All Neighborhoods and Suburbs
Bay View is a neighborhood located in southern Milwaukee on the shore of Lake Michigan. While Bay View retains a blue-collar feel from its early working class roots, most properties are very well kept. The affordable housing stock in the area varies from small cottages to Victorians and Milwaukee bungalows. It seems as older residents move out they are largely replaced by young professionals.
The main thoroughfares of Kinnickinnic Avenue, Howell, and Oklahoma are dotted with shops, restaurants, and other entertainment venues. Many would say the small, independent character of these main streets make Bay View one of the most fashionable neighborhoods in Milwaukee.
Along the coast you will enjoy numerous parks with fishing piers, marinas, and hiking and biking trails. Many residents enjoy the sense of community the area offers. Neighborhood festivals like the 3-day South Shore Water Frolics help create a warm and inviting place to live.
Brewer’s Hill is a small, diverse neighborhood north of downtown. The name Brewer’s Hill is derived from the large number of brewery workers and owners that once inhabited the area. This neighborhood contains a rich architectural mix and has been gentrified meaning the former factories have been converted into businesses and condominiums and many of the older homes have been renovated.
Sitting atop one of the highest spots in the city, this neighborhood lacks nightlife when compared to the “East Side” located just across the river. It does however offer some trendy destinations for residents.
The East Side neighborhood is collectively made up of the Lower East Side and Upper East Side.
The Lower East Side is the entertainment center of this part of town. This neighborhood has a high density of students and singles, and very few households with children – only 4.4% compared with a 24.4% city average. Also, nearly 87% of Lower East Side residents rent their places. Two of the city’s most notable thoroughfares, Brady Street and North Avenue, are located in this neighborhood.
Cutting through the middle of the Lower East Side, Brady Street is a collection of restaurants, shops, bars, salons and other service establishments. This eclectic area has seen much renovation in recent years which makes it home to both yuppies and hippies alike. This area exhibits a strong, albeit upscale, independent flair.
North Avenue is a popular entertainment district for college students and twenty-something’s. This area is also home to many bars, restaurants, and hip retailers. Connecting Brady Street and North Avenue is Farwell Avenue, which is yet another main drag lined with restaurants, bars and retailers.
The Upper East Side neighborhood is known for its high density of students and wealthier families. The area is largely residential but does contain the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and Oakland Avenue which is a lively commercial thoroughfare with a mix of restaurants, shops, and nightlife to please everyone. The housing stock is an almost perfect split between single and multi-families here.
This neighborhood (called Juneau Town by some) includes the portion of Central Business District that lies east of the Milwaukee River.
This is one of the wealthier neighborhoods in the metro area because much of the housing stock is high-end condominiums. This location is arguably one of the most desirable in Milwaukee, particularly for those who prefer an urban lifestyle and work (or spend much of their time) downtown. During the summer months there is constant activity in this area due to its proximity to the lakefront festival ground and other high-profile attractions.
The buildings in this neighborhood are the most impressive in Milwaukee. The strikingly modern skyscrapers of the Northwestern Mutual Life complex and Milwaukee’s tallest building, the US Bank Center, dominate the eastern portion of the neighborhood. Two large condominium developments, Kilbourn Tower and University Club Tower, lie in the northern half of the neighborhood. Both buildings are over 32 stories tall and have multi-million dollar penthouse units.
Named one of the best neighborhoods in America to retire, East Town offers a comfortable yet urban environment with high-rise living, a lakeside walk, and nearby parks. For the more mature set, the opera, ballet, and symphony can all be found here.
For the younger demographic, the neighborhood also hosts Jazz in the Park which is an outdoor music concert series held at Cathedral Square Park throughout the summer. This area has become the center of Milwaukee nightlife featuring several trendy nightclubs and outdoor upscale eateries. This is the epicenter of Milwaukee. If you like to be in the middle of it all – we suggest this is the neighborhood for you.
This neighborhood (also known as Walker’s Point) lies just south of the Third Ward across the Milwaukee River. This former industrial area is up and coming with most of the condo, office, and retail development occurring on the east side. The area has benefited from the housing boom turning industrial land into galleries, nightlife and affordable housing. Many of Milwaukee’s gay bars line 1st and 2nd Streets which are the main thoroughfares of the neighborhood. This area is also known for some of the city’s best Mexican restaurants.
