Visit Appleton

Things to Do When Visiting Appleton Wisconsin

Things to Do When Visiting Appleton Wisconsin

Franklin Street Inn is at the Heart of it All!

Franklin Street Inn is at the center of all the things to do in Appleton Wisconsin. Let us be your tour guides for visiting Appleton. 

These are a couple of the big reasons that guests stay with us:

And of course we're here for so much more. We look forward to hosting you during your stay to Appleton.

Lawrence University

Lawrence University

Our Inn Is The Closest Lodging To Lawrence University

Appleton is a college town with a scenic Lawrence University campus at 420 East College Ave.  Lawrence University, founded in 1847, is a community of approximately 1,500 intellectually curious students.

Franklin Street Inn Bed and Breakfast has been offering lodging to the Lawrence community since 1994. After meeting numerous families and students, we know first-hand that this campus definitely has friendly and multi-interest students. We are proud to have served them with their lodging needs through the years. We are always sad and happy at graduation time. We will miss these students and their families. We are happy for their graduation accomplishments. However, even with our mixed emotions, we can look forward to the students returning as alumni so we can host them once again.

Lawrence University, affiliated with the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, is located on 84 acres in downtown Appleton.  The campus is divided into two parts by the Fox River.  The academic campus is on the north shore of the river and the major athletic facilities are on the southeast shore.  The newly rebuilt outdoor stadium, Banta Bowl, for athletic events has  5,000 seats.  Their Bjorklunden site in Door County on 425 acres serves as a site for retreats, seminars, concerts, theatrical performances and even a chapel for weddings. 

Lawrence is an undergraduate institution that is a deliberately small residential university. Students can be educated in the areas of the liberal arts, sciences and their nationally recognized conservatory of music program.  Presently, Mark Burstein, the president, and 164 faculty are educating the undergraduates. The student/faculty ratio at Lawrence is 9:1. 

Lawrence university’s academic year runs from mid-September to mid-June on a trimester calendar. Go to for more information on Appleton’s famous university.  

Students may earn:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Music
  • Cooperative Degrees in Engineering, health sciences, and environmental studies
  • Liberal Arts majors
  • Design your own majors in interdisciplinary areas of study
  • Independent study program options

Lawrence University Student Body

This Conservatory was founded in 1874 and has always been a part of Lawrence University.  The Conservatory has three choirs, two bands, two jazz ensembles, and numerous chamber music groups.  In addition to parents, the Fox Cities residents often attend these distinguished performances.

Lawrence almost has a student from every U.S. state:  over 75% of the students identify as white, about 12% are international students, 25% of students or 350 students study in the conservatory of music, and in the fall of 2014, a quarter of their incoming class were domestic students of color.

Lawrence University is considered second best in the state of Wisconsin.  Madison’s University of Wisconsin is #1.  Of course Madison is a larger city and has appeal to different interests.

Margot, a music conservatory parent, told me that the Lawrence University staff are very friendly, courteous, and genuinely interested in you so you feel special.  She also shared that when enrolling her son at Lawrence, she kept wishing that she could have also gone here. Her son, David, is a cello performance major at this renowned university.

David is  now in his sophomore year.  He commented, “ I have found that in all my contacts of interacting  with parents, students or staff, everyone has been kind to me."


Lawrence University has 23 varsity teams in the Division III(NCAA) athletics program. 

Men’s and women's sports include:

  • basketball
  • cross country
  • fencing
  • golf
  • swimming and diving
  • soccer
  • tennis
  • track and field

There is also a men's baseball team, football, and ice hockey. The women may participate in a softball and volleyball team.

We have had numerous faithful families and friends support these sport competitions.  It works out very convenient for them to take lodging at the Franklin Street Inn Bed and Breakfast to be close to campus sport's events.

