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Living in Eau Claire, Wisconsin:
Tips for Moving and Visiting

12 local experts

If you've been wondering what it's like to live in or visit Eau Claire, the Crowdsourced Explorer community can help. We asked 12 people living in Eau Claire what someone who is considering moving to or visiting there should know. Here are their pros and cons, tips, and advice:


12 comments on “Eau Claire”

The police force for Eau Claire is pretty large with 100 sworn patrol officers for a population of roughly 68,000 people. The feeling that the police force gives off makes the people of the community feel safe. There are areas of town that are not the best areas just like every city has, but there is a police presence in those areas.

A shop called Blue Ox Running was established in Eau Claire a few years ago. The owners are excellent runners and want to help people in the community with their running needs. They are huge supporters of high school and middle school sports and hold running groups on different nights of the week to get people out and running. Blue Ox is the place to go for my running shoes because they know what they are talking about and it shows when people keep coming back. They also support and donate to the marathon that the city holds every year.

Jordan, says: 2020

The heart of downtown is built up around where two rivers converge. In the summer, you can always go meet up with friends and float down the river in the sun and take in the scenery. So many people float the river that the city officially made a water trail for people to follow on the river with their tubes and kayaks. As you float down the river, the people running on the trail and you float right by the university. Right where the two rivers meet is usually where the launch point is for most people that float the river.

A big thing that makes the city unique from others that are around the same size is the amount of medical offices and buildings that are located in town. There are three hospitals, one cancer center and multiple dentistry and locally owned medical offices in located within the city and more located in the surrounding towns within ten minutes.

When moving to the spread-out city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, one should consider the tentative and unpredictable weather of the northern Midwest. Anyone coming from out of state will instantly be caught off guard by the harsh winters and the mild ones. A damp and humid but moderately warm summer one year could be immediately followed by a dry spell of scorching sun and little rain. The weather has a personality of its own, in Wisconsin, and is an integral part of social culture in Eau Claire. Anyone with one eye on our colorful downtown activity or idyllic and family-friendly neighborhoods should keep the other eye on our Wisconsin sky.

The downtown area has a lot of unique shops and attractions. They have the farmer’s market but they also have a lot of shops that are locally owned. What makes the city unique is the amount of options and opportunities that are available. There os an endless amount of shops to spend money at, some being big change corporations and some being small mom and pop places, along with many restaurants to choose from. There are national chains and locally owned restaurants.

Eau Claire is a city with art and music deeply ingrained in its culture. This slightly liberal college town is large enough to have everything one could need but small enough to avoid the problems of a big city (like traffic or pollution). Popular industries include healthcare, logging, textiles, paper products, construction, and infrastructure.

Michelle, says: 2020

Eau Claire, Wisconsin, has a population of about 70,000 people. That is enough to make it a bustling city that is not too small but not too large. The city is the largest in population in west central Wisconsin. That being said, it is a small enough community that you know lots of people and areas that are not always filled with people where it feels overcrowded. There are many different activities to do in and around the city. In the summertime, one place to go is the local farmer’s market downtown. Many of the small local farmers come in on Saturday’s to sell their different products.

Christy, says: 2020

Eau Claire is home to a wide variety of people. The majority of residents during the school year are college students. However, during the off-months the majority of residents are ages 30-50. Additionally, Eau Claire’s nightlife is very prominent. If you enjoy a quiet neighborhood, this may not be the location for you.

The city is in pretty close proximity to big cities which makes it great for travel and shopping. Eau Claire is about an hour from Minneapolis, MN and about 4 hours from Chicago, IL. The city of Eau Claire doesn’t have as much shopping as Minneapolis/St. Paul does so it is always great to be able to go over there and go shopping for the day but still be able to be home within an hour.

Teresa, says: 2020

There are two rivers running through the middle of the city, which connect downtown. That is where the name of the city came from. Eau Claire means clear water in French. Many people in the city use the rivers, from fishing to hanging out on a boat or even just floating down the river with friends on a warm summer day. In recent years, the rivers have gotten used so much that the city has implemented a new trail system meant for the river. It is like a bike trail but for the river and its many uses.

Ashanti, says: 2020

In the city and the surrounding areas, there is an excellent trail system. In the city, there is roughly 260 miles of trails for the public to run on with different types of settings and surroundings. There are trails that are going through the city or there are a couple of trails that go out into the country a little bit, so you can run through the trees and the countryside. The city does restrict what you can bring onto those trails for the most part, as long as it is not a car. On the south side of town, there are stores and restaurants like Scheels Buffalo Wild Wings. There are also 3 movie theatres and another just a couple of miles north of town.

Nanditha, says: 2020

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