When it begins to seem like vacation days are mysteriously and almost magically slipping away, find at least a temporary distraction in the hometown of world-renowned illusionist, Harry Houdini. You might not be able to recover lost holiday pay, but visitors can at least have a stab at learning a few tricks to entertain cubicle-bound colleagues back at the office.
Appleton, with an economic focus on paper, has more than a pair of nines to pull in visitors. Even if you don't give a hoot about industry, give yourself a little shock at Hearthstone, an architectural favorite, and one of the first homes to be powered hydroelectrically. But of course, the big draw here in town is the Houdini Historical Center, showcasing memorabilia from the life of this talented magician from Hungary. Stop in at the Outgamie Museum nearby for a bit of history, leaving an hour or two free for a walking tour round to see sites significant to Houdini during his residence in Appleton. If you've got children along for the trip, consider making a stop at the Fox Cities Children's Museum boasting an impressive doll collection and plenty of hands-on activity.
With time to day-trip, head for the intriguing abandoned lime kilns and take in panoramic views from heights in High Cliff State Park.
Appleton is 30 miles southwest of Green Bay, and 20 miles from Oshkosh.