ward, filled with art galleries and cafes, and the quieter charm of Shorewood provide unique living experiences. Milwaukee’s housing options are as diverse as its brewing scene, waiting to be savoured and enjoyed.
Education and Schools 🏫
They offer a diverse educational landscape catering to various needs and learning styles, making it an excellent choice for those relocating to Milwaukee. Whether seeking quality public schools or considering private institutions, the city provides options to suit your family’s preferences. Milwaukee boasts several higher education institutions, including universities and colleges, offering various academic programs to further your education and career prospects.
Public and Private School Options
Explore educational opportunities when relocating to Milwaukee! Milwaukee boasts over 250 public and private schools, catering to various learning styles and needs. Choose from traditional district schools, innovative charter programs, or faith-based institutions. Public schools have an 87% graduation rate and offer specialized programs, while private schools have smaller class sizes and unique curricula.
Higher Education Institutions
Expand your horizons at one of Milwaukee’s esteemed universities and colleges. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a top public research university, is joined by institutions like Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, and Milwaukee Area Technical College, offering a plethora of undergraduate and graduate programs. Whether you seek liberal arts, engineering, healthcare, or technical training, Milwaukee’s colleges have a pathway to your dream career.
Education Quality and Rankings
Milwaukee takes pride in its commitment to educational excellence. Public schools implement innovative programs like the “Choice Program,” allowing students to choose schools that best fit their learning styles. The dedication of MPS graduates is reflected in their impressive performance. 85% of them either pursue further education or enter the workforce. Milwaukee’s private schools excel in national rankings for academic excellence.
Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning
Never stop learning in Milwaukee! The city champions lifelong education with a wealth of adult education opportunities. Explore language courses, professional development programs, and hobby classes through universities, community centres, and libraries. Hone your skills, ignite new passions, and stay ahead of the curve with Milwaukee’s vibrant learning ecosystem.
Getting Around Milwaukee🚗
The transportation landscape is designed to make getting around the city convenient and efficient. Whether you’re a daily commuter or an occasional traveller, understanding the city’s transportation options can enhance your experience in Cream City.
The public transportation network encompasses buses and “The Hop,” a downtown streetcar system. With approximately 3.5 million rides taken annually on The Hop alone, public transit is crucial to the city’s mobility, according to Milwaukee Downtown BID #21. Milwaukee’s commitment to efficient and sustainable transportation makes it an attractive destination for talent relocation.
Milwaukee boasts a well-connected road infrastructure, with major highways and streets facilitating convenient travel throughout the city. It’s essential to note that winter weather conditions, including snow and ice, can occasionally impact driving conditions, necessitating cautious driving during the colder months.
Biking and Walking
Milwaukee is progressively enhancing its bike-friendly and walkable infrastructure, making it increasingly easier for residents to explore the city on foot or by bike. Ongoing initiatives like bike lanes, pedestrian-friendly zones, and walking trails are continually expanding, encouraging healthier and more sustainable modes of transportation.
Commuting in Milwaukee is generally more efficient than in larger cities. The city’s manageable size and well-maintained transportation options contribute to shorter commute times for residents, offering a balanced work-life experience. Various transportation modes provide flexibility to explore the city’s neighbourhoods and attractions.
Recreation and Entertainment
Milwaukee is a city that knows how to have fun. With 45 miles of picturesque Lake Michigan shores, you can stroll, bike, kayak, or sail to your heart’s content. The city boasts over 25,000 acres of lush parkland, offering green spaces, hidden gardens, and fresh air. Milwaukee’s vibrant spirit comes alive through its 170+ festivals and annual events, celebrating everything from jazz to film to beer.
With 15 live theatres, 50+ music venues, and 30+ museums and galleries, you can catch Broadway classics, groove to local bands, and immerse yourself in art, history, and culture from diverse and fascinating perspectives. But beyond the numbers, Milwaukee’s recreation and entertainment scene is about creating unforgettable experiences that enrich and inspire your life.
Picture picnicking at Bradford Beach with the soothing backdrop of Lake Michigan waves, followed by attending a world-class show at The Pabst Theater. Perhaps you’ll spend the day kayaking through serene lagoons in Juneau Park, only to end with craft beer and live music in the bustling Third Ward. Milwaukee offers a vibrant mix of outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and nightlife.
So, if you’re contemplating relocating to Milwaukee, come, explore, and discover the passionate beating heart of this Midwestern gem.
Recommended read: 7 Surprising Emotional and Psychological Changes of Relocation
Employment and Job Market in Milwaukee
As of late 2023, for individuals relocating to Milwaukee, the job market shows mixed trends: The overall economy is sluggish, yet some sectors, like leisure and hospitality, are growing. The area added 3,400 jobs, a 0.4% year-over-year increase (Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce). The unemployment rate decreased to 3.1% in November, down from 4.2% in August (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis).
Statewide, Wisconsin saw a job increase of 80,000, with a labour force participation rate of 65.9%, surpassing the national average (Urban Milwaukee). Milwaukee’s manufacturing and transportation sectors exhibited modest growth despite ongoing challenges in worker recruitment (Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development).
