Moving to Appleton

Welcome to the spellbinding city of Appleton, WI, where natural beauty meets urban charm. Our comprehensive relocation guide will unveil the intricacies of uprooting oneself to this exciting slice of Midwest America. Appleton is a city full of surprises--a spot where tradition blends with innovation, painting an enchanting picture of warmth and progress. We understand that moving could feel like an overwhelming leap, but with our detailed guide, relocating to Appleton will feel less like a daunting chore and more like stepping into a delightful new chapter of life.

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What to Know Before Moving to Appleton

1. A City Steeped in History

Appleton, Wisconsin is rich in historical significance as it is home to the childhood residence of Harry Houdini and novelist Edna Ferber. Moving to Appleton allows you the chance to proudly share these fun facts with your friends and bask in the enchanting chronicles that this charming city offers.

2. Experiencing the Four Seasons - Literally!

When moving to Appleton, prepare to witness the picturesque transformation of nature through the four seasons. From the snowy winters, with temperatures that can sometimes dip well below freezing, to the fresh and vibrant springs, to the sunny and warm summers, to the beautiful fall foliage - Appleton has it all!

3. Schools in Appleton: The Gem of the City

A priority for families moving to Appleton would probably be the education system and guess what, Appleton truly shines in this department. The city's public schools are consistently top-rated in the state and it also boasts the reputable Lawrence University for further studies.

4. The Unexpected Fox River Lock System

An unexpected gem when moving to Appleton is the historic Fox River Lock System. Dating back to the 1850s, it's one of the only hand-operated lock systems still functioning in the whole country. If you're into boating, exploring the locks can be an adventurous day out.

5. Your Taste Buds are in for a Treat

If you're a foodie at heart, moving to Appleton will certainly satiate your culinary cravings. From traditional Wisconsin cheese curds to eclectic international cuisine and craft beer, there's plenty for you to sample and savor. The farmers' markets and food truck rallies offer homegrown produce and mouthwatering meals.

6. Soak in the Art, Culture, and Music Scene of Appleton

Appleton manages to punch above its weight when it comes to thriving arts, culture, and music scenes. It hosts the annual Mile of Music festival, presenting hundreds of performances by singer-songwriters from across the country. The city also boasts several art galleries, theaters, and the renowned Trout Museum of Art.

So, those are the must-knows before venturing into Appleton, Wisconsin. Of course, each city has its pros and cons, but Appleton seems to have a unique blend of a safe neighborhood, great schools, friendly community, history, food, and arts to offer. Moving to Appleton is like discovering a well-kept secret and honestly, we wouldn't blame you if you wanted to keep it that way!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Appleton

Pros of Living in Appleton

Access to Outdoor Recreation

Appleton is surrounded by beautiful lakes, rivers, and plenty of parks for outdoor adventures. With the Fox River running through the city and Lake Winnebago nearby, residents can enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming. Additionally, Appleton has over 24 public parks and plenty of hiking trails for nature enthusiasts.

Strong Sense of Community

Appleton is known for its tight-knit community and friendly residents. The city frequently hosts community events and festivals, such as the annual Appleton Octoberfest and Art in the Park, fostering a strong sense of community spirit and engagement.

Rich in Arts and Culture

Appleton has a thriving arts and culture scene. The city is home to the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, which hosts Broadway shows, concerts, and other events. The Trout Museum of Art and the History Museum at the Castle also add to the city's cultural appeal.

Affordable Cost of Living

Compared to many other U.S. cities of its size, Appleton offers an affordable cost of living. This affordability can be seen in terms of housing, groceries, healthcare, and other basic living expenses. Whether you're renting or buying a home, you're likely to find reasonably priced options in Appleton.

Good Schools

Appleton is home to several highly rated public and private schools, and is part of the Appleton Area School District. In addition, the city is home to Lawrence University, a highly respected liberal arts college, providing quality education at multiple levels.

Cons of Living in Appleton

Severe Winter Weather

Winters in Appleton can be quite harsh, with heavy snow and cold temperatures. This can make commuting and day-to-day life challenging at times. Snow removal and winterizing your home can also add to living expenses.

Limited Public Transportation

Public transportation in Appleton is somewhat limited. While there is a bus service, the routes and schedules may not serve everyone's needs. As such, owning a vehicle is almost necessary for getting around efficiently.

