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8 Things to Know Before Moving to Eau Claire, WI

8 Things to Know Before Moving to Eau Claire, WI Written by Leigh Cooper

Nestled in Eau Claire County, Eau Claire is a vibrant city located in Wisconsin. This city is known for its natural beauty, vibrant arts scene, and friendly community.

Eau Claire is home to a population of 69,441 residents, and it offers a unique living experience that attracts individuals and families alike.

Let’s talk about 8 things you need to know before moving to Eau Claire, WI!

1. Eau Claire’s cost of living is the same as the national average

The cost of living here is the same as the national average. This affordable cost of living allows you to live a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.

Housing costs are lower than the national average, with a median home price of $276,734. Transportation expenses are 3% less than the national average. Groceries costs the same as the national average. A loaf of bread goes for $3.87, a gallon of milk costs $2.42, and a carton of eggs is $2.24.

Utilities and healthcare are, however, 4% and 13% higher than the national average, respectively. However, when compared to other metropolitan areas, Eau Claire offers a more affordable cost of living.

2. The prestigious University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is in this city

Eau Claire is home to the prestigious University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC). This institution is known for its academic excellence and vibrant campus life.

UWEC was founded in 1916, and it offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs across various disciplines. The university emphasizes a supportive and inclusive learning environment and encourages student engagement through over 200 student organizations.

Also, the university emphasizes community engagement and service, and Eau Claire’s natural beauty enhances the overall appeal of the campus. UWEC and Eau Claire mutually benefit from each other, creating a thriving academic and cultural environment.

3. Visit Pablo Center to enjoy a breathtaking arts and culture scene

Despite its relatively small size, Eau Claire boasts an impressive arts and culture scene.

Pablo Center at the Confluence in Eau Claire, is a dynamic arts and culture hub that was opened in 2018. This center has been able to transform Eau Claire’s cultural landscape with its state-of-the-art facilities and diverse programming.

Here, a variety of performances, exhibitions, and educational programs showcasing local, regional, and national talent across various artistic disciplines are hosted. Pablo Center also serves as a platform for emerging artists, offers educational opportunities, and fosters community engagement. 

4. Eau Claire has 4 distinct seasons

Prepare to experience the beauty of all four seasons in Eau Claire, with each season bringing its own charm.

In this city, summers are warm, pleasant, and ideal for outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, swimming, hiking, and biking. Fall brings breathtaking foliage, and you can go apple or pumpkin picking in this season.

While winters provide a snowy wonderland for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, spring blossoms with vibrant colors, signifying the renewal of life.

5. The rate of unemployment is less than the national average

Eau Claire’s unemployment rate is 2.40%, which is less than the national average of 3.60%. Job growth in Eau Claire has been positive, and over the past year, jobs have increased by 0.8%.

The thriving industries in this city include healthcare, manufacturing, education, retail and hospitality, and technology. Additionally, Eau Claire has a growing entrepreneurial community, supporting small businesses and startups. You can be sure to get a good job in this city.

Menards, UnitedHealth Group, Marshfield Clinic Health System, JAMF Software, and Xcel Energy are some of the top employers in Eau Claire.

6. Attend Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival

Eaux Claires Music and Art Festival is a major and well-attended event in Eaux Claire. It was founded by Justin Vernon, the Grammy-winning musician and frontman of the band Bon Iver.

Held annually at various venues in Eau Claire, the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival attracts both local and international artists, drawing music enthusiasts from around the country.

The festival showcases a diverse lineup of musical performances, art installations, and immersive experiences. It also celebrates creativity, collaboration, and the vibrant arts scene in Eau Claire, making it a significant cultural event in the city and one you shouldn’t miss while living here. 

7. A great place to raise a family

Eau Claire offers a high quality of life with a balanced mix of urban amenities and a friendly, small-town atmosphere. The city has a low crime rate, excellent healthcare facilities, and a strong educational system.

In addition, Eau Claire has numerous parks and recreational facilities, and family-friendly attractions. All of this makes it a wonderful place to raise a family.

8. Enjoy delicious local cuisine at The Informalist or The Lakely 

Eau Claire’s vibrant culinary scene showcases the region’s farm-fresh ingredients and innovative approaches to dining.

The Informalist, a highly regarded farm-to-table restaurant that emphasizes locally sourced ingredients, is located in the heart of downtown Eau Claire. The menu features a creative and seasonally inspired selection of dishes, showcasing the best of the region’s flavors. They also have vegetarian food options.

The Lakely is also another great dining option. The Oxbow Hotel houses The Lakely, a popular restaurant known for its exceptional food and live music performances. From wood-fired pizzas and creative small plates to delicious craft cocktails, The Lakely provides a unique dining experience in a stylish and cozy setting.

Whether you’re seeking a refined farm-to-table experience or a combination of delicious food and live music, Eau Claire offers diverse options to satisfy your taste.

To Sum it All Up

From its stunning surroundings and thriving arts scene to its affordable cost of living and strong education system, Eau Claire has much to offer. If you’re looking to live in a city with a small-town atmosphere while enjoying a high quality of life, this city is just right for you.

Learn More About Living in Eau Claire, WI

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