#5. Appleton

Tourists see Appleton, WI, as a unique summer vacation destination. Students at Lawrence University view the city as a great college town. Forbes named it one of the “best places for business and careers.” We find Appleton to be one of the Best Affordable Places to Live.

Things to Do in Appleton

Regarded as one of the safest cities in Wisconsin, Appleton draws young professionals and families who are attracted to the city’s large assortment of recreational offerings, quaint downtown and growing list of entertainment options. More than 100 restaurants, shops and bars help create a lively scene in downtown Appleton, while surrounding neighborhoods have playgrounds, parks and a growing collection of walking trails that connect to nearby cities in the Fox Cities region. Area home prices are nearly 20 percent below the national median home price. The average Appleton resident spends less than 28 percent of their monthly salaries on housing costs and about 18 percent on transportation.

Miller Electric, which makes wielding supply equipment, Armament Systems and Procedures, a producer of defensive compliance weapons, and Thrivent Financial make up part of the array of companies found in Appleton. The city enjoys a low unemployment rate, and government leaders have shown fiscal restraint while providing a host of amenities to keep residents healthy and active. Valley Transit, a network of bus lines that run by the city, gives residents a cheap alternative to driving a car in Appleton.

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