Lawrence College

Looking back from 1913 to 1964, one can recall that Lawrence University was actually called Lawrence College.  Being called a college instead, gave them an emphasis on its small size and a liberal arts education focus.  I treasure a ceramic trivet featuring Lawrence College which I use to hold hot beverages at our guest’s dining room table.  Since over half of our business comes from Lawrence connections, then it is fun to share that piece of history with guests.  The college name was changed to Lawrence University when it merged with Milwaukee-Downer College(a woman’s college).  “The traditions and heritage of Milwaukee-Downer are woven into the Appleton campus, from the grove of hawthorn trees(called Hawthornden) between Brokaw and Colman halls, to the sundial on the back of Main Hall, to the bestowing upon each class a class color and banner.”

Lawrence Offers Appleton Cultural Appeal

Our city is definitely given cultural appeal by the many events being held here. Lawrence University is proudly profiled in “Colleges That Change Lives”. The Conservatory of Music ranks among the best in America among small language arts universities. Go to Wriston Art Center to view their art holdings comprising more than 3,000 objects in a variety of media:  including early modern European and American art; special collections of German art, Japanese prints, and Oceanic artifacts; Ancient and Byzantine coins.  The art center features new exhibits five times a year.

Historical Buildings

A special historical building on campus is the Lawrence University main hall used for classes.  It was constructed in 1853 before Appleton became a city.  The main hall’s façade used white stone quarried from the Fox River and its cupola is an Appleton landmark.  Rumor has it that the Main Hall tunnel, which led up from the Fox River prior to the Civil War, is evidence that the building was a stop-over on the underground railroad.  Another amazing campus and Appleton architectural wonder is Lawrence Memorial Chapel which was built in 1918. The 1,248 seat chapel is the primary venue for public events such as the Artist and Jazz Series, Conservatory orchestra, choral and ensemble concerts, public meetings and the convocation series.

New Construction

Since we have lived here in Appleton since 2003, we have witnessed two new campus constructions:  Hulbert House, 2006, and Warch Campus Center, 2009.  The Warch Campus Center was a very positive addition to the campus.  It is a gathering place for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests from the Fox Cities community.  This 107,000 square foot building is situated on the Fox River on the site of the former Hulburt House.  The Warch Campus Center includes a cinema, campus dining services, campus mailboxes, and various meeting and event spaces.  This building has even earned a LEED Gold certification for meeting sustainability goals in energy conservation, environmental friendliness, and green building.

See the photo on this page.  This Kodak moment to behold is Lawrence University at dusk from the Fox River side of campus.  Bordering the Fox River, gives the campus a unique setting.  Students, family, alumni, faculty, and campus visitors always enjoy walking along the paved river trails when time permits for an exhilarating break!

EAA AirVenture

EAA AirVenture

Stay With Us During EAA AirVenture

First starting in 1953, aviation enthusiasts now gather annually each July at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  The largest air show of this type in the world is sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association, an international organization located in Oshkosh.

Over 500,000 recreational pilots and aviation fans attend annually with 2,081 visitors from 69 nations.  More than 10,000 airplanes land and depart during the fly-in week making the Wittman Field FAA Control Tower the busiest in the world for that week in number of movements.  EAA AirVenture holds nearly 1,000 hands-on forums, workshops, and special presentations. The EAA show includes Aerobatic and Static Displays.

Paul Poberezny founded the EAA organization for builders and restorers of recreational aircraft.  These people still attend EAA, but now it includes almost every aspect of recreational aviation and aeronautics.

EAA AirVenture Museum

Our guests have definitely enjoyed visiting the EAA AirVenture Museum on the grounds.  You too can see a collection of more than 200 historic airplanes along with world-class galleries and displays.  The EAA AirVenture Museum is a year-round destination, combining the passion of aviation’s past with the promise of its exciting future.

