Discover Door County, Wisconsin: A Midwest Gem
Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, Door County, Wisconsin, is a picturesque destination that offers various activities and attractions for visitors. With its idyllic small towns, charming lighthouses, stunning natural scenery, and thriving arts scene, Door County is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway or a family vacation. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best things to do and see in this enchanting corner of the Midwest.
Experience the Outdoors in Door County
Peninsula State Park
Door County has several beautiful state parks; Peninsula State Park is perhaps the most popular. Covering more than 3,700 acres, the park offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including hiking, biking, and bird-watching.
Visitors can also enjoy camping, fishing, and swimming at one of the park’s sandy beaches. Don’t forget to visit Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, a historical landmark with stunning views of the surrounding area.
Newport State Park
As Wisconsin’s only designated wilderness park, Newport State Park is the perfect destination for those seeking solitude and unspoiled natural beauty. With 30 miles of hiking trails, pristine beaches, and ample opportunities for wildlife viewing, this park is a haven for nature enthusiasts.
Cultural Attractions and Activities
Door County Maritime Museum
The Door County Maritime Museum is in Door County, Wisconsin, USA. Established in 1969, the museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing the rich maritime history of the Door County region, which has a long and storied connection to the Great Lakes and the surrounding waterways.
The museum has three locations: Sturgeon Bay, Gills Rock, and Cana Island. Each site offers unique exhibits, programs, and experiences that showcase various aspects of the region’s maritime heritage.
At the Sturgeon Bay location, visitors can explore exhibits on shipbuilding, lighthouses, and the area’s commercial fishing industry. The Gills Rock location focuses on the area’s commercial fishing history and offers a hands-on experience aboard a fishing tug. The Cana Island location features the historic Cana Island Lighthouse, where visitors can climb the tower for a panoramic view of Lake Michigan.
In addition to the exhibits, the Door County Maritime Museum offers educational programs, workshops, and special events throughout the year to engage the public in the fascinating history and culture of the Great Lakes maritime industry.
Door Community Auditorium
The Door Community Auditorium (DCA) is a performing arts venue in Fish Creek, Door County, Wisconsin, USA. Established in 1991, the DCA serves as a cultural hub for the community, hosting various performances, events, and educational programs throughout the year.
With a seating capacity of around 700, the auditorium offers an intimate and welcoming atmosphere for audiences to enjoy diverse performances, ranging from local and regional talents to nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. The DCA presents concerts, theater productions, dance performances, film screenings, lectures, and community events that cater to different interests and age groups.
The Door Community Auditorium also strongly emphasizes arts education, providing various opportunities for students and the community to engage with the arts. These include workshops, masterclasses, and outreach programs to inspire creativity, learning, and cultural appreciation.
By hosting a wide range of events and fostering a strong sense of community, the Door Community Auditorium significantly enriches the cultural landscape of Door County. It contributes to the overall quality of life for residents and visitors alike.
Explore Charming Small Towns
Ephraim, a picturesque village nestled along the shore of Eagle Harbor, is known for its charming white buildings and rich history. Stroll along the waterfront, visit the historic Anderson Barn Museum, or enjoy the local art galleries and boutiques.
Another must-visit small town in Door County is Fish Creek. Home to the entrance of Peninsula State Park, this bustling village offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Don’t miss a performance at Northern Sky Theater, an outdoor amphitheater that presents original musicals throughout the summer.
It seems you might have made a typo in your query. If you meant to ask about Fish Creek, Wisconsin, here is some information:
Fish Creek is a small, unincorporated community in Door County, Wisconsin, USA. Situated on the eastern shore of Green Bay, it is a popular destination for tourists due to its scenic beauty, charming shops, and various recreational activities. Fish Creek is known for its picturesque waterfront and is surrounded by the dense forests of Peninsula State Park.
