Janesville, with a population of 63,600, sits along the Rock River in south-central Wisconsin, about 15 minutes north of the Wisconsin/Illinois border. It is the county seat of Rock County. Because Interstate 90/39 runs along the east side of the city, residents have convenient access to Madison (45 minutes north), Milwaukee (75 minutes northeast), Rockford (45 minutes south) and Chicago (2 hours southeast).
Janesville offers a nice mix of small manufacturing, distribution center, service industry, retail, health care, and public sector employment. Mercyhealth is the community’s largest employer, followed by the School District of Janesville, and Rock County. Median household income is $55,664 (2012).
Sports and recreation
Residents and visitors enjoy four seasons of recreation including biking, hiking, fishing, golf, swimming, tennis, disc golf, softball, cross-country skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, ice-skating, and ice hockey.
An extensive city park system features a large city pool, wading pools, 36 holes of golf, a disc golf course, softball fields, tennis courts, a 10-mile cross-country ski trail, and playgrounds. More than 25 miles of paved recreation trail, including portions of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, run throughout the city.
Fitness facilities include the YMCA, a full-service, locally owned athletic club, two tennis clubs, and several national chain fitness clubs. The city recreation department offers affordable fun for all ages, all year ‘round, in a variety of venues. Other city amenities include several dog parks, an ice arena and an arboretum.
Spectator opportunities include the 19-time national championship Rock Aqua Jays Water Ski Team, the NAHL Janesville Jets junior hockey team, and the Beloit Snappers Class A baseball team.
Education and culture
Higher education opportunities abound within a short driving distance. These include the University of Wisconsin-Rock County, Blackhawk Technical College, Beloit College, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The 633-seat Janesville Performing Arts Center offers a diverse mix of entertainment by community-based groups and national touring professionals. Rotary Botanical Gardens, an award-winning, 20-acre botanic garden, offers many dramatic and themed gardens and seasonal events.
If history is your thing, visit Janesville’s Lincoln-Tallman House to learn about Abraham Lincoln’s visit here in 1859, and enjoy the many Janesville Historic Walking Tours of residential districts during the warmer months.
Popular annual events include Tallman Arts Festival, the Janesville Memorial Day and Labor Day parades, Freedom Fest, Rock County 4-H Fair, and the Holiday Light Show at Rotary Botanical Gardens.
No need to leave town for great shopping! Janesville features Target, Menards, Home Depot, Farm & Fleet, Boston Store, Sears, Kohl’s, Pier 1 Imports, Gander Mountain, OfficeMax/Office Depot, Staples, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, Best Buy, T.J.Maxx, Shopko, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, plus many antique and resale shops, several art galleries, a natural foods co-op, and seasonal farmers markets.
Enjoy the best of Wisconsin dining right here. We have several traditional Wisconsin supper clubs nearby, plus many locally owned coffee shops, sports bars, diners, an Irish pub, and restaurants featuring Italian, Mexican, Asian and American cuisine. Janesville is also home to many popular national chains: Starbucks, Olive Garden, Hometown Buffet, Red Robin, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Applebee’s, IHOP, Denny’s, Panera, Chipotle, Pot Belly, Perkins, plus plenty of fast food and sandwich options.