█ GETTING TO KNOW WAUNAKEE
Yep. There’s only one — and this town is one of a kind. You’ll find it just a short 5-mile drive north of Madison. What is it? “The only Waunakee in the world,” of course. But take note — this village of 12,000 residents has a lot more going for it than just its unique claim-to-fame name.
If you’re looking for a new — or your first — home, Waunakee is definitely an area worth your look. Especially if you’re raising a family. Waunakee is known for its top-rated schools and was named the second safest city in Wisconsin by the National Council for Home Safety and Security in 2018. The secret? This close-knit community tends to work together and look out for each other. “We are able to solve crimes quickly by the information we get from the community. Residents are very good at calling in any suspicious activity,” said Waunakee Police Chief, Kevin Plendl.
Here are a few demographics that might pique your interest if you’re thinking of making Waunakee your home. The median home value here is $293,200, with almost 36% of the homes ranging from $200,000 to $299,000. Another 41% range from $300,000 to $499,000, and about 7% are either under $149,000 or over $500,000. For those looking to lease, the average monthly rent in Waunakee is $1,000 — slightly less than its Madison counterpart.
And what about the people that live here? Their median age is a young 39, with a near-perfect division between males and females. A whopping 98% have their high school diploma or higher and 51% have a college degree or higher. It’s no surprise then, that the median income of Waunakee residents is $90,581.
Waunakee is conveniently located, to well, most anything. Depending on where you’re headed, of course, Waunakee is just a short drive from the Capital City. The average commute time is 22 minutes — but your 10-minute drive to the Dane County Regional Airport is shorter than that of most Madisonians! With its northside location, the village is within quick access of Hwy 12/18 and Hwys 51 and 151, as well as I90/94. It’s easy to reach many of the area’s favorite activities — from Middleton’s Good Neighbor Festival, to the Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival, Olbrich Gardens, and of course, Madison Mallard’s baseball games at Warner Park!
The village has seen continued growth over the years and changes are underway to continue improving Waunakee — for those that currently live here as well as future residents. Main Street has been revamped in recent years, and it’s now in the final stages of a renewal project. And the schools? Well, don’t take our word for it — the Waunakee Community School District was ranked as the best in Dane County (and among the state’s top 10) by Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. And for book lovers, a brand new library will be opening in town later this summer.
Like many local communities in Dane County, Waunakee has a Farmer’s Market from 3-6 p.m. on Wednesdays. There are summer band concerts at the Village Park Gazebo. And with housing growth in the area, Waunakee has been part of the Madison Area Builder’s Association’s Parade of Homes many times, including this year from June 8-23 at the Kilkenny Farms neighborhood.
There are 10 parks for plenty of community recreational opportunities all year round. And the north side of Ripp Park is reserved for 4-legged park-goers and their human friends. Waunakee High School has an Aquatic Center that's open to the community. And summer swimming is just a few laps away at the Sun Prairie Family Aquatic Club, Cherokee Country Club Pool, Bishop’s Bay Country Club (private) pool, the Walter R. Bauman Aquatic Center in Middleton. There are also a couple neighborhood pools open to residents of their developments.
All in all, there’s a lot to like about Waunakee. Why not check it out? After all, who wouldn’t you want to live in this friendly, unique and accessible village — the only Waunakee in the World?
█ Getting to Know Waunakee Neighborhoods
If you’ve ever attended – or read about – the Madison Area Builder’s Association Parade of Homes, you’re probably already familiar with at least a few of the neighborhoods in Waunakee. In fact, Kilkenny Farms and Westbridge have been featured in the Parade for the better part of the last decade.
The village as a whole has seen a lot of growth in recent years, improvements are in the works, and the Waunakee Community School District has been — and among the Top 10 in Wisconsin — in 2019. And it was ranked Number 78 on Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live in 2009. The reason? Friendly neighborhoods and affordable home process. What could be better than that?
Like most communities, homes in Waunakee vary in price by neighborhood and location, but the median home value sits at $293,200. Here’s a closer look at some of the some of the details and amenities of the neighborhoods of Waunakee.
Castle Creek, Castle Crest and Dormal Heights, built primarily in the 1970s and ‘80s, offer homes that begin in the $200,000 range. Tree-lined streets, affordable homes and a convenient location are the hallmarks of homes here.
If your budget is closer to $250,000, you’ll find that the Centennial Heights and Six Mile Creek subdivisions, built in the 1990s, might fit the bill. Centennial Heights is one of the more mature neighborhoods. And with these great prices, and walkability to Waunakee Middle School and High School, as well as the library, shops and restaurants, the homes here sell very quickly. Just north of downtown, Six Mile Creek is also a short walk to Prairie Elementary School. Located along the Six Mile Creek Golf Course, residents enjoy an abundance of green space — and some pretty spectacular sunsets.
If you’re looking to spend $300,000 or so, take a look at Meadowbrook, North Ridge Estates or Savannah Village, where you’ll find a mix of new construction and existing homes. Meadowbrook is comprised of roughly 125 single-family homes and 40 condos. A great place for families, there is a neighborhood pool, clubhouse, and the Meadowbrook Park — home to walking paths, ball diamonds, tennis courts and a children’s playground. Northbridge Estates features new construction in a walkable neighborhood of 165 lots. It’s also near Six Mile Creek Golf Course and kids can walk to Prairie Elementary. Savannah Village has a charm all its own — and the amenities to go with it. A covered bridge leads to an arboretum. There are bike and walking paths, a neighborhood pool, tennis and basketball courts, and an in-line hockey arena. Students can walk to the nearby Arboretum Elementary School.
