Moving to Milwaukee

Say hello to Milwaukee, a charismatic city with a contagious spirit of hospitality located on the western shores of Lake Michigan. Whether you're attracted by the vibrant arts scene, the burgeoning tech industry, the lush parks, or the nationally-recognized craft breweries, Milwaukee has features that appeal to everyone. A city where cosmopolitan living meets a small-town charm, a move to Milwaukee promises an enticing blend of culture, adventure, and good-natured living. As you gear up for your relocation, allow us to lead you through a comprehensive guide that illuminates the enthralling surprises that Milwaukee has in store.

Moving to Milwaukee, WI landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Milwaukee

1. Embrace the Brew City Culture

Though the large-scale breweries that spawned Milwaukee's nickname, "Brew City," have mostly moved away, there is still a palpable appreciation for beer throughout the city. This spills over into a range of vibrant festivals, beer gardens, and craft breweries that dot the city. You can trace the city's brewing history at the mesmerizing Pabst Mansion, or if you just want a tipple, join the locals at Lakefront Brewery for some of the city's best ale and lager offerings.

2. Say Cheese!

Wisconsin is synonymous with cheese, and for good reason. Milwaukee pays homage to this fine tradition with a veritable plethora of cheese shops, dairy-themed events (yes, they're a thing), and of course, serving fried cheese curds with basically everything. You may find your waistline expanding, but hey, when in Milwaukee, do as the Milwaukeean's do. Embrace the cheese life!

3. The Polish Flats Phenomenon

Here's a little-known fact; The term "Polish flats" refers to a particular style of house architecture prevalent in Milwaukee. Built from the late 19th century to early 20th century, these houses were ingeniously designed to have living quarters upstairs while the ground level was kept for storage. However, all these homes look oddly like they've been lifted. Curious? Move to Milwaukee and see them for yourself!

4. The City Loves its Sports

No list about moving to Milwaukee would be complete without mentioning sports. Whether it's cheering for the Brewers at the American Family Field, watching the Bucks shoot hoops at the Fiserv Forum, or being an Admirals' hockey faithful, you're bound to be drawn into the city's infectious sporting fervor. Did we mention they love their college teams too?

5. It's called The City of Festivals

From the world's largest music festival, Summerfest, to the deluge of ethnic and cultural festivals, Milwaukee lives up to its nickname as the City of Festivals. Always packed with music, food, and fun, these events reflect the city's ethnic diversity and love for a good party. Make sure to clear your summer calendar because there is always a festival happening somewhere.

6. Secret Spy Restaurant

Last, but by no means least, Milwaukee is home to one of America's most quirky dining experiences - The SafeHouse. Based in the heart of downtown, this spy-themed restaurant and bar serve the food, fun, and espionage you never knew you needed. You'll need a password to enter, so do your homework before you go. Don't worry, if you get it wrong, they just make you do silly tasks -- in front of a live feed watched by other patrons.

From it's booming brewing culture, world-renowned festivals, to its eccentric eateries, Milwaukee is more than meets the eye. Embracing these idiosyncrasies will help you blend with the locals, and make your move just that much more exciting. After all, they say moving home can be stressful, but when it's to Milwaukee, it's simply one big adventure. So buckle up, and revel in the ride!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Milwaukee

Pros of Living in Milwaukee

Rich Cultural History

Milwaukee boasts a thriving cultural scene steeped in rich history. The city is home to numerous art galleries, theaters, and historic buildings, creating an eclectic mix for individuals interested in the arts and history.

Outdoor Activities

From biking to hiking and sailing, Milwaukee is nothing short of an outdoor enthusiast's dream. The city offers a variety of parks, sports fields, and beautiful Lake Michigan, providing ample options for recreational activities no matter the season.

Local Cuisine

Milwaukee is famous for its culinary diversity featuring traditional American, European, and uniquely Wisconsin fare. Whether you're a die-hard cheesehead, a sausage enthusiast, or a craft beer aficionada, the city's food and beverage scene will not disappoint.

Affordable Cost of Living

Compared to many other cities in the United States, Milwaukee offers an affordable cost of living. From housing to groceries and transportation, residents often find that their dollar stretches further here. This makes it an attractive option for families, as well as individuals just starting out in their careers.

Active Sports Scene

For the sports enthusiast, Milwaukee has plenty to offer. Home to the Milwaukee Bucks, Brewers, and Admirals, residents have the opportunity to cheer on their local teams in basketball, baseball, and hockey. College sports also have a strong presence in Milwaukee.

