Door County Trip Guide | Midwest Living
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Door County Trip Guide

On a peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan, this one Wisconsin county contains 11 towns (and an island). In and around them, you’ll find wineries, orchards, boutiques, art galleries, lighthouses and hiking trails.
Fish boil at Pelletier's
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Cana Island Lighthouse
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Cave Point Park
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Popelka Trenchard Glass
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Sweetie Pies
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Orchard Country. Photo courtesy of Door County Visitor Bureau.
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Do

Cana Island See the remains of the freighter M.J. Barteleme, which ran aground in 1928, and scale the 97 steps of the Cana Island Lighthouse on this small island outside Baileys Harbor. dcmm.org

Cave Point Park In Whitefish Dunes State Park along Lake Michigan, beech forests, wetlands and shoreline studded with caves show off Door County’s wilder side. doorcounty.com

The Chicago Fireboat A former Chicago fireboat cruises the canal linking Sturgeon Bay and Lake Michigan for photo ops of two lighthouses, plus shipyards. Kids spray the fire hose on the 90-minute tour. ridethefireboat.com

Door County Maritime Museum In Sturgeon Bay, dress like a scalawag or battle like a buccaneer in the Pirates: Ship to Shore exhibit, with artistic renderings of the scoundrels.  dcmm.org

Door County Plein Air Festival Each July in a Fish Creek park, master artists render paintings at the largest event of its kind in the Midwest. Bid on faves at an auction afterward. doorcountypleinair.com

Door County Trolley Tours Guests take scenic tours by day or hear creepy tales of ghostly sunken ships and murder at stops in a cemetery and at haunted lighthouses.  doorcountytrolley.com

Door County Wine Trail The eight wineries promise incredible scenery and expertly crafted vintages. doorcountywinetrail.com

Galleries Some of our favorites of the many in the region are Woodwalk Gallery, for works by 50 artists, in Egg Harbor; Edgewood Orchard Galleries in the fruit-barn-turned-gallery in Fish Creek; and TR Pottery, for artist demos in Fish Creek.

Hands On Art Studio In Fish Creek, would-be artists choose from projects like metalworks, ceramics, fused glass and mosaics. handsonartstudio.com

Midsummer’s Music Festival Mid-June to mid-July, members of the Lyric Opera of Chicago perform chamber music in venues like galleries, churches and homes. midsummersmusic.com

Newport State Park Northeast of Ellison Bay near the peninsula’s tip, Newport appeals to outdoorsy types, with secluded camping, hiking, biking and kayaking. dnr.wi.gov

Northern Sky Theater Original musical comedies provide an evening of homespun humor and references to Wisconsin culture. On the grounds of Peninsula State Park in Ephraim. northernskytheater.com

Orchards Learn about the industry at Lautenbach’s Orchard Country, which produces jams and wines from its fruits and grapes grown on its 100 acres. 

Peninsula Players Theatre Catch an open-air Broadway production on a wooded shore. During intermission, watch the sun set over Green Bay by a bonfire. peninsulaplayers.com

Peninsula State Park Miles of hiking and biking trails in the 3,776-acre park near Fish Creek include Sunset Trail, a 9.6-mile park overview.  wiparks.net

Popelka Trenchard Glass Many days, visitors can watch the husband-and-wife team blowing the glassworks sold here in Sturgeon Bay. Classes are available, too. popelkaglass.com

Potawatomi State Park Ten minutes outside the town of Sturgeon Bay, a lookout tower gives sweeping views across Sturgeon and Green bays and the Door Peninsula. The 124 campsites are near shore. dnr.wi.gov

Segway the Door Tours Save your legs while getting a great overview rolling past drawbridges, shipyards and Victorian mansions in Fish Creek. glidenew.com

Washington Island Why go? For the bird-watching, rock-skipping and golfing, as well as guided kayak tours along the shoreline with Bread and Water Washington Island Kayak. The 6-mile ferry ride traverses waters memorably dubbed Death’s Door. See the 35-square-mile island’s beaches, museums and farms via moped or bike. washingtonislandchamber.com

