Wisconsin has rich counties that offer a glimpse into the state’s economic prosperity and vibrant communities. From upscale neighborhoods to stunning natural beauty, each county has its unique charm and attractions that make it popular. Discover the top 10 richest counties in Wisconsin on your next trip to ‘America’s Dairyland.’
1. Ozaukee County
Median Salary: $80,000 | Median Home Price: $350,000
Nestled along the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan, Ozaukee County is truly a gem known for its affluent communities and breathtaking natural beauty. Considered one of the richest counties in Wisconsin, its most prominent neighborhood is Mequon. It perfectly combines upscale living with a warm, welcoming sense of community. Be one with nature at the Mequon Nature Preserve. Known as a conservation area and environmental education center, it is spread over 400 acres and features a variety of natural habitats like wetlands, woodlands, and prairies. Also, enjoy a round of golf at the Ozaukee Country Club and indulge in retail therapy in Mequon Town Center’s quaint boutiques and stores.
2. Waukesha County
Median Salary: $75,000 | Median Home Price: $325,000
Waukesha County, situated just a short drive west of Milwaukee, is a bustling hub of economic activity that never fails to impress. The county’s premier neighborhood, Lake Country, is known for its picturesque lakeside properties and charming downtown area. Enjoy a boat ride, fishing, or picnicking by the stunning Pewaukee Lake and visit the historic estate turned museum and cultural center, Ten Chimneys, which was home to Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. Furthermore, enjoy a day of shopping at an array of stores from high-end fashion boutiques to popular retail chains at the Brookfield Square Mall.
3. Dane County
Median Salary: $70,000 | Median Home Price: $300,000
Dane County, where the state capital of Madison proudly resides, is a lively and diverse community. One of the county’s standout neighborhoods, Middleton, perfectly blends the best of urban conveniences with the splendor of nature. The stunning Pheasant Branch Conservancy is a true oasis of natural beauty with its lush greenery, winding trails, and serene ponds. A visit to the National Mustard Museum is an absolute must. This quirky museum celebrates all things mustard, showcasing a vast collection of mustard varieties from around the world. Additionally, Middleton Downtown has it all, from local shops to inviting cafes and lively restaurants.
4. Washington County
Median Salary: $68,000 | Median Home Price: $275,000
Washington County, located in southeastern Wisconsin, is a place that truly embodies the best of both worlds: a thriving economy and a high quality of life. Within this county lies the notable neighborhood of Germantown, a delightful blend of suburban charm and modern comforts. The Germantown Farmers Market is a must-visit to pick up a delightful array of fresh produce, artisanal crafts, and delectable treats. Little Amerricka amusement park promises a day of family fun, complete with thrilling roller coasters and classic carnival games. Washington County is also home to the breathtaking Kettle Moraine State Forest. This large state forest spans across the eastern and southeastern regions of Wisconsin and is famous for its unique glacial landscapes.
5. Outagamie County
Median Salary: $65,000 | Median Home Price: $250,000
Located in the heart of the Fox River Valley, Outagamie County is also on the list of the richest counties in Wisconsin. Its most prominent neighborhood is Appleton. A hub of creativity and entertainment, it has a lively downtown area. While here, you can catch a performance at Fox Cities Performing Arts Center and get a history lesson through interactive displays and presentations at the History Museum at the Castle. If you are seeking a scenic escape into nature, the shores of the Fox River are ideal for leisurely strolls and taking in the beautiful surroundings.
6. Fond du Lac County
Median Salary: $62,000 | Median Home Price: $225,000
Fond du Lac County, with its mix of natural beauty, economic prosperity, and vibrant neighborhoods, is a place that has something for everyone. Situated on the southern shores of Lake Winnebago, the county’s notable neighborhood, Fond du Lac, is known for its charming downtown area and arts community. With something for everyone, you can explore the beautiful Lakeside Park and go shopping for everything from fashion to home décor at the Forest Mall. Families with children must visit the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac, with interactive exhibits and activities to keep the young ones busy.
7. Jefferson County
Median Salary: $60,000 | Median Home Price: $200,000
Tucked away in the southeastern part of Wisconsin, Jefferson County has both history and nature on display. More so, the enchanting neighborhood of Lake Mills is a destination that truly captures the essence of Wisconsin’s charm. The downtown area has many treasures for you to discover, including boutiques and restaurants. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore Rock Lake, where you can go boating, and golfers can enjoy a round at the Lake Mills Golf Club.
8. Sheboygan County
Median Salary: $58,000 | Median Home Price: $175,000
Sheboygan County, situated along the shores of Lake Michigan, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and art lovers alike. The county’s notable neighborhood, Sheboygan, offers a vibrant waterfront, a thriving arts scene, and a rich maritime history. The Kohler-Andrae State Park is a real treat with its sandy beaches, rolling dunes, and lush forests. It’s the perfect place to enjoy sunbathing or go hiking. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center is a must-visit and houses a range of exhibits and installations, from contemporary art to folk art.
9. Racine County
Median Salary: $55,000 | Median Home Price: $150,000
Racine County, located in southeastern Wisconsin, is known for its strong manufacturing sector and rich cultural heritage. The heart of the county is the charming neighborhood of Racine, where you’ll find a downtown area that’s full of character, beautiful lakefront parks, and a thriving arts community. One of the must-see attractions here is the Wind Point Lighthouse alongside Lake Michigan. This maritime landmark was built in 1880 and is a towering 108 feet tall. It is still an active lighthouse, and you can climb the tower for panoramic views. Another draw in Racine County is the North Beach Park—a sandy oasis where you can unwind and soak up the sun. Perfect for art lovers is the Racine Art Museum, showcasing artworks from local and international artists.
10. Rock County
Median Salary: $52,000 | Median Home Price: $125,000
Rock County, situated along the Illinois border, is a thriving economic center with a rich agricultural heritage. The county’s notable neighborhood, Janesville, offers a blend of historic charm and modern attractions. Stroll through the beautiful Rotary Botanical Gardens, go back in time at the historic Lincoln-Tallman House. The house turned museum was a historic mansion that once belonged to William Morrison Tallman, a prominent lawyer. It was also the residence of a young Abraham Lincoln, who stayed here during his visits to Janesville.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © UWMadison/iStock via Getty Images
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