Exploring Door County, Wisconsin

Door County, Wisconsin, located on a peninsula on Lake Michigan, is one of the ten most popular vacation destinations in North America, according to Money magazine. And with good reason – this area is full of charm and activities that will keep your entire family entertained.

Begin your visit in the town of Egg Harbor – a quaint and lively town renowned for its fun activities, shopping, and dining. If it’s shopping you’re after, Egg Harbor will surely have what you’re looking for among its more than 100 unique boutiques. After shopping, enjoy Old Wisconsin charm as you dine downtown in one of the many restaurants located there. For breakfast, enjoy the waterfront view at The Hof at Alpine, or have a casual outdoor lunch at the Shipwrecked Brewery restaurant. Later on, enjoy classic French country cuisine for dinner at the Trio restaurant. But don’t worry about eating too much – you can work off those calories kayaking or by taking a self-guided lighthouse tour. If you play golf, you’ll find many enjoyable courses in Egg Harbor, while your kids will be happy if you include a trip to the Plum Loco Animal Farm.

When it’s time to leave Egg Harbor, take a Sundae drive. You’ll travel off the beaten path and see some of the best kept secrets of this charming locale, while you stop for ice cream at the Door County Confectionery in Egg Harbor or Wilson’s Ice Cream Parlor in Ephraim. While you’re in Ephraim, you might also want to take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Head from Ephraim down toward Fish Creek on Highway 42 and you just might find yourself heading back in time with a double-feature at the Skyway Drive-In Theater.

If wine tastings are more your cup of tea, so to speak, there are five wineries in Door County. In Fish Creek, you can visit the Orchard Country Winery and Market, which offers complimentary wine and product tastings. In addition, the Door Peninsula Winery, located in Sturgeon Bay, offers chocolate and wine tastings featuring some of its many award-winning wines.

Door County also boasts a number of lighthouses that you can tour. The one at Eagle Bluff is a wonderful place for a family picnic.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, be sure to visit one of Door County’s five state parks. Newport State Park has hiking, fishing and backpacking, while Peninsula State Park has more than six miles of shoreline fronting on Green Bay. You can see Wisconsin’s oldest lighthouse in Rock Island State Park, which is also the location of Thordarson’s Greathall and Boathouse. Whitefish Dunes also have 14 ½ miles of hiking and skiing trails for you to enjoy.

And finally, one important part of the Door County experience is the traditional fish boil. The mild, delicate whitefish that’s pulled fresh from the waters of Lake Michigan is world renowned and praised by locals and food writers alike. But the fish boil is more than just dinner – it’s dinner and a show all in one. When the food is ready, the fire under the kettle is doused with kerosene, causing the blaze to rise over the top of the kettle. The water superheats and boils over, dousing the fire, and announcing with fanfare that dinner is served. Just be sure to save room for Door County cherry pie – the traditional fish boil meal dessert.

With its wonderful shorelines, fine wineries, shopping experiences, and traditional Americana charm, Door County, Wisconsin deserves a place in your vacation planning. Be sure to check it out!