5 Reasons You Should Live in Waukesha

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Waukesha, WI, is Les Paul's birthplace

In southeast Wisconsin, Milwaukee, as the largest city in the state, usually steals all of the glory. Its lakeside location, ample jobs, and close proximity to Chicago are huge selling points, but you don’t have to live in the city proper to reap those benefits. The beautiful suburb of Waukesha is just 30 minutes west of the heart of downtown Milwaukee, so if you find yourself needing to relocate to (or within) Brew City, here are five reasons to consider Waukesha.

1. The rent is cheap.

Waukesha apartments rent for about $850 a month (for a one-bedroom), compared with downtown Milwaukee’s $1,000 rent prices. Plus, since there’s a bit more room to roam in Waukesha than in a city 500,000 people, the apartments themselves are typically more spacious. Even if you work within Milwaukee’s city limits, a small commute could be worth the savings.

2. It’s near Milwaukee, but has a smaller-city feel.

In Waukesha, you’ll have easy access to all of the amenities Milwaukee offers — the museums, international companies, annual events, universities, lakefront — but you don’t have to live among the crowds. Waukesha, with a population of around 70,000, has a historic downtown area, lined with small shops, galleries, and local restaurants. Without being a large city itself, Waukesha nonetheless offers plenty of cultural opportunities, like the Charles Z. Horwitz Planetarium, Carroll University Players theater, and the Wisconsin Philharmonic.

3. It has ample outdoor recreation.

Much of Wisconsin is a natural playground, but that’s exceptionally true for Waukesha. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail, which spans about 1,200 miles in the state, cuts through Kettle Moraine State Forest, just 15 minutes from downtown Waukesha. There’s also Nashotah Park, the Retzer Nature Center, Minooka Park, and miles of trails along the Fox River, which runs through downtown.

4. It’s the birthplace, and resting place, of Les Paul.

The music legend, and pioneer of the solid-body guitar, was born and raised in Waukesha, and he credited a lot of his musical achievements to the support he received from the community. He was so fond of the city that he chose to make it his final resting place. Beyond being a dinner party anecdote, Waukesha as the home city of such a prolific musician led to the founding of the Les Paul Performance Center in Cutler Park.

5. There are plenty of employment opportunities.

People tend to think that you need to head to populous cities to find fulfilling work, but that’s not the case. Living in Waukesha will put you near huge employers like Target Corp., Fiserv, GE Healthcare, Harley Davidson, and Quad/Graphics.

All of these benefits only augment the convenience of being just 30 minutes from the largest city in Wisconsin. If you’re considering a move in the Milwaukee area, Waukesha should be near the top of your list.