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Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Milwaukee

Living in Milwaukee? Whether you’re a young professional seeking a career in Wisconsin’s largest city or a parent looking for a good place to raise your kids, living in Brew City means having access to fun things to do, great schools, and a lower cost of living than Madison. Check out these five safe, affordable Milwaukee neighborhoods!

Bay View

Quaint cottage style home with red brick and white stone around front door with small front porch. Photo by Instagram user @whatsyourabode

Photo via @whatsyourabode

  • Home Price: $151,109 median purchase price; $846 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 66% of Milwaukee neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

With great views of Lake Michigan, affordable real estate, hip bars, restaurants, and plenty of things to do, Bay View is one of the best neighborhoods in Milwaukee! Green space is abundant in Bay View with multiple public parks, like South Shore Park, Oak Leaf Trail, and the 73-acre Humboldt Park—where you can hike, attend community events, or ice skate in the winter. The stunning Milwaukee real estate in Bay View ranges from classic brick cottages and Tudor-style, single-family houses to more modern apartments and townhomes—making this affordable Milwaukee neighborhood a popular spot for both renters and first-time homebuyers. To top it off, Bay View has plenty of nightlife activities to enjoy, including eclectic craft cocktail lounges and low-key brewpubs.

Things to Do in Bay View

Peruse old and new books at neighborhood favorite Voyageur Book Shop. Pick out candles, home goods, clothing, and jewelry at local boutique Sparrow Collective. Discover old-school jams and classic albums at Acme Records. Catch a blockbuster movie at the gorgeous Avalon Atmospheric Theater. Sip on a Lakefront IPA, Central Waters Bourbon Quad, or other craft beers with friends at a hip Milwaukee pub, Burnhearts. Grab Short Rib Hash, Chilaquiles, Biscuits & Gravy, or other brunch staples—and make sure to grab a pie to-go for dessert—at retro-inspired Honeypie Cafe. Split a pizza with your choice of toppings or try specialty pies like the Diavola or Margherita at Tenuta’s Italian Restaurant. Or pick and choose your favorite rolls, from the California Roll to the Spicy Scallop Roll, from the maki menu at Hungry Sumo.

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Historic Third Ward

  • Home Price: $129,250 median purchase price; $776 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 9% of Milwaukee neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families

Historic Third Ward—also known as Milwaukee’s Art and Fashion District—is a trendy Brew City neighborhood where you can find all kinds of art galleries, theaters, boutiques, restaurants, and nightlife housed in vintage warehouses dating back to the city’s industrial history. Warehouses converted into trendy lofts and sleek condos will appeal to young, working professionals living in Milwaukee who want to be near the heart of the city in more urban-style housing. While Historic Third Ward has a high population of singles and young professionals, it’s also one of the best neighborhoods to raise a family in Milwaukee, thanks to its affordability, friendly community, and annual events like Summerfest, held in Henry W Maier Festival Park!

Things to Do in Historic Third Ward

See rotating Contemporary exhibits featuring Midwest artists at the Tory Folliard Gallery. Find men’s shoes, clothing, accessories, and home goods at MILWORKS. Browse through a unique selection of skateboarding gear, hats, watches, backpacks, and more at MODA3. Bask in the sun and power walk along the award-winning Third Ward Riverwalk. Start your day with Mediterranean Eggs Benedict, a Vegetarian Skillet Bowl, or other great brunch items at Sweet Diner. Pick up everything from fresh-baked cupcakes to Middle Eastern dishes, or head up to the second floor for lunch in the Palm Garden at The Milwaukee Public Market. Bring the whole family in to enjoy delicious Chinese fares like Beef Chow Fun, Walnut Shrimp, or Mapo Tofu at DanDan. Or try out some Midwestern BBQ Sandwiches like the Pig Mac, or tackle the 1/2 Pound Brisket Plate at Smoke Shack.

Juneau Town

  • Home Price: $225,017 median home price; $1,120 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 22% of Milwaukee neighborhoods
  • Perfect for: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Ranked as the most walkable area in Milwaukee, Juneau Town (also known as East Town) combines the best of both urban and suburban living right in the heart of the city, as it’s technically part of Downtown Milwaukee. Expansive green spaces like Veterans Park and Juneau Park are intermixed with high-rise condo and apartment buildings. Meanwhile, people living in this affordable Milwaukee neighborhood have access to everything from trendy restaurants and nightlife spots, to top-rated schools for children and college students—like Tenor High School and Milwaukee School of Engineering. Whether you’re looking to plant roots with family, retire near the city center, or start your career, Juneau Town is one of the best places to live in Milwaukee.