Historic Third Ward
The Historic Third Ward is located just south of downtown and is one of the hottest places to live, work, and play in the city. This trendy neighborhood is noted for its large number of condominiums and loft apartments, antique stores, boutiques, art galleries, nightclubs, and outdoor riverwalk restaurants.
An influx of artists has made the neighborhood Milwaukee’s gallery hub. Fashion and food are also found here. A resident can shop at interior design and antique stores during the day and enjoy a waterside beer at the Milwaukee Ale House at night. This neighborhood is also home to the Meir Festival Grounds, best known for Summerfest, and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.
This neighborhood (bounded by West Town to the east) surrounds Marquette University. This area and its housing stock really cater to the 11,000 students that attend MU annually. Many local businesses are scattered through the neighborhood including quaint cafes, convenient sandwich shops, and trendy pizza joints. Many students are willing to pay a premium to live as close to campus as possible.
Riverwest is an eclectic mix of people, places and businesses. Due to its proximity to the East Side and the UWM campus this primarily residential neighborhood attracts a number of young people, students, and families who find the lower rents to be a fine alternative to that on the East Side. The neighborhood boasts a relatively high proportion of renters from many different nationalities.
Locust, Center Street, and Burleigh Avenue are the major streets lined with cafes, bars, and shops where people congregate.
This north shore community is a small lakeside village with a population of 5,000. Interstate Highway 43 forms Bayside’s western border and the Village of Fox Point is located to the south. It is primarily residential with only 4% of its area being zoned for commercial use and none for industrial.
You’ll find quite a few spacious ’50s and ’60s-era ranches in Bayside, as well as older farm houses and a handful of extraordinary mansions in a variety of styles. The village is the site of the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, a 185-acre nature preserve along the shore of Lake Michigan. This popular suburb retains a high density of wooded area and boasts great schools. Downtown is a short and enjoyable drive down Lake Drive. Only 14% of residents rent their homes here, which is far less than the Milwaukee County average of 47%.
Brookfield is a city where great schools, a wide range of employment, and a broad based commercial sector all help to create an unique community that is highly desirable to families and business alike. The parklands and natural landscape provide spaces for recreation as well as connecting safe and attractive neighborhoods.
With a population around 40,000 this suburb, located just west of the Milwaukee County border, is the leading commercial suburb. The housing options are plentiful with much new construction available. Only 10% of residents rent here (Waukesha County average 23%).
This diverse village boasts a population of 12,000 residents. Brown Deer road is an important industrial and commercial corridor. This community, which lies west of River Hills, describes itself as “A cozy, friendly community with hometown values while also offering the accessibility to the urban-chic Milwaukee atmosphere” and also “A community where everyone knows your name.” Residents of this community have a short drive to the storied Brown Deer Park golf course (above). 29% of residents rent here (Milwaukee County average 47%).
This largely blue-collar city of 18,000 is located south of Milwaukee on the Lake Michigan shore. It got its name from the Patrick Cudahy meat packing plants that were built there in the 1800’s. These plants can still be found there today.
Cudahy is home to scenic parks and older, affordable homes and rentals. Many residents live within walking distance to shops and restaurants. Downtown and the airport are also a short drive away. 40% of residents rent here (Milwaukee County average 47%).
This small community of 6,000 is surrounded on 3 sides by the city of Brookfield and shares its eastern border with Wauwatosa. It boasts all the benefits of its larger counterparts. 10% of residents rent their homes here (Waukesha County average 23%).
This north shore village is named after a small point extending into Lake Michigan. This small, heavily wooded village of 7,000 is mainly residential with above average sized lots. This lakeside community is amongst the most sought after places to live in the area. Only 15% of residents rent their homes here (Milwaukee County average 47%).
The city of Franklin lies 9 miles southwest of downtown and 4 miles from the airport. This community of 34,000 is one of the fastest growing communities in the state. Recognized among the Top 100 “Best Places to Live” by Money Magazine (2007), the city boasts three golf courses and more than 3,600 acres of land reserved for parks and recreation.
You’ll find many residential developments scattered throughout this semi-rural city. Many of these developments provide an ample supply of rental units. 22% of residents rent their homes here (Milwaukee County average 47%).
This north shore community is the home to Bayshore Town Center (above left), which is a shopping mall and mixed use retail complex located just off I-43. Many would argue its combination of traditional mall and open air retail concept equates to the best shopping experience in the state. In addition, Bayshore provides a variety of top-notch restaurant options and the impressive Ipic movie theater.
