Appleton, WI

Travel Guide
Photo by Josh Russell
This attractive city on the banks of Fox River is Wisconsin’s popular destination for performing arts, thrilling sports and Harry Houdini history.

Appleton is known for its performing arts scene, heritage houses, pleasant parks and informative museums. The charming city in Northeast Wisconsin is split diagonally by the meandering Fox River. Catch a baseball match, wander through an expansive botanical garden and learn about the famed magician Harry Houdini’s connection to Appleton.

Appleton is a compact city and features a range of exciting destinations within easy walking distance in its downtown district. Check what’s showing at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, a venue that regularly hosts Broadway acts and the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra. Visit the History Museum at the Castle, an interactive local history museum featuring a range of permanent and touring exhibitions. Find out how former Appleton resident Harry Houdini performed his amazing feats of illusion at the Houdini exhibit.

Walk a few blocks to find the Hearthstone Historic House Museum on the banks of Fox River. This stately late-19th-century mansion was the first house in history to be powered by hydroelectricity. Take an informative tour to hear about the Edison hydroelectric system. Catch weekly Appleton City Band concerts throughout the summer in Pierce Park, a leafy public park located nearby.

To the northeast of the city, find the Appleton Memorial Park, an expansive 139-acre (56.2-hectare) public park that features baseball fields, a playground, an indoor ice-skating rink and a picturesque picnic area.

Appleton can be reached by plane to Outagamie County Regional Airport from several major cities in surrounding states. A bus service connects Appleton to Chicago and Green Bay. Local buses serve the city and taxis are readily available in downtown. Visit Appleton for the warm, lingering summers or vacation in winter to see the city brightly lit with colorful Christmas lights.

Where to stay in Appleton

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College Avenue Historic District

Travelers come to College Avenue Historic District for its abundant dining options, and you can see top attractions like Trout Museum of Art and Building for Kids Children's Museum while you're in town.

College Avenue Historic District