Moving to Milwaukee: Here’s Everything You Need To Know (2023)

Moving to a new city can be both exciting and daunting. 

You’re probably wondering about the climate, the schools, the restaurants, and the neighborhoods.

You want to know what the vibe is around the city, how you’ll adjust to life in a new place, and how you’ll meet people who share your interests.

If you’re planning on moving to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, then you’re in luck! 

This charming midwestern city is known for its friendly people, vibrant culture, and affordable cost of living. 

As someone who has lived in Milwaukee for my whole life and traveled extensively to other places, I can tell you that this city has a lot to offer.

Like any city, it also has its challenges, which we’ll also dive into.

In this blog post, I’ll share some tips and insights that can help make your transition to Milwaukee as smooth and enjoyable as possible. 

From finding a great neighborhood to exploring the city’s best restaurants and attractions, I’ll cover everything you need to know to start feeling at home in this amazing city. 

So, let’s get started!


Milwaukee is the largest city in the state of Wisconsin and is located in the midwest region of the United States. 

Situated on the western shore of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is known for its picturesque waterfront and access to outdoor recreation. 

The people who live here often remark that it feels like both a big city and a small town. “Smallwaukee” is a phrase you’ll hear often, referring to how connected everyone is.

The city is home to a diverse population of just over 500,000. (Cavalier Johnson, the mayor of Milwaukee has declared it his goal for the city to reach 1,000,000 people.)

The greater Milwaukee area has a population of just over 1.5 million.

One of the benefits of living in Milwaukee is the low cost of living , which is significantly below the national average.

The low median home price makes it an attractive option for those looking for affordable housing and a high quality of life. 

In addition to its affordability, Milwaukee also offers a vibrant cultural scene with a variety of museums, galleries, festivals, and music venues to explore. 

Whether you’re interested in history, art, or entertainment, there is always something to do in Milwaukee.


You’ve probably heard how cold Milwaukee is. 

And it’s true. 

But Milwaukee’s climate experiences four distinct seasons throughout the year that allow for a wide range of scenery and recreational activities.

Red Arrow Park Captured by little x little photography in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Winters are cold and snowy, with average low temperatures in the mid-teens Fahrenheit (around -9°C). The snowy winters can make it difficult to get around the city, and the cold can lead to higher heating costs.

But Winter also affords residents the ability to take advantage of winter recreation like ice skating, sledding, tubing, skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

What’s more, the summers here cannot be beat, with average temperatures in the mid-80s Fahrenheit (around 29°C). The city comes alive with festivals, patio dining, and outdoor recreation like swimming, boating, and hiking.

Autumn is perhaps even more glorious, with its vibrant fall foliage and cooler temperatures. The city’s many parks and green spaces are particularly stunning during this time of year, as the leaves on the trees turn brilliant shades of red, orange, and gold.

Overall, Milwaukee’s climate offers a balance of advantages and disadvantages. 

Holy Hill is 30 miles north of Milwaukee.

While the harsh winters may not be for everyone, there’s nowhere in the country you’d rather be than Milwaukee during the summer and fall.

The city’s residents and visitors find plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors and stay active throughout the year.

Top Attractions

The city of Milwaukee is home to many of the top attractions in the Midwest. 

Here are some of the best places to visit:

Milwaukee Art Museum: This iconic museum is a must-see for art lovers, with its stunning architecture and impressive collection of over 30,000 works of art.

Milwaukee Public Museum: This natural history museum is a popular attraction for visitors of all ages, with exhibits on dinosaurs, rainforests, and more. With exhibits that showcase everything from prehistoric creatures to ancient civilizations, the Milwaukee Public Museum will be a hit with all ages.

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum: This children’s museum inspires kids to wonder and explore their world through play and innovative, hands-on learning experiences. You’ll find interactive exhibits on science, art, and technology.

Harley Davidson Museum: Pose for a photo with the company founders, see the oldest known Harley Davidson motorcycle (known as “Serial Number One”), rev up your engines in the engine room, rummage through discovery drawers filled with vintage toys and trinkets, make your own custom creation at the build-a-bike station, and much more!

