The Green Bay area is a fantastic retirement destination for those who are looking for an enjoyable lifestyle. The area is known for its natural beauty, with stunning parks, lakes, and trails to explore. The area has a friendly and welcoming community, with a thriving arts and culture scene, delicious local cuisine, and fun outdoor activities. Whether you're looking for a relaxing retirement or an active one, the Green Bay area has something for everyone.
Here are a couple of local website resources for more information on the Green Bay area:
Affordability and Cost of Living
The Green Bay area is relatively affordable compared to other regions in the country. The cost of living index for the area is 86, 14 points lower than the national average of 100. Housing is affordable, with the median home price at around $263,440. Groceries, healthcare and utilities are at or slightly below the national average but transportation is significantly less expensive. Recreation and entertainment costs vary, with options ranging from free activities like hiking and visiting local parks to more expensive activities like attending sporting events.
Wisconsin has a relatively high overall tax burden, with high property and income taxes. Wisconsin ranks as the 8th highest state in the country for property tax rates. There are some programs for lower income seniors to help with property taxes.
Wisconsin's income tax ranges from 3.54 percent to 7.65 percent, and while Social Security is not taxed other forms of retirement income are taxed. Wisconsin sales tax is less than many states at 5.43 percent for a combined state and local sales tax. Wisconsin does not have estate or inheritance taxes.
Climate and Geography
The Green Bay area experiences a humid continental climate with four distinct seasons. Summers are typically warm and humid with an average temperature of around 80 degrees in July and an average temperature of around 20 degrees in January. The area receives an average of 40 inches of snowfall each winter, making it a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts.
Green Bay is known for its dairy industry due to the fertile farmland and relative flat terrain. The Fox River runs through the area, providing opportunities for water activities; easy access to Lake Michigan offers even more recreational options. The region is also home to several state parks, including High Cliff State Park and Peninsula State Park, which offer hiking trails, campgrounds, and fishing.
Recreation, Shopping, and Entertainment
Located in the northeastern region of Wisconsin, the Green Bay area is a great place for those who love to explore, from the museums and music to the beautiful outdoors, this area offers something for everyone.
Golf and Racquet Sports
- Thornberry Creek at Oneida: a beautiful 27-hole golf course that offers both public and private memberships.
- The Woods Golf Club: a stunning 18-hole course located in Green Bay that is open to the public.
- Mid Vallee Golf Course: a family-owned golf course in De Pere that offers both 18-hole and 9-hole courses, as well as tennis and pickleball courts.
Hiking, Biking, and Boating
- Fox River Trail: a 25-mile trail that runs along the scenic Fox River, offering beautiful views of nature and the opportunity to hike or bike.
- Baird Creek Trail: a 6.5-mile trail that offers hiking, biking, and snowshoeing in the winter months.
- High Cliff State Park: a beautiful park that offers hiking, camping, and boating opportunities on Lake Winnebago.
Museums and Historical Sites
- National Railroad Museum: a museum that offers a unique look at the history of railroading in the United States.
- Neville Public Museum: a museum that showcases the history and culture of Northeast Wisconsin.
- Heritage Hill State Historical Park: a living history museum that features over 24 historic buildings and interpreters in period clothing.
- Weidner Center for the Performing Arts: a venue that hosts a wide variety of performing arts events, including theater, music, and dance performances.
- Meyer Theatre: a historic theater that hosts a variety of events, including concerts, comedians, and plays.
- Fox Cities Performing Arts Center: a state-of-the-art venue that hosts Broadway shows, concerts, and other events.
- Fox River Mall: a large shopping mall that features over 180 stores, including popular national brands and local boutiques.
- Downtown Appleton: a vibrant shopping district that features a variety of local shops and restaurants.
- Bay Park Square Mall: a shopping center in Green Bay that offers a variety of stores and dining options.
Parks and Gardens
- Green Bay Botanical Garden: a beautiful garden that features a wide variety of plants and gardens, including a rose garden and a children's garden.
- Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary: a park that offers hiking trails, wildlife viewing, and educational programs.
- Fonferek's Glen: a park that features a waterfall, hiking trails, and a natural limestone arch.
Festivals and Fairs
- Wisconsin State Fair: a 10-day fair held annually in August that features live music, carnival rides, and agricultural exhibits.
- Oktoberfest: an annual festival in Appleton that celebrates German culture with food, music, and entertainment.
- Artstreet: an art festival held annually in Green Bay that features a variety of local and regional artists.
In addition to these activities, there are also numerous college and local sporting events that take place throughout the year, including football, basketball, and hockey games. Overall, the Green Bay area is a wonderful place to visit, with a rich blend of culture, history, and outdoor activities.
Health and Wellness
The Green Bay area offers a variety of health and wellness options for older adults. One of the major medical centers in the area is the Aurora BayCare Medical Center, located in Green Bay. This hospital offers a range of medical services and a program called Aurora BayCare LiveWell, which provides classes and resources to help individuals improve their overall health and wellness.
ThedaCare Regional Medical Center in nearby Appleton offers a range of healthcare services, including wellness services like acupuncture, massage therapy, and nutrition counseling. ThedaCare also has a program called ThedaCare at Work, which provides on-site wellness services and resources for businesses and their employees.
For those looking for local options for self-care and staying fit, there are several options available in the area. The Greater Green Bay YMCA has several locations throughout the area and offers fitness classes, swimming pools, and a variety of other activities. There are also county run programs that offer fitness programs and activities specifically designed for older adults. Parks and recreational areas in the area, including the Fox River Trail, are popular spots for walking, jogging, and biking.
Recommended Itinerary for Visiting Area 55+ Communities
- Start your day with breakfast at Kavarna Coffeehouse in Green Bay. They serve a variety of breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and coffee drinks.
- Visit the Green Bay Botanical Garden. Stroll through the gardens, including the butterfly garden and the koi pond, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
- Have lunch at Plae Bistro in Green Bay. They offer a variety of salads, sandwiches, and entrees made with locally sourced ingredients.
- Tour the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay. Learn about the history of railroads in the United States and view the museum's collection of locomotives and other train artifacts.
- Enjoy dinner at Black and Tan Grille in De Pere. They serve a variety of American and European-inspired dishes, including steak, seafood, and pasta.
- Stay overnight at the Copperleaf Boutique Hotel & Spa in Appleton. This luxury hotel offers a spa, fitness center, and on-site restaurant.
- Meet with your local 55places expert retirement community partner agent to discuss potential retirement communities in the area.
- Have dinner at Mark's East Side in Appleton. They serve a variety of classic American dishes, including prime rib and seafood.
Getting to The Green Bay Area
Green Bay is located in northeastern Wisconsin and is easy to get to by several major highways. If you are driving from the south, take Interstate 43 North. If you are coming from the north or west, take Highway 29 East.
For those flying into the area, the closest major airport is Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport (GRB), located in Green Bay. The airport is served by several major airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines. Primary hubs for these airlines include Dallas/Fort Worth, Atlanta, and Chicago O'Hare, respectively.
Greyhound also offers bus service to the area, with a station located in Green Bay.