Door County, Wisconsin has something for everyone


Door County, Wisconsin offers a treasure trove of surprises for visitors to this peninsula that’s bounded by the bay waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan.  Here are some highlights of several fun, historic, and scenic places to explore when touring the rural communities of this eastern Wisconsin extension:

  • Climb the Cana Island Lighthouse tower, built in 1869, and view the windswept shore.  Historic exhibits tell about storms and maritime dramas witnessed from the lighthouse near Baileys Harbor, one the most photographed along the Great Lakes.
  • Explore the coast. Door County has 337 miles of shoreline, five state parks, and 19 county parks. Bike the Sunset Trail in popular Peninsula State Park, or hike on Eagle Trail (climb Eagle Tower for incredible views of limestone formations and caves carved by glacier waters and erosion). Or visit Whitefish Dunes State Park with the highest sand dunes in Wisconsin.
  • Go to an authentic fish boil, The traditional dinner experience, found only in Door County, features whitefish freshly caught by local fishermen and cooked outside over an open fire just as it was by early Scandinavian settlers.  A spectacular ending to the cooking process involves a “boil-over” as the fire explodes in shooting flames to expel oils from the fish which leaves it mild-tasting and delicious.
  • Admire the visual arts. Studios and galleries throughout the county feature work by many Wisconsin artists.  Look for high-quality jewelry, sculpture, paintings, home furnishings, leather goods, hand-made rugs, stoneware, and pottery.
  • Sample everything cherry. Take a tour of the 50-year-old cherry orchard and cider mill at Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery and Market in Fish Creek. See how the fruit is picked and packaged, sample pies still hot from the oven, and then buy some scrumptious cherry jam, dried cherries, or cherry wines to take home.
  • Shop for local goodies. You won’t find Starbucks or Wal-Mart on the peninsula.  Shopping means perusing small boutiques, talking with on-site proprietors, and discovering one-of-a-kind items to purchase for friends and family.
  • Savor tranquility. Stroll along the shore, soak up a scenic sunset, pick cherries in summer or apples in fall, taste award-winning wines, or ride the trolley.

Door County made a perfect summer getaway spot, even for this Southern gal.  Our hosted trip revealed that it has enough diversity to satisfy everyone’s desires—and visitors can do as much or as little as they wish.

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