Things to Do in Juneau Town

Catch world-class performances like the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Florentine Opera, or Milwaukee Ballet at Marcus Performing Arts Center. See over 30,000 sculptures and paintings from the Ancient Mediterranean collection to Modernism and more at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Spend the day exploring interactive exhibits like the Kohl’s Design It! Lab, Clean Air Trek, and more to learn about physics, marine biology, sustainability, and more at Discovery World. Dance the night away and sing your heart out during Moonlight Karaoke every Monday night at This Is It, one of the best gay bars in Milwaukee. Sink your teeth into the Big Boy Tribute Burger, Nashville Hot Sandwich, or the meatless Black Bean Burger at AJ Bombers. Order an authentic Italian meal with multiple courses, including dishes like Ossobuco, Vitello al Limone, and Pasta Alla Bolognese at Zarletti. Warm up with a bowl of fresh-made Kimchi Ramen or create your own ramen from a wide list of ingredients at Artisan Ramen. Or reserve your table to enjoy James Beard Award-winning dishes like Grilled Lobster, Swordfish, or Roasted Chicken at Lupi & Iris.

Lower East Side

Arts and crafts style home with red brick on the bottom and blue siding on top with beautiful front walkway to front porch. Photo by Instagram user @mkecribs

Photo via @mkecribs

  • Home Price: $228,600 median purchase price; $910 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 53% of Milwaukee neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals

Bordered by the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan, Lower East Side is a lively, walkable Milwaukee neighborhood, offering waterfront views, great museums, and a variety of bars and restaurants. The neighborhood also has green space interspersed between its more urban amenities, like Veterans Park and Swing Park. Lower East Side is known for having elegant mansions and Victorian-style homes, which appeal to more established professionals, while newly constructed condos and apartments provide even more affordable places to live for singles and young professionals moving to Milwaukee. From its low cost of living to its proximity to Downtown, this MKE neighborhood is a safe, fun option for active residents.

Things to Do in Lower East Side

Check out 19th-century French and American paintings showcased in an English Tudor-style mansion at the Charles Allis Art Museum. Catch new releases all year or attend events like the annual Milwaukee Film Festival to see independent films at The Oriental Theatre. Gather with friends in the Moon Room, hit up the arcade, or join a bowling league at Landmark Lanes. Enjoy a lakeside picnic, have fun in the sun at the beach, or bring your boat to the marina at McKinley Park. Pull up a seat to enjoy Milwaukee’s best wings and a rotating tap of craft brews at Points East Pub. Order a Birria Burrito Bowl, Port Rajas Chimichanga, or mix and match flavors in a 3 Tacos on a Plate combo at BelAir Cantina. Find flavorful Thai food like Tom Kha, Pad Prik Pao, or Yellow Curry at Thai-Namite. Or indulge in vegan entrees from the Big Lebowski to the Munchie Platter at Twisted Plants.

Northpoint

Grand two story home with brown brick and white stone trim with tall roof peaks. Photo by Instagram user @dimitri.pappa

Photo via @dimitri.pappa

  • Home Price: $257,962 median purchase price; $960 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 71% of Milwaukee neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

If you’re looking for a cozy Milwaukee neighborhood with tree-lined streets, lakeside views, and a friendly community, Northpoint may be the right place to live for you! Located about 15 minutes from Westown, this area is close enough to the city center that you can find great shopping, dining, and entertainment nearby. There are also outdoor amenities like Bradford Beach and Lake Park Golf Course to explore! The neighborhood shares its name with a local landmark, North Point Tower—a 175-foot water tower designed in the Victorian Gothic style. Unique architecture also extends to the housing options in this affordable MKE neighborhood, which range from stately Victorian mansions and single-family homes to affordable Milwaukee apartments and townhouses.

Things to Do in Northpoint

Practice your golf swing at Lake Park Golf Club, attend free community events like Music in the Park, or play tennis at Lake Park. Explore art exhibits, sculptures, and the Renaissance Garden at Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum. Learn about Milwaukee’s maritime history at the North Point Lighthouse & Museum. Grab a fresh-brewed coffee and a Canadian Bacon Croissant for breakfast at Colectivo Coffee Lakepoint. Fill up on Korean menu items like Bibimbap, Samgyeobsal, or a Korean Style Hot Stone Bowl with your choice of toppings at Stone Bowl Grill. Gather with friends for shareable, plant-based bites like Sweet Potato Sabzi, Fancy Nachos, or Fig & Olive Tapenade at Strange Town. Or make a reservation for an upscale date night, with beautiful views and a la carte items like Steak Tartare, Tapenade de Saumon, and Lentilles Du Puy at Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro.

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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

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