Door County is the Midwest’s answer to Cape Cod and a true Wisconsin gem. Thanks to many friends who gave us tips, plus some research and exploring of our own, we’ve compiled quite the to-do list. I know there’s even more we’ve yet to uncover, but here are a few things we did and places we ate, plus a few musts we didn’t get to with baby along. There’s always next year! You can see photos from our weekend getaway here.
WHERE TO STAY
We rented an adorable Airbnb apartment in Sturgeon Bay (owner Rob also rents another apartment next door). We loved exploring the main street, grabbing coffee at Kick, and visiting the Saturday farmers’ market. But it was a drive to visit the other towns farther up the peninsula. Next time, we’ll likely look for a cottage to rent in Fish Creek, which has the most restaurants and shops and Peninsula State Park. For couples, I’d check out the new Double S Lodge in Sister Bay. The sign caught my eye as we were driving by and the photos of this four-room B&B are just gorgeous. Definitely a chic find, which Door County tends to lack in the hotel department. Or check out the White Gull Inn for a classic Door County B&B experience.
WHERE TO EAT
We enjoyed the fish boil at Scaturo’s in Sturgeon Bay. I heard their breakfast is good too. We walked to Kick Coffee downtown each morning for coffee, and enjoyed the friendly owner and staff at Lola’s for lunch. Other Sturgeon Bay spots to check out: Bluefront Cafe for lunch and Sunflower Bakery to pick up breakfast treats. In Bailey’s Harbor: DC Deli for smoked pastrami sandwiches after checking out Cana Island Light. If you have time, get a flight of beer at Door County Brewing Company (Pastoral and Little Sister are our favorites). In Fish Creek: Wild Tomato Wood Fired Pizza is worth the wait for delicious pizza and salads (insider tip: order takeout from the house out back to avoid the wait, and take your pizza to the beach). Also in Fish Creek: Bluehorse Beach Cafe and The Cookery. In Ephraim: Wilson’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor is a classic experience. In Egg Harbor: Shipwrecked Brew Pub. In Sister Bay: Grasse’s Grill.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
Hike or bike in Peninsula State Park, or stake out a spot for an afternoon on its busy beach. Explore Cana Island Lighthouse and the grassy dunes of Whitefish Dunes State Park on the Lake Michigan side. Stop in each of the quaint towns of Door County along Highway 42 and 57. Drop into Waseda Farm’s market for picnic provisions. Sign up for a kayak tour or plan your own winery tour. If you have extra time, take the ferry over to Washington Island for a day trip. Check your dates for cherry festivals and apple picking, too.
WHEN TO GO
Summer or fall, when the weather is perfect for being outdoors most of the day and all the towns are abuzz with vacationers.