PopulationMetro: 320,050
Sports (and the Packers, specifically) rule this Wisconsin, but other industries have long built on the momentum.

Faithful supporters of the Green Bay Packers wrote the book on how to be a super fan.

It’s all about the Packers in this close-knit city on the shore of Lake Michigan, where folks love their hometown team so much they own it (with 360,000 stockholders, the Packers are the only NFL team with a collective ownership structure). But while joining the “Cheeseheads” might be obligatory (sorry, Steelers fans), even the off season here has something to offer visitors, newcomers and old-timers alike.

Green Bay’s strategic Great Lakes location makes for an economy centered on shipping and manufacturing—although unlike in some other traditional blue collar hubs, unemployment is lower than the national average. Schneider National, one of the country’s largest privately-owned trucking companies, is based here, as is a growing healthcare sector.

Place 41
Product 65
Programming 23
People 39
Prosperity 32
Promotion 30

With four Superbowl rings to brag about, the Packers set the tone around here, and in the fall social life revolves around game day (it’s obvious why Green Bay ranked #1 in the Professional Sports Teams category). But while Packers fandom binds the community together, there’s also a lively entertainment district along the Fox River and on Main Street, which earns the city a respectable #35 ranking for Nightlife.

We won’t lie, winters here can be brutal, but in the summer it becomes clear why they call these the Great Lakes. With scenic cycling and walking trails along the Fox River, the serene, 700-acre Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary within city limits and beautiful Door County just a 45-minute drive away, Green Bay residents can spend plenty of time in nature.

Meanwhile, income might be below the national average, but cost of living is, too, and families appreciate Northeast Wisconsin’s can-do community spirit.