In July 2007, Middleton was ranked as the "Best Place to Live" in all of the United States by Money magazine.
Middleton is one of the most popular suburbs in the greater metropolitan area of Madison, WI, which is also the state capital. Middleton is widely regarded as one of the best places to live in the United States -- in addition to its 2007 Money magazine ranking, the city was ranked the fourth-best place to live in the US in 2009. The city itself is fairly small; according to the 2010 United States Census, Middleton had a population of just over 17,000 and occupies about 9 square miles. However, as part of the Madison metropolitan area, Middleton is surrounded by over half a million other residents.
Middleton also has the distinction of being one of the first cities in the United States (and the first in Wisconsin) to incorporate elements of New Urbanism, a city design style that utilizes lots of open and walkable neighborhoods, mass-transit, and a focus on environmentalism.
Middleton has grown significantly over the past couple of decades, and as such, several new mass transit options have been considered, including a new railroad that would connect downtown Madison, Middleton, and the University of Wisconsin campus.
Moving to Middleton
Before considering rental housing in Middleton, it is important to be familiar and comfortable with the cold temperatures during much of the year. Although summers in Middleton can be sunny and mild (with average highs in the 70s and low 80s), the winters are often very cold, with temperatures frequently dipping into the single digits, and occasionally -- prepare yourself -- below freezing.
However, if you are comfortable with the sometimes intense weather, Middleton is a great place to consider calling home. Although Middleton is considered one of the best places to live in the United States, real estate prices have remained fairly stable over the past few years. This means that it is the perfect time to consider rental homes, condos for rent, or even one of the many apartment complexes that currently have openings.
Neighborhoods in Middleton
You really can't go wrong with any of the beautiful neighborhoods in Middleton. From the surrounding wetlands, to the numerous public parks, to the close proximity to the Madison, there really is something for everyone in Middleton. The following are a few of the most popular neighborhoods within the city.
Middleton Hills: Middleton Hills is easily the most popular and well-known neighborhood in Middleton. Middleton Hills is the nationally recognized Parade of Homes neighborhood, which utilizes the environmental, open-air, walkable neighborhood design that is iconic of New Urbanism.
City Center: Located just west of Lake Mendota, the center of Middleton was developed during the latter part of the 20th century. Although a significant portion of the residences in this neighborhood are studio apartments and 1 bedroom apartments, there are still a fair number of detached single-family rental houses.
Ashton Corners: Ashton Corners occupies the western part of Middleton. This neighborhood is the most rural part of the city, and is a great place to look for a home if you prefer large lots and detached homes that have 3 bedrooms or more.
Route 12 and County Road K: This neighborhood is in the easternmost part of Middleton, and is directly north and adjacent to Lake Mendota. This neighborhood is perfect for anyone who wants to live in a part of town that has a developed suburban feel, but without the population density that can be found in City Center or Middleton Hills.
Elmwood Avenue and Hubbard Avenue: Elmwood and Hubbard occupy the southeast part of Middleton. Residents of this neighborhood can enjoy the benefits of Stricker Pond and Tiedeman Pond, both of which are walking distance from almost everywhere in the neighborhood. In addition, there are plenty of options for renters, including everything from small studio apartments to 4 and 5 bedroom single-family homes.
Things to do in Middleton
Despite being a quiet suburban town, there is still plenty to do in Middleton if you are so inclined. Nature lovers will appreciate the close proximity to several natural parks and bodies of water, including Lake Mendota, Tiedeman Pond, and Stricker Pond. In addition, Middleton is home the National Mustard Museum, a strange but ultimately worthwhile space that provides visitors with dozens of unique flavors and types of mustards. Best of all, the museum is free, so you can get all of the mustard samples you want and save some dough. Although, we imagine this is a bring-your-own-burger situation. Check out the museum's shop, where you can pick up all kinds of gourmet goodies, including "cow pie candy." Ingest at your own risk.
Middleton is a suburban town that embodies everything the state of Wisconsin can be proud of: mild summers; walkable neighborhoods that intertwine homes, businesses, and nature; and quaint, yet interesting attractions. If you are considering a move to Wisconsin or just the Midwest in general, be sure to check out Middleton.