A community on the rise

There's a reason Eau Claire's increasing prominence is known throughout the Midwest and beyond. As the fastest growing small city in Wisconsin, and the subject of glowing national media profiles praising our quality of life and low cost of living, Eau Claire's authentic can-do spirit has made it a destination for young professionals and families looking for something different.

“The postindustrial town is reinventing itself as an outdoorsy cultural mecca, complete with new boutique hotels, locavore restaurants and an $80 million arts complex at the meeting point of two scenic rivers.”

“This is by far the most spirited and quirky town to make our list. This small Wisconsin city boasts high-paying jobs, a great university, a low unemployment rate, and a very low cost of living.”

Eau Claire seems poised, ready for its next chapter, making significant strides … Coming here now, it feels like you’re in on the ground floor of something good, with more to come.

The Chippewa River runs through this city, with loads of trails, parks, even beaches, and a shiny waterfront downtown is rolling in locally owned shops and locally sourced eats.

...young adults are moving to or staying in Eau Claire for its affordable housing, recreational opportunities, music and arts scenes, local businesses and more.

— The Cap Times

There’s easily an afternoon’s worth of browsing the city’s various shops, some of which are owned by young Eau Claire natives who left and moved back.

By all means, go to Eau Claire for the music and libations. But be sure to return for the outdoor adventure, scenery and homegrown artistry to be enjoyed.

Eau Claire is the best city in Wisconsin you haven't been to.

© Brett Walker Photography


public safety

96% of Eau Claire residents report feeling safe in their neighborhood.

The National Citizen Survey (2016)

kids & family

90% of Eau Claire residents said the city is an excellent place to raise children.

The National Citizen Survey (2016)

home ownership

$275,000 median home sale price for Eau Claire County. (2023)

your time

Mean travel time to work in the city of Eau Claire.

U.S. Census Bureau (2019)

public safety

Violent crimes in Eau Claire are 56% lower than the national average

FBI / (2020 / 2021)

save more

What costs $1 in EC will cost $1.10 in Minneapolis and $1.30 in Chicago.

Council for Community and Economic Research (2018)

“I had always been fond of the Eau Claire area because of its blend of outdoor access and urban amenities. My fondness was not only reinforced, but grew significantly when my prospective employer (now my full-time employer) arranged for me to have a tour through the Chamber, and was shown what the area has to offer.”

Ben Krambeer
Eau Claire Energy Cooperative

“I can’t put it into words, but Summer in Eau Claire is amazing. The smaller things are just what makes it magical. It’s got all of the best parts of a big city and all of the best small-town vibes.”

Jonathan Garcia
Valley Sports Academy

“My husband and I often get asked if we have any regrets moving back to Eau Claire, and without hesitation our response is ‘absolutely not!’ We would have considered Hudson or Minneapolis before Eau Claire if it wasn’t for all the growth happening. The progress definitely stood out to us, but in a unique way that offered what we had in Madison plus more, and with a small town vibe.”

Becky Witt
Mayo Clinic Health System
Moved from Madison, WI in 2016

“Eau Claire is not a place to simply live, but a place that will genuinely reward you if you give to it. From the beauty of our landscape to the warmth of the residents that live here, Eau Claire has given my family and I a sense of pride in belonging that we didn’t feel in previous towns or cities.”

Wesley Escondo
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Moved from Chicago in 2012

“The Eau Claire school district and its support in our child’s life has been a very positive experience - and different than previous schools we’ve been a part of. The community engagement alongside the school is incredibly encouraging!”

Adam & Alicia Condit
Owners of Blue Ox Running
Moved from the Washington DC area in 2017

“We find we do more outdoor activities here such as kayaking, biking, walking, running, boating, golfing, snowshoeing, visiting the farmers market, and listening to music. If you can’t find something to do in the Chippewa Valley you’re not looking very hard.”

Mike & Amy Muehlbauer
Wells Fargo & Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Moved from Lakeville, MN in 2008

“A visit to Eau Claire made me realize how much I missed taking my time. Running on the trails through the city, there weren’t 100 other people like Minneapolis, there wasn’t a cloud of exhaust pouring into my lungs with every breath, and - when I did pass someone, they waved or said hello, making if feel like we were sharing the beauty of Eau Claire together even as total strangers.”

