- Things to Do
- Where to Stay
- Food & Drinks
- Plan Your Visit
In the Fox Cities, the spirit of originality, authenticity, and creativity runs deep. In 2021, experience it with these 21 original ideas and things to do in the greater Appleton area/Fox Cities.
Take a hike.
Explore miles of trails, intriguing history, and awe-inspiring views atop limestone cliffs and ledges overlooking Lake Winnebago at High Cliff State Park.
No visit to Wisconsin is complete without cheese. Stop by Simon’s Specialty Cheese for fresh squeaky cheese curds and stock up with some more blocks for the fridge.
Catch a ballgame … and a brat.
Enjoy one of the best minor league baseball experiences at the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. See the future stars of the Milwaukee Brewers play and get the chance to catch a brat from the famous Bratzooka.
Run a marathon.
Run along the scenic lakefront, over one of the longest overwater pedestrian bridges in the state, and through neighborhoods with cheering spectators during the 30th anniversary Community First Fox Cities Marathon in September.
Stroll and shop local.
From eclectic independent shops to favorite global retailers, stroll our historic yet modern downtowns, discover distinctive treasures, and create treasured memories to take home.
Let the music move you.
Whether it’s original, homegrown talent to cover bands to Top 40 groups on tour, the Fox Cities is the home for live music including Mile of Music, creative bookings, and one-of-a-kind venues.
Loop the Lake.
Loop the Lake is a four-season, multi-use, and 3+ mile trail that loops the lower portion of Little Lake Butte des Morts. Connecting multiple parks and communities, this scenic trail takes you over the water, past abundant wildlife, and through historic spots in the beautiful outdoors.
Explore from a new perspective.
Go up. The Heckrodt Wetland Reserve Children’s Canopy Walk outdoor play space gives families a new perspective of the forest … complete with a slide, rope bridge, and raptor nest.
See a show.
From the stars of Broadway to homegrown artists and creatives, be inspired by the artistry of the stars on stage at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, eclectic venues, and outdoors theaters.
Spend Friday night at the supper club.
Fill your belly and your heart. Experience the ambiance and taste traditional Wisconsin cuisine at a supper club like Mark’s East Side. Enjoy an Old fashioned, fish fry, steak, and delicious eats.
Keep the good times brewing. Sip on refreshing beers and drinks from more than a half dozen Fox Cities-based craft breweries, including some from Wisconsin’s oldest continually operating brewpub – StoneArch Brew Pub. Cheers to that!
With Lake Winnebago, the Fox River, and dozens of other waterways winding through the Fox Cities, you’ll find plenty of ways to paddle the day away from the comfort of your kayak or canoe. See the beauty of the river banks and our cities from a new view while on the water.
Make a chocolate bar.
Your day just got a whole lot sweeter. Mix and match your toppings, spices, and add-ins for a custom candy bar at Wilmar Chocolates. The chocolatier has been handcrafting artisan chocolates and sweet treats in the heart of Appleton for decades.
See the light.
The Hearthstone Historic House Museum – a beautiful 1800s Victorian home sitting on a bluff along the Fox River – was the first private residence in the world to be lit by the central Edison system. Book a tour to see the intricate beauty and the incredible innovation of the home.
Watch them soar.
Located on the banks of the Fox River, 1000 Islands Environmental Conservancy is a prime viewing spot of majestic American bald eagles, especially during January and February.
Welcome to Wisconsin! Get a taste of the good stuff (nearly as close to the cow as you can get) when you drink milk, taste an ice cream treat, or pick up seasonal dairy favorites from the family-owned, fifth-generation Lamers Dairy Inc.
Magic happens here.
World-famous magician Harry Houdini called Appleton home, and his legacy lives on at a dedicated interactive, family-friendly exhibit at the History Museum at the Castle. You’ll head home knowing the magic of a trick or two!
Best in glass.
The intricacies and beauty of unique glass art will wow young and old visitors alike at the Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass. This premier glass museum features the world’s largest collection of glass paperweights on public display, contemporary glass art, and hands-on activities to make your own masterpiece.
Embark on an international trip in the heart of Little Chute. Tour the Little Chute Windmill – a fully functioning, authentic Dutch windmill – and learn about the area’s ancestral history.
Venture onto a new path.
Wind through a variety of natural habitats any season of the year at Bubolz Nature Preserve. Nature becomes your classroom, playground, and backdrop for unforgettable moments at this urban natural sanctuary.
Find your original.
What will the Fox Cities inspire in you? Find your original while exploring ours and show us using #FindYourOriginal and #FoxCitiesOriginal. Explore more Fox Cities Originals here.