Featured Aircraft included at the EAA AirVenture Museum:

  • 1944 North American F-51D Mustang-N3451D
  • Spirit of St. Louis Replica
  • 1938 Bugatti Model 100 Racer
  • 1931 Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro “Miss Champion”-NC11609
  • 1946 Piper J3C-65 Cub-NC3403K
  • 1930 Pietenpol Air Camper-N12937

EAA AirVenture Volunteers

Arriving in the weeks prior to the show, the annual show depends heavily on volunteers serving by:

  • parking cars and airplanes
  • paint buildings
  • set up and tear down concerts and shows presented by the EAA

What perks do the volunteers receive free:

  • meals
  • tee-shirts
  • embroidered patches
  • admission to the EAA AirVenture event

Plan to Attend

The show creates quite a buzz on the street in the area cities. TV and radio broadcast daily. Local businesses really amp up their services in preparation for crowds arriving. The EAA AirVenture fly-in has a large economic impact to the Oshkosh area as well as the entire state of Wisconsin.

If you would like to learn more about the EAA AirVenture schedule for this year, how to buy your tickets or join EAA, what air shows are being featured, or any other helpful trip planning tips, then go to their official website:

We look forward to hosting our many EAA guests annually.  We are very pleased that the Franklin Street Inn and Franklin Inn on Durkee Bed and Breakfasts, Appleton, Wisconsin are located only 2 blocks from the shuttle stop that runs to and from the EAA grounds in Oshkosh.  Our full home-cooked breakfast is served each morning at 7 a.m. so guests can make it to the grounds which open at 8 a.m.

See you in July for this fun and educational week!  The world’s finest aerobatic performers put on jaw-dropping displays every year.  When the sun goes down, then night activities include concerts, feature films, and special programs.  You could even see Oshkosh by air, if you took a ride in some very unique aircraft.  Only in Oshkosh will you live seven straight days of aerobatics, history, music, camaraderie, and much, much more!

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers

Let Us Make Your Game Day Experience Special

Complimentary Early/Late Check-in or Out To Our Packer Fans (Website Rate $25. per hr. NOW COMPLIMENTARY to help make your game day plans The Best Ever. We are on your team!) Ask about the shuttle from Appleton to Lambeau Field.

After our trip to a Packer Game, we recommend going to the following extra activities:

  1. Hall of Fame
    The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame was established in 1966.  Drive in early on game day so you can relive the most exciting moments in Packers and football history all preserved in the Hall of Fame. Pure Packers adrenaline fills this 25,000-square-foot area where you can see, touch and feel over 90 years of riveting history. There are nearly 80 exhibits including four Super Bowl trophies, a vast array or Packers memorabilia, plaques representing each of the inductees, and a re-creation of Vince Lombardi's office.  Countless videos - many of them newly updated - allow the spectacular memories to be lived over and over.
  2. Stadium Tours
    Lambeau Field Stadium Tours allow fans to experience the Packers' history-rich facility first-hand and see several behind-the-scenes areas. Tour guides will lead you through the Lambeau Field Atrium, up to the exclusive Club Level for a look at the Legends Club. From there, you will be taken down, through the players tunnel, and learn all about the incredible history of the Green Bay Packers. Feel the pride and energy that makes the Packers and Lambeau Field so endearing. Outstanding photo opportunities avail themselves throughout each tour.
  3. Pro Shop
    Do you want to go home with a gift of green and gold for yourself or someone else? Make sure that you stop in to the Packers Pro Shop at Lambeau Field. This shop is the official retailer of the Green Bay Packers. Player tested and fan approved because you will find the perfect clothing item or Packer theme item for your souvenir. Check out the Packer must have’s that will be your game day and everyday favorites.

History of Green Bay Packers

“The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, that competes in the National Football League (NFL).  They are members of the league’s North division of the National Football Conference(NFC).  Green Bay is the third-oldest franchise in the NFL, organized and starting play in 1919.  It is the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team based in the United States.  Home games are played at Lambeau Field.”