Milwaukee River: The Milwaukee River and Riverwalk runs through the heart of the city, offering scenic views and a wide range of recreational activities, including kayaking and fishing.

Summerfest: Milwaukee is also home to Summerfest, the largest music festival in the world, which takes place each summer and features over 800 performances on 11 stages.

Downtown Area: The downtown area of Milwaukee is a perfect place to explore, with its historic architecture, great restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.

Whether you’re exploring the city’s art and history museums, enjoying the scenic views along the Milwaukee River, or taking in a concert at Summerfest, there’s always something fun and exciting to do in Brew City.

Performing Arts

Milwaukee has a lively performing arts scene, with a variety of theaters, music venues, and dance companies that offer something for everyone.

Here are some of the top performing arts venues and companies in Milwaukee:

Marcus Performing Arts Center: This iconic theater complex in downtown Milwaukee hosts a wide range of performances, from Broadway shows to classical music concerts.

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

Milwaukee Repertory Theater: The Milwaukee Rep is a professional theater company that produces a variety of plays and musicals each year, including world premieres and classic works.

Florentine Opera Company: The Florentine Opera is the oldest fully professional opera company in the state of Wisconsin, presenting world-class productions of both classic and contemporary operas.

Milwaukee Ballet: The Milwaukee Ballet is one of the top dance companies in the Midwest, offering a range of performances from traditional ballets to contemporary works.

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra: The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is a world-class ensemble that performs a wide range of classical and contemporary music throughout the year at the stunning Bradley Symphony Center

Bradley Symphony Center

Skylight Music Theatre: This Milwaukee theater company specializes in musical theater productions, from classic Broadway shows to new works.

Whether you’re a fan of theater, music, or dance, there’s always something exciting to see and experience in Milwaukee’s performing arts scene. With a variety of venues and companies to choose from, you’re sure to find a show that will entertain and inspire you.

Best Milwaukee Neighborhoods

Milwaukee is home to several diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and charm. 

Among the best neighborhoods in the city, the Historic Third Ward, Lower East Side, Bay View, Walkers Point, Riverwest, and Bronzeville stand out as popular destinations for residents and visitors alike.

The Historic Third Ward is a trendy neighborhood located just south of downtown Milwaukee. It’s known for its historic buildings, trendy boutiques, art galleries, and local restaurants. 

The Third Ward is also home to the award-winning Milwaukee Public Market, a bustling indoor marketplace that offers a variety of fresh produce, seafood, and other artisanal goods.

The Lower East Side is another popular neighborhood that’s located on the east side of the Milwaukee River. This area is known for its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues.

It’s also home to the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and is a hub for students and young people.

Bay View is a neighborhood located just south of downtown Milwaukee that offers a more relaxed, funky, and laid-back vibe. 

It’s known for its beautiful parks, trendy cafes, and thriving arts scene. 

Bay View is also home to some of the best views of Lake Michigan, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Walker’s Point is a historic neighborhood located just south of downtown Milwaukee. Originally an industrial area, the neighborhood has undergone significant redevelopment in recent years and is now known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, as well as its diverse community and eclectic mix of businesses. The Walkers Point neighborhood of Milwaukee is home to a vibrant and diverse Hispanic community.

Bronzeville is a historic neighborhood in Milwaukee that has experienced significant revitalization in recent years. It is located on the city’s north side and is bordered by North Avenue to the north, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to the east, Walnut Street to the south, and 7th Street to the west.

The neighborhood also has a rich history as the cultural and economic hub of Milwaukee’s African American community. Many of the buildings in Bronzeville were built in the early 20th century and feature unique architecture and design elements.

River West is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood located just west of the Milwaukee River and north of downtown Milwaukee. The neighborhood has a rich history and was once a center of industry in Milwaukee. Today, it has undergone significant revitalization.

