Getting to Know Cambridge
Cambridge may be small, with just 1,518 residents, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great place to live. In fact, if you like that small-town feel, along with easy access to nearby capital city, Madison, you should know… this could be the best of both worlds.
Niche.com lists the village of Cambridge as the #6 Best Place to Buy A House in the Madison Area. And it comes in at #25 among Best Suburbs to Buy a House in the state of Wisconsin. But those aren’t the only good scores for this town. They also received rankings of B+, A-, or higher in the categories of public schools, jobs, cost of living, outdoor activities, nightlife, health and fitness — and a solid A as a place that’s “good for families.” Cambridge also got high rankings for Best Suburbs for Young Professionals in Wisconsin (#21 of 110) and was rated #27 among Suburbs with the Lowest Cost of Living in Wisconsin.
Cambridge can trace its origins back to 1847 and an influx of Norwegian and Scottish settlers. With its close proximity to Madison, and the fun and function of Lake Ripley, it’s no surprise that the village soon boasted two general stores, two hotels, a tailor, milliner, shoe shop, and cabinet maker — along with a sawmill and grist mill. Vacationers attracted to the lake and natural beauty of the area — began to spend time in Cambridge dating back to the 1800s (which continues to this day). And tourism grew significantly after automobiles became a common mode of transportation. The well-known Rowe Pottery shop became a destination for tourists and collectors in the 1970s. When visitors came to buy the salt-glazed pottery, many of them left town with Amish furniture pieces, local antiques or specialty foods as well.
Today the median home value in Cambridge is $188,000, with the median rent $815. Almost 80% of residents own their own home. The median household income is $67,440 — about $12,000 more than the national average. Residents here are often considered urban sophisticates – educated professionals. Indeed, more than 42% of Cambridge adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher. And it’s a great place to raise a family — students attend school right here in the community. There is one elementary, one middle and one high school conveniently located in Cambridge.
There’s a lot to do in Cambridge. Nearby Lake Ripley — and Ripley Park — are great places for fishing, swimming, boating and paddle sports. Like the view but not the water? You can enjoy the beach, tennis courts, disc golf course, basketball and volleyball courts, picnic areas, and kids’ playground. Another enjoyable spot for water recreation is the Koshkonong Creek, which runs through CamRock County Park and downtown Cambridge. CamRock Park is also home to the Glacial Drumlin State Bike Trail, the perfect spot for both mountain bikers and those that bike for personal enjoyment. Walkers can take a nature walk or a more strenuous hike.
If shopping or eating are more to your taste, you’re sure to love downtown Cambridge with its Victorian look. Here’s you’ll find everything from the latest fashion to antiques. Pottery shares space with furniture. Antiques mix with jewelry and handcrafted gifts. Start your day off right with a coffee at a local coffee shop or bakery. Then stop for lunch or dinner at one of Cambridge’s pubs, cafés or other restaurants.
Other popular attractions here include the Cambridge Winery, Hinchley’s Dairy Farm Tours and the Dancing Goat Distillery.
Cambridge is certainly a wonderful place to visit. So check it out. You may find you want to stay!