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De Pere, Wisconsin is one of those quintessential Midwest towns where you can believe everything you hear from people. This is the kind of place where people ask you what you think of the weather and they're genuinely interested in your response; the kind of place where a handshake deal is a deal. I learned this recently when I wound up in De Pere, which is a small city of fewer than 25,000 people just outside of Green Bay, when I was there for work recently. I liked it there so much I decided to stay an extra day. I did so with the help of HotelTonight, an app that helped me find a De Pere hotel room within seconds of downloading it. I wanted to explore this place to see if my initial reaction was accurate.

The Life of Agriculture

When you drive more than a few minutes in almost any direction away from Green Bay, you find yourself out in the country. It's about as bucolic as any scene can get. I was surrounded by rolling hills dotted with large, old trees here and there reaching into the sky. I saw enormous bales of hay stacked neatly in barns. Wild turkeys ran along--and at least one time across--the road. Cows. Cows and more cows seemingly watched me zoom by. Then I came to a local cheese factory. The friendly owners wanted to know about me and then helped me find cheeses that worked for my tastes. It was an incredibly satisfying experience.

The Wildlife

People who have not been here likely think of De Pere, and Green Bay in general, as just a rural part of the country without much other life to it. That's completely false. I spent some time on the Fox River, an iconic body of water that led the first settlers here nearly 400 years ago. I walked around and saw geese, ducks, pelicans, eagles and all sorts of fish that local fishermen near the shore were pulling up in rapid succession as they sat in their aluminum boats. I wondered what they were catching, but someone next to me told me that if I was smart, that's exactly what I'd be eating for dinner that night.

The Fish Fry

The fish fry is really not a De Pere tradition, but more of a Wisconsin tradition. I went to what looked like an ordinary tavern but was struck by the big, leather seats and sturdy tables that dominated the scene. I ordered, of course, the fish fry, and I chose the perch and the walleye. These are two species of fish native to the area and they are deep-fried in beer batter. They are served with tartar sauce made right there, as everyone has their own recipe, rye bread, an onion and coleslaw. It was unique, tasty and overall it was incredible.

HotelTonight – De Pere Hotels at the Ready

As I made my way to the airport to head home, I thanked myself for staying an extra day. My initial reaction to this place was correct. I was also thankful that I had found HotelTonight, as without it I may not have found a De Pere hotel room so quickly and easily. It had been a very nice day for myself, and I looked forward to telling others about it.