Our Hometown Tourist Takes a Stroll Through Downtown

For this blog post, I decided to take hometown tourism to its simplest form and just walk around downtown Appleton, pretending I hadn’t spent the last twenty-one years doing just that. There seem to always be new and interesting businesses popping up on and around College Ave, so Sadie and I tried to mix investigating the new with stopping in to see old favorites.
Our first stop was at one of those old downtown favorites: Vagabond Imports. Vagabond is a staple of the downtown Appleton wander, always full of tempting and interesting merchandise, all with that distinctive incense smell. Sadie had been to Vagabond before, but not since our freshman year at Lawrence, so we both enjoyed the stop. We tried on their wonderful wooly hats and mittens, in an attempt to pretend that winter will someday get here, and yearned after the sturdy and spacious military style bags and backpacks.

After a thorough investigation of the gag gifts, clearance rack and earrings, we moved on to check out a newer arrival: Top Spins.

Top Spins is a small vinyl record store, full of a varied and delightful selection of records, with some tapes, CDs, and VHS tapes thrown in for good measure. The store has a relaxed atmosphere that encourages leisurely browsing, and we spent a happy chunk of our afternoon sifting through the vinyl, enjoying finding both bands we knew and liked and bands we’d never heard of that had strange or humorous names and album art.


I convinced myself that I did not need to buy their entire selection of Johnny Cash on vinyl, at least not until I buy my own record player, and we continued to wander down the Ave.

Bagelicious (in the old Starbucks space) hasn’t opened yet, but as great bagel-lovers, Sadie and I enjoyed peering in the windows and daydreaming of bagels yet to come.
It was a hot, muggy day so after our bagel daydreams, we ended our walking tour with a stop at Aspen Coffee & Tea for something cold to drink.

One of my favorite downtown coffee shops, Aspen has a great atmosphere and great coffee, which is really all you can ask for. Ever. From anything.

Whether you’ve lived in Appleton for as long as I have or even longer, or are a new arrival or just passing through, our growing and changing downtown has something for just about anyone.Taking the time to slow down, walk around and enjoy it was a great experience that I would absolutely recommend.

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