Aerial view of downtown La Crosse, WI

Best Places to Live in the US in 2022 Sponsored by: eXp RealtyeXp Realty

La Crosse, WI is the #89 Best City to Live in the USA

Downtown La Crosse WI
iStock/Jason_Ray_Photography
La Crosse, WI
Quality of Life
Liv Score

601
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 54
Demographics 14
Economy 56
Education 63
Health 73
Housing 72
Infrastructure 50
Amenities 59

Why La Crosse is one of the best cities to live in

Located along the upper Mississippi River on Wisconsin’s western border, the city of La Crosse, WI, sometimes flies under the radar – but it truly deserves the spotlight. Signature sights like Grandad Bluff, more than 30 arts organizations, a historic downtown, unique shopping, diverse recreational opportunities and a stellar array of restaurants make this one of the best places to live in the U.S. 

Home to three colleges and two nationally renowned health care systems, the city enjoys a robust economy with a highly skilled workforce and is widely recognized for having strong educational offerings, infrastructure and amenities. Best of all, with affordable home prices and an overall cost of living well below the U.S. average, La Crosse residents are able to take advantage of all the city has to offer.

What are La Crosse’s major industries and employers?

Trane, Gundersen Health, Mayo Clinic, Logistics Health and CenturyLink are among the major employers in La Crosse, where the city’s most prominent industries are health care and other services, manufacturing, and retail. 

What are the major colleges and universities in La Crosse?

University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, Western Technical College & Viterbo University

What is the weather like in La Crosse? 

With nearly 200 sunny days a year, La Crosse averages a high of 82 degrees from June through August, perfect for summer fun. But, of course, the average low from December through February is 12 degrees with 30 inches of snow – still perfect for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and sledding. 

What is there to do outside in La Crosse?

La Crosse is an outdoor paradise perfect for hiking and biking most of the year. In the winter months, cross-country skiing gives you a different vantage point of the bluffs, riverside trails and scenic paths. You can download trail maps from the City of La Crosse.  

La Crosse, WI is Remote-Ready

What makes La Crosse a great place for remote workers?

The average cost of living in La Crosse is much lower than the national average, with the percentage of residents renting versus owning their homes split nearly down the middle. La Crosse has a walkable downtown region with a handful of annual festivals to take part in. In addition, there are many laptop-friendly bars and cafes for remote workers in their downtown area.

What Locals Love in La Crosse, WI

What is the best local bookstore in La Crosse?

Located in a historic downtown building, Pearl Street Books carries used, new, collectible and antique books by the thousands, with just about every inch of the large space stuffed with books covering all genres and themes. The indie bookstore also hosts a monthly poetry circle, live music and author events.

How do you spend a weekend in La Crosse?

Indulge in a bit of nostalgia at Dahl Auto Museum, which features the history of automobiles through the eyes of Ford Motor Company and five generations of the Dahl family. Then, keeping with the theme, spend the afternoon sipping cocktails at the retro Starlite Lounge

What can you do for free in La Crosse?

Head downtown to Riverside Park at the confluence of the Mississippi, Black and La Crosse rivers. A hub of activity, the park is designed for active lifestyles with walking paths and access points for canoes and kayaks, fishing, and bike paths. It’s also home to the Riverside International Friendship Gardens, the La Crosse Queen paddlewheel boat, an amphitheater and numerous community events.

What’s the best way to spend happy hour in La Crosse?

Bodega Brew Pub is the go-to spot for a beer, with 20 on tap and up to 400 bottled options at any given time. The laid-back spot also has a complete list of cocktails and seasonal specialties, great pub fare and live music.

What’s something only locals know about La Crosse?

La Crosse is the home base for the Coulee Region Craft Beverage Trail, aka the drinkable bucket list. The trail includes four breweries, 10 wineries and one distillery. Nine of the sites are in La Crosse or within a 15-minute drive of downtown, and all sites are within an hour’s drive. Speaking of driving – there are plenty of great lodging options along the trail to ensure everyone has fun while staying safe. 

Is La Crosse, WI a good place to live?

With a historic downtown, a strong job market and diverse recreational offerings, La Crosse is a best place to live in Wisconsin.

Thinking of Moving to La Crosse?

What is the La Crosse, WI Real Estate Market Like?

Conveniently located halfway between Madison, WI and Minneapolis, MN, the charming border city of La Crosse offers families and young professionals a relaxed atmosphere, living costs below the national average, and affordable riverfront housing in western Wisconsin. Most homes for sale in La Crosse are located west of the city, have a median sale price of just over $277K, and sell after only five days on the market. The selection of La Crosse, WI real estate ranges from historic pre-Civil War houses in classic neighborhoods like Washburn, to the sought-after brand-new condos of Pettibone Pointe, in Barron Island, offering luxurious maintenance-free living on the Mississippi River’s West Channel. Contact a local real estate agent today to learn more about the La Crosse, WI housing market.

Quick Facts About La Crosse, WI

Average Commute
15.1
Median Home Value
$227,750
Med. Household Income
$46,438
Total Population
51,543
Walk Score
52
Median Property Tax
$3,502

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