The Packers were founded by Earl “Curly” Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, two former high-school football rivals.  Where did the Packers get their name?  Lambeau worked at the Indian Packing Company.  His employer donated $500($6,800 in today’s dollars) for uniforms and equipment, but the requirement was that Packers would be the name for the team.  In 2016, that makes a 97 year old tradition of the Packers playing in their original city longer than any other team in the NFL.

Green Bay is the smallest professional sports market in North America.  However, it has a local fan and media base extending into Milwaukee, 120 miles to the south of Green Bay.  After living in Appleton for 13 years, we find when the rival teams of either the Chicago Bears or Minnesota Vikings are coming to play the Green Bay Packers, that everyone is buzzing even more about football!  Whether it is people wearing the green and gold colors, newspaper, TV, radio, or the talk on the street, we know the day and time for those big competitive games!  Because the Franklin Street Inn and Franklin Inn on Durkee Bed and Breakfasts, Appleton, Wisconsin book rooms for the fans coming to town, then we quickly see how our reservations come in and fill up due to the demand for game day lodging.

The Packer's Honors

“The Packers have won 13 league championships, the most in NFL history, with nine NFL titles before the Super Bowl era and four Super Bowl victories.  They won the first two Super Bowls in 1967 and 1968 and were the only NFL team to defeat the American Football League(AFL) before to the AFL- NFL merger.  Vince Lombardi was the Packers head coach and general manager from 1959-1967.  Under his leadership, the Packers definitely improved! The Packers became the team of the 1960’s, winning five World Championships over a seven-year span.  Bart Starr, coached by Lombardi, is one player’s name that stands out among the fans.  A 7-5 record in 1959 represented the Packer’s first winning season since 1947, enough to earn rookie head coach, Lombardi, the NFL Coach of the Year.  The Vince Lombardi Trophy is named after him because he guided them to their first two Super Bowls.  Their next two Super Bowl wins came in 1997 and 2011.  Besides the trophy honoring him, the city of Green Bay renamed Highland Avenue in his honor in 1968, placing Lambeau Field at 1265 Lombardi Avenue to this day.

Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers Years

We have lived in Appleton for 13 years now.  We have experienced some of the Brett Favre era(1992-2007) and are now in the Aaron Rodgers era(2008-present) under head coach Mike McCarthy.  “Packer great Brett Favre earned titles as a three time All-Pro, three time NFL MVP, and Super Bowl XXXI champion during his 16 years in Green Bay.  The Packers began their 2008 season with their 2005 first-round draft pick, quarterback Aaron Rodgers, under center, as the first QB other than Favre to start for the Packers in 16 years.  Rodgers played well in his first year starting for the Packers, throwing for over 4000 yards and 28 touchdowns.”

Community-Owned Franchise

It is an interesting fact that the Packers are the only community-owned franchise in American major league professional sports.  The team is owned by 360,584 stockholders in 2014.  Lambeau Field had an expansion project in 2011-2012 when more shares were sold to raise funds.  Because of this broad-based community support and non-profit structure, this Green Bay team has held strong for nearly 100 years in spite of being the smallest group in all of North American professional sports.

Packer Fans

Each season that I take reservations for Packer games, I am amazed at the loyal fan base.  It could be a reservation from the west coast or the east coast.  But somehow that guest at the Franklin Street Inn or Franklin Inn on Durkee Bed and Breakfast has a past connection to Wisconsin or a definite tie to the Packers.  It has been noted that regardless of team performance, every game played in Green Bay has been sold out since 1960.

Yes, these loyal fans do not even mind being called “cheese-heads”.  The nickname started in 1987 as an insult at a game between the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers.  Of course the name matches Wisconsin residents due to the state’s bountiful cheese production.  So the Packer’s fans wear bright orange triangular cheese-head hats wherever the team plays.  The fans proudly wear these cheesy hats as they cheer for the Packers.

So how many fans can actually attend the games?  In 2003, an extensive renovation expanded seating to the current capacity of 72,928, but ticket demand far outpaces supply.  The Packers still hold a waiting list for 86,000 season ticket requests.

