Door County is the peninsula that sticks out into Lake Michigan, just northeast of the city of Green Bay. Most Wisconsinites will use their left hand as a map when describing where something is in the state. In this case, I’m referring to the thumb. To the west is the Bay of Green Bay and to the east is Lake Michigan. It’s a magical place that has a coastal New England feel, but is so much closer to home. According to Google Maps, it is 364 miles from my eastside abode, or a 5 hour and 43 minute drive.
This is my husband and my absolute favorite getaway! We’ve only visited during the spring and summer seasons...but fall would be gorgeous with all the forestry turning colors and there would be so much to do during the winter with plenty of recreational areas for outdoor winter activities.
So no matter the time of year, Door County would have something for everybody.
On past trips, we went on a tandem kayaking tour- I’m talking a true 3-hour tour of kayaking! We’ve enjoyed a winery tour on a trolley and we’ve taken the ferry from the north end of the peninsula across Lake Michigan to Washington Island. We did the sailboat cruises around the Bay and even attended a famous Door County “fish boil.”
This past trip was kind of last minute, so we didn’t plan ahead like we’ve done in the past. It still turned out great! We enjoy driving from town to town and walking around the shops, checking out new restaurants and cafes and even hitting up a winery or brewery for a tasting. We love going to at least one state park to hike or just sit and enjoy the views of the water. Our days were still filled with fun, great dining and a lot of relaxation! We did attempt to go on a kayak tour of the caves of Lake Michigan, however the weather did not cooperate and unfortunately, it was cancelled.
One of the highlights of this trip was our morning spent in Peninsula State Park. The park is located along the shores of the Bay. We have known many people who camp in the park and spend a week just exploring it. We are not campers, but every trip we’ve been on, we’ve always fallen in love with something new there. We planned to rent bikes at the base of the park and ride through, but instead, we decided to hike.
We drove in toward the Eagle Bluff, parked and began the Eagle Bluff trail. It was about a two mile “difficult” loop that got us in caves, climbing rocks, and also allowed us to find some tiny private beaches. In addition to the miles of hiking available, the park also has a large public beach and a number of overlooks to stop at and just enjoy the views of the water. We’ve caught a sunset or two that have been glorious!
If you are planning on a trip to Door County, here are a few “pro tips” to help you out:
First, do you want to stay on the Lake or on the Bay?
We personally are “Bay” people and love staying in Sister Bay, Ephraim, Fish Creek and Egg Harbor.
What type of accommodations would you prefer?
There are resorts galore as well as standard hotels. If you like to camp, there are plenty of options depending on whether you tent or use a camper. AirBnB is big up there as is VRBO if you are even interested in renting an entire house. And let’s not forget about the quaint Bed and Breakfasts located all over! It is nice to find a place with a kitchenette especially if you are there for more than a couple days. It takes away the need to eat out every meal.
What time of year will you be going?
Door County is a very popular tourist destination. When looking at accommodations, if you are planning on going “peak season,” you will pay more than off, naturally. Our stay was a little lower because we did a Sunday-Tuesday trip.
What should we know about the restaurant scene?
We love the dining in Door County. There are so many options! Whether you want fine dining or would rather hit up a place where the locals hang, there literally is everything! Just be mindful of their hours of operation. We found many were not open Mondays or only had breakfast served Thursday-Monday. Oh yeah, and its Wisconsin. Portions are huge!
Our first night out at LURE in Sister Bay left us offering the rest of the patio a taste of our Crab Rangoon nachos. (Yes, they were as amazing as they sound, but really, I think one order would have been enough for all of IMP!) In addition to LURE, we also enjoyed Bluefront Café in Sturgeon Bay, Wild Tomato in Fish Creek, Al Johnson’s in Sister Bay (in case you want some Swedish food with goats hanging out on the roof of the restaurant) and a tiny breakfast joint called Carroll House also in Sister Bay.