Here’s the following for the employment and job market in Milwaukee:
|Number of Jobs
|Percentage of Total Employment
|Finance and Banking
- Healthcare: Registered nurses are crucial to the city’s medical infrastructure, with projections forecasting a 14% growth in employment through 2030. Similarly, physicians and surgeons remain highly sought-after, driven by an ageing population and increasing healthcare needs.
- Technology: As Milwaukee’s tech scene flourishes, software engineers with expertise in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity are highly valued. The sector projects a whopping 27% job growth, making it a magnet for tech-savvy talent.
- Manufacturing: Despite being a traditional powerhouse, Milwaukee’s manufacturing sector is undergoing a modernizing renaissance. Skilled workers in advanced manufacturing, automation, and robotics are in high demand to fuel this transformation.
The job market is diverse, with growing healthcare, technology, and manufacturing opportunities for those relocating to Milwaukee.
Some of the highly sought-after positions in Milwaukee encompass:
- Registered Nurses
- Software Engineers
- Physicians and Surgeons
- Elementary and Middle School Teachers
- Accountants and Auditors
- Financial Analysts
- Marketing Specialists
- Sales Representatives
- Customer Service Representatives
- Administrative Assistants
- Janitors and Cleaners
Healthcare and Medical Facilities 🏥
Milwaukee boasts a thriving healthcare landscape, providing residents with top-notch medical facilities and services. The city ranks 5th in the nation for medical technology and research, attracting leading specialists and pioneering treatments. Milwaukee boasts 26 general hospitals, including Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin, known for cutting-edge research.
Whatever your need, from a routine checkup to specialized surgery, Milwaukee’s 3,800 physicians, 18,000 nurses, and diverse medical specialities ensure you receive comprehensive and high-quality care when relocating to Milwaukee. So, relax and enjoy Cream City with peace of mind – your well-being is in capable hands.
Here are the top six hospitals in Milwaukee:
|9200 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53226
|Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center
|2900 W Oklahoma Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53215
|Children’s Wisconsin Hospital
|9000 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53226
|Ascension St. Francis Hospital
|3237 S 16th St, Milwaukee, WI 53215
|Aurora Sinai Medical Center
|945 N 12th St, Milwaukee, WI 53233
|Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Milwaukee
|2323 N Lake Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53211
Here’s a brief overview of the top six hospitals in Milwaukee:
- Froedtert Hospital: A hub for advanced treatments and research, renowned for healthcare excellence.
- Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center: Known for comprehensive and compassionate patient care.
- Children’s Wisconsin Hospital: Specialized in pediatric care, focusing on children’s health and family support.
- Ascension St. Francis Hospital: Offers a wide range of medical services, dedicated to community health.
- Aurora Sinai Medical Center: A vital healthcare center in the heart of Milwaukee.
- Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Milwaukee: Provides compassionate care, serving local healthcare needs.
Job Opportunities and Economy 💼
Milwaukee’s economy is robust and multifaceted, making it an attractive destination for those considering relocating to Milwaukee. The city boasts a strong presence of Fortune 500 companies, highlighting its economic stability and competitiveness. Milwaukee has a thriving startup scene that contributes to job growth and innovation. The coexistence of established corporations and emerging startups provides numerous job opportunities across sectors, ensuring that relocating to Milwaukee can be a promising step for your career.
Some of the largest employers in Milwaukee include:
- Healthcare Systems
- Universities and Educational Institutions
- Financial Services
- Manufacturing Companies
- Government and Public Services
- Retail Giants
- Technology Firms
- Food and Beverage Industry
- Hospitality and Tourism
- Transportation and Logistics
Things to Do in Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, offers a variety of attractions and activities for residents and visitors considering relocating to Milwaukee. Whether you’re interested in arts and culture, outdoor adventures, or simply enjoying great food and drinks, here are some things to do in Milwaukee that showcase the city’s diverse and vibrant character:
- Visit the Milwaukee Art Museum: The Milwaukee Art Museum is home to over 200,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The museum’s collection spans centuries and cultures, from ancient Egyptian artefacts to contemporary American art.
- Take a tour of the Harley-Davidson Museum: The Harley-Davidson Museum is a must-see for any motorcycle enthusiast. The museum traces the history of the Harley-Davidson brand, from its humble beginnings in a Milwaukee shed to its current status as an American icon.
- Catch a game at American Family Field: American Family Field is the home of the Milwaukee Brewers Major League Baseball team. If you’re relocating to Milwaukee, this ballpark is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, and it offers stunning views of the city skyline.
- Sample some of Milwaukee’s famous beer: Milwaukee is known as the “Brew City” for a reason. The city has several world-famous breweries, including Miller, Pabst, and Lakefront. Tour one of the breweries or sample some beers at a local bar or restaurant.
- Explore the Milwaukee Public Market: The Milwaukee Public Market is a great place to find fresh food, local crafts, and souvenirs. The market is open year-round and is an excellent place for people to watch and soak up the city’s atmosphere.
