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You Can Have It All in Sheboygan, WI

An affordable cost of living, world class amenities and plenty of opportunities for work and education can all be found in this Midwestern city.

By Heather Cherry on May 9, 2023

Ladies Night Out in Sheboygan
Courtesy of Sheboygan County EDC

Whether you want to relax on luxurious beaches, dine at unique restaurants or hit the greens on a world-class golf course, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, has everything you’re looking for — all at an affordable price.

Sheboygan is a friendly Midwestern city with a small-town feel, offering residents all the perks of living on the coast but without any tradeoffs like long commutes or expensive, well, everything.

And when it comes to the people, “Wisconsin nice” is a real thing — you won’t have to look far to find people supporting each other. From global businesses to your next-door neighbor, the people of Sheboygan make living there all the better.

As a Sheboygan native who left and returned to the area, Ray York, business counselor at Sheboygan County Economic Development, says he wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

“We have big city amenities but with the lifestyle and affordability of a rural community,” York says. “It’s a good mix. Life isn’t easy, but our community has made life easier than in other places I’ve been.”

Read on for some of the reasons you really can have it all in Sheboygan.

Everything is more affordable.

Just about everything in Sheboygan is more affordable.

“Our budget goes farther here,” York says. “We’re able to go out more often — whether that’s eating out, seeing a show or watching a movie. We’re doing 20% more fun things because we can afford them here.”

“From a housing perspective, houses are drastically more affordable in Sheboygan compared to some of our larger surrounding cities,” York says. “My two-bedroom, one-bath house in Milwaukee cost about $350K. That same house in Sheboygan County would be under $200K. So, from that standpoint alone, it is great — property taxes are lower, too, and when it comes to the schools and affordability of that, there is a drastic difference.”

But what may be even more intriguing is the high quality of life at an affordable price. Jeremy Udovich, a remote worker and owner of a vacation rental company, says Sheboygan has amenities that people travel from all over the world to experience.

“If you want to live on the ocean, it would cost you a lot of money, but we have [the lake]. People travel to dunes and the world to play golf, but we have it in our backyard. We can live here and leverage these world-class amenities daily if we want to — while allowing our dollars to stretch farther.”

Jeremy Udovich, remote worker

Time is not wasted sitting in traffic.

Big cities offer a lot, but with that often comes traffic delays or time spent commuting. That’s not the case in Sheboygan; residents say they can get almost anywhere in 16.8 minutes.

“The interstate and highway system here makes it easy to get to any place in the county quickly,” York says. “From shopping to work, most things are within a 15-minute drive. My average commute is about 10 minutes. Traffic and congestion aren’t here. We don’t even have a lot of stoplights.”

Hiking in Sheboygan
Courtesy of Sheboygan County EDC

World-class amenities and resorts are within your reach.

Sheboygan has been called the “Malibu of the Midwest” or the freshwater surfing capital of the world — because of its location and particular geography, Sheboygan offers some of the best waves on the Great Lakes, from 6- to 12-feet high.

And there is something for everyone — whether you like surfing, paddle boarding, hiking, biking, shopping or golf, you can find it in Sheboygan.

Sheboygan really is a destination of choice, and for two residents who grew up in Sheboygan and left, they’re glad to be back.

“When you’re young, you try to get out of your hometown as fast as possible. But we’re glad to be back, and we’re having a great time raising our kids here,” says Melissa Koehler, executive director at Elkhart Lake Chamber of Commerce. “We love living here for many reasons, but we especially love recreation. There are many lakes — Elkhart Lake is among the many gems nearby. Whether we’re canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding or spending the day at the lake, there is a ton of stuff to do outside. Our family is very outdoor-oriented, which is super appealing to us.”

Udovich was born and raised in Sheboygan and is also glad to be back to his roots for many reasons, but the perk of having world-class amenities is at the top of his list.

“We moved back to be closer to family, but we stayed for the quality of life. Where can you live in a quaint beach town with an affordable cost of living that is safe and secure and has a small-town feel?” Udovich says. “We have spectacular restaurants reminiscent of any large city. We’ve got top-notch golf, a five-diamond resort and world-class beaches. We get to live in what looks like an ocean but at a fraction of the cost.”

Courtesy of Sheboygan County EDC

Opportunities are endless — especially for children.

When it comes to making your dreams come true, Sheboygan County may be the place. High-quality education opportunities are plentiful, from elementary school through higher education. A great example is the Sheboygan County Scholars program, where students receive a full-tuition scholarship to attend Lakeland University and regularly participate in leadership development and growth opportunities.

Karin Kirchmeier, executive director at Partners for Community Development, says the quality of education is one reason she loves Sheboygan.

“I moved my family in the middle of the pandemic, but the amount of opportunity here eased our worries,” Kirchmeier says. “In fact, my daughter became a Sheboygan County Scholar and received full tuition at Lakeland University. Educationally we have so many opportunities in the community and everyone welcomes people to succeed. There were not a lot of growing pains.”

Local festival
Courtesy of Sheboygan County EDC

Residents will quickly welcome you.

The Midwest is known for its friendly spirit and kind demeanor, which is very much true in Sheboygan.

“I moved my middle daughter during her junior year of high school, also during the pandemic, and the community welcomed her with open arms,” says Kirchmeier. “I experienced the same for me professionally. Despite the timing, I was able to meet and learn from community members — everyone was welcoming and helped me thrive as a professional.”

Even outside of the city of Sheboygan, friendliness is a way of life.

“Elkhart Lake has quite a few tourists each year. We see upwards of 10,000 visitors in the summertime, which is a lot for our small town, but everyone is welcoming and friendly,” says Koehler.

This article was sponsored by the Sheboygan County EDC.

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