Cons of Living in Milwaukee


Winters in Milwaukee can be long and harsh with significant amounts of snowfall. The colder season extends from November to March, requiring residents to have a good tolerance for freezing temperatures. Also, spring and fall can be brief with abrupt transitions.

Public Transit

Despite having a bus system, Milwaukee's public transportation isn't as extensive or efficient as some other major cities. While there is some public transportation, many residents rely on cars for commuting, which could be a downside for those without a vehicle or who prefer an established public transit system.

Job Market

While there are opportunities in the city, some sectors offer relatively limited job opportunities. Depending on your profession and qualifications, it might take longer to find your ideal job in Milwaukee compared to other metropolitan areas.

Lack of Mountainous Terrain

If you are an outdoor enthusiast who loves mountainous landscapes for hiking, climbing, or skiing, Milwaukee may fall short of expectation. The city is located near the Great Lakes region and is predominantly flat-landed in character.

Crime Rate

While crime rates vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, Milwaukee as a whole has a higher crime rate than many other cities in the United States. However, it's important to note that numerous city initiatives are in place to improve public safety and the situation has been improving over the years.

Modern day picture of Milwaukee, WI highlighting pros and cons of living in Milwaukee, WI

Is Milwaukee a Good Place to Live?

Milwaukee, WI is a great place to live because of its rich cultural heritage, vibrant art scene, and the joy of countless beer festivals. It not only takes pride in its warm midwestern hospitality but also in hosting entertaining summer festivals, promoting stunning lakefront views and offering multiple outdoor recreational activities. No wonder, this city has been luring those who crave a balance between city-life buzz and nature's tranquility, making life in Milwaukee an unconventional adventure!

What Is Milwaukee Famous For?

Beer Brewing History

Beer-lovers, unite in Milwaukee! The city boasts an illustrious history in the beer brewing industry. From the renowned Miller Brewing Company's establishment in 1855 to the rise of numerous, enticing craft breweries, Milwaukee justifies its nickname "Brew City".

Harley-Davidson Museum

Zooming into the hearts of motorcycle fanatics, the Harley-Davidson Museum is a unique attraction in Milwaukee. Housing over 450 motorcycles and artefacts that narrate the iconic American brand's journey, this museum promises a revving great ride through history.

Amazing Cheese

When in Milwaukee, say cheese! Famous for producing some of the finest cheeses in the country, Milwaukee is a cheese-lovers' paradise. From luxurious cheddars to delectably creamy muenster, be prepared to indulge your cheesiest cravings here.

Lakefront and Parks

Bringing life amidst the city's hustle and bustle, Milwaukee's lakefront and parks are a breath of fresh air. From spectacular sunrise views over Lake Michigan to gorgeous parks including the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, Milwaukee truly knows how to blend urban life with natural beauty.

Capital building of Milwaukee, WI in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Milwaukee, WI as of 2023, the average property tax rate is around 2.61% of the property's assessed fair market value, which is higher compared to the national average of 1.07%. This makes Milwaukee's property tax rate one of the highest in the US.

Sales Tax

As of 2023, the sales tax in Milwaukee, WI is set at 5.6%, which is relatively low when compared to many other U.S. cities that have sales taxes reaching as high as 9-10%. However, this rate is subject to change based on state and local laws.

Income Tax

As for income tax, in Milwaukee, WI residents face a progressive state income tax system with rates ranging from 4.00% to 7.65% in 2023. This means that the more taxable income you have, the higher your state tax rate. Compared to other states, this is a moderately high rate, as some states like Florida and Texas do not even have an income tax.

Housing Market

The Milwaukee, WI housing market offers significant value compared to other U.S. regions. With a median home value of $129,000, properties are well below the national median. Renters also benefit from Milwaukee's affordable housing, with average rents around $897, nearly half of the U.S. median. However, home values have seen a steady growth, indicating a healthy housing market. Although less congested than other major cities, potential homeowners and renters should be aware of increasing property taxes. Nevertheless, the cost-effectiveness and robust growth of the Milwaukee real estate market make it an attractive option for many.

