Sunrise aerial view of beautiful Appleton Wisconsin waterfront.

Best Places to Live in the US in 2022 Sponsored by: eXp RealtyeXp Realty

Appleton, WI is the #39 Best City to Live in the USA

Hiking trail in Appleton, WI.
Courtesy of Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau
Appleton, WI
Quality of Life
Liv Score

626
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 51
Demographics 44
Economy 63
Education 63
Health 56
Housing 69
Infrastructure 44
Amenities 69

Why Appleton is one of the best cities to live in

Located just north of Lake Winnebago along the shores of the Fox River is Appleton, WI, the cultural heart of the Fox Cities region. Appleton is one of the best places to live in the U.S., with several notable amenities that keep residents entertained year-round. From a performing arts complex that brings Broadway shows to the region and the Trout Museum of Art in the heart of downtown, the fun is never done. The area is known for its live music, ranging from a summer concert series to punk bands playing at pizzerias and guitarists strumming at coffee shops. One of the safest cities in Wisconsin, with a low cost of living and growing entertainment and food scenes, Appleton is increasingly appealing to young families and young professionals. Additionally, the city of 74,000 residents is known for its charming neighborhoods, friendly people and affordable housing, all of which add to Appleton’s appeal. 

What are Appletons major industries and employers?

Manufacturing, financial, medical and insurance are the area’s top industries. Part of Wisconsin’s “Paper Valley,” Appleton’s top employers include paper industry-adjacent companies like Appvion and Reynolds consumer products.

What are the major colleges and universities in Appleton?

Lawrence University 

What is the weather like in Appleton? 

Appleton experiences all four seasons, including warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters with about 41 inches of snowfall every year.

What is there to do outside in Appleton?

The Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin houses more than 200 butterflies. Visitors can admire a variety of native butterfly species and learn how they differ at each phase of their life cycles.   

Appleton, WI is Remote-Ready

What makes Appleton a great place for remote workers?

Appleton is a great spot for young professionals looking to make a change. The city is full of recreational activities, cool bars and restaurants so that remote workers can build their community outside working hours. Additionally, residents have access to cool coworking spots like Appleton Coworking, a nonprofit, member-driven group run by the community, or Stateview Commons, a clean, modern space perfect for checking items off a to-do list. 

What Locals Love in Appleton, WI

What is the best local bookstore in Appleton?

For more than 40 years, The Book Store, a funky, independently owned shop, has been supplying more than 80,000 new and used books to the bookworms of Wisconsin. 

How do you spend a weekend in Appleton?

Tour the first private residence anywhere in the world to be illuminated by Edison’s electric light bulbs. The Victorian-style Hearthstone Historic House Museum was once home to Henry J. Rogers, credited with shaping the city of Appleton through his paper mills. 

What can you do for free in Appleton?

Volunteers at The Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve have taught visitors about environmental ethics, appreciation of nature and conservation for 45 years. Visitors who are not attending one of the several education programs can walk, hike, bike or cross-country ski through the 775-acre preserve. 

Whats the best way to spend happy hour in Appleton?

The Appleton Beer Factory is a laidback brewpub housed in a former auto garage. 

Whats something only locals know about Appleton?

The famous magician Harry Houdini was raised in Appleton, where his father became the city’s first rabbi.

Is Appleton, WI a good place to live?

Charming neighborhoods, an affordable cost of living and a thriving arts scene make Appleton a best place to live in Wisconsin.

Thinking of Moving to Appleton?

What is the Appleton, WI real estate market like?

With the city’s booming economy and also serving as the cultural hub for the Fox Cities it’s no wonder why Appleton real estate is ranked as one of the best places to live in the U.S. Since Appleton is a college town to Lawrence University, college graduates have grown to love the city and oftentimes stick around and officially plant some roots. You’ll typically find more affordable starter homes for sale in Appleton around the southern parts, while growing and larger families tend to settle to the east. There are several Appleton real estate agents available to help you find the home you’re looking for.

Quick Facts About Appleton, WI

Average Commute
17.7
Median Home Value
$243,989
Med. Household Income
$61,475
Total Population
74,854
Walk Score
39
Median Property Tax
$2,968

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