Today we’re talking suburbs of Madison WI: Part 2! There are so many good suburbs of Madison WI, we had to do a second post. So, if you’re thinking about moving to the suburbs of Madison WI, we’re going to give you a list, in no particular order, of four of the best ones! Stay tuned…
Suburbs of Madison WI – Fitchburg
The first of the 4 suburbs of Madison WI we want to introduce you to is Fitchburg. We might have a little bias towards Fitchburg because we live there! There are about 30,000 people that live in Fitchburg making it the second largest of the suburbs of Madison WI. It is on the south, southwest side of Madison and it’s a very convenient location. It’s super easy to get downtown. Fitchburg has, what I would describe as, a urban suburban feel, a very mixed dynamic. There’s a variety of school options in Fitchburg. Depending on which part of Fitchburg you live in your kids might go to either Madison schools, Oregon schools, or Verona schools. As one of the largest suburbs of Madison WI, Fitchburg spans along the south side of Madison into the west. If you’re home is more on the west side of Fitchburg you’re gonna be in Verona schools, if you’re more on the north or central side of Fitchburg you’re gonna be Madison schools, and if you’re more south east you’re gonna be Oregon schools.
There is lots to do in Fitchburg. One of our favorite attractions, especially when our kids were toddlers, is the dream park, McKee Farms Park. It’s a wonderful park with an awesome playground, a beautiful walking/bike path, and even a splash pad to play at during those warmer summer months. Fitchburg is also really close to the UW Arboretum, which I love for running. It’s beautiful! Another great place for running or biking in Fitchburg is Ice Age Trail, one of the many amazing bike paths in Madison. If you like outdoor activities, Fitchburg has no shortage of wonderful outdoor recreation areas (you’ll definitely wan to check out Quarry Ridge Recreation Area).
Similar to some of the other suburbs of Madison WI, the median sale price in Fitchburg is $375,000 which is a little bit higher than Madison ($325,000). This higher price point has much to do with new construction driving the home prices up. The three main new developments in Fitchburg are Quarry Vista which getting towards the end of available homes, Stoner Prairie, and Terravessa. All of these new neighborhoods are bordering the south side of Fitchburg. Again, this new construction drives home prices in the area up a bit. Additionally, there are a few executive neighborhoods in Fitchburg that sell at a much higher price point than many of the other area neighborhoods. Seminole Hills and Harlan Hills both have really nice homes that drive the median sale price in Fitchburg up but add gorgeous real estate to the area.
A couple of the reasons we picked Fitchburg as one of the best suburbs of Madison WI are the location, which we mentioned earlier, close to downtown, close to the west side shopping areas and then the variety in school options is really appealing to many people. If being close to Madison as well as great schools are both important factors to you, Fitchburg would be a good option to consider.
Suburbs of Madison WI – Verona
The 2nd of the 4 suburbs of Madison WI we want to discuss is Verona. Not far from Fitchburg, Verona is located on the southwest side of Madison. One of the more average sized suburbs of Madison WI, Verona is home to about 13,000 people giving it a small town feel yet conveniently located not far from downtown, about a 21 minute commute to the Capitol Square.
One of Verona’s defining features is that it is home to Epic Systems, a huge electronic medical record software company. Epic has a massive campus in Verona which is home to it’s nearly 10,000 employees. If given the opportunity, it’s actually really fun to tour the Epic campus. We love taking our kids every couple years because it is very creative and there’s so much to do and see in each of it’s uniquely themed buildings. Of course, not all of Epic’s employees live in Verona, but many do.
There are quite a few new construction neighborhoods in Verona, including some rural subdivisions. If you want to be outside of the hustle and bustle of the city while not giving up the convenience of being in a neighborhood, there are a number of options for you in the Verona area.
Another plus to Verona, like several of the other suburbs of Madison WI, it does have a quaint downtown. We love Verona’s downtown! Unlike some of the other suburbs of Madison WI, Verona also has robust commercial areas to the east right before you get on to Hwy 12/18, which is the main road that brings you back into Madison. There’s definitely variety in Verona!
Verona is also the home of Wisconsin Brewing Company which is a really great brewery! They have an awesome patio where, during the summer months, they host live music events and have all kinds of backyard games to enjoy while you relax and take in the stunning country views. Plus, beer! (It is Wisconsin, after all!)
As is common in most of the suburbs of Madison WI, Verona’s schools are highly rated by the Department of Public Instruction. The median sales price in Verona is $389,000 which, again, is higher than the Madison median sales price. Some of the reasons for the price discrepancy are, again, new construction options and then there are a few nicer neighborhoods as well, fewer executive neighborhoods than some other suburbs of Madison WI, but nice nonetheless.
