Fall Getaway: The Fox Cities

Photo courtesy Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau

Comprising 19 communities along the Fox River, the Fox Cities are located in east central Wisconsin.

The area offers a wealth of outdoor adventures that are ideal for taking in the fall sights and sounds during a day or weekend trip.

In the Fox Cities, fall colors abound — especially along the Fox Trot Trail, a self-guided, scenic two-mile walk through Appleton’s downtown and along the Fox River. In addition, High Cliff State Park offers a plethora of activities to welcome the change of seasons, including hiking, horseback riding and camping. For those who enjoy biking or kayaking, the Fox Cities features kayaking opportunities along the Fox River, as well as on the Loop the Lake bike trail, an idyllic three-mile trail.

Nature lovers can also explore the various nature centers, including the Bubolz Nature Preserve, Heckrodt Wetland Reserve and the 1000 Islands Environmental Center — all of which offer trails, programs and opportunities aplenty to enjoy the season outdoors.

Both Appleton and Kaukauna have charming farmers’ markets, which run through the end of October and showcase a wealth of produce, baked goods and hand-crafted items.

For those who enjoy shopping, stroll through the downtowns of Appleton, Neenah and Menasha for some of the area’s best shopping in eclectic, independent shops and galleries selling clothing and locally-made gifts.

History buffs will relish exploring the region’s various museums, including the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass and the History Museum at the Castle in downtown Appleton, where visitors can learn about the region’s rich history. In Neenah, there’s a self-guided historical homes walking tour that includes dozens of locations with notable landmarks and exquisitely maintained homes. And located in Kaukauna, the Charles A. Grignon Mansion offers visitors a chance to tour the historic home and enjoy various exhibitions and activities, including the Native American Dance Performance on Sept. 18. In late October, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will be featuring “Wicked,” the “untold story of the Witches of Oz” — a favorite production among theater-goers.

When it’s time to relax and unwind, take in a Wisconsin Timber Rattlers baseball game. The Timber Rattlers play through mid-September and are a minor league affiliate team of the Milwaukee Brewers. Of course, no visit to the Fox Cities would be complete without enjoying many of its eateries, including Seth’s Coffee & Bake Shop, River Tyme Bistro and Houdini’s Escape Gastropub, to name a few.

Mid-September-Oct. 31

Family-friendly farm activities (hayrides, pumpkin picking and farm animals aplenty) abound at the Mulberry Lane Farm Pumpkin Harvest Celebration in Hilbert, making it a must-visit attraction.

Sept. 24-25

No visit to Appleton would be complete without enjoying the much-anticipated Octoberfest. For 40 years, Appleton’s Octoberfest has been delighting visitors with music, food and activities that help usher in the fall season.

This sponsored article is part of our Special Travel Section from the September/October issue.

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