Whether you’re looking for trendy boutiques, a vibrant nightlife, or a quiet place to enjoy nature, Milwaukee’s best neighborhoods, including the Historic Third Ward, Lower East Side, Bay View, Walkers Point, and Riverwest and Bronzeville have something to offer everyone.

Public Transportation

While Milwaukee does have a public transit system in place, it is worth noting that car usage is quite prevalent in the city. 

While there are some neighborhoods and areas where the public transit system is heavily used, in general, it’s fair to say that many residents rely on their cars for daily transportation needs.

That being said, two of the most popular modes of public transportation are the Milwaukee County Transit System and The Hop, Milwaukee’s streetcar system.

The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) provides bus service throughout the city and surrounding areas. With more than 50 routes and over 4,500 stops, MCTS is a convenient and affordable way to get around. 

The buses are equipped with bike racks, making it easy for commuters to combine cycling with public transportation.

In addition to the MCTS, Milwaukee also has The Hop, a modern streetcar system that runs through the downtown area. 

The Hop has a total of 18 stations and provides easy access to popular destinations such as the Milwaukee Public Market, Cathedral Square Park, and the Intermodal Station. It’s a fun and unique way to explore the city and is free to ride.

Milwaukee also has a bike-sharing program called Bublr Bikes, which provides a convenient and eco-friendly way to explore the city on two wheels. The program has over 100 stations located throughout the city, making it easy to rent and return bikes at any time.

Bublr Bikes offers a variety of options, including traditional bicycles and electric-assist bikes. 

The electric-assist bikes are especially helpful for those who want to cover more ground with less effort, and they are a great way to explore the city’s many bike-friendly trails and paths.

To use Bublr Bikes, riders can sign up for a membership or pay as they go.

Overall, Bublr Bikes is a great option for those who want to explore Milwaukee in a healthy, environmentally friendly way. 


Milwaukee has an active sports scene that is popular among residents and visitors alike. 

The city is home to several major sports teams, including the Milwaukee Bucks and the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Milwaukee Bucks are a professional basketball team that plays at the Fiserv Forum, a state-of-the-art arena located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. 

The Bucks have a dedicated fanbase and have been a consistent playoff contender in recent years, with a championship win in 2021.

Baseball fans will be delighted to know that the Milwaukee Brewers are a Major League Baseball team that plays at Miller Park, a stunning open-air stadium located just outside of the city. 

The Brewers have a loyal following and are known for their strong pitching and exciting offense.

American Family Field Milwaukee Brewers baseball stadium Wisconsin

The Lakeshore Chinooks and Milwaukee Milkmen are two baseball teams that play in Milwaukee and are part of the Northwoods League and the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, respectively.

The Lakeshore Chinooks are a collegiate summer baseball team that plays at the Kapco Park in Mequon, a suburb of Milwaukee. They were founded in 2012 and have quickly become a fan favorite among Milwaukee baseball enthusiasts. 

The team consists of college players from around the country, who come to Milwaukee during the summer to play for the Chinooks and develop their skills.

The Milwaukee Milkmen, on the other hand, are a professional independent baseball team that plays at the Routine Field in Franklin, another Milwaukee suburb. The team was founded in 2018 and plays in the American Association, which is a professional league for independent teams. 

The Milkmen have quickly become a popular choice for Milwaukee baseball fans who want to watch high-quality baseball in a more intimate setting.

Finally, while not located directly in Milwaukee, the Green Bay Packers are a beloved football team that represents the entire state of Wisconsin. 

They play at historic Lambeau Field in Green Bay, which is about a two-hour drive from Milwaukee. 

Despite the distance, Packers games are incredibly popular among Milwaukee residents, and many consider themselves lifelong fans of the team.

Milwaukee is also home to a professional soccer team, the Milwaukee Wave, and a professional hockey team, the Milwaukee Admirals.

Overall, Milwaukee’s sports scene is a significant part of the city’s culture, with teams like the Bucks, Brewers, and Packers bringing together residents and visitors from all walks of life. 

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon, there’s something for everyone in Milwaukee’s sports scene.

