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What are the fox cities?

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One of the state's fastest growing areas with about 250,000 residents, the Fox Cities offer a thriving metropolitan area closely surrounded by incredible natural beauty. A rich paper-making history dating back to the 1830s when the first settlers began to tame the wild and fast flowing river still provides the economic backbone to the area. A large, well-educated work force has drawn many other industries to the area, including health care, financial services, and manufacturing.

Each community of the Fox Cities brings its own special history and personality, making the area a unique blend of urban style and small town warmth. Looking to relocate to our area? Here's a quick reference of area apartments to help get you started.

Incorporated: 1857 Counties: Outagamie, Calumet, Winnebago Population (2010 Census): 72,623

The heart of Wisconsin's Fox Cities, Appleton is a community known for its quality of life. A bustling economy, low crime rate and bountiful recreational opportunities make Appleton a great place to live and visit. Appleton's eclectic downtown is home to many specialty retail shops, fine dining, and a wide array of ethnic eateries. At the east end of downtown is Lawrence University, a leading liberal arts college and world-class conservatory of music that attracts students from around the world. Appleton was home to escape artist Harry Houdini and celebrated author Edna Ferber. The History Museum at the Castle highlights the lives of both in permanent displays. Another Appleton attraction is the Hearthstone Historic House Museum, the world's first home to be lit by a hydroelectric center.

Incorporated: 1885 County: Outagamie Population(2010 Census): 15,462

The City of Kaukauna is located on the picturesque Fox River between the waters of Green Bay and Lake Winnebago. The ever-flowing Fox River provides Kaukauna with outstanding scenery and fishing opportunities, as well as making it a key paper-making city. The community offers many fine attractions such as 1000 Islands Environmental Center, a 320-acre nature and education preserve, and the historic Grignon Mansion, home to Kaukauna pioneer and fur trader Charles Grignon.

Incorporated: 1874 County: Winnebago, Calumet Population (2010 Census): 17,353

Located on the north shore of Wisconsin's largest inland lake, Menasha enjoys a beautiful waterfront setting. This navigable waterway running through the heart of Menasha provides recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Water power afforded by the Fox River helped establish Menasha as an industrial center in the late 19th century. Its industrial heritage carries through to today with the paper industry providing the economic underpinnings of the city and the area. Menasha retains elements of its historic character in a rejuvenated downtown and has reoriented itself to the waterfront with an 87-slip marina. Impressive community parks and the Heckrodt Wetland Reserve reflect the city's commitment to providing opportunities for everyone to enjoy its abundant resources.

Incorporated: 1873 County: Winnebago Population (2010 Census): 25,501

Whether you're looking for a place to live or do business, Neenah offers something special for everyone. The metro area's business climate has earned it the ranking of third best market for business development among all small metropolitan areas in the nation. Neenah's nationally recognized historic downtown is a delightful, friendly place to shop. At the end of downtown, historic mansions of area paper barons surround Riverside Park and Kimberly Point Park offering a spectacular architectural walking tour along Lake Winnebago and the Fox River. The Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass, former home to the paper industry's Bergstrom family, houses the world's largest collection of glass paperweights as well as featuring traveling displays.

Incorporated: 1920 County: Outagamie Population (2010 Census): 3,328

Combined Locks is the smallest incorporated community in the Fox Cities with a quality of life unique to the area. It is considered a quiet, peaceful "bedroom community" yet is growing rapidly and retains ample acreage of wooded and ravine filled parklands to ensure tranquil green spaces in an ever-expanding urban environment.

Founded: 2016 (Formerly the Town of Menasha, founded in 1854) County: Winnebago Population (2010 Census): 18,498

Thriving on the picturesque banks of Little Lake Butte des Morts, the Village of Fox Crossing "bridges" the Fox Cities into the future. Home to several Fortune 500 companies, the Village's dynamic growth affords its residents the charm and amenities of small town life in an urban setting. With over 200 acres of pristine parkland, miles of paved pedestrian/bicycle trails, including the Fox Cities Trestle, the Village offers year-round recreational activities for the entire family. At the center of several new transportation corridors, including US Highway 10 and County Highway CB, the Village is an ideal location for residential and commercial development.

Founded: 1853 County: Calumet Population (2010 Census): 10,839

The Village of Harrison is located on the northeast shore of Lake Winnebago and represents one of the fastest growing areas of the Fox Cities. Its ideal location near the lake makes it desirable for residential and commercial development. The Town of Harrison was chartered in 1853, at which time the township was known as the Town of Lima. Since that first Town meeting on the "Pratt" farm south of Sherwood, the Village of Harrison has become a thriving community. Harrison encompasses some 30 square miles of land and 80 miles of town roads.

