But did you know that the Fox Cities of Appleton, Menasha and
Neenah in eastern Wisconsin are the favorite destinations for a
Midwest Girlfriends Getaway? Why? Because they offer what gal
Top 10 Reasons “Foxes” Get Away to the Fox Cities
By Eleanor Hendricks McDaniel
Fox River Mall (foxrivermall.com) is Wisconsin’s second largest
mall with more than 180 retailers, restaurants and event and
entertainment venues. Popular shops, such as Ann Taylor, White
House Black Market, Abercrombie and Finch, Victoria’s Secret and
Helzberg’s Diamonds, join other designer stores and “Indie”
Shop Downtown Neehnah.
Two Irish brothers established Kerrigan Brothers Winery
(kerriganbrothers.com) in 2000 and are now producing 1,000
gallons a month. Tilt a glass of apple cranberry or other fruit
wines, or their grape wine, like Niagara or Catava in the
tasting room. Meet their nephew, winemaker Troy Landwehr, who
attended the Waukegan School of Art and Design. As a successful
sculptor, he chooses to carve Wisconsin cheddar cheese!
Kerrigan Brothers wines.
Purchase handmade chocolates from Wilmar Chocolates
(wilmarchocolates.com). This iconic corner store began in 1956,
but has been under the ownership of Liz Garvey since 1984. She
insists on using the fresh ingredients of cream, butter, honey
and fruit bought from local purveyors that she mixes with rich
American and imported chocolate. But the most fun is when you
customize your own candy bar. Choose from a slew of mind-bending
goodies to add to the chocolate base: toffee, sea salt, coffee,
potato chips, Door County dried cherries, cayenne pepper,
cashews and more.
Chocolatier Nancy Ebblis offers
free samples at Wilmar Chocolate store.
You can’t visit Wisconsin without noshing cheese. Simon’s
Specialty Cheese (simonscheese.com) produces a copious variety
of cheeses. Sample from a spread that may include seven-year
Super Sharp Cheddar, Butterkase, and Tomato Basil Monterey Jack.
But, ladies, do not
leave until you try (and probably buy) their Chocolate Cheese
Frank's Pizza Palace first
brought pizza to Appleton.
Breathe the fresh air at Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve
(bubolzpreserve), a non-profit wildlife preserve and nature
education facility. Trek the 775-acre property and discover
tapped maple trees. Taste the clear sap straight from the
bucket. Stop in the sugar shack to follow the progress of syrup
making. Your reward comes back at the center when you get to
consume the finished organic product served over vanilla ice
Tapping the maple trees at
Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve.
Pure maple syrup over vanilla
Downtown Neenah celebrates the fairer sex in April during the
Ultimate Ladies Day. Join the girls at the Holiday Inn for the
annual Champagne Breakfast and Fashion Show
(Neenah.org/events/ultimate-ladies-day). Afterwards stroll
Wisconsin Avenue where you’ll find delightful “Indie” boutiques.
Check out Bill Paul Ltd. for men and women’s elegant apparel,
one-of-a-kind hand-crafted items at Fine Fox Artisan Collective,
Lucy’s Closet Pet Boutique for your furry companions and
Vintique for funky fashions and home décor.
Indulge your creative inner-self at Fire Arts Studio and Gallery
(thefireartstudio.com). Craft experts will guide your hands
through jewelry-making, glass fusing, mosaics and ceramics. Then
you get to take away your masterpiece.
glass pendant is the one in the header.)
Let the experienced staff at the unisex salon of Shear Chaos
(shearchaos.net) pamper you. They provide a litany of special
services for women (and men) that take in hair, makeup, waxing
and more for individuals and bridal parties. For sheer luxury,
enjoy their paraffin hand dip.
Visit the Berstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass
(bergstrom-mahlermuseum.com) that features one of the world’s
largest collection of glass paperweights. It was established by
Mrs. Evangeline Bergstrom who acquired her first one at age ten.
She was hooked. The collection includes more than 3,000
paperweights that span the decades from the time of the 19th
century French glass masters to today’s contemporary artists.
Take in a Broadway production at the Fox Cities Performing Arts
Center (foxcitiespac.com) where every seat is a good seat in
this 2,100 seat theater. Even the back row is no farther than
108 feet from the stage. The schedule for 2015 includes Jersey
Boys, Annie, Dirty Dancing and Mamma Mia! Experience Broadway
shows at a doable ticket cost in Appleton.
If You Go
Fly into Green Bay or Appleton.
The three small cities follow the Fox River and are close
together. Choose one hotel as your base, and drive wherever the
Best Western Premier Bridgewood
Holiday Inn Neenah (hineenah.com), Neenah.
Hampton Inn Appleton (hamptoninn.hilton.com), Appleton.
Frank’s Pizza Palace (frankspizzapalace.com). Appleton’s
first pizza restaurant.
Vince Lombardi’s Steakhouse
(vincelombardisteakhouse.com), Appleton. An homage to the
legendary football coach.