15 Best Things to Do in Appleton, WI

15 Best Things to Do in Appleton, WI

Home to the splendid Fox River Valley- Appleton is one of the most charming places in Wisconsin.

Are you looking for a fun and scenic place to enjoy a weekend? We recommend Appleton for it has action, adventure, and natural beauty.

Watch the art of making paper at the Paper Discovery Center, go make friends with some butterflies, or just take a scenic hike! These are the top 15 things to do in Appleton-

Visit the first house that had electric bulbs (Hearthstone Historic House)

Hearthstone Historic House
self, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Do you know what would be a cool way of starting this trip? Well, would you like to go take a look at the first house in the entire world to have been lit up by Edison’s electric bulbs?

Yes, Appleton houses Hearthstone Historic House. The house is world-famous for being the first one who saw the light of a bulb.

The house has been made a museum now. And, it is the most interesting thing ever! Build during the Victorian era- the interior design and architecture say it all.

You can still see the furniture that has been beautifully decorated inside. And, the best part of everything is that they still have some of the original inventions of Edition inside. They are almost 300 years old.

Engage on a self-guided tour along Fox Trot Trail

The Fox Trot Trail is something that needs to be experienced. If you are willing to see some important spots of the city in one afternoon- the best way is to take a stroll along Fox Trot Trail.

The walk starts from the Houdini Plaza and gives you the very best of the downtown area as well as the riverfront. You can follow the fox signs and guide yourself.

Not only are you going to be bedazzled by the enchanting beauty of the Fox River, but you will also come across some attraction spots on this trail. If you are confused, you could always head over to their website and get the map of the trail.

Zuelke Building, Lawrence University, and the History Museum at the Castle are some of the top spots that this trail covers. Also, the length is just 2 miles, so it is not that exhausting.

Plan a great day at Appleton Memorial Park

Spending an afternoon at the Appleton Memorial Park means that it is going to be a fun day for you and your kids.

The place has everything starting from playgrounds, trails, ponds, nature. There are even different courts where you can play tennis, volleyball, and even basketball.

Want a round of soccer? You can even manage to find a soccer field here. Go play golf with your kids. Kids get excited when you bring them here.

Also, people of all ages enjoy the Appleton Memorial Park for there is no shortage of opportunities to have fun here. During the winters, the park provides excellent skating opportunities.

Exploit the art-enthusiast in you

Trout Museum of Art
WikiSammy, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

No matter what kind of art enthusiast you are- the Trout Museum of Art will surely make you lose your breath.

The genius team at Appleton Artists Guild started this museum because they did not want to let go of a few talents, and thought that they truly deserved a permanent place in a museum so that people over the years can appreciate their true beauty.

The place is a haven for you if you aspire to be an artist. It even influences the local artists not to give up on their dreams. The different exhibitions that are held in the museum are educational too.

Educate yourself about the city at Museum at the Castle

Museum at the Castle
Aaron of L.A. Photography / Shutterstock.com

Did you know what now stands as Museum at the Castle was once a Masonic temple? Yes, this building has a lot of historic significance.

It was initially named Houdini Historic Center, and now this grew up to be one of the most popular attractions here in Appleton.

The building is quite famous and is also registered among the National Register of Historic Places. The architecture is what makes people look at it even longer.

Fox River Valley’s history is depicted quite well here, and you can even get to see some really old artifacts. Some of them are even almost 200 years old.

Get the local taste of Appleton at Downtown Appleton Farmer’s Market

Want to get to know the different local tastes of Appleton? Starting from the early weeks in June and continuing till October, the visitors of Appleton get to see a new side of the city. Yes,

Downtown Appleton Farmer’s Market is the place you visit if you want to get in touch with the soul of Appleton people.

The location is College Avenue, and the best part is that it extends across four blocks. The main attraction has to be food, and here you can get to taste the local flavors.

While meat and bread happen to be the staple- baked goods should not be ignored. You get to taste the local fresh fruits too

Have a colorful day at Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin

Do you happen to be in Appleton during the summer? We have got a bunch of first let us make a stop at an exclusively vibrant location that is sure to win your heart and uplift your mood too.

At the Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin, you get to see a splurge of different colors. The different species that you see here are native to the region. Also, this place has a certain feature.

You get to see the butterflies in their different shades of life. Yes, you can even see a pupa here.
You also get to see the Butterfly Bridge and Maze. The place is just lovely. Not only are you getting to see several butterflies, but there are other animals too.

You can even come across deer and many other birds. The butterfly center is in fact, that breath of fresh air that you didn’t know you needed in life.

Appreciate a piece of nature at the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve

For the past 45 years- Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve has played a huge role in preserving the nature of Appleton.