Incorporated: 1894 County: Outagamie Population (2012 Census): 2,711

The area now occupied by the Village of Hortonville was once home to the Sac, Fox, and Ho-Chunk peoples. The Village was founded in 1848 and named after its first settler, Alonzo E. Horton (1813-1909), who later was one of the founders and developers of San Diego, CA. In 1873, Hortonville was serviced by its first railroad and was also the site of one of the first match factories in the world. On August 11, 1894, Hortonville was incorporated as a village. Home to Outagamie County's only lake, the Village of Hortonville is a growing community of friendly people with a strong work ethic, a place of safe neighborhoods and affordable housing, a place in close proximity to excellent learning and medical facilities, a place near bountiful shopping opportunities and unlimited recreational and sightseeing opportunities.

Incorporated: 1910 County: Outagamie Population: (2010 Census): 6,468

Kimberly offers life along the banks of the Fox River in a suburban setting that has maintained its small town atmosphere in the "Heart of the Fox Cities." One of the largest parks in the Fox Cities, Sunset Point Park, is a frequent host to the International Softball Congress (ISC) World Tournament as well as home to the Kimberly Amphitheatre, nature trails, boat landings, and passive recreation areas. The quality of life has gained Kimberly a reputation for excellent housing, quality schools and a thriving community located in the heart of the Fox Cities.

Incorporated: 1899 County: Outagamie Population (2010 Census): 10,449

Nestled in the heart of the Fox Cities, just east of Appleton, the village of Little Chute combines a pleasant small-town atmosphere with all the amenities of a larger metropolitan area. The village is blessed with an abundance of natural resources - including the historic Fox River on its southern border.

Incorporated: 1968 County: Calumet Population (2010 Census): 2,713

The Village of Sherwood, nestled between the rolling green farmlands of Calumet County and the sparkling waters of Lake Winnebago, is overlooked by the exposed Niagara Escarpment which offers a pleasant view of the area. Sherwood features a dynamic community of retail, agricultural, and recreational businesses. Abundant open space, two golf courses, a state park, towering cliffs, rich history, 137,000 acres of Lake Winnebago shores, miles of paved and unpaved walking, bicycling, and horseback trails are only some of activities available to guests and residents of the Village of Sherwood.

Incorporated: 1858 County: Outagamie Population (2010 Census): 6,755

The Town of Buchanan was established in January 1858 at an adjourned session of the County Board of Outagamie County. The resolution creating the new town provided that the first annual meeting be held at the local schoolhouse. Buchanan's name derived from then president James Buchanan. The town continues to be one of the fastest growing residential and commercial areas in Outagamie County.

County: Winnebago Population (2010 Census): 3,951

One of the fastest growing communities in the Fox Cities, the Town of Clayton marks the western boundary of the area. Beautiful residential development and the WIOUWASH Recreational Trail add to Clayton's appeal.

Incorporated: 1852 County: Outagamie Population (2010 Census): 5,842

Located halfway between Green Bay and Appleton, the Town of Freedom was formed in 1852 and soon after saw an influx of Irish, Dutch, and German settlers. Historically a small, successful farming community of Freedom is now a booming residential area.

Founded: 1849 County: Outagamie Population (2010 Census): 20,919

The Town of Grand Chute combines the charm of a rural community with the amenities of a larger urban area. With U.S. Highway 41 intersecting the town, Grand Chute is the commercial hub of the Fox Cities. With over 1 million square feet of shopping space, the Fox River Mall is the largest shopping center in the State north of Milwaukee. In and around the Highway 41 corridor are a variety of shopping, dining, entertainment, and indoor recreational opportunities for visitors and residents to enjoy. For family entertainment, Grand Chute offers Fox Cities Stadium, home of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the Milwaukee Brewers' Class "A" minor league affiliate. Grand Chute also features a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities such as disc golf at Plamann Park and the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve - a 600-acre environmental center.

Founded: 1848 County: Outagamie Population (2010 Census): 10,309

Town of Greenville, located west of Grand Chute is the fastest growing commercial area of the state, while retaining its rich farming heritage. The Town is home to the Appleton International Airport (ATW), and is currently developing a 58-acre family recreation area featuring a Wisconsin agricultural theme.

Founded: 1848 County: Winnebago Population (2010 Census): 3,237

Rustic, quaint, and semi-rural are the adjectives best describing the Town of Neenah. The Town's fields, meadows, lakefront, and wetlands lend to the Green Belt running on both sides of the City of Neenah. Neighborhoods evolving along the shores of Lake Winnebago possess unique characteristics contributing to the Town's rural feel. Winding and rustic roads host a variety of activities from hiking to biking.

