I remember my parents driving us out to Waukesha on weekends. Of course, back then the 18-mile trip from Milwaukee seemed much longer than it does today. I can still remember looking out the car window, surprised to see so many people out walking around downtown, given there were no sidewalks in our own suburban Milwaukee neighborhood.
Today, Waukesha is just as walkable a community as it was back then. Waukesha was settled in 1834 and later became famous for its healing waters, drawing people from far and wide to heal and relax. By the time the attraction of the healing waters had faded, entrepreneurs helped Waukesha become a major manufacturer of bottled water, beer, soda and dairy products. Iron and steel products were also manufactured. Today, many of these products are still sold around the country, and the world.
Waukesha – The Most Livable City
Waukesha is located on the Fox River and continues to be a close, thriving community. Visitors can spot artfully decorated guitars on sidewalks in the summer months in recognition of former resident, Les Paul, inventor of the solid-body electric guitar. A bi-monthly Art Crawl draws visitors from across S.E. Wisconsin to peruse downtown galleries and shops. Downtown streets are closed off on Friday evenings in the summer to allow for multiple small music stages with all types of musical acts. Saturday morning hosts the city’s popular Farmer’s Market. At all times, visitors can find cozy coffee shops, interesting delis, and highly rated restaurants. There’s something in Waukesha for every foodie from Mexican and Japanese to Irish and Italian to pulled-pork and award-winning Rueben sandwiches. The city is also home to an outstanding regional health system, ProHealth and to well-respected Carroll University.
In 2017 Waukesha was rated most livable city in Wisconsin and the 36th best city to live in the United States, according to website 24/7 Wallst.com. The report showed Waukesha residents have access to higher concentrations of restaurants, bars, fitness centers, and movie theaters than is typical nationwide based on data collected on roughly 590 U.S. cities with populations of more than 65,000. The study also gave the city high marks for safety.
In my opinion, Waukesha ranks near the top of the many walkable, fun and interesting Lake Country communities. In fact, because Waukesha continues to amaze me, and I like it so much, I moved here myself!