Cost of Living

The current cost of living in Milwaukee, WI is lower than the national average and significantly more affordable compared to larger cities such as New York and San Francisco. Housing costs are particularly appealing, being up to 70% less than national figures. However, Milwaukee residents face higher healthcare and transportation expenses. Despite these factors, Milwaukee remains an attractive location for those seeking an urban lifestyle with a balanced cost of living.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Located in the upper Midwest, Milwaukee, WI, features a humid continental climate characterized by four distinct seasons. Winters can be rigorously cold and snowy, with temperatures often plunging below freezing, whilst summers are warm to hot, boasting temperatures typically in the high 70s or 80s (degF). Spring and fall are transitional seasons, offering a blend of moderate temperatures and precipitation. The city experiences an average annual rainfall of about 34 inches, with precipitation spread throughout the year. Despite its inland location, Milwaukee occasionally falls victim to natural disasters such as tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and floods. While rare, the city's proximity to Lake Michigan makes it susceptible to lake-effect snowfall and occasionally severe winter storms. Overall, Milwaukee's distinct seasons present a dynamic range of weather conditions throughout the year.

Typical weather in Milwaukee, WI

Economy & Job Market

* Manufacturing

* Healthcare and Social Assistance

* Education Services

* Retail Trade

* Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

Milwaukee is not only known for its beer, but also for its well-founded industrial base. The city's economy was traditionally built on manufacturing with firms like Harley-Davidson setting the tone. Today, while manufacturing still plays a key role, the economy has diversified. Now, healthcare services, education, and retail trade join manufacturing on the centerstage. Healthcare and social assistance play a prominent role with several large hospitals and medical centers. Quality education services are provided by numerous public and private institutions. Retail trade, bolstered by vibrant local and national chains, contributes significantly to the employment pool and the professional, scientific, and technical services sector has been nurtured by the city's commitment to innovation and research.

Are you thinking of a move to Milwaukee? Bring your coat, your appetite for cheese curds, and your resume because Milwaukee's job market is rife with opportunities. Milwaukee boasts an unemployment rate that is typically lower than the national average, making it an appealing destination for job seekers. The city's western suburbs have become a hub for healthcare and social assistance jobs. Meanwhile, downtown's dynamic transformation is attracting businesses from various sectors, leading to ample job opportunities in retail and professional services. So, whether you are an Engineer, Healthcare worker, Educator, Salesperson, or a Tech geek, Milwaukee's job market will serve up a fresh pint of opportunities for you!

Traffic and Transportation

Hey there! Have you ever wondered about the hustle and bustle of traffic in the four-season city, Milwaukee, WI? Well, buckle up! With an average commute time of around 22 minutes, Milwaukeeans have a smooth ride compared to the national average. For those not behind the wheel, the city offers numerous public transit options. The Milwaukee County Transit System is their SHERO, providing bus routes throughout the city and to some suburbs. Did we mention the Hop? That's Milwaukee's streetcar service, adding a touch of charm to every ride. Now, for those with a taste for altitude, General Mitchell International Airport serves as the city's gateway to the skies. Offering both domestic and limited international flights, jet setters are well catered for. So, whether you're on land or sky, Milwaukee ensures you arrive in good spirits!

What is the traffic like in Milwaukee, WI?

Best Neighborhoods in Milwaukee

1. Third Ward

Welcome to the land of cool lofts and chic boutiques - Third Ward. As a hub of artistic culture and creative energy in Milwaukee, Third Ward offers the perfect blend of rich history and modern flair. Nestled perfectly between the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan, its red-brick warehouses refurbished into residential lofts and eateries give an old-world charm. Moreover, as home to the Milwaukee Public Market, several theaters, and art galleries, there is never a dull moment in this neighborhood.

2. Bay View

For those who relish a good view, welcome to Bay View, aptly named for its amazing views of Lake Michigan throughout the neighborhood. This trendy place is a paradise for foodies, with dozens of hip restaurants and coffee shops sprinkled throughout the neighborhood. A strong sense of community reigns here, enhanced by many local events like Chill on the Hill, where live music meets the summer sunset in Humboldt Park. While the neighborhood holds on to its historic charm with well-preserved architecture, it doesn't shy away from its bohemian spirit.

3. East Side

The East Side is where the vibrant city-life kisses secluded park-life. Best known for its eclectic energy, East Side is a popular choice among young professionals and students, thanks to its proximity to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The area offers a dynamic mix of craft beer bars, vintage shops, buzzing eateries, and indie movie theaters. But at its heart, East Side houses the tranquil Milwaukee River Greenway where you can escape into nature's lap.

