Two-Day Getaway in Door County | Midwest Living

Two-Day Getaway in Door County

State parks and roadside cherry stands keep visitors coming back to this famed peninsula, an hour northeast of Green Bay. Door County booms in summer and mellows slightly in fall. But it’s a popular destination anytime of year.
Door County Maritime Museum
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Whitefish Dunes State Park
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Door County Trolley Ghost Tours
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Washington Island Ferry. Courtesy of Door County Convention and Visitors Bureau
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Peninsula Players Theatre
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Peninsula State Park. Courtesy of Door County Convention and Visitors Bureau
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Door County Fireboat Cruise
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Fish Boil at White Gull Inn
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Day 1

Dress like a scalawag or battle like a buccaneer at the exhibit Pirates: Ship to Shore; or just look at artistic renderings of them at the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay.

In Fish Creek, creamy whitefish chowder makes The Cookery a perennial favorite.

The handmade pies at Sweetie Pies have flaky crusts; try the oh-so-appropriately popular cherry.

Artists show pottery and educate guests on the how-to process at TR Pottery.

Buy high-quality works from a revolving roster of artists at Edgewood Orchard Galleries, in a restored 1918 fruit barn.

In Sister Bay, sip a lauded wine with your Certified Angus beef steaks or wild Alaskan salmon at Mission Grille, in a former catholic church.

Stays at Blacksmith Inn on the Shore in Baileys Harbor are all the more delightful for the in-room whirlpools, gas fireplaces, balconies and harbor views (from $245).

Day 2

Fill a plate from the delicious breakfast buffet, then eat it on your room’s balcony or on the public one.

Use the inn’s bikes, kayaks or stand-up paddleboards to explore. It’s 11 miles to Whitefish Dunes State Park for high dunes, a beech forest, an unspoiled sand beach and the rocky shore of Lake Michigan.

Back in Bailey’s Harbor, Harbor Fish Market and Grille serves escargot and a traditional New England lobster boil.

The seven wineries along the Door County Wine Trail promise incredible scenery and expertly crafted vintages.

Named for the state highway that runs past it, Bistro 42 is built into the Door Peninsula Winery complex outside of Sturgeon Bay and pairs entrees with its award-winning wines.

On the creepy Door County Trolley Ghost Tours, hear stories of ghostly sunken ships and tales of murder and mystery at stops in a Sturgeon Bay cemetery and at haunted lighthouses.

More information: (800) 527-3529;

Day trip

A 6-mile ferry ride from the northern tip of the Door County peninsula carries visitors to Washington Island, where mopeds and bikes are the way to get around. Why make the trip? For the bird-watching, paddling and golfing, as well as hands-on cooking classes with guest chefs and a resident chocolatier at Savory Spoon Cooking School and Marketplace. (920) 854-6600;

Night out

Crispy lake perch and the house specialties—South African barbecue ribs and steaks—delight every night of the week at Fish Creek favorite The Summertime Restaurant. (920) 868-3738;

After dinner, see a Broadway musical along the wooded shoreline at open-air Peninsula Players Theatre south of town. At intermission, head to a giant bonfire to watch the sun set over Green Bay. (920) 868-3287;

Bucket List

Peninsula State Park Stick to the shoreline or head into the woods? Both options appeal at the 3,776-acre park. Beautifully positioned on Green Bay, this is deservedly one of Door County’s most popular vacation destinations for the family. (920) 868-3258;

Door County Plein Air Festival Artists working outdoors transform blank canvases before your eyes at the biggest annual event of its kind in the Midwest (July 20–27, 2014). Chat with artists and bid on their work. (920) 868-3455;

Door County Fireboat Cruise Starting from the city dock, explore the Sturgeon Bay ship canal aboard a former Chicago fireboat. Capture photos of two lighthouses still staffed by the U.S. Coast Guard, and take turns spraying the fire hose. (920) 495-6454;

Fish Boil at White Gull Inn At the far end of Main Street in Fish Creek, the turn-of-the-century New England-style bed-and-breakfast hosts one of the best fish boils—part dinner, part theater, all tradition. (920) 868-3517;

Donny’s Glidden Lodge Restaurant Views of Lake MIchigan accompany steaks smothered in Gorgonzola and caramelized onions at this old-school stone supper club in Sturgeon Bay. (920) 746-9460;

Hands On Art Studio Amateurs, pros and folks in between create works of art inspired by the area’s scenery in this Fish Creek studio. No reservations are necessary; simply show up for an adult night. (888) 868-9311;

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