About Milwaukee

The Chinese call it feng shui: the science of balance. And if there ever was a region in balance, it is the greater Milwaukee metropolitan area. Located 90 minutes from both the legendarily beautiful North Woods of Wisconsin and Chicago, the third largest city in the United States. Milwaukee is a city that celebrates all four seasons – the apple blossoms and emerald carpets of spring, the refreshing lake breezes of summer, the brilliant colors of fall and the glistening, peaceful snows of winter.

It is a city both big enough to offer professional sports and world-class performing arts, yet small enough to navigate with ease. From May through September, the city vibrates with a dizzying array of outdoor activities, including parades, music festivals, ethnic celebrations and church socials, bicycle races, sailing regattas, block parties and art fairs. For sports fans, there’s a year-round menu of events that includes professional basketball, baseball, soccer and hockey games, as well as NCAA Division 1 college basketball. And it’s just a short drive from Big 10 football (Wisconsin Badgers) and NFL football (Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears).

Every weekend, the curtain rises on a diverse playbill of performing arts. Few other cities offer such a variety of performances and venues. The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Edo de Waart, performs 140 classics, pops, family and educational concerts each season. Its nationally syndicated radio broadcasts are heard on nearly 150 stations throughout the United States.

The city is also one of only a handful of cities that can boast a ballet and opera company as well as a world-renowned African dance troupe. Younger audiences head for the city’s lakefront each summer to celebrate Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, which features hundreds of bands performing at more than a dozen stages over its 10-day run.

The Location

Milwaukee is ideally located in the heart of the Upper Midwest. Situated on the western shores of Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes, it is a 90-minute drive from downtown Chicago, a five-hour drive from Minneapolis-St. Paul and Indianapolis, and slightly more than an hour away from Madison, the capital of Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s fabled North Woods and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are just three hours away. But you don’t have to travel that far to find plenty to do in the metropolitan area, which consists of five counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington and Racine.  

The Quality of Life

There are many reasons why the Milwaukee area is a good place to live. Here are a few:

  • Ranked among S. News & World Report’s Best Places to Live in 2017
  • One of the top 10 communities for young professionals, according to Forbes
  • Ranks 11th in the nation and 2nd in the Midwest for the influx of millennials among large metro areas
  • A 22-minute commute time (third lowest for metro areas)
  • A living standard that is among the best in the country
  • Ranked among the top 12 communities in the nation for its cultural art offerings

The Economy

Milwaukee has been a center of commerce since the Potawatomi Indians first settled along the shores of the Menomonee River and Lake Michigan hundreds of years ago. It was a leading Great Lakes port in the 1800s, the “Beer Capital of the World” and the “Toolbox of America” in the 1900s, and is now a global center for advanced manufacturing, electronic commerce, financial services, food and beverage producers, printing, and green technologies. The region’s research facilities and manufacturing plants are paving the way for new medical technologies, battery-powered cars and alternative power solutions that will define the 21st Century. It is home to several global technology companies, including Rockwell Automation, GE Healthcare, Astronautics Corporation of America, Johnson Controls, Modine Manufacturing, SC Johnson and Quad/Graphics. Milwaukee also is home to several leaders in the financial and service industries, including Northwestern Mutual, ManpowerGroup, Kohl’s Corp. and Fiserv. The city is an excellent place to live from an employee’s perspective as well. Per capita, it has the second-highest concentration of best companies to work for, according to the Great Places to Work Institute.

The Future

With billions of dollars being invested in the region’s entertainment, housing, retail, office space and transportation infrastructure, the Milwaukee Region is poised for its greatest growth in more than a generation. A new basketball arena and entertainment district, condos and apartments, and office buildings are reshaping the skyline. Milwaukee’s “can-do” mentality, ideal location, educated workforce and forward-facing economy have positioned the region for growth.


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Discover Milwaukee, The Greater Milwaukee Relocation Guide has detailed information on schools, communities, home prices, and more...