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Appleton ranked a top "Dream City"

Post Date:03/03/2017 1:20 PM

The national recognition for Appleton keeps on coming. This week the website ranked Appleton the #4 "Dream City" in America. 

Why not Appleton? 

If you've heard Mayor Hanna give a speech in the last year or so, you've probably heard him ask the question, "Who do you know who has moved to Seattle, Portland, Austin or Minneapolis recently?" Often, at least someone in the audience will raise a hand. Indeed those cities are booming and are at the top of some people's lists of places to live.Houdini-City Center

But if you've heard that speech from Mayor Hanna, you've also heard him talk about how Appleton has and is getting many of the same amenities that those cities have, without the associated problems like traffic, crime and high cost of living. Believe it or not, Appleton is becoming a destination like those cities and this ranking is just the latest in a series of national rankings that validates that point.

Amenities make the difference

Referring to the cities we mentioned, notes, "They’re walkable. They have plenty of restaurants and places for recreation and entertainment. But rent is usually astronomical, and crime rates in some of them are scary."

Appleton has a very walkable downtown and many walkable neighborhoods. We're also in the midst of implementing recommendations from a recently completed mobility study that will improve that even more.

Appleton is also becoming an even more bike-friendly community as we continue to implement more miles of bike lanes each year. In 2018 bike lanes will extend from downtown all the way to Midway Road south of Highway 441, making an important connection for cyclists. Downtown Appleton at night

In its rankings, specifically notes that restaurants and entertainment options are keys to being at the top of the ranking. In fact, it says Appleton is in the top 20% in those categories among all of the cities it studied. 

"Appleton is a good place to get out and enjoy a nice meal or a drink with friends – and feel safe doing so. The city has a crime rate of just 19.4 incidents per 1,000 people and boasts more than 200 restaurants and bars ... Residents enjoy the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers minor-league baseball team, more than 25 parks, and the exhibits at the History Museum at the Castle – a building that was once a Masonic temple."  

Focus on the river

Of course the ranking also mentions the Fox River as another amenity. Stacey Angell was one of a number of you that mentioned it a recent post on our Facebook page about an upcoming TV program that will feature Appleton. Skyline Bridge shot of river

"The importance of the Fox River to our history, the locks system and how we now use it for recreation (i.e. Park to park paddle)."

There are a number of projects currently in the works along the Fox River. The RiverHeath development continues to expand, a future senior living community is in the works on the former Foremost Dairy site and we are working to acquire abandoned railroad trestles to connect our trails across the river. 

Living here won't break the bank

Perhaps one of the best highlights that separates Appleton from the other big cities is our cost of living. notes we are eight percent lower than the national average. Combined with our "Midwest nice" mentality, the diversity and generosity of our community, it should come as no surprise that we're at the top of the cities rated for the list. 

"We have what all of those other cities have without the big city problems," said Mayor Hanna. "You all are the ambassadors for us and what we are building here and you are part of it."

Appleton Communications Coordinator Chad Doran can be reached at (920) 832-5814 or

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