Homes for Sale in Oconomowoc, WI
If you are planning to reside in a place that’s nothing short of picture-perfect, Oconomowoc, WI just might be for you. Discover why Oconomowoc lake homes for sale are a sound investment in this gorgeous resort city.
Tucked away in the rolling, lake-filled countryside of northwest Waukesha County lies Oconomowoc, a resort city best known for its beautiful, tree-lined streets, rich history, and charming, small-town vibe.
Oconomowoc: A brief history
Once the home of the Potowatomi and Winnebago tribes, Oconomowoc, as we know it today, dates back to 1837 when settlers Charles Sheldon and Phil Brewer built log cabins in the area. This tiny outpost eventually grew into a small town, thanks to the influx of immigrants lured in by stories of the area’s beauty and abundant resources. Among these immigrants was John S. Rockwell, an entrepreneur who built a grist mill and established the town’s first store, hotel, fire department, and library – feats that led to him becoming known as the “Father of Oconomowoc.”
By 1875, Oconomowoc was incorporated as a city and was considered to be the ultimate summer retreat for wealthy tourists and holiday-goers from Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, and other Midwestern cities. By the time the 1880s rolled in, Oconomowoc boasted six luxury resorts, earning the city the moniker “Newport of the West,” as well as visits by Presidents Cleveland, Harrison, Grant, Taft, Coolidge, McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt.
At present, Oconomowoc is home to over 18,000 residents, all of whom get to enjoy the abundance of good schools, first-rate healthcare, stellar amenities, and the high quality of life that the city has to offer.
About Oconomowoc, WI
Living in Oconomowoc, WI is like going on an extended holiday, given the city’s plethora of cultural and recreational activities, as well as its selection of top-quality attractions and services.
Here is everything you need to know about living in this wonderful city:
Oconomowoc is nestled in the very heart of southeastern Wisconsin’s lake country and has a total area of 12.18 square miles according to the United States Census Bureau.
Strategically located on the Interstate-94 corridor, Oconomowoc provides its residents with easy access to the Milwaukee and Madison metropolitan areas – one of the key factors that make this vibrant resort community so popular among families and working professionals.
Aside from I-94, Oconomowoc is also served by highways 16 and 67, which run from Pewaukee to La Crosse and from Beloit to Chilton, respectively. The city is also served by bus routes 904 and 905, both of which are operated by Waukesha Metro Transit and offer daily rides between Oconomowoc and Milwaukee.
Those who wish to travel to the city by rail can do so by taking Amtrak’s Empire Builder passenger train. This, however, does not stop in Oconomowoc but in Milwaukee Intermodal, which means travelers will have to take another car to get to the city proper.
Visitors coming from other states should note that Oconomowoc does not have an airport of its own. However, it is just a short drive away from General Mitchell International Airport, Dane County Regional Airport, and Waukesha County Airport, making traveling to the city from out of state a breeze.
Because of its location in the Midwest, it’s no surprise that Oconomowoc has warm and wet summers and snowy and windy winters. This also means Oconomowoc is also partly cloudy year-round, with the temperature varying from 15 degrees to 81 degrees over the year.
Oconomowoc is at its warmest from late May to early September, with temperatures typically peaking around July. During this month, the city experiences an average high of 81 degrees and a low of 62 degrees. The city, on the other hand, is coldest from December to March, with temperatures often dipping to as low as 15 degrees every January.
Oconomowoc’s economy is largely hinged on the professional technical industry, followed by health care, logistics, and advanced manufacturing.
Key factors behind Oconomowoc’s economy are its strategic location, favorable tax climate, and reliable public utilities, as well as multiple business parks, all of which make the city extremely attractive to investors.
When it comes to the cost of living, Oconomowoc’s residents typically pay more for their housing and healthcare, which is priced from 11% to 15% more than the national average. This is slightly offset, however, by transportation and grocery expenses, which are 6% and 4% lower than the national average, as well as the city’s relatively high median household income.
The Oconomowoc Area School District is in charge of the city’s public schools, most of which are known for producing top academic performers. In addition, the city also offers a strong selection of private and faith-based educational institutions, making it a terrific choice for families with school-age children.
