Fondly referred to as the “Fox Cities,” Appleton and Oshkosh lie a stone’s throw from Green Bay and reside along the Fox River.

Both offer a bevy of activities that draw visitors into the glory and beauty of Wisconsin. And, being roughly 20 miles apart, you can hit both in one day (or weekend) for a double dose of memories. When you go, you’re in-store for unique eateries, historic destinations and outdoor adventures.

Outdoor Activities

To soak up the quiet of nature, head to Appleton’s Bubolz Nature Preserve to amble along trails and bask in the wildflowers. The area’s best views of the Fox River can be found along the 3.5-mile Oshkosh Riverwalk. For outdoor experiences with a side of excitement, catch a concert at Oshkosh’s Leach Amphitheater or a minor league baseball game with the Timber Rattlers.


Oshkosh’s Main Street makes for a lovely shopping district. Don’t miss AtomicKatz, brimming with midcentury vintage finds, or Crescent Moon Antiques & Salvage for rustic treasures. Downtown Appleton holds plenty of shops, like Eco Candle Co. and Blue Moon Emporium for Wisconsin-inspired items, and the farmhouse-centric boutique The Vintage Garden.

Sweet Eats

Known for restaurants with throwback appeal, in Oshkosh be sure to visit Ardy & Ed’s Drive In for a 1950s trip in a time machine and Fox River Brewing Co. for real-deal Wisconsin brews and eats. Appleton is known for its international fare, including Sai Ram Indian Cuisine and Carmella’s, a charming Italian bistro.


The area holds its fair share of museums, such as the Oshkosh Public Museum that tells the story of the region through artifacts and historic photos and Appleton’s The History Museum at the Castle, where you’ll discover exhibits on local, noteworthy citizens like magician Harry Houdini.

Notable Attractions

To be truly entertained, be sure to book tickets for a Broadway-style show or concert at The Grand Oshkosh or Appleton’s Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. For an art and flower-filled experience you won’t soon forget, visit The Paine Art Center and Gardens in Oshkosh.

Photo Courtesy of the Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau


Shelby Deering is a lifestyle writer from Madison, Wisconsin, contributing to national and regional outlets like Midwest Living, Rodale’s Organic Life, and BRAVA. You can learn more about her at

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