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Sturgeon Bay for the Holidays
Posted on: 11/16/2007
By John Hill
The setting sun broke through clouds, making each flake of falling snow glitter like a firefly. That moment of beauty topped off an afternoon on the Bed and Breakfast Christmas Walk, one of many events that bring out the charms of the holiday season in Door County’s Sturgeon Bay.
My wife and I enjoyed the stroll through the city’s historic district. (Others on the tour rode a heated trolley.) In each of the nine B&Bs and inns on the walk, we met convivial people, saw rooms decked out in their holiday best, and warmed up in front of roaring fireplaces with cookies, hot cider, and cocoa.
Sturgeon Bay’s holiday celebrations begin with Christmas by the Bay, a pair of weekend celebrations just before and after the Thanksgiving weekend. The Friday before Thanksgiving kicks-off the holidays with a tree-lighting ceremony and community caroling, followed by a citywide charity bake sale on Saturday. The weekend after the Thanksgiving weekend offers a holiday parade on Saturday, followed by a breakfast buffet with Santa and the B&B Christmas Walk on Sunday.
After the Christmas Walk, we feasted on whitefish dinners at the intimate Inn at Cedar Crossing, then retired to the double Jacuzzi in our room at the White Lace Inn, which has made the list of the Top 10 Romantic Inns a couple of times—and for good reason.
The next morning we breakfasted on egg and cheese croissants and the inn’s homemade granola. Another couple at the table told us about the Winter Wonderland wine-tasting tour they’d taken the day before, riding heated trolleys to Simon Creek Vineyard & Winery near Jacksonport and Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery and Market near Fish Creek. The tour included lunch at the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek and a cozy sleighride at Lautenbach’s.
It sounded like fun, but we had other plans in mind for the day.
We started with unhurried and unhassled shopping along Third Avenue in downtown Sturgeon Bay. My wife found just the right Christmas collectible at Sherry’s Hallmark store, and we bought a Fair Trade woven scarf at Small World Market. For one of our grandsons, we picked up a balloon game at Dancing Bear Shop. Gracious golden retrievers greeted us at the Stove Dog Bakery.
Lunch was cherry chicken wraps at Perry’s Cherry Diner. Besides cherry dishes, the diner features milkshakes, malts, and burgers. The pictures of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis, plus the 1950s music playing, make this restaurant an experience.
From there, we could have chosen from a host of other activities. Imagine a romantic carriage ride through the streets of Sturgeon Bay with Carriages of Door County. The carriages, with protective windows and plenty of blankets, keep passengers cozy as they take an exhilarating ride past snow-covered Victorian homes, the quiet waterfront, and Christmas decorations and lights. Other possibilities ranged from a performance of “Winter Tales” at the Third Avenue Playhouse, to the arrival of Santa by boat at the Door County Maritime Museum.
The more adventurous can choosen from a variety of horseback rides through the snow-covered woods at Kurtz Corral north of Sturgeon Bay. After the adventure, riders have a chance to warm up with hot cider in front of the fireplace at the corral.
My wife and I have warm memories of our visit to Sturgeon Bay. It’s good to know that the old-fashioned delights of the holiday season still exist in Door County.
If You Go:
Many of the bed-and-breakfasts and inns on the 2006 Christmas Walk will also be featured this year. Call ahead closer to the season, or be surprised.
The Barbican, (877) 427-8491
The Black Walnut Guest House, (877) 255-9568
Chanticleer Guest House, (866) 682-0384
Colonial Gardens Bed & Breakfast, (920) 746-9192
Scofield House Bed & Breakfast, (888) 463-0204
The White Lace Inn, (877) 948-5223
Door County Trolley offers up to a dozen scenic tours of the area, organized by theme (wine, lighthouses, ghosts, etc.); (920) 868-1100.
Take a carriage ride with Carriages of Door County; call (920) 743-4343 for information and reservations.
Kurtz Corral Riding Stable offers year-round arena rides, trail rides, and lessons. Off County I, 5712 Howard Lane, Sturgeon Bay; (800) 444-0469.
For more information contact the Sturgeon Bay Visitor & Convention Bureau, (800) 301-6695.