Planning on heading to Wisconsin? We’ve prepared a moving guide to help you know more about the beautiful state.
The state of Wisconsin is located on the northern-central part of the country. It is bordered by the following states such as Minnesota to the west, Upper Peninsula of Michigan and western portion of to the north, Illinois lies to the south, Iowa to the southwest, and Lake Michigan to the east. In May 29, 1848, the state was the 30th to be admitted to the union in the U.S. Today. With the city of Madison as its capital, it is the 23rd largest by area and 20th most populous state. Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairyland” because it is one of the nation’s leading dairy producers and famous for its cheese. Its name is an Anglicized version of a French word Meskousing which means “this stream of red stone” referring to Wisconsin River.
Pros and Cons
Each state has its own good side and bad side to its area, same goes with Wisconsin. It is essential to know what these are especially if you want to move and live in it.
The Good Side:
- Affordable rent: If you haven’t saved up enough money to buy a new house, then moving to Wisconsin might be the best choice. Though buying a house is costly here, it ranks in the Top 5 for affordable monthly rent among the states.
- Low cost of living: In addition to affordable housing, the state has a low cost of living. This makes it easier for beginning families to save up or enjoy more of their hard-earned money.
- Various outdoor activities: The state offers plenty of fun outdoor activities for its guest and locals. Whether its summer or winter, you would never run out of things to do. Some of these include boating, fishing, skiing, and many more.
- Awesome cheese: Wisconsin is famous for its cheese. So if you’re looking for the best cheese in the state, then you’ve come to the right place. Due to its huge dairy production, it is able to produce delicious and yummy dairy products like cheese.
- Various festivals: The state is filled with dun and exciting festivals all-year round. The city of Milwaukee is even known as “The City of Festivals” wherein it celebrates almost anything from music to food.
- Low unemployment: With an unemployment rate of just 2.9%, it is safe to say that there are plenty of jobs available for its locals. Wages are said to be on the rise which is a great advantage especially for families.
- Parks galore: Wisconsin has a total of 47 state parks such as High Cliff State Park, Harrington Beach State Park and Kohler-Andrae State Park. That being said, you’ll always have somewhere to visit and explore.
The Bad Side:
- Manure scent: Due to being the country’s leading dairy producer, the state has plenty of cows in its vicinities. Cows produce manure hence why in urban areas the scent of manure is stronger than in the cities.
- Overweight issues: Most of the locals of Wisconsin are obese. This might be because of their diet that contains mostly dairy products. So, make sure to watch what you eat when you get there and do some exercise!
- Pest problems: The state is filled with various pest such as boxelder bugs, gnats and beetles. Due to vast natural resources, Wisconsin is home to various wildlife including this pesky pest.
- Expensive housing: Though rent here is cheap, we can’t say the same for housing. Houses here are expensive considering the size and area of the lot in some of the cities. So, start saving up if you’re planning to buy a new home.
- Rampant crimes: Crimes are rampant in most areas of the state. Violent crimes are frequent as most locals claim they feel unsafe especially when walking alone late at night. Drug related crimes are also an issue here.
- Cold Winters: The state experience extremely cold winters wherein it the temperatures goes down to about 7°F. Lots of snow can be experienced so make sure to bring winter clothes with you when you move.
- Poverty: The state is experiencing poverty amongst its locals. Recent reports that poverty has sky rocketed due to various issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, high tax, education and many more.
There are many fun things about Wisconsin that you’ll find interesting. Below are some facts about the state:
- Love ice cream? Well the locals here sure do as about 21 million gallons of ice cream are consumed by Wisconsinites every year.
- In 1881, the first ever ice cream sundae was made in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.
- Some of the most famous celebrities are Wisconsinites such as Heather Graham, Mark Ruffalo, Spencer Tracy, and Willem Dafoe.
- The state is the country’s top cheese producer.
- In 1856, The first kindergarten classes in the country was held in Watertown at the home of a German Couple.
- The state is also a leading producer of Ginseng in the U.S. in which the county of Marathon produces it.
- The state is home to plenty of deer wherein around 800,000 roams the Wisconsin woods.
- About thirty percent of the state’s population resides in the five-county metropolitan area around Milwaukee.