Lack of Diversity

While the city has been expanding and growing, it is still less diverse compared to bigger cities. This could potentially impact those looking for a wider variety of cultural experiences or international cuisines.

Slow-paced Lifestyle

The pace of life in Appleton can be slow, especially when compared to life in larger cities. While this may be a pro for some who enjoy a low-key lifestyle, those accustomed to a fast-paced, bustling city environment may find it to be a disadvantage.

Job Market

While there are jobs available in Appleton, the market may not be as diverse or as expansive as those in larger cities. Opportunities tend to be more concentrated in certain sectors, such as manufacturing, healthcare, and education.

Modern day picture of Appleton, WI highlighting pros and cons of living in Appleton, WI

Is Appleton a Good Place to Live?

Appleton, WI is a great place to live because of its welcoming community, top-notch schools, and fun-filled seasonal events. It is also known for its thriving arts scene, gorgeous parks, and delectable variety of restaurants, making life here delightfully vibrant and diverse. Plus, its low cost of living and easy access to the great outdoors make it a fantastic choice for both families and adventure-seekers alike!

What Is Appleton Famous For?

Home of Harry Houdini

Appleton lays claim to being the birthplace of the world-famous magician, Harry Houdini. While Houdini himself liked to spread this assumption, he was in fact born in Budapest and moved to Appleton as a child. He reportedly considered it his hometown, however, and the city houses a museum--The History Museum at the Castle--that includes a fascinating exhibit on Houdini's life and tricks.

Paper Discovery Center

Appleton holds an unusual claim to fame with the Paper Discovery Center. This quirky museum offers a deep dive into the world of paper production--a nod to the area's history as a major player in the U.S. paper industry. Hands-on exhibits and a functioning paper lab make this a fun stop for families and history enthusiasts alike.

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

Known locally as The PAC, The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is a cultural gem located in the heart of Appleton. Offering Broadway performances, concerts, and other stage events, The PAC has drawn the attention of various national touring companies and well-known artists, making it a major player in the regional arts scene.

Annual Octoberfest Celebration

Get ready to hoist your lederhosen and raise a stein because every year, Appleton hosts an epic Octoberfest. This citywide party boasts live music, mouthwatering food, cultural exhibits, and of course, plenty of Wisconsin-brewed beer. It's the city's way of saying "Prost!" (cheers) to fall, community, and it's German heritage.

Capital building of Appleton, WI in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In 2023, the property tax rate for residents of Appleton, WI is about 2.11%, which is higher than the national average of around 1.07%. This high rate makes Appleton one of the cities with the most substantial property tax rates in the US.

Sales Tax

The sales tax in Appleton as of 2023 is approximately 5%, which is below the national median of approximately 6.8%. This relatively low rate can make purchasing goods and services more affordable for Appleton residents.

Income Tax

As of 2023, the income tax for Appleton residents is around 6.27% on average, which is slightly above the US average of around 5.7%. This implies that Appleton residents pay a slightly higher percentage of their income towards state taxes than the average American.

Housing Market

In comparison to other US markets, Appleton, WI offers a more affordable cost of living and housing. As of 2021, the median home value in Appleton sits around $184,700, whereas the national average is $287,148. Rentals also impress, with an average monthly cost of about $769 compared to the national average of $1,062. With its stable economy, low unemployment rate, and seller's market nature, this locale comes with desirable investment opportunities. However, buyers and renters should be aware of slight annual homes appreciation and minimal rent increase.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Appleton, WI is considerably lower than the national average and other larger cities. Housing costs, a major component of the overall cost of living, are significantly reduced in Appleton. This, coupled with lower healthcare, transportation, and groceries costs, makes Appleton a very affordable option. While wages may not be as elevated as in large cities, the financial benefits of low living costs make the city an attractive place for modest earners and retirees. Hence, Appleton presents a favorable balance between income and expenses compared to much of the country.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Appleton, Wisconsin, experiences a diverse range of climate conditions, prevalent in the Midwest. The area goes through distinct four seasons; warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The average high temperature in summer reaches around 80degF, with winters frequently dipping below 10degF. Rain is distributed evenly throughout the year, with the highest precipitation usually in summer due to thunderstorms. Snowfall can be significant, with an average of 45 inches per season. Autumn is often pleasant, showcasing vibrant fall foliage. As for natural disasters, Appleton occasionally faces severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding. In winter, blizzards and ice storms can occur. While the city does experience a mix of weather phenomena, its residents typically remain well-prepared, making it a resilient Midwestern location.