Food and Restaurants

While it’s true that we’re known for cheese curds and custard, there’s so much more to the city’s cuisine than these iconic items.

Milwaukee is home to a diverse range of restaurants, cafes, and food trucks that offer everything from authentic ethnic cuisine to farm-to-table fare. The city’s restaurant scene has been on the rise in recent years, with many talented chefs and innovative eateries opening up.

At Random is a popular spot for cocktails.

Popular small plates restaurants include Odd Duck and La Merenda, while Sanford and Lupe and Iris offer upscale fine dining experiences.

The Vanguard is a popular sausage and beer hall in the Bay View neighborhood offers a variety of house-made sausages and craft beers, as well as other bar food favorites.

Third Street Market
Third Street Market Hall

There are also several food market halls that are worth exploring, including the Sherman Phoenix in the Sherman Park neighborhood, Crossroad Collective on the East Side, and 3rd Street Market Hall in downtown Milwaukee. 

Zocalo Food Park food trucks and vendors Milwaukee Wisconsin
Zócalo Food Park

Zócalo Food Park is a popular outdoor food venue located in Walker’s Point neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It features a rotating selection of food trucks and vendors offering a diverse range of cuisine, including Mexican, Korean, BBQ, and vegan options, among others.

Leon's frozen custard drive-in Milwaukee Wisconsin
Leon’s custard

For custard, Leon’s and Kopp’s are must-visits. Leon’s has a classic drive-in vibe and has been around for decades. Kopp’s has a few locations throughout the surrounding suburbs.

Milwaukee’s love of craft beer and spirits is well-known, with a thriving brewery and distillery scene. Lakefront Brewery, Third Space, and the Historic Pabst Brewery in particular are must-visit destinations.

Lakefront Brewery

But the city also offers plenty of options for wine lovers, cocktail aficionados, and those who prefer non-alcoholic beverages like coffee and tea.

Schools & Universities

Milwaukee Public Schools

Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) is the largest school district in Wisconsin and serves over 75,000 students from diverse backgrounds across the city. 

The district faces many challenges, including funding constraints, high levels of poverty among students, and disparities in academic achievement.

Despite these challenges, there are many strong schools within MPS.

Some examples are Fernwood Montessori, Maryland Avenue Montessori, Reagan High School, Rufus King International High School, and Golda Meir School for the Gifted and Talented. 

These schools have earned reputations for their rigorous academic programs, committed faculty and staff, and strong sense of community.

Fernwood Montessori and Maryland Avenue Montessori are both highly-regarded for their Montessori-inspired curriculum, which emphasizes student-centered learning, hands-on exploration, and personalized instruction. Both schools have dedicated faculty and staff who work to create a supportive and engaging learning environment for students.

Reagan High School, Rufus King International High School, and Golda Meir School for the Gifted and Talented are all known for their academic rigor and high expectations for students. These schools offer challenging coursework and extracurricular opportunities that help prepare students for college and beyond. They also have strong track records of sending graduates to top colleges and universities across the country.

The Milwaukee Public School district also offers a number of language immersion schools that provide students with the opportunity to become bilingual or multilingual while receiving a high-quality education.

One example is the Milwaukee French Immersion School, which offers instruction in both French and English. Students at this school receive a rigorous academic curriculum that is aligned with Wisconsin state standards, but all instruction is provided in French until students reach third grade. This allows students to become fully bilingual in French and English by the time they graduate.

In addition to French Immersion School, MPS also offers language immersion programs in Spanish, German, and Mandarin Chinese. 

These programs provide students with a unique opportunity to become fluent in a second language while also receiving a high-quality education in other academic subjects.

While MPS faces many challenges, these schools are shining examples of what is possible when dedicated educators, committed families, and motivated students come together to create a culture of academic excellence. 


Milwaukee is home to a variety of universities that offer diverse educational opportunities for students of all ages and backgrounds.

