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Hotels in Appleton, Wisconsin

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Best hotels in Appleton

Appleton Introduction

Appleton’s strategic location on the fast-flowing Fox River, close to the lumber forests of Wisconsin, ensured its success as an important center of the paper-making industry during the 1850s—an industry that continues to thrive to this day. The city was an early pioneer in new technology, boasting breakthroughs in the development of hydroelectricity, a trailblazing electric streetcar company, and the first telephone in Wisconsin. Today’s visitors flock to this friendly city in Outagamie County for its museums, malls, historic landmarks, and famous Flag Day parade—the oldest celebration of its kind in the U.S.

Hotels in Appleton

From graceful historic mansions packed with authentic touches to sleek modern inns offering state-of-the-art amenities, hotels in Appleton reflect the character of this forward-thinking yet homey city. Convenient lodges offer family-size suites with plenty of space to let off steam, cozy B&Bs supply home comforts and a hearty breakfast to boost your sightseeing batteries, and budget motels leave you free to splash your dollars on having fun. Appleton hotel rates vary little from season to season, so it’s easy to find a bargain at any time of year—although booking well ahead will secure the best prices and availability.

Where to stay

The majority of discount hotels in Appleton are conveniently clustered around the interchange of West College Avenue and Interstate 41. This is an ideal location if you’re traveling to Appleton by car, as you’ll find plenty of popular motels with spacious, free on-site parking. You’ll also be temptingly close to the glittering store displays of Fox River Mall. Stay in one of the luxury hotels in Appleton downtown and enjoy tranquil walks along the Fox River and historic landmarks on your doorstep. You can even stay in one of these historic landmarks—the 3-star Franklin Street Inn is a highlight of Appleton’s charming Victorian quarter.

Things to see

Get a fascinating insight into the industry that put Appleton on the map at the Paper Discovery Center, housed in the former Atlas Mill of the Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Through informative displays, interactive exhibits, and the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame, this historic mill on the Fox River celebrates all things paper. The History Museum at the Castle occupies another Appleton landmark—a Masonic temple dating from 1923. Here you can learn about Harry Houdini, the world-famous escapologist who spent his childhood in the city, and other notable former residents. Hearthstone House is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places for its pathbreaking use of hydroelectricity. This grand residence was built in 1882 by the manager of the Appleton Pulp and Paper Mill and was powered from a dynamo in one of the mills. It is now open to the public as a museum, with the original Thomas Edison light fixtures still in situ.

How to get to Appleton

Appleton International Airport, 6 miles west of downtown, provides convenient flights to and from various U.S. hubs, including Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Taxis are on hand at the terminal to whisk you off to your hotel in no time at all. By road the city is equally accessible, with Interstate 41 circumnavigating to the west and north, and a choice of U.S. highways in all directions. Travel in Appleton is provided by the bus network of Valley Transit, which links the city with other destinations in the Fox Valley.