What you should know before moving to Milwaukee

What you should know before moving to Milwaukee

Depending on where you’re from (and what your weather preferences are), moving to Milwaukee can feel like either a blessing or a curse. Thanks to the rise in things like farm-to-table dining, moving to the Midwest feels, well, less like moving to the Midwest. If you’re thinking of packing up and putting down roots in Cream City, here are a few things you should know first.

It’s located on a beach.

While people on the coasts might disagree, folks who live near the Great Lakes will tell you there are plenty of cities with a beach, and Milwaukee is one of them. It may not have huge crashing waves ideal for surfing, but residents here enjoy a number of other coastal activities like jet skiing, sailing, kayaking, and fishing. Those who don’t enjoy frolicking in the cooler water can try their hand at beach volleyball or bocce ball, or cruise around the area by bike.

There’s tons of green space.

According to Movoto, Milwaukee is home to over 140 parks encompassing more than 15,000 total acres. On Saturday mornings, you can head to your local farmers’ market and pick up local produce, homemade jams, and delicious coffee, or you can swing by Cathedral Park on Thursdays to check out “Jazz in the Park.”

Harley-Davidson began here.

You read that right. Milwaukee is home to Harley-Davidson, which was founded here in 1903. If you love motorcycles, you’re in for a real treat at the Harley-Davidson Museum, and if you don’t, you’ll likely become a fan. Walk through the museum and learn all about the history of motorcycle culture, as well as the products and people associated with Harley-Davidson, by checking out more than 450 artifacts that call the museum home.


We don’t really need to say more about this, but we will. Wisconsin is known for producing rich, creamy cheeses, and Milwaukee does its part to keep the state’s reputation strong. The city actually houses the first urban cheese factory in the Badger State, and it offers regular tours. While there, sample some cheese from the fresh, seasonal batches they produce daily.

Fish fries are a big thing.

Every Friday in the summer, people in Milwaukee (and the rest of Wisconsin for that matter) partake in the delicious and time-honored tradition called a fish fry. Nearly every restaurant, as well as many local churches and VAs, offer all-you-can-eat fried fish (often cod or perch), coleslaw, french fries, and corn fritters.

The weather is extreme.

If you haven’t lived through a Midwestern winter, you’ve likely heard about one on the news, but nothing can prepare you for the extreme weather found in Milwaukee. The city can be hot in the summer (at its hottest, the mercury measured 105 degrees Fahrenheit) and really, really cold in the winter. At its coldest, the city recorded a record low of -26 degrees Fahrenheit.

You’ll fall in love with the state fair.

According to Estately, more than a million people head to the state fair each year to indulge in the famous cream puffs, sample glasses of flavored milk that go for just a quarter, and check out the livestock viewing. While there, you can also enjoy live music, rides, and all kinds of deep-fried foods including alligator, shark mac & cheese, and even the “Elvis,” which is a peanut butter cup dipped in banana batter and fried to perfection.

You’ll never eat ice cream again.

If you think you love ice cream, wait until you try custard. It doesn’t matter where you go—Leon’s, Kopp’s, wherever—once you discover the velvety joy that is custard, you will never feel satisfied with a scoop of ice cream again.