Founded: 1902 County: Outagamie Population (2010 Census): 1,474

The Town of Vandenbroek is located along Hwy. 41 nestled between Kaukauna and Little Chute. The township, founded in 1902, is named after Father Van den Broek, a Dutch priest who came to America in 1832 and settled in what later became the Village of Little Chute. Today the Town of Vandenbroek encompasses 89 square miles of farmland and continues to experience steady growth.

County: Calumet Population (2010 Census): 980

The Town of Woodville is located at the north end of Calumet County. A portion of the Village of Hilbert lies in Woodville, as does all of the unincorporated communities of St. John and Dundas. Woodville is proud of its agricultural activity and its open landscape.

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The Fox Valley is part of the New North, an 18-county region of Northeast Wisconsin that makes up Wisconsin’s third-largest economic area, after Madison and Milwaukee. The area is known for its low crime rate, educational opportunities, stable economy, affordable cost of living, access to top-rated health care and recreational opportunities.

Home to 65,000 residents, Oshkosh is known worldwide for its hospitality. Oshkosh annually hosts more than 1 million visitors, who are attracted to live outdoor music concerts and festivals, sporting events and art exhibits. More than 500,000 people attend Oshkosh’s largest event—EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, a week-long aviation celebration that includes daily air shows, educational programs, music concerts and more. Learn more about Wisconsin’s Event City by visiting the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The city is home to cultural amenities, including museums, live-performance theaters and music venues. The Paine Art Center and Gardens historical estate features art exhibits and lush gardens. The Oshkosh Public Museum provides a glimpse to Oshkosh’s past while hosting traveling exhibits the whole family will love. The EAA AirVenture Museum brings to life more than a century of aviation history.

Oshkosh takes full advantage of its location on the shores of Lake Winnebago, one of the nation’s largest inland lakes. The Lake Winnebago system and Fox River make it possible for boaters to travel to nearby communities by boat. And, that’s only the beginning. Residents and visitors enjoy a range of water sports, including sailing, kayaking, fishing, ice skating and ice-boating. Land-lovers can witness native wildlife species up close as they hike Terrell’s Island, a 3-mile seawall along the Lake Butte des Morts Wildlife Area. The WIOUWASH Trail, a rails-to-trails conversion, connects neighboring counties of Winnebago, Outagamie and Waupaca and Shawano and provides miles of flat, gravel trail bed for hikers, bikers and horseback riders. The paved Tribal Heritage Trail celebrates the heritage of Wisconsin’s 11 Indian Tribes, along Interstate 41 and is popular with hikers, bikers, roller-bladers and more.

Oshkosh is home to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the third largest public university in the state. With more than 14,500 students, the university offers 60 bachelor degree programs, 15 master’s degree programs and a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Oshkosh is also home to three Fox Valley Technical College campuses, where students pursue a range of associate degrees and certifications. The Oshkosh Area School District (Oshkosh’s Pre-K-12 public schools), Lourdes Academy (a private, preK-12 Catholic school system) and Oshkosh Christian School (a private preK-12 school system) are known for having students who score highly on state assessment exams.

The Fox Valley is so named for the area around the Fox River and west of Lake Winnebago. It stretches from Oshkosh north to Appleton and includes multiple cities in between. The Fox Cities comprises four cities—Appleton, Neenah, Menasha and Kaukauna—and other surrounding townships and villages. More than 200,000 people live in this area.

Among the 19 museums in the Fox Cities is one in Appleton dedicated to the famous escape artist, Harry Houdini. Appleton also is home to Wisconsin’s third largest children’s museum, Building for Kids, located in the city’s bustling downtown. Appleton’s downtown draws people from far and near to the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, which hosts national music and comedy acts as well as Broadway shows. If you prefer outdoor recreation, the High Cliff State Park, located on Lake Winnebago, offers hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, swimming and more. The Fox Valley also has four nature centers and multiple golf courses, including Chaska, recognized in the state as a top public course.

The famed Lawrence University, a liberal arts university and conservatory of music, welcomes students from every state and 50 countries. The University of Wisconsin—Fox Valley, part of the University of Wisconsin System, is a two-year campus where students can complete general requirements and earn credits transferrable to just about any bachelor’s degree in the system. It’s also home to Barlow Planetarium, which hosts public shows about astronomy nearly every day of the week. Public and private school districts in the Fox Valley are among the most highly rated in the state, offering families a wide range of options for students.

Made up of 18 counties in Northeast Wisconsin, the area is known for its low crime rates, economical cost of living, affordable health care, educational opportunities and recreational amenities.

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