According to a recent study from U.S. News and World Report, Green Bay was ranked as the best place to live in the United States for 2023-24. Rated ahead of cities like Huntsville, AL, Raleigh/Durham, NC, Boulder, CO and Sarasota, FL (which round out the top five), Green Bay’s “perfect mix of big-city amenities complemented with a Midwestern, small-town feel” proved to be the best in the country.
While Green Bay has been famous for its football culture, there is much more to experience living in Green Bay.
What Makes Green Bay So Nice? | Green Bay Ranked Number One Place to Live
In its report about the city, U.S. News and World Report cited a metro population of 326,590, an average annual salary of $51,510 and an unemployment rate of 6.2%. With five high schools and dozens more in surrounding towns and villages, every part of the city has easy access to education. For crime, Green Bay also slots in lower than the national average, with 220 violent crimes per 100,000 people – that is just 0.22%. With a low crime rate, affordable housing, ample schooling and jobs available, it makes sense why Green Bay is atop this list.
What sets it over the edge though is its comfortability. First and foremost, Green Bay residents are among the nicest that you will ever meet. Take a walk through the Lambeau Field parking lot on game day. I guarantee that you will be greeted with a brat and a beer. If you were only planning on staying at the tailgate for 5 minutes, think again, because you will leave there know each person’s family tree and work experiences. Green Bay residents want to talk and share ideas and experiences with anyone who may be considered “an outsider.”
To add to the list of what makes Green Bay desirable is the activity of the city. When the warmer months come around, music may take the Packers’ spot as number one. In what feels like every day during the summer, Anduzzi’s, The Bar and Stadium View (all on Holmgren Way), have some sort of music going. Head downtown to Broadway every Wednesday in the summer for the Farmer’s Market, if that is more your style. Take a boat out onto the Fox River and into the Bay of Green Bay for a relaxing sun-filled day, as well.
Things to Do in Green Bay, WI
As I said before, there is so much more to do in Green Bay that does not have to do with the Packers. First of all, the food scene in Green Bay is incredible. As you can imagine, there is a bar or restaurant at pretty much every turn in the city. Perch frys, and fish frys in general, are a major part of Green Bay culture. The best perch fry by the way is at T&C Pub on Mid Valley Drive in De Pere. Partner the perch and french fries with an Old Fashioned, and you are set for an enjoyable Friday night.
That brings into thought the bar scene. Plank Road in De Pere, Stadium View in Ashwaubenon and Hagemeister Park in Green Bay are just three of dozens of bars. With over 30 places in Green Bay alone, there is sure to be a bar that fits what you are feeling on any given night. If you are like me and can’t get Bally Sports, fear not as the Milwaukee Brewers will be on in every single bar in the city (and probably the state).
One thing that I always suggest to those visiting Green Bay is to check out, especially if you have kids, Bay Beach. Located on the bay, Bay Beach is an amusement park that provides children and adults of all ages a family-fun day. The older-than-a-century amusement park features the Zippin’ Pippin, a giant slide, a ferris wheel and the classic Scat. With good food, good views of the bay and an affordable price, you can usually see Bay Beach packed on any given day in the summer.
Should You Live in Green Bay? | Green Bay Ranks as Top City
The answer, of course, is yes. Green Bay is on the rise right now. Hotels are going up, restaurants are coming in and more people are moving here. The NFL announced that Green Bay will host the draft in 2025. There is a lot to be excited about right now if you live in Green Bay or are moving to the city. Lambeau Field is a hot spot. The Titletown District is a hot spot. Kroll’s is a hot spot. Municipalities surrounding the city, like De Pere, Oconto and Allouez all provide their own experience that feels like they are just a branch of Green Bay.
I have lived in Green Bay for 20 years of my life and have enjoyed every second of it. Do the long winters suck? Of course. Does the lack of sports in the summer suck? Yes, but what doesn’t suck is that everywhere you go – you will make a new friend. You will learn something new and will have a different outlook on life.
People like to party and have fun in Green Bay, but it is not quite a college town. People like to work and build companies in Green Bay, but it is not quite an industry town. The city is big enough to always be experiencing something new every day, but small enough to get to know everyone in your daily routine. Green Bay provides something for everyone and, in turn, everyone provides something for Green Bay.