Okay I admit, Appleton doesn’t seem like a major tourist destination. Perhaps it isn’t but it does offer some great options for dining, shopping, sports, and other unique adventures.
Appleton is located in Eastern Wisconsin about a half hour south from Green Bay, and an hour west of Lake Michigan. Here I am with my Wisconsinite distances, instead of miles I give distance in time.
They have numerous dining options and while we were there we ate at some more well known chains but also a few mom and pop places too. My girls and I stayed two nights in Appleton and the surrounding area and here’s a few things I will share. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
First night we stayed at the La Quinta off of College Avenue. I originally picked this place as they had a large pool and my girls and I wanted some time to swim and relax. Plus the rate was reasonable at $88 plus tax for the night.
If you can choose where you stay, take my advice and do not stay here. Why? The pool, hot tub, and kids activity center were all closed due to a burst pipe. From the time I booked, and drove the hour to the hotel, this occurred.
We were disappointed, but I tried to make the best of a bad situation. The room we were assigned was literally just off the ‘lobby’ but really it wasn’t a lobby, just where the front desk was.
The room was clean, but when I took a shower the maid service did not apparently see the wash cloth on the shower curtain from the last guest, so that was a nice surprise when I was showering.
The room was considered a two room suite, and it had a living area with a desk, couch, and TV. And then a separate bedroom with two full sized beds. The couch pulled out to a bed, so we all could have our own bed. Due to my children being a bit rotten I ended up on the couch and it was the worst bed I’ve slept in ever.
I know, I know, pull out couches aren’t a luxury. Once I did finally get comfortable, that’s when the staff began talking at the front desk. Remember, we were literally 30 feet from them. And at midnight their voices carried easily.
Now the staff that I interacted with seemed interested in only doing their job to the extent of getting to take their next cigarette break. Which seemed to be quite often.
Overall, La Quinta Appleton, I would not go back nor recommend it.
The first night we had dinner at Texas Roadhouse. It was busy so there was a wait, but Texas Roadhouse….do you really need 6-7 staff members standing around the hostess stand talking and laughing while people are waiting for a table? Couldn’t you offer a soda or water to people? Especially when it’s super hot and the kids are a bit tired? But I digress…
The food was wonderful, our waitress was polite. We enjoyed our dinner. Nothing superb, nor horrible to report.
After our night of joy in the La Quinta, we went to find breakfast the next morning, as a Nutri Grain bar was not enough for my hangry child.
We found a mom and pop restaurant, simply called The Diner. Upon entering, my youngest had to use the bathroom (I swear she has to visit every bathroom) so my two girls went while I waited for someone to seat us as the sign said.
All I got from the waitress was to “sit anywhere with a green sign.” Gee thanks. I found a table and my girls joined me. The same gracious waitress provided us menus, her name was Jeni and the sign said it was her birthday.
I don’t want to assume she hates her job but I am willing to guess that smiling was something she was allergic to. Regardless, she took our order, brought our food, and the bill. She never asked how we were doing or if we needed anything else.
The place was not overly busy and she wasn’t the only one there but if she wants to make a career on her people skills, she’s not gonna get far.
But again the food was really good and my youngest inhaled her pancake and bacon.
After a fun day of shopping we then went to our second and last hotel. This one was about 10 miles north from where we were and their pool was not closed.
Country Inn and Suites, Little Chute Wisconsin. They offered a comfortable room, but more importantly they had a small waterpark on the property. 1 pool, hot tub, splash pad with two slides and then another independent slide as well.
We spent 5 hours in the pool area and it was the best time I could have hoped for. If you need a decent hotel, clean, and in an easy to get to area, definitely check them out.
The property also was conveniently located to fast food restaurants or other dining options a short drive away.
We opted to check out a local Mexican restaurant. El Jaripeo. I have mixed reviews on this place. The food was delicious and we were very full. But…we waited 20+ minutes for a server to come to our table to even get a drink order. The five tables that surrounded us all were serviced within 5 minutes of being seated. So service wasn’t the best but the food was good. Would I try them again, maybe.
So my friends, I feel that I had more bad to report than food, however I enjoyed our little mini break and my girls and I had another memory together.
Not all those who wander are lost.