Whistlestop does get pretty quiet out there, a lot like running the Green Circle, maybe that's one reason I felt so comfortable. Like being at home.
Lakefront will have more runners then Appleton so if having others around you is a consideration that may be the way to go.
I've only run the 1/2 at Fox Cities and it was a hot day so not the best time for me.
Fall in WI-take your pick:rain (snow),wind or heat. It's very unpredictable.
It's exciting that you guys want to BQ, wherever you end up best of luck!