Brit Heymans
Marshfield Clinic Health System
Moved from Minneapolis, MN in 2018

“Cost of living doesn’t even really compare. It’s allowed us to purchase our ‘forever’ home, something we wouldn’t have been able to comfortably afford in the Twin Cities unless we moved to a far out suburb and doubled or tripled our commutes to work. This was a huge plus for moving to Eau Claire.”

Danny & Stephanie Pohnl
Charter Bank & Visit Eau Claire
Moved from St. Louis Park, MN in 2017

“I can be completely alone or take ten minutes to be in the city. For me, it doesn’t get any better. Also I get to send my kids to amazing schools, then they come home to the backyard from Calvin and Hobbs. Eau Claire has been a dream come true.”

Justin Green
Toy Car Studios
Moved from Austin, TX in 2016

“Eau Claire is a great place to raise kids. My boys were in their pre-teens when we moved here. It is safe - they were able to walk to the Library, the YMCA, cafes and more from our house. We are surrounded by nature - they can walk to the river and natural areas. As a family, we can hike, bike and float within 30 minutes of our house.”

KT Gallagher
Dunn County Health Department
Moved from Fort Collins, CO in 2013

“There is a conscious effort among city officials, bankers, and realtors to help keep the housing market viable and open to first time home owners. It’s important for the community to provide housing for those living in the area for employment or educational opportunities.”

Becky Adamski
Century21 Affiliated
Moved from Lafayette, IN in 2010

“My wife and I truly feel we have bought our dream house. We love the fact we are in the city but have deer walking in our yard daily. Eau Claire is a wonderful town. You can get out of the big city and not give up being able to go shopping or going out to eat, but still be able to go do all the fun outdoors stuff you would have to drive for hours to do in the big city.”

Jason Abbs
Moved from Houston, TX in 2018

“I like the steady pace here in Eau Claire. It’s vibrant and full of life without the chaos and feeling of crowdedness you may experience in other big cities. Our version of “traffic” is barely traffic at all, especially when compared to big metropolitan areas such as Milwaukee or the Twin Cities.”

Mai Vue Xiong
Weld Riley, S.C.
Moved back here from Madison, WI in 2010

What’s all the fuss about?

Most communities have at least some good. But some places have a lot of good — and Eau Claire is one of them. Dig into the guide below for the low down on everything that makes this place so great — the events, music, recreation, neighborhoods, and more that make up a truly outstanding place to live.



An ambitious community like Eau Claire always has a plan for the next big thing. These are a few of the major projects currently in development.

Downtown’s “Block 7”

The City’s Redevelopment Authority is set to select from one of four major development proposals for a block-and-a-half space in the core of downtown. Key features are likely to include a new Children’s Museum building, office space, apartments, and food/beverage outlets.

Sonnentag Event and Recreation Complex

This huge partnership between UW-Eau Claire, Mayo Clinic, and the YMCA, right along the beautiful Chippewa River, is underway and will accommodate large-scale events for more than 6,000 people. It will feature 150,000 square feet of wellness, aquatics, and recreation facilities.

Downtown Eau Claire Transit Center

After securing a significant federal planning grant, Eau Claire’s transit hub concept is a seven-story mixed use building housing public buses and other transportation modes, plus shops and apartments.

Downtown Library Renovation

The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire’s most used downtown feature, is currently fundraising for an ambitious renovation project that would nearly double the building’s square footage.

Cannery District

The Cannery is a major redevelopment district near downtown along the Chippewa River. Projects currently under construction include a destination brewery/event venue. But ambitious future plans include a park, apartments, and a pocket neighborhood.

UW-Eau Claire’s Garfield Avenue

UW-Eau Claire has nearly completed a major reconstruction of portions of its campus, creating a beautiful river-side pedestrian space.


Think Eau Claire is a project of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce.

Learn more about opportunities in Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley through the following organizations:



While Wisconsin is known for its natural beauty and abundant resources, it is perhaps best defined by the people who call it home. People with a restless drive to invent, create and achieve. Who combine passion with pride and turn ideas into industries, and whose intellectual curiosity and commitment to collaboration propel groundbreaking discoveries to meet global challenges. We know that the real motivation to push forward comes from our connections and experiences. Our traditions are more than trends — they define a way of life, In Wisconsin®.

Think Make Happen »


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