Moreover, high school graduates who wish to remain within the area can enroll in Waukesha County Technical College, Carroll University, Marquette University, and the University of Wisconsin.
Life in Oconomowoc, WI
Oconomowoc – bustling but with an ideal, small-town feel – offers plenty of activities for residents and visitors alike, thanks to the city’s rich history and fantastic location.
Here are some of the things you can do in this wonderful resort city:
Enjoy the great outdoors
Oconomowoc lake homes for sale are ideal for people who love to enjoy and explore the great outdoors because it lies in the heart of Lake Country. Make the most of this by visiting the nearby parks and outdoor areas listed below:
- Oconomowoc Lake. This 818-acre lake has a maximum depth of 60 feet. Located just a short drive away from the city, Oconomowoc Lake is nothing short of an angler’s paradise. It’s got crystal-clear waters well-stocked with premium gamefish such as panfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, and walleye.
- Roosevelt Park. The 99-acre community park in Oconomowoc’s south central region is known for its wooded surroundings. It is home to The Imagination Station Playground, which is quite popular with families. In addition to its play areas, Roosevelt Park has sporting venues, including a skate park, a ball field, and a volleyball court, as well as picnic areas for visitors.
- Riverside Park. Located in the east central portion of Oconomowoc, Riverside Park spans two acres and is popular among the city’s shoreline fishers. Aside from fishing spots, Riverside Park also features a fully kitted-out children’s playground, picnic areas, a park shelter, and a boat launch.
- City Beach Park. This three-acre neighborhood park lies on the south shore of Lac La Belle in the central portion of Oconomowoc. Popular with families, City Beach Park boasts several impressive facilities such as a swimming beach, multiple boat mooring sites, a boat launch, picnic areas, and a shoreline fishing area. The area also has a band shell, a sand-surfaced playground, and a beach volleyball court.
- Lac La Belle. A trophy lake, Lac La Belle spans 1,156 acres and is well-stocked with highly sought-after gamefish. It is 45 feet at its deepest point and is a popular spot for boaters and catch-and-release fishermen.
Live an active and healthy lifestyle
Given its location, Oconomowoc lake homes for sale are perfect for those who want to live an active and healthy lifestyle. Here are some of the other physical activities and sports you can engage in at Oconomowoc:
- Rafting and kayaking. If you’re looking for an adventure like no other, why not try rafting and kayaking in Oconomowoc’s nearby lakes? Some great spots for watersports in the city’s vicinity include Lac LaBelle, Oconomowoc River, Bark River, and Rock River. Just remember to always check with authorities before heading out, however, to avoid any untoward incidents during your trips.
- Fishing. Trout and other game species abound in the waters in and around Oconomowoc, making it the ideal place to cast your line. To ensure your safety, look for qualified guides who can clue you in on current weather and water conditions before you embark on a fly-fishing adventure. And, to make sure you comply with park rules, research the lakes and rivers that allow you to keep your catch.
- Biking. Oconomowoc is surrounded by miles upon miles of breathtaking and gorgeous scenery which makes it the perfect place for nature lovers and fans of the outdoors. That said, the city itself is incredibly bike-friendly, with many of its attractions and amenities easily reached by cycling to them. Don’t have a bike of your own? Rent one at the city’s many bike shops to get started.
Enjoy amazing food and drink
Whatever your dining preferences, you will surely have a great time in Oconomowoc because of the region’s excellent food scene. Some of the must-try restaurants and dining establishments in the city include the following:
- Sobie’s Restaurant. The brainchild of restaurateurs Mike and Lydia Sobol, Sobie’s Restaurant is best known for its relatively straightforward menu of seafood, steaks, and pasta. The restaurant, which is considered one of the best in Oconomowoc, is also well known for its farm-to-table philosophy, which aims to support local farmers and businesses alike.
- Bella Gusto Restaurant and Italian Market & Pizzeria. This is the place to go on South Main Street to enjoy classic Italian cuisine. An Oconomowoc favorite, Bella Gusto also provides top-quality Italian goods to shoppers.