Marquette University is a private Jesuit university located in the heart of Milwaukee. It was founded in 1881 and is known for its strong academic programs in business, law, engineering, and health sciences. The university has a diverse student body and is committed to promoting social justice and service to the community.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) is a public research university that offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. UWM has a strong reputation for its research programs and is known for its focus on sustainability and community engagement.

Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) is a public community college that offers associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates in a variety of fields. MATC is known for its affordable tuition rates and flexible scheduling options, making it an attractive choice for students who are juggling work and school.

rooftop sculpture garden at Grohmann Museum MSOE campus
Grohmann Museum at MSOE

The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) is a private art and design college that offers undergraduate programs in a variety of creative fields, including graphic design, illustration, and industrial design. MIAD has a strong reputation for its rigorous curriculum and commitment to developing students’ creative and critical thinking skills.

Finally, the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) is a private university with a strong focus on hands-on, experiential learning, with a curriculum that emphasizes practical application and real-world experience. The university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of fields, including mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering, computer science, nursing, business administration, and more.

Overall, Milwaukee offers a diverse and dynamic educational landscape, with a variety of options for students looking to pursue their academic and career goals.

Parks & Playgrounds

Milwaukee has a wealth of parks and playgrounds that offer residents and visitors opportunities to enjoy the city’s natural beauty and outdoor recreational activities.

North Point Lighthouse in Lake Park

Lake Park, located near the shores of Lake Michigan, is one of Milwaukee’s most popular parks. It offers stunning views of the lake, as well as hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and playgrounds. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who also designed New York’s Central Park.

Red Arrow Park is another popular park in Milwaukee, located in the heart of downtown. It offers a skating rink in the winter and a splash pad in the summer, as well as plenty of green space for picnics and outdoor activities.

Red Arrow Park by little x little photography in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Lakeshore State Park is a 22-acre urban park along the shores of Lake Michigan. Visitors can take in stunning views of the Milwaukee skyline and the lake, as well as spot wildlife like birds and fish. The park is open year-round and admission is free.

Milwaukee city skyline from Lakeshore State Park Wisconsin
Lakeshore State Park

It’s within walking distance to the Milwaukee Public Museum, Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Discovery World, and the Summerfest Grounds including the Northwestern Mutual Community Park playground.

In addition to these parks, Milwaukee has miles of trails that are perfect for hiking, biking, and running. The Oak Leaf Trail, which stretches for over 120 miles throughout the metro area, is one of the city’s most popular trails. Other popular trails include the Hank Aaron State Trail, the Menomonee River Parkway Trail, and the Beerline Trail.

Humboldt Park is a popular park located in the Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee. It offers a wide range of amenities and activities for visitors to enjoy.

Humboldt Park in Bay View

One of the main attractions of Humboldt Park is its large lagoon, which is popular with fishermen, and turns into an ice skating rink in the winter. The park also features a large playground area, a historic pavilion, basketball and tennis courts, a baseball diamond, and plenty of green space for picnics and outdoor activities.

Humboldt Park is also home to several popular annual events, including Chill on the Hill, a weekly summer concert series that showcases local musicians.


Milwaukee, like many cities, faces a range of challenges that it is working to address. 

Milwaukee has one of the highest levels of economic inequality in the United States, with significant disparities in income, education, and access to healthcare between different neighborhoods and communities.

And like many urban areas, Milwaukee experiences higher rates of crime and violence than more rural or suburban areas. Milwaukee has struggled with racial disparities in a number of areas, including education, housing, and employment.

Despite these challenges, it’s is a vibrant and resilient city with so much to offer residents and visitors.


Milwaukee is a city with a lot to offer.

From its beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline to its diverse neighborhoods and vibrant arts and culture scene, there are many reasons to consider moving here.

From an expanding skyline to the growth of new industries and businesses, there is a sense of energy and excitement in the city that is palpable.

If you are considering a big move, it is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully and do your research to ensure that the city is a good fit for your needs and lifestyle.

But for those who are willing to take the plunge, Milwaukee is a city with a rich history, a strong sense of community, and a bright future ahead.

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