- Visit the Milwaukee County Zoo: The Milwaukee County Zoo is home to over 2,000 animals worldwide. The zoo has a variety of exhibits, including a rainforest, a desert, and an African savanna. The zoo is also home to several endangered species, such as polar bears and snow leopards.
- Take a walk along the Milwaukee Riverwalk: The Milwaukee Riverwalk is a 2.5-mile pedestrian path that follows the Milwaukee River through the heart of the city. The Riverwalk is a great place to stroll, enjoy the scenery, and people-watch.
- Visit the Third Ward: The Third Ward is a charming historic district home to several art galleries, boutiques, speciality shops, and restaurants. The Third Ward is a great place to wander around, shop, and enjoy a meal at a sidewalk cafe.
Safety and Crime Rate
Like any city, Milwaukee has areas of concern but boasts many safe and family-friendly neighbourhoods. The municipality maintains a moderate overall crime rate, and efforts are continually made to enhance safety. Milwaukee’s commitment to security is reflected in its police force, which includes approximately 2,200 officers dedicated to protecting and serving the community.
Neighborhood watch programs, community policing initiatives, and collaborations with local organizations actively contribute to a safer environment for residents relocating to Milwaukee. It’s essential to stay informed about specific neighbourhoods and take necessary precautions, as is wise in any urban setting. With vigilance and awareness, Milwaukee offers a secure, welcoming, and vibrant place to call home.
The 10 Best Places to Visit in Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, offers a diverse range of attractions and experiences, making it a great place to visit. Whether exploring its lively neighbourhoods, enjoying its local cuisine, or attending one of its many festivals, Milwaukee promises an unforgettable experience for travellers of all interests.
Here are some of the top places to explore:
- Milwaukee Art Museum: Picture this: a sprawling collection of over 30,000 artworks, including the breathtaking Quadracci Pavilion by Santiago Calatrava. But it’s more than just art on walls; it’s a lively cultural hotspot in Milwaukee, buzzing with fresh exhibitions and events that pull you into the world of creativity and wonder.
- Harley-Davidson Museum: Imagine stepping into the soul of American motorcycling. At the Harley-Davidson Museum, you’re not just walking through history; you’re feeling it. Sit on a genuine Harley, touch the chrome, and dive into interactive stories that trace the journey of this legendary brand.
- Lakefront Brewery: Think of a place where beer and beauty meet. Lakefront Brewery isn’t just about sipping Milwaukee’s finest brews; it’s about enjoying them with a stunning backdrop of Lake Michigan. Their tours are a blend of humor, history, and, of course, great beer tasting.
- Milwaukee County Zoo: It’s a world where wildlife thrives amidst the city. The Milwaukee County Zoo is a magical journey through diverse habitats, hosting over 2,000 animals. It’s not just about seeing animals; it’s about connecting with nature and learning through fun and fascination.
- Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (The Domes): These aren’t just greenhouses; they’re domes of wonder. Each dome in Mitchell Park transports you to a different corner of the botanical world, offering a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s a green paradise right in the heart of Milwaukee.
- Milwaukee Public Market: This is where food stories come alive for those relocating to Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Public Market is buzzing with flavors, colors, and aromas. It’s a culinary adventure, where local and international cuisines meet artisanal craftsmanship. Every stall and shop has a story, a taste, and a smile.
- Historic Third Ward: Strolling through the Historic Third Ward is like walking into a living postcard. With its blend of old-world charm and contemporary flair, this neighborhood is brimming with chic boutiques, galleries, and eateries. It’s the perfect mix of history, art, and dining in one picturesque package.
- Pabst Theater: Step into the Pabst Theater and feel the echoes of performances past. This historic venue is more than a stage; it’s an experience. With its diverse lineup, from rock concerts to Broadway hits, every night is a different journey into the heart of Milwaukee’s cultural scene.
- Discovery World: Here’s a place where science meets fun. Discovery World is a playground of knowledge, filled with interactive exhibits that spark curiosity. Climb aboard the S/V Denis Sullivan and set sail on a learning adventure. It’s a museum where touching and exploring are not just allowed, they’re encouraged.
- Milwaukee Riverwalk: The Milwaukee Riverwalk is the city’s moving sidewalk. As you stroll along, it’s a changing canvas of urban scenes – lively shops, tempting restaurants, and tranquil river views. It’s more than a path; it’s a journey through the heart and soul of Milwaukee.
Milwaukee offers a wealth of attractions for residents and visitors alike, making it an ideal destination for those considering relocating to Milwaukee. Whether you’re interested in art, history, food, or outdoor activities, the city has something to offer everyone.
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Bringing It All Together
Milwaukee has a rich cultural tapestry, offering a high quality of life, affordable living, and a welcoming community. It is an ideal destination for those relocating to Milwaukee seeking a balance of urban living and accessible nature. Whether relocating for work, education, a change of scenery, or embarking on a new chapter, Milwaukee welcomes you with open arms.