Neenah, Wisconsin. Small town America. Where citizens leave their keys in the car and front doors unlocked. A town well know for making manhole covers found all over America. And the town where one of my best friends was getting married and I got to officiate the wedding!
The closest airport to Neenah is located in nearby Appleton, where in the terminal, you have the opportunity to work on your ping-pong game right when you get off the plane!
And while I was extremely excited to officiate my good friend’s wedding, I was just as excited at the opportunity to appreciate small town America. Look, Tampa is no New York City, but there is nothing small town about it. So having the opportunity to visit a place where, literally, everyone knows everyone was very exciting. When visiting a place, where the thing to do on a Friday night is hang out at the local Dairy Queen, you internally begin to reflect on your life. Here’s what I mean. How many times have we worried about what were are going to do this weekend? When is the last time you left your front door unlocked, trusting your neighbors and community that no harm will be done to you, your family or any of your possessions?
It just seems that in these small towns, there is a great sense of “community” rather than “identity”; living “simple” instead of “grand”. When I visited Simons Specialty Cheese, because I just HAD to get my hands on a fresh cheese curd, you should have seen how nice the ladies in the store were. The second I said we were from Florida, one of the sweetest ladies ever stopped everything she was doing and gave me and my buddies a tour of the entire store, all the different cheeses and even opened several cheeses for us to try. Sure, there are millions of nice people out there, but this was more than being nice. It was her way of life; her norm. She had no pride in doing this for us; this was the way she lived. It made me hope that I can “go out of my way” more for others…without it feeling like I’m “going out of my way” to do it.
Dare I mention this place and not mention the cheese! You want the squeaky curd experience, go here. You want to taste freshly made chocolate cheese, go here. You want to purchase a gallon milk in a glass bottle for $2.50, be able to return the glass when you are finished and get a $1.00 back, go here. I gained 7 lbs on this 3 day trip–yea, I’m not proud of it. But it was all worth it. If you want to see some more of the awesome eats I had during my trip, check these pictures out.
I BET you didn’t know that Neenah also has a Statute of Liberty replica looking over it’s downtown! It’s 10% of the size of the original and was given as a gift to the community by businessman John Bergstrom. Pretty cool gift!
In addition to checking out Simons, here are My THREE PLACES “Worth the Visit” while in NEENAH/APPLETON
Coffee Shop: Check out Tempest Coffee Collective order the Maple Waffle, your go to coffee and send me a Thank you!
Restaurant for dinner: Town Council Kitchen and Bar. the locals will tell you this is not traditional Neenah, Wisconsin dining, but it doesn’t stop them from going! The place was packed. We had a big group and ordered several cold and hot appetizers and shared family style. If you want to try and little bit of everything, this is the way to go. Don’t forget to check out the pictures in the link above to see some of the delicisiouness!
Bar: Lions Tail Brewery Co. and Tap Room Bar games √ Located in a refurbished bank and with a room that was once used as a vault √ Great Drinks √
That feeling of community is all over Neenah. From the small mom and pop shops, to the friendly faces… even as a guest, you simply feel loved. And what better place to have a beautiful wedding; celebrating two amazing people and their commitment to one another…unconditional love.
Maybe the next time you are planning a weekend getaway you give a small town a thought…heck Neenah, Wisconsin would love to have you.