Its top priority also includes making people realize how blessed they are surrounded by these different shades of green.

The Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve is a nice amalgamation of both recreations as well as education. Not only does it teach people the importance of nature, but you can also partake in a lot of activities.

You can engage in a lot of hiking and trekking tours around here. The Preserve is vast, so there is a plethora of options to choose from.

Learn a new art at Paper Discovery Center

Paper Discovery Center
Royalbroil, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the leading industries of Appleton also happens to be the paper industry, and yes, the art of making paper plays a huge role here. For that reason, an entire Paper Discovery Center has been set up.

In this center- not only do they make paper, but they also teach the visitors this certain art.
The Purdy-Weissenborn Paper Lab is an extremely interesting place to check out. If you are interested- you can even sign up for one of the workshops here.

You could even get to create your sheet! Also, they guide you around showing all the hacks of making paper.

Go boating at Little Lake Butte des Morts

Little Lake Butte des Morts
Aaron of L.A. Photography / Shutterstock.com

Want to enjoy some quiet time? Little Lake Butte des Morts is such a quaint location that you’d feel like staying there forever. But, it is not exactly in Appletown. However, if you happened to be downtown- you should give this a go for it is just a 15 minutes drive away.

The Fox River comes here and the lake is beside the river on its right banks. You might think that the name- Little Lake Butte des Morts is unusual and yes, the French gave it this name.

The lake is easily one of the prettiest ones in all of Wisconsin and is considered one of the most romantic locations. Wanna go fishing? There is plenty of largemouth bass here. You can even walk along the shoreline breathing in the exotic views.

Take on some adventures at High Cliff State Park

High Cliff State Park
Theo Wecker / Shutterstock.com

Want access to a quick getaway to the beautiful Lake Winnebago? Well, High Cliff State Park is your only chance. Not only is it the path to absolute beauty, but it is gorgeous.

You can take part in all sorts of summer activities in High Cliff State Park. The trails are endless and have some of the best views too. There are options for mountain biking too if you are interested.
But this is not a place that stays pretty only during the summer. It is beautiful in winter too! The snow covers the ground, and you can even go sledding!

Wanna visit a place that has its name on the National Register of Historic Places? High Cliff Mounds inside this park are a truly charming beauty.

Spend an afternoon beside Fox River

 Fox River
Gary Wondrash / Shutterstock.com

You might have experienced the true beauty of the Fox River while going on that self-guided tour. So, why not take a break, sit down, and soak in the majestic views for a bit?

The Lower Fox River decorates the city and adds in more beauty. It carves its path across the heart of the city and tourists are engrossed in its beauty. However, the true beauty appears after sunset.

It is a fact that the river looks beautiful throughout the day, but the evenings are completely magnificent on a different level. Want to explore more? Go hiking around the river. The paths are well-maintained and the views are brilliant!

Indulge the shopaholic in you

Downtown Appleton
self, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are a shopaholic, then Appleton got some treats for you. If you visit Downtown- you’d be puzzled with which shop to check out first. There are lots of gift shops, branded stores, boutiques all across the downtown area. If you wanna buy some gifts- you can get them at an affordable rate.

If downtown isn’t enough for you- don’t be disappointed, we still got the Fox River Mall! Indulge in one of the best shopping experiences of your life here. There are plenty of stores here that might even empty your pockets! Do check them out if you want a fun evening filled with shopping!

Check out the prestigious Lawrence University

Lawrence University
SkyBlodgett / Shutterstock.com

Appleton also happens to house one of the most prestigious art schools in the States. And, in a place where there is such a university- the art and culture are bound to be well developed.

Want to go check out the campus? It is open and completely free to the public. The campus stretches for 84 miles, and this school of liberal arts is well-renowned.

You can see a lot of tourists roaming around and checking the music conservatory, clicking pictures, and just having the time of their lives.

Throughout the year- a lot of events and functions are organized by the authorities and the students of the college. If you happen to be in town during such an event- we recommend you go check it out!

End the trip with some good beers

How about we give you a happy ending to your Appleton trip? Yes, we are talking about some good beers. Appleton has some of the best breweries in all of Wisconsin, and the tourists love the craft beers.

If you are someone who likes it rough- you should keep the last day of the trip free, and visit some of the best breweries in the city.

The first one that comes to our mind has to be the Appleton Beer Factory that is placed in the downtown area. How about you grab a beer after you are done shopping?

Lion’s Tail Brewing Company is another location that has some of the best beers on tap, but you’d have to drive a bit to get to the brewery.

This is all about Appleton. We hope you had fun. We shall be back soon with another wonderful trip. Till then stay tuned!