- Crafty Cow. For an amazing time with family and friends, head over to Crafty Cow. A family-owned business, Crafty Cow specializes in hearty craft burgers and chicken sandwiches, as well as amazing craft beer and cocktails. This has made the pub one of the go-to hotspots in Oconomowoc.
- Mullen’s Dairy Bar. In operation since the early 1930s, Mullen’s is a Midwest institution. Originally based in Watertown, Mullen’s has since expanded to other areas in Wisconsin – including Oconomowoc. It has provided generations of frozen treat lovers with premium-quality sundaes, malts, shakes, floats, and sorbets.
- Coco’s Seafood & Steakhouse. In the mood for a fancy dinner? Coco’s just might be the spot for you. An upscale diner located on the ground floor of the Fowler Lake Village Condominium development, Coco’s takes absolute pride in the extensive selection of premium seafood and exceptional steaks on its menu, as well as the quality of its service.
Immerse yourself in history
Oconomowoc is well-known for its rich and storied past. Take a trip down memory lane by visiting these nearby historic hotspots once you get settled in the city:
- Oconomowoc Area Historical Society and Museum. Housed in the former National Guard Armory, the Oconomowoc Historical Society and Museum boasts an extensive collection of artifacts from different periods in the city’s long and storied history. These include items from pre-settlement times, farming tools from the early 19th century, and a restored schoolhouse mural. In addition, the museum mounts revolving exhibits, including a reproduction of a Victorian-era home.
- Oconomowoc Historic Walking Tour. For those who want to take a deep dive into Oconomowoc’s past, the Oconomowoc Historic Walking Tour is an excellent place to start. This self-guided historic walking tour, created by the Oconomowoc Historical Society, enables locals and guests to get a close-up view of all the remaining Victorian mansions and other significant locations in Oconomowoc’s downtown district.
Shop, shop, shop
It’s easy to give in to retail therapy in Downtown Oconomowoc. Home to a wide variety of regional establishments, including family-run specialty shops and independent boutiques, the downtown area offers you choices like The Shops at Pabst Farms, which has a variety of eateries and stores appropriate for even the pickiest customers.
Homes for sale in Oconomowoc, WI
The area offers an impressive selection of properties to prospective residents and vacation home hunters, from standard single-family homes, to historic Oconomowoc lake homes for sale, to contemporary condominiums and apartments.
Given the region’s long and rich history, homes in Oconomowoc are built in a wide variety of architectural styles. These include French Provincial, Ranch/Rambler, Colonial, and Craftsman styles. Aside from these traditional styles, minimalist prefab-style houses are also becoming quite popular in the area, especially among younger buyers.
As of November 2022, the median list price for properties was $532,000, reflecting a 16% increase from the list price in 2021. Luxury homes in the area, however, can begin at a million dollars. (Check here for updates.)
The best neighborhoods in Oconomowoc, WI
Interested buyers can choose from a wide variety of neighborhoods in Oconomowoc, with each one offering different types of properties at varying price points.
Lac La Belle, for instance, has some of the most expensive properties in the city, with the neighborhood’s median list price set at $630,000 as of November 2022. Homes in this area typically offer waterfront views and come with features such as hardwood floors, 4 to 5 bedrooms, high ceilings, and updated bathrooms and kitchens.
Oconomowoc West, on the other hand, offers slightly more accessible properties, with homes in the area having a median list price of around $406,000. Typical medium-sized single-family residences were mostly built in the early to mid-2000s.
Other neighborhoods you can check out in Oconomowoc include the following:
- Oconomowoc Lake
- Okauchee / Okauchee Lake
- Mapleton / Monterey
- Summit Corners
- Oconomowoc East
- City Center
Invest in your own Oconomowoc, WI home today with the Spheeris Team!
When it comes to investing in a community that’s as beautiful as Oconomowoc, nothing beats working with the experts from The Spheeris Team.
Led by Jon Spheeris and in partnership with Coldwell Banker, we take immense pride in providing excellent customer service to all of our clients. This includes staying on top of trends, technologies, and marketing strategies; providing honest feedback; and going above and beyond when attending to your needs.
Ready to invest in Oconomowoc lake homes for sale or other types of residences throughout the area? Contact The Spheeris Team today to get started!