As we mentioned earlier, Verona is a short commute to many other areas of Madison. For example, it is an easy drive on Hwy M which turns into Junction Road, one of the main thoroughfares on the west side of Madison. The city just redid Hwy M so it’s a really easy commute from Verona to the west side shopping and business parks. There are a decent number of people who live in Verona and commute to the west side of Madison for work. Overall, Verona is a great location with a small town feel and good schools.
Suburbs of Madison WI – Sun Prairie
Again, in no particular order (we aren’t ranking, only giving information), another of the awesome suburbs of Madison WI is Sun Prairie. With around 34,000 residents, Sun Prairie has one of the largest populations of the suburbs of Madison WI. In reality, the population is probably even larger than that because Sun Prairie just keeps growing and growing! What makes it so popular? It’s close to the east side of Madison making it an easy commute to both downtown and the east side of Madison. Also, it’s a sprawling community, hence the name Sun Prairie, it has a really great downtown, it’s very family-friendly, and then there’s also a shopping mecca in the newer, more developed area of town. There’s a Costco, Target, Menards, and Woodman’s (a large, local grocery store), as well as a wonderful movie theater, Palace Cinema. Once you’ve gone to this theater you won’t want to go anywhere else, it’s so comfortable!
Let’s talk about schools. Of course, as in all the suburbs of Madison WI, Sun Prairie schools are highly rated by the Department of Public Instruction. Again, because Sun Prairie is one of the fastest growing suburbs of Madison WI, a new high school was built in 2010 and to show you how fast they’re growing they’re building an additional high school that will be done in 2022. Once construction is complete, Sun Prairie will have an east and west high school. Additionally, Sun Prairie added two elementary schools in 2018 so growing, growing, growing! You can tell that it’s a community for young families!
At $320,000, the median sales price in Sun Prairie is a little bit lower compared to both other suburbs of Madison WI as well as Madison itself. A lot of that has to do with it’s location. Traditionally, the farther east of Madison you go, the more home inventory there is making prices in this area a little lower than other areas of Madison. If the east side of Madison is where you’re thinking you want to be, Sun Prairie is a great option! You don’t have to spend quite as much on your home and it’s a great family friendly community.
Suburbs of Madison WI – McFarland
The last, but not least, one of the suburbs of Madison WI we’re covering today is McFarland. McFarland is south east of Madison and it’s one of the smaller suburbs with only 9,000 residents. It’s only about 15 minutes from the capitol and it is tucked pretty close to the main fairway, Hwy 12/18, which we Madisonians refer to as the Beltline. Because of it’s location near the Beltline, if you’re going to be commuting in either direction or outside of Madison, McFarland is a great option! It is bordered by Madison on the north side, Lake Waubesa on the west side, and Mud Lake to the south. The east side of McFarland is the only open space making this area fairly landlocked contributing to it’s smaller population.
Similar to some of the other suburbs of Madison WI, McFarland has a small, quaint downtown. It’s cute coffee shop and nice library partner well with the commercial area you pass on the way into town. Entering into McFarland on Hwy 151, there is some commercial space including a Culver’s and some shops. As we mentioned previously, of all the suburbs of Madison WI, McFarland feels, perhaps, the closest to Madison. So close, in fact, that some of the area realtors have coined it McMadison. As an illustration, some of the homes in this area have a Madison address but they have McFarland schools.
In talking about schools, McFarland is, yet again, another of the suburbs of Madison WI with great schools. The schools in McFarland are very highly rated, a bit higher even than some of the other suburbs of Madison WI. If highly rated schools are valuable to you in your home search, you’ll definitely want to check out McFarland.
The median sales price in McFarland is $376,500 which is a little higher than the city of Madison. Part of the reason for the higher price tag is because there’s so few options. With only 9,000 people, as we mentioned, it’s somewhat landlocked meaning there’s not a lot of new development in McFarland. They are developing to the east but there’s only so much space making the price a bit higher than Madison. However, if you want to be close to Madison, have an easy commute just about anywhere, and have great schools, McFarland is an awesome option!
That wraps up part two of the best suburbs of Madison WI! We hope it was helpful. If you’re thinking about moving to the Madison area make sure you get in contact with me so I can get you our free relocation guide! It has a lot of great information about Madison. If you want to learn more about Madison or are considering a move to the area, I’d love to help you out!