Glendale has a population of 14,000 and a well developed industry and commerce sector. It is home to Glendale Business Park, Florsheim Shoes, Johnson Controls, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, and Sprecher Brewery, and Cardinal Stritch University.
Wide boulevards, large residential lots, and four county parks are additional amenities. Glendale provides many affordable housing options in quiet and appealing neighborhoods with good school districts. 27% of residents rent their homes here (Milwaukee County average 47%).
Greendale is a southern suburb community with 14,000 residents located just south of Greenfield. The village center is listed in the National and State Registers of Historic Places, with many buildings considered historically significant. More importantly, the village center is absolutely charming with a number of quaint and walkable retail shops lining the streets.
The community is known for its rich heritage and beautiful green spaces. It has an eclectic mix of old homes and new construction. It’s also the home of South Ridge Mall. More very desirable restaurant and retail establishments are just minutes away on 76th Street. Many would say Greendale oozes small town charm. 30% of residents here rent their homes (Milwaukee County average 47%).
Greenfield is a southwestern suburb with 36,000 residents making it the 20th largest municipality in Wisconsin. This established neighborhood has a number of affordable housing options and easy access to the 894 bypass and I-43. 76th Street cuts this community in half and is the location of many attractive retail and restaurant options. South Ridge Mall is also located just over the border in Greendale to the south. 40% of residents here rent their homes (Milwaukee County average 47%).
The village of Hales Corners is a community of 8,000 residents located southwest of Milwaukee. It is small in size with an area of just 3.2 square miles. Located just west of Greendale, the village boasts a large central shopping area, Whitnall Park, and its world-famous Boerner Botanical Gardens (above right).
The housing stock is eclectic with a blend of old and new. Approx. 38% of residents rent their homes here (Milwaukee County average 47%).
“Wisconsin’s Largest Village” occupies a scenic 33 square mile setting with small town charm, yet a modern convenient lifestyle. The village of nearly 33,000 is located northwest of Milwaukee. The area boasts larger, newer homes with more than adequate retail options nearby.
Its historic Village Centre contains a variety of specialty shops, restaurants, and service businesses. Residents enjoy the downtown ambiance enhanced by decorative street lighting, red-bricked sidewalks and historic buildings. You can stop in for a summertime concert, to visit art gallery, or to stroll through beautiful Mill Pond Park. 23% of residents rent their homes here (Waukesha County average 23%).
Mequon is a north shore community located on the lake just across the Ozaukee County border. The city boasts stately homes, lush farmland, and expansive open space. The community enjoys many parks, five golf courses, the Milwaukee River, and easy access to the I-system for a convenient commute to Milwaukee. Fifty percent of the land within the City is undeveloped and still mostly farmed.
The city’s 22,000 residents enjoy one of the lowest crime rates and one of the lowest tax rates in the Metropolitan Milwaukee area. The community was once listed 19th among its Money Magazine’s 100 “Best Small Cities in the US.”
The homes in Mequon tend to be newer and generally sit on larger pieces of land – in combination with low crime, low taxes, and great schools – Mequon is a great place to raise a family.
Mequon is also home to Concordia University, the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, and the northern campus of the Milwaukee Area Technical College. Only 9% of residents rent their homes here (Ozaukee County average 24%).
This city, with a population of 38,000, lies west of Milwaukee and south of Brookfield. New Berlin proudly proclaims its residents experience “city living with a touch of country.” Money Magazine once ranked New Berlin #34 in its Top 100 List of “Best Small American Towns in which to live.”
While maintaining its semi-rural appearance, the city offers a wide range of housing opportunities, from impressive single family homes to affordable and attractive apartments and condominiums.
The many rural views and forested areas also add charm to the city. Residents enjoy an atmosphere that is almost rural, but close to metropolitan conveniences. Different areas of the city provide unique living experiences. New Berlin also has an expanding industrial park that is comprised of more than 599 businesses and 13,000 employees. 19% of residents rent their homes here (Waukesha County average 23%).
This semi-rural community of 35,000 is located on the lake in the southeast corner of Milwaukee County. This community has enjoyed many different residential developments in recent years leaving much of the housing stock, both large homes and small, newer than much of the surrounding area.
The large footprint of the community leaves large open spaces for future development. Located near the airport, Milwaukee is an easy 20 minute drive north on I-94. 39% of residents rent here (Milwaukee County average 47%).