Funny State Laws
No matter how wacky or funny the laws in any state are, they still need to be followed to prevent any problems with the authorities. It is essential that you know some of them especially if your moving to one of its cities. Below are some funny laws in Wisconsin:
- From 1925-1967, it was illegal to sell margarines in the state. Today, the law has been modified wherein it states that it is still illegal for restaurants to serve margarine unless the customer orders it.
- Make sure to give livestock the right-of-way when you’re in Wisconsin as it is illegal not to do so.
- Committing adultery is a serios crime in the state. You could be jailed in prison for 3 years or be fined $10,000 if found guilty.
- Harassing a Seeing-Eye-Dog in Wisconsin is prohibited by the law.
- Shooting animals from an airplane is illegal in the state.
- In Racine, Wisconsin, It is illegal to wake a sleeping fireman.
- It is illegal for women to wear red in public in St. Croix, Wisconsin.
- It is illegal to throw snowballs, stones, arrows or other objects in Wausau, Wisconsin. If you are caught doing so, you’ll be charged a $50 fine.
Weather and Climate
The state of Wisconsin has a continental humid climate. It experiences warm humid summers and icy cold, snowy winters. During summer season, most part of the state has warm summers the lower part experiences hot temperatures. Summer temperatures has an average that often reaches 90°F. Though the temperatures might seem nice and comfortable, it can get a bit stuffy and sticky due to high humidity levels. Meanwhile, winters can be extreme as temperatures would fall -40°F. The state also gets a lot of snow during this season wherein the thickness has an average of 40-160 inches. So, if you plan to move and stay here, make sure to bring with you thick and warm clothes for winter.
Moving with plants? Love nature? Wisconsin is all about plants and nature with its breathtaking landscapes and amazing coastlines. The state has surely a lot of natural wonders to offer to its locals and guest. This is also the reason why it is home to various wild life. So, if you like both plants and the outdoors, then Wisconsin is the perfect place for you to move in to. Here are some of its famous natural attractions:
- Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
- Cave of the Mounds
- Eagle River Chain of Lakes
- Horicon Marsh
- Devil’s Lake State Park
- Wyalusing State Park
The state of Wisconsin has its fair share of natural disasters. Like any state, its government prepares its citizen from these by informing them on what to do and who to call when it occurs. The state has a prepared resources page which provides various information regarding these kinds of events. Some of these natural disasters the state has are:
- Severe Storms: The state experiences severe storms throughout the entire year. These include thunderstorms, precipitation, strong winds, hail, and fog. The worst storm record in the state was a wind gusts of 135mph and hail that measures up to 5.7” in diameter.
- Floods: One of the most common natural disasters are floods. It causes extreme damages to structures and can cause deaths. Floods in Wisconsin are caused many factors such as excessive rainfall, rapid snowmelt, ice jams, poor water drainage and overflowing of rivers and lakes.
- Tornadoes: The state encounters approximately 1100 tornadoes per year wherein 22 of these are fatal. In average, 73 people die because of tornadoes every year. There are even areas in Wisconsin that experiences in every day. So, make sure to be aware on what to do when you plan to move here.
- Wildfires: Wisconsin is no stranger to wildfires due to its vast forest and woods. Wildfires are usually caused by lightning strikes, extreme heat and human incidents. These are extremely fatal as not only does it destroys forest but also the homes of the animals that live in it.
Moving Prices from Major Cities
Moving from a major city to a new state can cost a lot. This is why it is essential to save up when you plan to move. The best way to save and budget your money is by knowing the moving estimate of your chosen moving company. Most of them offer a free quotation to help you have an idea of how much it the moving cost will be. Below are some examples or you can try one from our site.
- New York, NY to Wisconsin: $3450
- Houston, TX to Wisconsin: $3450
- Chicago, IL to Wisconsin: $3100
- Phoenix, AZ to Wisconsin: $4400
- Los Angeles, CA to Wisconsin: $4400
- Philadelphia, PA to Wisconsin: $3450
Housing / Real Estate
The median home value of Wisconsin is $202,676 which is expensive if you’re planning to buy one. Home values in the state has gone up to 5.2% for the past year. The median price per square foot in the state is $139. Though prices for housing are high, rent here is cheap and affordable. The median rent cost here is only around $1200.