Typical weather in Appleton, WI

Economy & Job Market

* Healthcare and Social Assistance

* Manufacturing

* Retail Trade

* Education Services

* Accommodation and Food Services

Located in the heartland of America's Dairyland, Appleton, Wisconsin is ripe and ready with opportunities that aren't just limited to cheese! The economy here operates on wholesome energy delivered by industries that feed the heart and mind. Significantly historical within the area, the manufacturing sector leads by churning out everything from paper products, iron, and steel. Modern times, however, have seen an evolution within Appleton's economy. Healthcare and social assistance have emerged as strong economic forces, while the retail trade industry and education services have also proven essential contributors, not forgetting the active beat from the accommodation and food services industry.

If you're planning on planting new roots in Appleton, then hold onto your cheese heads as you're not short on options! Driven by traditional industries and innovative sectors, the city enjoys an unemployment rate lower than the US average. The healthcare and social assistance sector is the leading employer, making it a fertile ground for job seekers in medical and social fields. The manufacturing industry still stands strong, providing ample job opportunities. Are you a fan of retail therapy or passionate about education? You're in luck, with these sectors also flourishing within the jobs market in Appleton. Lastly, if you can stand the heat, get into the kitchen! With thriving accommodation and food services, your skills are sure to find a home here. All in all, whether you prefer working at the crack of dawn or favor the night owl life, Appleton, WI, has a wide array of job opportunities for your picking!

Traffic and Transportation

Whizzing through Appleton, WI, is like slicing a warm apple pie; so delightful yet surprisingly smooth! With an average commute time around 17.5 minutes, zipping in and out of town is faster than finishing your breakfast. Public transportation often feels like taking a joyride with Valley Transit buses offering regular routes, ensuring the city is quite literally at your fingertips. Need to zip further away? No worries; Appleton International Airport, the 'Big Apple' of our lovely town, is just waiting to fling you across the globe. So strap in, whether you're taking a leisurely bus ride, hustling through your daily commute, or catching a flight to an exotic destination, Appleton's got your transportation sorted in the most charming way. Always remember, roads were made for journeys, not destinations, and what better place to embark on that journey than Appleton?

What is the traffic like in Appleton, WI?

Best Neighborhoods in Appleton

1. City Park Historic District

Nestled in the heart of Appleton lies the charming City Park Historic District. Cozy brick-lined streets, stunning Victorian architecture, and the sprawling City Park at its center make this neighborhood an idyllic place to call home. This area isn't just about its aesthetic appeal though. Schooling is top-notch courtesy of the Appleton School District, and with Lawrence University just a stone's throw away, the academic atmosphere is palpable. Residents also enjoy the vibrant dining and shopping scene at nearby College Avenue. And hey, it never hurts to have those Thursday night concerts at Houdini Plaza on your calendar!

2. Riverfront

For a more modern and urban flavor, consider Riverfront. This neighborhood along the scenic Fox River showcases a diverse mix of walkable amenities, including trendy restaurants, craft breweries, and boutique shopping. Recreational enthusiasts love the connected trails for biking and walking. For professionals and families, it offers convenient commutes with a fantastic set of nearby employers. Local events like Octoberfest and the Saturday Farmers' Market bring the community feeling to life.

3. Northland Historic District

Steeped in rich history and showcasing a mixture of architectural styles such as Colonial Revival and Craftsman, Northland Historic District provides residents a feeling of a sumptuous past. Home to peaceful tree-lined streets and Griffith's Grant Park, it invites nature enthusiasts, families, and history buffs alike. Plus, this neighborhood also hosts the much-anticipated annual Christmas parade - a tradition that further spurs the neighborly spirit.

4. Kimberly

If suburbia with a small-town feel is on your wish list, Kimberly could be your perfect match. It offers a respite from big-city hustle without sacrificing all the modern conveniences. The neighborhood boasts high-performing schools, community parks, and the ever-popular Sunset Beach Swimming Area. If you are a sporting enthusiast, you'll love being close to the Kimberly Papermakers' high school football games - talk about camaraderie!