4. Walker's Point

Tucked on a peninsula south of the city's downtown, Walker's Point is a neighborhood on the rise. It's the go-to hotspot for Milwaukee's foodie scene with a remarkable array of restaurants catering to all your food fantasies. The vibrant spot also proudly hosts Milwaukee's LGBT community, and nightlife lovers will certainly relish the selection of dance clubs here. The old mixed with the new could be the slogan for this neighborhood, as a blend of renovated industrial buildings, modern offices, and historic homes paint its landscape.

5. Brewer's Hill

Lastly, presenting the historic heart of Milwaukee - Brewer's Hill. Steeped in history, this neighborhood is home to some of the city's most beautiful Victorian-style houses. Named for its past full of breweries, today this community is loved for its picturesque views, particularly from Kadish Park. Don't miss out on the tight-knit community spirit here, with block parties and summer concerts regularly on the neighborhood agenda!

In conclusion, whether you're seeking natural beauty, buzzing nightlife, culinary treats, or historical charm, Milwaukee has a neighborhood just for you. Each of these neighborhoods has its unique vibe that contributes to the vibrant tapestry of Milwaukee, making it a charming city to relocate to. Now, all you need to do is pick a neighborhood and start packing!

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Things to Do

Pack your bags, put on your adventure cap, and gear up to explore Milwaukee, WI. Indeed, Milwaukee is warmly brewing a la carte of experiences you would not want to miss! From artistic alleys to frothy beer tours, here are the top seven things we recommend you to do!

1. Catch a Brewers Game at American Family Field

Milwaukee is a city passionate about its baseball. The home of the Milwaukee Brewers, American Family Field, is a must-visit. Apart from exhilarating games, check out the Uecker Seats and the interactive kids' area, letting you make hilarious memories with an iconic Bob Uecker statue and keep the youngsters entertained.

2. Sip and Gulp on a Beer tour

The city boasts a rich brewing history and is home to some of the country's major beer factories. Whether you're a beer aficionado or not, taking a beer tour at Miller Brewing Company or Lakefront Brewery is a must. Learn about the brewing process, history of these giant brewing firms, and finish your tour with some refreshing pint of beers.

3. Visit the Bronze Fonz

If you're a fan of the TV show 'Happy Days' or anything pop-culture related, a visit to the Bronze Fonz is mandatory. This public artwork is a tribute to Henry Winkler's character 'The Fonz'. Grab your leather jackets and go click a happy thumbs-up picture with the Fonz!

4. Explore the Milwaukee Art Museum

Not only is the Milwaukee Art Museum home to over 30,000 works of art, but the building itself is a sculptural marvel. Take in the breathtaking views of Lake Michigan from inside the museum, marvel at the stunning Quadracci Pavilion, and explore the myriad of classical and contemporary pieces of art.

5. Enjoy a Boat Tour on the Milwaukee River

See Milwaukee from a fresh perspective by boat! Embark on a boat tour along the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan. From architectural city tours to bonfire cruises, Milwaukee Boat Line offers a variety of themed boat tours that are both interesting and enjoyable.

6. Experience the Secret Sculpture Garden

Now here's a little-known secret - the Mary Nohl Art Environment. Nestled in the residential neighborhood of Fox Point is a garden that is filled with whimsical concrete sculptures. Created by artist Mary Nohl, it's an eccentric off-the-beaten-path site that is worth a visit for its unique and creative atmosphere.

7. Hunt Ghosts at The Pfister Hotel

Milwaukee houses one of America's most haunted hotels - The Pfister Hotel. Have a spine-chilling experience by taking a haunting tour or even staying a night at this hotel reputed for its ghostly encounters. This last suggestion may not be for the faint-hearted, but it would undoubtedly be an adventure to remember!

So there you have it! Your passport to enjoying Milwaukee, Wisconsin like a local. You'll soon find that the Brew City's charm extends well beyond its beer. It's a city filled with history, culture, sports, and so much more. So brace yourselves for an exciting journey that will make you want to call Milwaukee home in no time!

Things to do in Milwaukee, WI?

Find Movers for Your Milwaukee Relocation

Shaping your new life in the vibrant city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is an exciting prospect. As you prepare for this significant transition, keep in mind that a smooth move is crucial to a positive settling-in experience. The right moving company can make all the difference. Great Guys Moving simplifies the process with our vast network of trusted, licensed, and insured moving companies. Simply submit your move details, and we'll connect you with multiple professional movers that can meet your needs and budget. Don't miss out on this easy way to compare quotes and choose the best service for your Milwaukee move. Request your free moving quote today!

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