Southbridge, a former Parade of Homes neighborhood, offers homebuyers a taste of the luxury home market with houses ranging from $450,000 to $1,000,000+. Once farmland, a lot of care was put into the design of this subdivision — extra wide sidewalks, a large park and great views are only part of the appeal. Walking and bike trails, a neighborhood swimming pool, basketball and tennis courts, and soccer and lacrosse fields all combine to create a special sense of community for the residents in Southbridge.
The 2 most recent Parade of Homes neighborhoods are Kilkenny Farms and Westbridge. Just south of the downtown area, Kilkenny Farms is known for its scenic landscape and country views, parks, trails, and of course, beautiful homes. Likewise, Westbridge, just to the northwest of downtown Waunakee, features some beautiful homes and beautiful views. Adjacent to Six Mille Creek Golf Course, you’ll find more of that open country, trails and parks. And there are amenities galore — a swimming pool, park shelter, playground equipment and even a neighborhood gym.
But not everyone wants the size and level of work that comes with owning their own home. So how about a condo? Waunakee has a lot to offer – at a variety of price points. Creekside Condos are a very affordable option, starting around $100,000. And for the look and feel of a single-family home, take a look at Ashlawn Condominiums. These free-standing condos are spacious — and offer spectacular views of the Capitol and surrounding countryside. Still extremely affordable, these units start at $200,000.
No matter your age or your interests, in Waunakee, it easy to find a neighborhood — and a home — that are sure to suit your needs. And, of course, make you feel right at home.
█ Things To Do in Waunakee
It may be a small community, but don’t let it fool you. There’s lots to do in — or near —Waunakee. From food to festivals, biking to bowling, and much much more — you’re sure to find something you can enjoy all year round!
Wisconsin in general, and definitely the greater Madison area, is known for its bike-friendly atmosphere and activities. And Waunakee is no exception. The area bike paths and trails, and many roads marked with bike lanes, provide bikers plenty of opportunities to bike for fun — or their daily commute. Walkers and hikers are more than welcome to take advantage of these trails as well!
With its close proximity to Lake Mendota, boaters can launch their crafts at Governor Nelson State Park, or one of the marinas conveniently located on Hwy M, or near Hwy 113. Spend a day skiing, tubing or putting around the lake and then stop at the Memorial Union for ice cream or one of the many bars or restaurants around the lake to grab a cold one or listen to music before heading home. And don’t forget the hiking trails and nature programs at Governor Nelson State Park.
The State Park is also a great place for campers to pitch their tents. Or visit Mendota County Park for your sing-along and S’mores!
And of course, Lake Mendota also offers plenty of fishing places to swim, fish, or have an impromptu picnic or pre-planned cook-out. If you don’t have your own boat, you can still take in the scenery — end enjoy a delicious meal and a few drinks — on a Betty Lou Cruise.
Of course, some people that would rather stick to swimming when it comes to water sports. Besides the lake, there are a couple of area pool options as well. The Waunakee Area School District Aquatic Center’s pool is open to the community year round. Get out of the sun — or swim all year — here. There’s free swim, lap swimming and lessons. And, of course, the Waunakee Wave Swim Team welcomes area youths to learn about competitive swimming and the fun of being part of a team.
If bowling is more your thing — or the weather is better suited to an indoor activity — check out Waun-A-Bowl. You can bowl a few games for fun, join a league or host your next family birthday party there. Bowling is fun for the whole family!
In the winter, you can skate on Waunakee’s Ice Pond. Practice your spin moves or play a game of pick-up hockey. It’s not winter in Wisconsin without some fun on the ice! If skates aren’t for you, how about a little motorized fun? Several trails in the winter cater to snowmobile enthusiasts. Check it out!
And all year round, Waunakee has a lot to offer anyone whose favorite sport is shopping! Visit the Steelwool Studio, a 1904 stone and wood dairy barn which now features gifts and artwork by local artists. You’ll find other local and specialty shops around Waunakee. And the village is within easy driving distance to West Towne or East Towne Malls, and the Greenway Station or Hilldale Shopping Centers.
And food? Look no further than Waunakee (although Madison and Middleton eateries are just a short drive away as well). Check out Lone Girl Brewing Company, Octopi Brewing or Mr. Brews Taphouse for burgers and a beer. The Spring Garden Restaurant is a great way to start your day with a delicious breakfast. Or depending on your mood, try a local favorite such as Zoe’s Pizza or Rex’s Innkeeper for some great local fare.
For a little hometown taste of the arts, take in a performance at the Waunakee Performing Arts Center. There’s something for everyone from plays to musical performances.
In addition to these local offerings, keep in mind that Waunakee is close to the Dane County Regional Airport, the Capitol Square and Outlets in the Dells. And mark your calendar for the community’s annual WaunaFest celebration — this year scheduled for July 25-28 at Centennial Park. You won’t want to miss it!
Rain or shine, every season, there’s always something to do in Waunakee!
Copyright 2022, South Central Wisconsin MLS Corporation. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and that it may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. This information, provided by seller, listing broker, and other parties, may not have been verified. All rights reserved.
Updated: 1st December, 2022 5:28 PM (UTC).