Price of Living
Determining the price of living is an essential part of moving. This will help you prepare and budget your money when you start living in the state. The Economic Policy Institutes has a family budget calculator to allow families have an overview of how much they will need when they move to their chosen city or state. Below are some examples of the price of living in Wisconsin for a family with 2 adults and 2 children.Madison Metro Area
1. Madison Metro Area
2. Milwaukee Metro Area
3. Green Bay Metro Area
4. Kenosha County metro area
5. La Crosse County
This year, Wisconsin has a population of around 5,851,750 wherein the median age of the population is about 39.1 years old. This consist of 50.3% females and 49.7%. According to the survey done by the United States Census Bureau, the state’s racial composition is:
- White: 85.59%
- Black or African American: 6.38%
- Asian: 2.76%
- Native American: 0.87%
- Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.03%
- Two or more races: 2.35%
- Other race: 2.01%
The state values education for its locals. This is also the reason why it ranks 11th in education amongst the other states. Its high school graduation rate is 88.2% which is above the national average of 84.1%. It’s NAEP Math Scores is 288 which is also high. It has plenty of high-quality educational institutions for its locals. Below are some:
Top High Schools:
- Whitefish Bay High
- Cedarburg High
- Kohler High
- High School of Health Sciences
- Carmen High School of Science and Technology
Top Colleges and Universities:
- Marquette University
- Edgewood College
- Lawrence University
- Concordia University Wisconsin
- Ripon College
Healthcare and Medical Institutions
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is the agency that is responsible for promoting and protecting the health and safety of the people of Wisconsin. It works with local counties, community partners, health care providers and others to provide various health services. It also has various medical institutions that provide quality care to its patients.
Top Medical Institutions
- University of Wisconsin Hospitals
- Bellin Memorial Hospital
- Aurora Medical Center Grafton
- Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin
- Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center
Tourism / Attractions
Wisconsin has plenty of attractions to offer whether of you’re a tourist or a local. It offers four seasons of fun as it has various tourist spots for spring, summer, fall and winter. You’ll be amazed of the state’s natural beauty while having a great time exploring its area. Whether its going to museums, strolling arounds its parks, or exploring its marvelous caves, Wisconsin will surely give you an unforgettable experience. Below are some of its top attractions:
- Devil’s Lake State Park
- Taliesin Preservation
- House on the Rock
- Olbrich Botanical Gardens
- Bay Beach Amusement Park
The cities of Wisconsin make the state known for what it is. Each city is filled with exciting events and celebrations, fun attractions and friendly locals. Below are some of its top cities:
- Milwaukee: The city is located on Lake Michigan’s western shore. Know for its breweries, it plays a significant role in the state’s beer industry. Some of its famous attraction are the Harley-Davidson Museum and Milwaukee Public Museum.
- Madison: It is the capital city of the state wherein it lies in the west of Milwaukee. The city is known for its domed Wisconsin State Capitol and home to famous people like Architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
- Wisconsin Dells: The city lies on the Wisconsin River. It is known for its numerous water parks and attractions such as Noah’s Ark Water Park and Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park.
- Green Bay: the city of Green Bay is Wisconsin’s oldest settlement wherein its very first visitors were successful entrepreneurs. Due to its abundance of natural resources, the city it continues to be a major shipping center of the state.
- Kenosha: It offers small town charm and a lakefront lifestyle that is mixed with exciting attractions. Some of its famous attractions include Dinosaur Discovery Museum, Southport Light Station Museum, and waterfront Kenosha Public Museum.
- Racine: Known for its Danish pastries, the city is located on the shore of Lake Michigan. Racine is often featured in food network for its delicious pastries.
The state of Wisconsin is ranked 8th in the employment rankings. For the past years, the unemployment rate in the state has continued to drop which mean more job opportunities for its locals. According to Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development, the state ranks 5th for the decline of unemployment rate year over year. The state’s top hiring companies include:
- University of WI Hosp & Clinic
- University of WI-MADISON
- Epic Systems Corp
- Menard Inc
- Brp US Inc
- Rockwell Automation
- Koch Industries Inc
The state’s economy is driven by 3 major industries which include manufacturing, agriculture and healthcare. Being the nation’s leading producer of cheese, it plays a major part in generating revenue for the state. It also provides various job vacancies to its locals. Below are Wisconsin’s top industries:
- Dairy product manufacturing
- Foundries – Pulp, paper, paperboard manufacturing and converting
- Electrical equipment manufacturing
- Transportation equipment manufacturing
- Machinery manufacturing
- Fabricated metal product manufacturing
Things to do
One way to fall in love with the state of Wisconsin is by exploring and visiting its tourist attractions. The state offers plenty of various activities that you’ll surely enjoy. From hiking to fishing, not only will it give you fun and adventure but also get to see the beauty the state has. Here are some of its famous attractions:
- Noah’s Ark Waterpark: Located in Wisconsin Dells, the waterpark is considered to be the largest outdoor one in the country. It features two endless rivers, four children’s water play areas, two giant wave pools and many more. Swim, slide, or see its several attractions including RAJA: the World’s Largest King Cobra™.