5. Grand Chute

Shopping connoisseur? Welcome to your retail haven! Grand Chute hosts Appleton's shopping district, offering residents an assortment of stores and restaurants to satisfy every taste. Its vibrant energy is also home to the state's second-largest mall, the Fox River Mall. Yet, the neighborhood's proximity to Plamann Park (a 257-acre gem) offers a touch of nature, providing a well-rounded lifestyle. Moreover, it's on the city's west side, giving residents easy access to the Outagamie County Regional Airport.

Each of these Appleton neighborhoods brims with its unique blend of charm and function, offering something for everyone - from the history buff, the student, the family head, to the busy professional. Adapting to a new city can be hard, but Appleton and its vibrant neighborhoods ensure a smooth, joyous transition to this colorful slice of Wisconsin. So gear up and embrace the delightful journey that awaits you in the heart of the Fox Cities.

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Things to Do

Welcome to Appleton, Wisconsin - the heart of America's Dairyland. This charming city has an eclectic mix of experiences sure to whet your adventure appetite. Whether you're fond of nature, arts, history, or food, we got you covered. Here are the top seven things to do in Appleton to kickstart your local discovery.

1. Visit the Trout Museum of Art

The Trout Museum of Art offers a fantastic dive into the world of contemporary art. Its rotating exhibits showcase diverse feats from local and international artists alike. Know more about the Appleton art scene, participate in workshops, and even get a chance to create your own artwork!

2. Explore the Green Belt Nature Center

If you're an outdoor junkie, this is your sanctuary. In the heart of Appleton rests the beautiful Green Belt Nature Center, perfect for hikes or calming walks. With over 75 acres of natural beauty, it's sure to give you a lifetime of memories and beautiful Instagram-worthy photos!

3. Attend a Performance at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

Catch a Broadway show or watch a world-class concert at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. This state-of-the-art facility, located inconspicuously amongst Appleton's downtown architecture, offers a lineup of events year-round that cater to every taste - from plays, music, dance, to family-themed events.

4. Visit the Hearthstone Historic House Museum

Did you know that the Hearthstone Historic House was the first to be powered by hydroelectricity in the entire world? This historical nugget is a must-visit for both architecture and history buffs, showing how Appleton was at the forefront of the technology revolution.

5. Explore the History Museum at the Castle

History comes alive at the History Museum at the Castle. Housed in a beautiful 1923 Masonic temple, the museum showcases exhibits that tell the full history of Appleton - from its founding days to its role in modern American history. Special attention is given to Appleton's native son, Harry Houdini, the world-famous illusionist.

6. Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at Wilmar Chocolates

Wilmar Chocolates, a lesser-known gem, is a real treat for chocolate lovers. Operating since 1956, this old-school chocolate factory allows visitors to custom create their own chocolate bar. Enjoy watching the chocolate-making process and grab some decadently delicious souvenirs.

7. Enjoy a Farmers Market on College Avenue

Nothing sums up Appleton better than its Saturday Farmers Market on College Avenue during the summer. Local farmers and artisans from all over Wisconsin convene to sell their wares. Enjoy live music, local produce, fresh bakery, homemade crafts, and street food. It's a perfect opportunity to socialize, relax, and appreciate the joys of living in Appleton.

In conclusion, Appleton, WI, is a city brimming with life, history, and culture. It's not just cheese, cows, and farm fields. Whether you're an art enthusiast, history buff, nature lover, or foodie, there's something for everyone. So lace up your walking shoes, dust off that bike, and let the journey of discovering Appleton begin!

Things to do in Appleton, WI?

Find Movers for Your Appleton Relocation

Taking the leap to make Appleton your new home is the first step towards settling into this beautiful, vibrant community. To make your transition smoother, consider Great Guys Moving, a company known for uniting customers with the highest quality movers in the industry. Their service allows you to efficiently secure free quotes from licensed, insured companies able to assist with your move. Leave the heavy lifting to trusted professionals, and focus your energy on getting familiar with your new hometown. It's simple, with Great Guys Moving; so why delay? Click now to get your free moving quote and start your Appleton adventure.

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