There is plenty more to be found in Wisconsin than just great cheese. In fact, the Badger State is also the nation’s largest producer of cranberries as well. But neither of those things are the reason why people choose to settle down here (at least not solely). That distinction belongs to the great cities. Which cities are best, you ask? We dug deep to find the cities with the best schools, lowest unemployment and crime rates, fantastic amenities, beautiful weather, and overall highest quality of life. Here is what we found.
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This city on the St. Croix river took the top spot for a number of reasons. Not only is it a beautiful place to live, tucked among bluffs with a quaint, charming downtown area, but there is also plenty to do for a smaller city. The restaurants are great, and there is plenty of shopping. Even better than that are the outdoor activities to be found in and around town. Unemployment and crime are low, and the schools are solid as well.
Low crime and unemployment rates are two things that put Mequon high on our list as well. The city ranks among the highest in the state for both, and home values and household income, on the flip side, were quite high. Add pleasant streets and even more pleasant weather and it’s clear how Mequon scored the #2 spot.
#3. Elm Grove
Elm Grove is a tiny city, sure, but scored big as one of the very safest cities on our list. It also has a lot to offer residents by way of amenities, including a fantastic farmer’s market and plenty of small shops downtown to patronize. With a great school system and high home values as well, it’s no wonder that Elm Grove snagged our #3 spot, and no wonder Business Insider named it the “Best Suburb in America” in 2014.
There’s plenty to do in this mid-sized city, which gives it one of the highest amenities scores on our list.It also has a great school system and has an added bonus for those of working age with a short average commute time. One of the “Fox Cities” of Fox Valley, an area of Wisconsin full of scenic beauty and access to lakes, Appleton was also recently named one of the best affordable places to live in the U.S. by Liveability.com.
#5. Whitefish Bay
Quality of life is high in Whitefish Bay. Not only did it score exceptionally well in amenities, with countless activities both indoors and out, but it’s a peaceful city with low crime rates and a generally relaxed way of life. If you appreciate the great outdoors, and charming small towns that still offer plenty to keep you occupied, it’s hard not to choose Whitefish Bay.
The famous German work ethic must have crossed the ocean, as the unemployment rate is among the lowest on this list. Germantown also can be proud of its beautiful weather, with a cool 70 degrees as the average summertime temp. Like many other cities listed here, it’s also an attractive place to live, with plenty of ways to immerse yourself in surrounding Wisconsin nature.
#7. Brown Deer
Last but certainly not least, Brown Deer slides into the 7th place with an awesome amenities scores, and low crime rates to make sure you won’t have to worry while you enjoy them. Close in proximity to Milwaukee, you’re never far from the bigger city, but the quieter, more peaceful Brown Deer is the place you want to call home.