Door County - The Cherry on Top of Your Vacation

There are vacations that tend to be anything but a vacation. You might find yourself caught up in the hustle and bustle of a large and iconic city where you just might feel like your vacation is an afterthought. Door County in Wisconsin conjures up memories of what a vacation is meant to be, relaxing, fun and most of all welcoming. This area has that charm that makes you feel as if your vacation is as meaningful to Door County as it is to you.

Death's Door at Sunset

You are going to find numerous small towns and hidden spots in Door County and you seemingly can't go wrong with any of them. Egg Harbor is the epitome of the lazy, sleepy town that is the perfect place to just park your car and forget about it and start walking. You are going to find plenty of quaint shops filled with handcrafted locally produced items and then you can also treat yourself to a wide array of local flavors and treats that you will find up and down the main street of this cozy town. This town can keep you busy for more than one day and the beautiful view can best be enjoyed by staying a few nights at the memorable Shipwrecked Inn. The Shipwrecked Inn will certainly make you feel at home as it holds only eight rooms and is home to a great local brewery that produces the Door County Cherry Wheat Fruit Beer that features juice from fresh Door County cherries. The historical setting of the Inn to go along with the great beer and dining experience are all fantastic reasons to stay at Shiprwrecked, but the fact that it very well could be haunted, just adds to the enticement. There is a long history of strange sounds and occurrences that could be mysteriously pointed to the former owner Verna Moore, making sure it is run properly, or people with ties to Al Capone. You just don't know what spirit might go bump in the night at the Shipwrecked Inn.

Door County Maritime Museum

Cross Country Ski Trail

If there was going to be a spot that might be considered the hub of Door County it might have to be Sturgeon Bay. The Maritime Museum and the Door County Historical Museum are perfect spots to visit to find out more about this historical area. There is a good reason the Maritime Museum is located here, there are boats and water that goes beyond what you can see. Simply park your car and take a walk and you are going to find things to do and great views. 

Door County is home to several microbreweries as well as the award-winning Door County Distillery & Craft Cocktail Bar. Whether it is beer, cocktails or food, you are likely to find something cherry related on every menu. Due to the unique climate in Door County cherries have always flourished here and at one point they produced the most cherries in the world. You can buy cherries, eat cherries and find cherries in everything, but the real treat is stopping at any of the many orchards and taking a few hours and picking your own cherries and enjoying them fresh off of the tree.

Door County Distillery

Cherries at Orchard Country Winery & Market

Further north you will find Fish Creek, which is home to Peninsula State Park. This park alone could keep you busy for an entire vacation and with hundreds of campsites, this makes for a beautiful and serene location to settle in for a few days at least. You will be able to fish, boat, golf, hike and swim just to get you started. From June to August you can even enjoy original musical comedies at the Northern Sky Theater. The park is open year-round so if you are interested in snowmobiling, sledding or cross-country skiing, you will never run out of room here.

Peninsula State Park

It might be a tossup as to whether Door County has more cherries or more beaches. While that is exaggerated wildly, the fact that you could even make such a comment tells you there are beaches everywhere and there is a beach for everyone.

Schoolhouse Beach

In Door County there is more to a beach than lying on a beach towel or going for a swim. You have to begin with the majestic imagery from these beaches, each one has their own unique and beautiful setting that could fill a photo album. The beaches in Door County are all very family friendly and you are going to be able to rent paddleboard or kayaks to take your sightseeing to another level. Schoolhouse Beach, on the northern reaches of Washington Island, has to be at the top of the list of beaches to visit as it is one of the few smooth limestone beaches in the world. While these smooth stones are great for skipping and look like an amazing souvenir, don't take one home with you as they want to keep the beach intact and impose a fine on anyone taking a stone. Simply enjoy the view of one of the most unique beaches in the world. If you are looking for a little quieter beach experience, two ferry rides will almost assure that is that is what it takes to get to Rock Island State Park. Waterfront Park in Sister Bay provides a little more lively experience as it is situated downtown and not only is there nearby shopping and dining options, but you can often find live music. While Wisconsin might bring up images of the snow and cold weather, but a summer in Door County will change your mind as you will nearly a month to take in all of the amazing beaches that are at nearly every turn.

Boating in Door County

One of the most highly unexpected activities that you can try in Door County is scuba diving. What makes Door County an enticing spot for scuba diving? That would be Death's Door. Death's Door is the main passageway between the Bay of Green Bay and Lake Michigan and while it could save a great deal of time, it also claimed countless ships dating back to the 1700's. So if you want to see some of history, Door County makes a great dive site. Keep in mind Lake Michigan can be frigid and Almost all of the wrecks along the Door Peninsula are protected pieces of history.

Scuba Diving

If you are not familiar with Door County it isn't exactly in the middle of nowhere. If you were going to see the Green Bay Packers, it is a short drive to make it to Lambeau Field and likely makes for a more affordable and interesting stay. If you fly into Milwaukee it is a breathtaking roughly one-and-a-half hour drive that you will greatly appreciate taking. The area is also very popular with people who live in Chicago, so take this drive from wherever you are coming from in the Midwest, it is very memorable and the last thing you will think about is how long it is taking.

American Folklore Theatre

While summertime is the peak season for Door County, don't fall asleep on the rest of the year. Few spots in the United States can match the color change in foliage and that alone  offers a breathtaking look at nature as your make your way through Door County. If you are not afraid of a little snow and cold weather, the winter can provide unique opportunities such as ice-fishing, skiing and snowmobiling, just for starters.

In Door County there two things seemingly on every street, cherries and cheese. But if somehow you tire of the two any of the countless ways you can enjoy each one, there are plenty of other great options. While you can find the famous Friday Fish nearly everywhere across the state of Wisconsin, the fish boil is definitely a Door County staple. This outdoor cooking and dining experience is pretty close to the name, as you fill a pot with, fresh caught whitefish and potatoes and when it is all done the pot and the ingredients are completely in a fiery spectacle and you are left with a great local creation. There a few things in Door County that you must experience and the fish boil is one of them.

Fish Boil Rowleys Bay Resort

Door County is really the vacation spot that you want it to be. It can be as simple as hanging out the beach, taking a bike ride or walking down the main street of any of the many towns within Door County. But more than anything is that you get a sense of a time that has passed many major cities by. You are greeted with a friendly hello from strangers, you are never rushed or hurried along, the day is meant be enjoyed with family and strangers alike. While you might have to look a little closer to find Door County on the map and might have to drive a little further, there is no question you will be glad you did just that.

For more information visit: Door County

(Photos Courtesy Door County Visitors Bureau)

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