- Door County: One of the most popular vacation spots today, door county offers various outdoor activities to its locals and tourist such as biking, hiking, camping and many more. It has 11 lighthouses, 300 miles of shoreline, and 5 state parks to enjoy.
- Cave of the Mounds: Discovered in 1939, it is now the premier cave in upper Midwest. The cave offers a guided tour wherein it features the colorful crystals, columns, stalagmites, stalactites, and many more. It also has various attractions like butterfly garden, fossil dig, gemstone mine, and biking trails.
- Devil’s Lake State Park: Covering about over 9,000 acres of the Baraboo Range, It is the largest state park. It has plenty of recreational activities for its visitors such as can kayaking, fishing, hiking, and climbing.
- Pattison State Park: One of the top state park attractions in state, the park is a great tourist destination that includes fun outdoor activities such as swimming, camping and hiking. It features The Big Manitou Falls, Wisconsin’s, highest falls, and Little Manitou Falls.
- House on the Rock: Have a unique experience when you visit the house on the rock. Designed by Alex Jordan Jr., the attraction site has distinct rooms featuring illusions, antiques and collectibles for you to explore.
- Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory: The conservatory is a collection of 3 lovely botanical gardens wherein it features over 1000 beautiful plant species from around the world. It offers shows and guided tours for its visitors.
- Lake Minocqua: A large, beautiful lake, it features a magnificent scenery and fun lake activities that includes boating, water skiing, and swimming. The lake can be visited any time of the year.
Whenever you move to a new city or state, it is important to be familiar with its public transport. This allows you to save time and also prevent you from getting lost. Below are Wisconsin’s public transportation:
|Transportation|| Fares |
|Madison Metro (MM)|| Adult:
$2.00 Student/Youth: $1.50 Senior Citizens/PWD: $1.00 |
|Green Bay Metro|| Adult:
$2.00 Student/Youth: $1.50 Senior Citizens/PWD: $1.00 |
|Valley Transit|| Adult:
$2.00 Student/Youth: $0.75 Senior Citizens/PWD: $1.00 |
|Eau Claire Transit||Depends on location|
|Merrimac Ferry||Depends on route|
|Monona Express||Adult: $3.00 Student/Youth: $1.50 Senior Citizens/PWD: $1.50|
|KenRail||Depends on Route|
|Belle Urban System||Adult: $2.00 Student/Youth: $1.50 Senior Citizens/PWD: $1.00|
Crime and Safety
The state of Wisconsin has a low crime rate wherein it ranks 30th amongst other states. Its violent crime rate is 320 which is also below the national average of 394. The state has a crime scene office response which provides immediate action for locals who needs their assistance. With low crime rates, the state is abundant with safe cities. Though, there are still issues such as drug use and alcohol abuse, the police is doing its job to maintain a safe environment for its locals.
Acquire a new driver’s License
If you’re planning to move to Wisconsin, make sure to consider acquiring a new driver’s license. This is because your old one would not be valid here to use. Below are some tips to help you on acquiring a new one:
- First you need to gather important requirements including proof of the following: name and date of birth, Wisconsin residency, Social Security number, Identity, and U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent resident status, or temporary visitor status.
- Then you must apply in person at a DMV Customer Service Center and complete form (MV3001) (Wisconsin Driver License application).
- Pass a vision screening and surrender your old one (if you do)
- Pay the required fee and have a photo taken.
- if your license is expired more than 8 years, you need to also pass the appropriate knowledge, sign and road tests.
- Wait for you new licenses to be delivered to your mailing address.
