Top Things to Do in Door County, Wisconsin | Midwest Living

Top Things to Do in Door County, Wisconsin

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 County 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 boat that really battled Chicago blazes cruises Sturgeon Bay for photo ops of lighthouses and shipyards. Kids spray the fire hose on 90-minute tours.

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.

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 favorites at an auction.

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 favorites: Woodwalk Gallery (, for works by 70-plus artists, in Egg Harbor; Edgewood Orchard Galleries ( in a fruit-barn-turned-gallery in Fish Creek; and TR Pottery ( in Fish Creek. 

Hands On Art Studio In Fish Creek, would-be artists choose from projects like metalwork and fused glass.

Lautenbach's Orchard Country Fruits grown on the 100 acres produce jams and wines. Learn about the industry through orchard tours, winery tours, and wine and food tastings.

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. 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 Sturgeon Bay, a lookout tower gives views across Sturgeon and Green bays and the Door Peninsula. The 123 campsites are near shore.

Segway the Door Tours Get a great overview of the area, rolling past drawbridges, shipyards and Victorian mansions in Sturgeon Bay.

Washington Island A ferry crosses waters dubbed Death’s Door from the tip of the mainland to the 35-square-mile island, where visitors enjoy beaches, museums, farms and golfing. From Washington Island, a passengers-only ferry runs to Rock Island State Park.


Barringer's Steaks and seafood star at this Fish Creek fine-dining spot, where fireplaces inside and outside warm cool nights.

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

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

Door Artisan Cheese Company A new cheese store, market, seasonal restaurant and on-site cheese factory offer one-stop shopping for cheese-lovers in Egg Harbor.

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, such as a whitefish wrap.

Grasse’s Grill The chef-owner’s farming roots show in the focus on local ingredients at this eatery in Sister Bay. Try comfort foods, including mac ’n’ cheese, meatloaf 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 A fish boil every 30 minutes from 4:30 p.m. to close gives guests at the Fish Creek restaurant lots of chances to watch the action.

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.

Sweetie Pies Each dessert is handcrafted 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.

Trixie’s Locally sourced ingredients flavor dishes, such as whitefish ceviche, fried pork wontons or a grain bowl, in a small wood building in Ephraim.

The Village Cafe Cheerful, artsy decor, and affordable, creative breakfasts and lunches keep the Egg Harbor hangout bustling.

The White Gull Inn In Fish Creek, this 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, and balconies 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.

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. All units face the water.

Inn at Cedar Crossing This 1884 nine-room inn and restaurant in Sturgeon Bay serves huge breakfasts with homemade pastries.

Whistling Swan In 1907, teams of horses pulled this lovely inn across frozen Green Bay to Fish Creek.

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