This community, population 12,000, borders the very popular Pewaukee Lake which has fun bars and restaurants right on the water. The area boasts expensive lake front properties with more affordable homes located farther away. Money Magazine named it the 61st “Best Place to Live” in 2009. Business Week also named it the “#1 Best Affordable Suburb” in the US in 2009.
The city claims to be the “City in the Country.” Many residents enjoy living in a resort like area with easy access to Milwaukee. Only 14% of residents rent their homes here (Waukesha County average 23%).
River Hills is the wealthiest village in the Milwaukee area. The homes in this area often cost more than a million dollars with a median home price of $789,000. There are very few rental opportunities here. Its 1,600 residents enjoy extreme privacy and huge, wooded lots. There are no commercial or industrial properties allowed in the village. A select few are lucky enough to live in this beautiful area.
The village of Shorewood is located just north of the City of Milwaukee. Its 14,000 residents have a quick commute down Lake Drive to reach the CBD. This sought after lakeside village is known for its unique homes with distinct architecture. Shorewood is a “sidewalk community” which adds to its charm. Kids walk to school, residents walk to the store, and some even walk to the beach. The popular Oakland corridor contains eclectic shops and restaurants that are enjoyed by all. 52% of its residents rent (Milwaukee County average is 47%).
This southern suburb with working class roots is located just south Cudahy on the lake. This community of 21,000 is known for its small town charm while being in close proximity to the city and the airport. The area also provides many affordable housing for its residents.
Grant Park and the lakefront offer opportunities for biking, swimming, golfing and recreation. South Milwaukee is headquarters to Bucyrus – a mining equipment company. 38% of residents rent their homes here (Milwaukee County average 47%).
This 8,000 resident city is located on the lake south of the Milwaukee. This small community is filled with tree-lined streets connected with sidewalks and is a favorite with aging retirees. St. Francis is made up of mostly affordable, older homes and apartment buildings with some new condominiums on the lake. Much of the city’s coastline remains vacant after the closing of the South Shore Power Plant in the 80’s.
The city is less than 10 minutes from Mitchell International Airport and downtown Milwaukee. The Seminary Woods conservancy area features old growth trees and walking trails. The city’s mantra is “St. Francis where your heart remains.” 48% of residents rent here (Milwaukee County average 47%).
The city of Waukesha has a population 64,000 making it the largest community in Waukesha County. It’s located 18 miles west of Milwaukee and was once ranked on Money Magazine’s list of 100 “Best Places to Live.” Waukesha welcomes residents to enjoy activities in the heart of the community, including the Fox River Parkway and revitalized downtown. The city is home to Carroll University and the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha. 44% of residents rent here (Waukesha County average 23%).
Wauwatosa, commonly called “Tosa” by Milwaukeeans, is a suburban city with a charming and historic village area at its heart. The community of 47,000 residents enjoy friendly, tree-lined neighborhoods; a respected school system; and many fine restaurants, hotels, and thriving businesses.
The city is home to a major regional medical center, an expanding technology and research park, and Mayfair Mall. This suburb is a favorite among young professionals with its close proximity to the city, amenities, and desirable living options. 32% of residents rent here (Milwaukee County average 47%).
West Allis is a largely blue-collar community located west of the Milwaukee. It received its name from the Allis Chalmers Manufacturing Company which had factories in the area for many years. The community’s 61,000 residents have enjoyed some revitalization near the “six points” intersection and the area surrounding the Summit Place office complex (both pictured above).
West Allis is home of Wisconsin State Fair Park, Petitt Ice Arena, and West Allis Farmer’s market. 42% of residents rent here (Milwaukee County average 47%).
This small community of 4,000 is a blend of residential areas, retail, commercial, and industrial. Residents enjoy a short walk to Miller Park – the home of the Milwaukee Brewers. 65% of residents here (Milwaukee County average 47%).
This highly sought after north shore community is located on the lake north of Shorewood and south of Fox Point. It’s known for being a “walking community” with sidewalks leading to schools and a quaint downtown area. Its 14,000 residents enjoy its excellent school district and short drive downtown via Lake Drive. The community is primarily residential with diverse and well maintained homes with smaller than average lots. The cost of living is the near top for the Milwaukee Metro area. Only 15% of residents rent their homes here (Milwaukee County average 47%).