Door County Trip Guide | Midwest Living

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. Check out our picks for what to do, where to eat and where to stay in Door County.


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.

Cana Island Lighthouse

Cana Island Lighthouse

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.

Cave Point Park

Cave Point Park

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.

Door County Maritime Museum In Sturgeon Bay, step into the wheelhouse of a 1907 steamship, tour a 1960s-era Great Lakes tugboat or learn about maritime dog heroes and ship mascots in the Sea Dogs exhibit.

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.

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.

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

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.

Lautenbach's Orchard Country Fruits grown on the 100 acres produce jams and wines. Learn about the industry through orchard tours, winery tours, wine and food tastings, and pick-yur-own apples or cherries (in season);

Midsummer’s Music Festival Mid-June to mid-July, professional musicians perform chamber music in venues like galleries, churches and homes.

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

Northern Sky Theater Original musical comedies provide an evening of homespun humor and references to Wisconsin culture. Summer performances take place in an open-air amphitheater at Peninsula State Park.

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.

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.

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.

Popelka Trenchard Glass

Popelka Trenchard Glass

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.

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

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.


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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Fish boil at Pelletier's


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.

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

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

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.

Sweetie Pies

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.

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

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.

Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza and Grille Watch cooks in Fish Creek toss the crust for delicious pizzas topped with local ingredients, including Wisconsin cheese curds.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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