Known for its picturesque coastal towns, specialty shops, fish boils, cherry and apple orchards and scenic beauty, Door County, Wisconsin is often referred to as the “Cape Cod of the Midwest.” With the waters of Green Bay on one side and Lake Michigan on the other, the Door Peninsula offers spectacular waterfront views, with more than 300 miles of shoreline featuring towering limestone bluffs, rugged rock formations and pristine beaches. Door County offers more miles of shoreline, one of the highest concentrations of lighthouses and more state parks – a total of five – than any other county in the nation. The Door County area offers a wide variety of outdoor recreation and is also known for its art galleries and performing arts.
Explore the Outdoors of Door County
For the outdoor enthusiast, Door County Kayak Tours provides a new perspective on Midwest scenery that few will ever experience. Kayakers will encounter views of time worn bluffs and 1,000-year-old caves to Native American etched petro glyphs and lighthouses. You can bike or hike through Peninsula State Park on one of the trails. Routes along the eight-mile shoreline and trails through the Weborg Marsh and wooded back roads provide opportunities for all skill levels. Thrill seekers should head to Gravity Trails in Fish Creek for zip-line adventures, kayak tours and biking. The 50-acre property provides access to some of Door County’s most scenic areas including Newport State Park, The Mink River Estuary and Sand Bay Beach.
Another unique way to see the beautiful scenery of Door County is on the two wheels of a Segway Personal Transporter. Glide up and down hills through Peninsula State Park, view lighthouses on a Rustic Road near Baileys Harbor, explore Washington Island or choose one of five other tours with Segway the Door Tours.
Enjoy the vineyards and wineries of the area with a self-guided tour of the Door County Wine Trail. The trail encompasses seven wineries throughout the Door Peninsula area. Visitors can find directions, hours of operation and upcoming events online.
Experience the Arts in Door County
There are plenty of one-of-a-kind activities for art enthusiasts in Door County. A night at the Peninsula Players Theater, America’s oldest professional resident summer theater, is one for the memory books. Nestled in a fragrant cedar forest overlooking the waters of Green Bay, patrons can stroll along the shore and enjoy a relaxing picnic while watching the sunset before a live theatrical performance. The Hands On Art Studio is a unique walk-in art studio offering endless possibilities for fun with ceramic, wood, glass, metal, mosaic and pottery art. Enjoy a full symphonic orchestra, featuring world-class musicians and educators at Birch Creek Performance Arts Center, which offers a summer-long concert series.
Shop 'til You Drop in Door County
One must-do activity while on any vacation is shopping. Door County is home to an extraordinarily diverse retail community. Antiques, art, home décor, apparel, lighthouse treasures and gifts galore grace the communities of the Peninsula.
Foodies will really enjoy a hands-on cooking class at the Savory Spoon Cooking School, housed in a charming 1877 historic school house. The Savory Spoon chef and owner will guide students through a three-hour evening of learning tips for making a range of local to global cuisine. Or visit their new artisan cheese shop, Schoolhouse Artisan Cheese Shop in Egg Harbor. Labeled a “European Style” cheese shop, visitors to School House Artisan Cheese will find that the store is reminiscent of a small cheese shop you’d find in France or Italy – except that it’s in Door County, Wisconsin.
Where to Dine in Door County
There is no shortage of good eats in Door County. The White Gull Inn took first place in the “Good Morning America Weekend” national Best Breakfast Challenge in 2010 for their Cherry Stuffed French Toast. In addition, the inn offers a scrumptious array of breakfast, lunch and dinner options as well as a traditional fish boil. No Door County trip is complete without a stop in the tiny village of Ephraim for an old-fashioned ice cream cone at Wilson’s Ice Cream, a cool and delicious Door County tradition for 100 years. Further north in Sister Bay, stop at Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant to see the goats on the roof and dine on whitefish, meatballs and pancakes (Swedish, of course).
Places to Stay in Door County
Rest your head in style. From quaint bed and breakfasts to big resorts and private homes, there are many beautiful places to stay in Door County. Nestled amidst the Historic District of Ephraim, the Eagle Harbor Inn is just steps away from the waterfront, unique shops and galleries. Scofield House in Sturgeon Bay is a beautifully restored B&B with a mix of Vicorian elegance and modern convenience.
Explore more Door County accommodations using the Travel Wisconsin Places to Stay Directory. We sure you will find one to suit your needs whether it’s a family getaway for the whole clan or a romantic weekend for two.