Eat

Bluefront Cafe An emphasis on healthy, local foods makes it an ideal stop for soups, wraps and sandwiches in Sturgeon Bay. thebluefrontcafe.com

The Cookery Fresh foods expertly prepared—especially the creamy whitefish chowder—make the Fish Creek spot a perennial fave. cookeryfishcreek.com

Door County Coffee and Tea In Carlsville, the coffee roaster has a window onto the roasting process. doorcountycoffee.com

Fred and Fuzzy’s Waterfront Bar and Grill This Sister Bay waterside restaurant is a great place for casual cuisine, like a steak and blue cheese sandwich. fredandfuzzys.com

Grasse’s Grill The chef-owner’s farming roots show in the focus on local ingredients at this casual eatery in Sister Bay. Try comfort foods like mac and cheese, meat loaf and cherry chicken salad. grassesgrill.com

Harbor Fish Market and Grille The whole family—even the dog—is welcome at the upscale, lakeside restaurant with fantastic lobster bisque. harborfishmarket-grille.com

Inn at Cedar Crossing This historical nine-room inn and restaurant has a perfect location in downtown Sturgeon Bay. Huge, marvelous breakfasts include the famous morning buns from the on-site bakery. innatcedarcrossing.com

Pelletier's If you miss the moment Pelletier’s boil master throws fuel onto the fire under the kettle of whitefish, onions and potatoes—the traditional fish boil meal—there will be another chance to capture the burst of flames every 30 minutes until close. doorcountyfishboil.com

Scaturo’s Baking Company and Cafe In Sturgeon Bay, come here for an all-you-can-eat fish boil and a slice of cherry pie. scaturos.com

Schoolhouse Artisan Cheese One of the finest collections of artisanal cheeses in the state is sold in an old farmhouse in Egg Harbor and a shop in Ellison Bay. schoolhouseartisancheese.com

The Summertime Restaurant Lake perch and the house specialties—steaks or salads of lobster and blue crab—delight guests at the Fish Creek fave. thesummertime.com

Sweetie Pies Each dessert is hand-crafted and packed with fresh ingredients, making this spot heaven for pie-lovers; try the ever-popular apple-cherry. doorcountypies.com

Top Deck Restaurant and Bar Savor lakeside dining at Gordon Lodge, 6 miles northeast of Baileys Harbor. A standout: Pasta Paesano, with chicken, sausage, prosciutto and orecchiette pasta. gordonlodge.com

The Village Cafe Cheerful, artsy decor and affordable, creative meals keep this Egg Harbor hangout bustling. villagecafe-doorcounty.com

White Gull Inn In Fish Creek, the turn-of-the-century New England-style bed-and-breakfast holds one of the best fish boils—part dinner, part theater, all tradition. whitegullinn.com

Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza and Grille Watch cooks toss the crust for delicious pizzas topped with local ingredients in Fish Creek. wildtomatopizza.com

Stay

Blacksmith Inn on the Shore Whirlpool baths, fireplaces, balconies and harbor views enhance a shoreside stay in Baileys Harbor. theblacksmithinn.com

Bridgeport Waterfront Resort Seagulls and ship horns provide the soundtrack at this family-friendly resort across from Sturgeon Bay. bridgeportresort.net

Door County Lighthouse Inn Bed and Breakfast In Egg Harbor, the inn captures the romance of Door County’s 10 lighthouses. dclighthouseinn.com

Eagle Harbor Inn Breakfast at this turn-of-the-19th-century Ephraim B&B includes treats such as from-scratch cherry granola.  eagleharborinn.com

Glidden Lodge Beach Resort Near Whitefish Dunes State Park, condos have fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. gliddenlodge.com

Inn at Cedar Crossing This 1884 nine-room inn and restaurant in Sturgeon Bay serves huge breakfasts that include morning buns baked on-site. innatcedarcrossing.com

Whistling Swan In 1907, horses pulled this lovely inn across frozen Green Bay to its current location in Fish Creek. whistlingswan.com

For information: Door County Visitor Bureau (800) 527-3529; doorcounty.com

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