The above information is a summary from wikipedia.  If you want more statistics, then go to  Even though I needed to dig into the Packer background on that website to be more knowledgeable about the Packers, most of the Wisconsin born fans would probably be carrying numerous facts in their heads.  Drive or look around in Wisconsin to see the Packer logos on houses or in apparel.  The signs are obvious that Packer fans out number any other teams.  I know that this team loyalty adds excitement in our state, but I have found it most humorous when I discover a married couple with one Packer fan being married to a rival team supporter.  Football makes life interesting in Wisconsin for sure!

Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

Their Mission

“The mission of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is to serve as a gathering place for the community to engage in educational opportunities and enhance understanding and enjoyment of life through the creation and presentation of the arts.  We will do this by providing a premier venue for performing arts attractions and dynamic environment for our arts organizations.”

A vision for the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center began in the 1970’s.  Civic leaders and local arts groups imagined a community building like we have in Appleton today.  Their vision to support the performing arts has definitely been crucial to our entire region’s quality of life. 

Yes, here is “Where the Arts Come Alive”!  Enjoy the best in live entertainment at Northeastern Wisconsin’s premier performing arts venue located at 400 West College Ave in the heart of downtown Appleton!  The P.A.C. draws the community and numerous out-of-town visitors together for world-class performances and provides educational opportunities.  Not only major shows are held here, but also local and regional groups use this auditorium for community events.

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center,, had their first performance on November 25, 2002.  The audience gave positive reviews.  My husband and I attended our first musical there on Valentine’s weekend 2003.  We were thrilled to have listened to “Mama Mia” that evening.  Attending first hand gave us a background to inform our guests about a typical center’s experience.  Of course, the Franklin Street Inn Bed and Breakfast, Appleton, Wisconsin is perfectly located for any of our guests to even walk to performances, only five blocks away, as we did, also.

Planning and Building

This facility was a $45 million dollar project which took 31 months to build.  The completion of the building was done amazingly fast not only for the actual building part, but also to raise the dollars through private contributions from over 2,700 local residents and businesses.  The construction company, architects, and consultants had a goal to assure that this facility was world-class in both the amenities and the acoustics offered.

Upon completion of the PAC, the people in the valley realized that a long-time dream of actually having a major Fox Cities facility devoted to the performing arts was real.  This building will serve the cultural, educational, and entertainment needs of our community for generations.  Performing arts do have a powerful language.  People will have their emotions aroused which in turn helps people to see, hear, feel, think, and learn.  The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is dedicated to its mission and after 13 years, the community definitely sees how valuable the fulfillment of this dream has been.

People had a dream to be entertained, inspired, educated, and challenged by performances in the PAC.  World-class talent at the center would stimulate and excite audiences.  The fulfillment  of the dream is being lived today as we see beyond our immediate world and deepen our personal insights.

PAC Volunteers

Besides the performances at The Performing Arts Center, attendees notice many people are volunteering to welcome you, take tickets. usher you to your seat, and wish you a great day when exiting.  I know that there are approximately 400 willing volunteers.  Realizing the spirit of volunteering here alone, is a testimony to the mission of the arts in this area.  A group of local people committed to volunteering find it a great way to give back to this community, meet people with similar interests and have a lot of fun to help create the best live arts experience in Northeast Wisconsin.  Because there are hundreds of events each year, the Center relies heavily on these dedicated volunteers.

Thrilled About Appleton PAC

As I tell the story of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton, Wisconsin, I want to take this opportunity to personally thank all who were involved in the completion of the center.  It is not only the efforts of dedicated people in the past which offered their time and money to build this place, but it also takes people to attend the events.  My husband and I have thoroughly enjoyed the PAC and look forward to every future opportunity to attend as guests, too.  Many people know that the city of Appleton has numerous other opportunities for local people and visitors.  But to attend the PAC is like the frosting on the cake for anyone.  Yes, tasting some of that sweetness, definitely makes our fine city the best ever!