Road Safety, Highways and Routes
Wisconsin is made up of various routes and main highways. Below are some examples of these:
- US 2
- US 8
- US 10
- US 14
- US 18
- WIS 10
- WIS 11
- WIS 12
- WIS 13
- WIS 14
The state houses various museums in its area. From historical to unique, the state has plenty in each of its cities. Below are some top museums in Wisconsin:
- Circus World Museum
- The Harley-Davidson Museum
- Wisconsin Maritime Museum
- National Mustard Museum
- The House on the Rock
In the end, is moving to Wisconsin worth it?
The beautiful state of Wisconsin has many things to offer for people who are deciding to move to its cities. With numerous natural attractions and tourist spot, you’ll always have something fun and exciting to go to or explore. It also has plenty of outdoor activities for you and your family which is perfect for those who seek adventure. The state also has low cost of living and affordable rent which is great advantage for those who are new to the state. Though there some flaws, the state holds a lot of promise for those who want to relocate to its cities.
How to Move to Wisconsin
Moving to a state like Wisconsin can cause anxiety and stress especially if you don’t know the first thing to do. Most people are scared to move because of this reason. We have prepared some tips to guide you on what to do. Or you can check our downloadable moving checklist.
- Plan Ahead: Make sure to make a plan first before deciding to move to the state. Research the area and also set comfortable date for your moving day. You can also make a checklist to help you keep organize.
- Downsize: Leaving some things you don’t need will save you up a lot of space and time. Downsizing not only helps you move easier but also get rid of things that would just clutter up your space.
- Get Moving Quotes: Moving companies have different prices for each city. This is why you need to get moving costs estimates to have an idea of how much it will cost. Make sure to save up as moving can cost a lot especially if you’re from a long distance.
- Book Movers: To be able to move effortlessly, you need to book movers. They will help you transfer you and your things securely and flawlessly. Ensure that you have booked them by calling prior to your moving day.
- Visit Your New Area: Visiting your new neighborhood will help you to get there easier as you’ll be familiar on what road to take or how much time it will take to get there. It will also allow you to get a feel of your new environment.
- Start Packing: Pack your things in advance by placing it on moving boxes 2-3 weeks prior to your move. This will ensure that you don’t forget anything and allows you to have time to check your belongings. Make sure to place labels so as not to forget what’s inside.
- Create Essential Box: An essential box consists of things you might need such as drivers license, wallet, snacks, etc. By creating one, it will allow you to get the things you need faster.
- Say Farewells: Make sure to say goodbye to your friends, family and co-workers. This will help them know where to contact you and also be able to stay connected with you even if you’re far away.
- Get Some Rest: Getting enough sleep is the key to get rid of stress and stay focused. It will keep your body healthy and relax. A great way to do this is by taking naps once in a while. By making sure to stay rested, helps you to have a successful event during your move.
- Enjoy the Move: The final step is enjoying and have fun moving to your new location. You can do this in many ways such as go sightseeing, explore or make new friends.
Moving Services to help you relocate to Wisconsin
There are various services that are offered by Moving Companies to help you relocate to your new home. These services are provided to make moving easy and fast. Below are some moving services they offer:
- Furniture Transportation: Sofas, cabinets, bed are all heavy furniture. With the help of these movers, moving your furniture will be easy and also secure as they transport it to your new location.
- Residential Movers: Calling or booking these movers is essential if you’re just moving residentially. Residential Movers will aid you in moving you and your things to your chosen area.
- Piano Transportation: Pianos are not only big but also hard to assemble and disassemble. Movers will help you relocate your piano securely from your old home to your new one.
- Art and Antiques Movers: There is no question that arts and antiques need special handling as they break easily. Movers also offer moving your arts and antiques to help you move it in one piece safely.
- Hot Tub Movers: Moving hot tubs are difficult as they are often huge and needs to be disassembled. Hot tubs mover will help you move it and assemble it just like it was before.
- Pool Table Movers: Pool tables are disassembled to fit in to a moving truck or vehicle as they are huge. Movers are trained to carefully disassemble and assemble it piece by piece and move your pool table to your desired location.
- Office Movers: Relocating to a new office requires time and also special attention as not to forget any important things or documents. Booking office movers will aid you in relocating to your new office effortlessly and quickly.
- Long Distance Movers: If you’re planning move from state to state, you’ll be needing the help of long distance movers. They are trained to help you from areas which require long hours of traveling.
- Last Minute Movers: Can’t get hold of any movers in advance? Last minute movers are there to save you from worrying from booking on the last minute. They are also often booked by people who decided to move immediately.