Attractions in and around Fish Creek include:
Peninsula State Park: A 3,776-acre park offering various recreational activities such as hiking, biking, camping, and fishing. The park also has a historic lighthouse, the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, which is open for tours during the summer months.
Door Community Auditorium: A cultural center that hosts a variety of concerts, lectures, and performances throughout the year.
Fish Creek Beach: A public beach on the shores of Green Bay where visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, or picnicking.
Historic Noble House Museum: A preserved 19th-century home showcasing the history and heritage of Fish Creek.
Art galleries and studios: Fish Creek is known for its thriving art scene, with several galleries and studios featuring the work of local and regional artists.
Outdoor recreational activities: In addition to the activities available in Peninsula State Park, Fish Creek, and its surroundings offer opportunities for kayaking, boating, fishing, and golfing.
Fish Creek offers a range of accommodations, from quaint beds and breakfasts to vacation rentals and hotels. The village’s friendly, laid-back atmosphere attracts visitors seeking a relaxing getaway in a beautiful natural setting.
Savor Local Flavors
Door County’s Culinary Scene
Food lovers will delight in Door County’s diverse culinary offerings. From farm-to-table dining to classic Wisconsin fish boils, there’s something for every palate. Be sure to sample some of the region’s famous cherry products, including pies, jams, and wines.
Door County Wine Trail
Explore the Door County Wine Trail, which features eight local wineries offering tastings and tours. Experience the region’s unique flavors, such as the famous Door County cherry wine, and enjoy the beautiful countryside as you sip and savor.
Seasonal Events and Festivals
Door County Festival of Blossoms
Door County comes alive with color every spring as cherry and apple blossoms blanket the landscape. The Festival of Blossoms celebrates this vibrant display with various regional events, including guided tours, art fairs, and concerts.
Door County Plein Air Festival
Each summer, artists from around the country gather in Door County for the Plein Air Festival. This week-long event showcases artists painting “en plein air” or outdoors, capturing the region’s natural beauty. Visitors can watch artists at work, attend workshops, and purchase original artwork.
Autumn Splendor Art Tour
As the leaves turn brilliant shades of red, orange, and gold, Door County hosts the Autumn Splendor Art Tour. This self-guided tour takes visitors through the scenic countryside to various art studios and galleries to meet local artists and view their work.
Hands-On Art Studio
Head to Hands-On Art Studio in Fish Creek for a fun and creative family outing. This art facility offers a variety of projects suitable for all ages, including pottery painting, glass fusing, and metalworking. Create your own Door County souvenir to take home and treasure.
Plum Loco Animal Farm
At Plum Loco Animal Farm, children can interact with friendly farm animals, play on the outdoor playground, and enjoy various educational activities. A visit to this charming farm will surely be a hit with the entire family.
Nestled in the picturesque countryside, Plum Loco Animal Farm offers the entire family a unique and delightful experience. With its wide range of animals, educational programs, and interactive activities, visitors are guaranteed to have a fun and unforgettable time.
At the heart of Plum Loco Animal Farm lies a diverse collection of animals worldwide. From common farm animals such as cows, sheep, and pigs to more exotic creatures like alpacas, peacocks, and even emus, the farm is a haven for animal enthusiasts of all ages. In addition, the farm strongly emphasizes conservation and animal welfare, ensuring that all its residents are well cared for and treated with the utmost respect.
One of the highlights of visiting Plum Loco Animal Farm is the opportunity to get up close and personal with the animals. Visitors can pet, feed, and even cuddle with their favorite creatures. The farm also offers guided tours and educational programs, allowing guests to learn about the animals’ natural habitats, feeding habits, and unique characteristics.
But the fun doesn’t stop with the animals! Plum Loco Animal Farm features a variety of family-friendly activities that cater to all ages. Children can enjoy the playground with slides, swings, and climbing structures, while adults can relax in the serene picnic area. The farm also hosts seasonal events, such as pumpkin patches in the fall and holiday-themed activities in December.
Plum Loco Animal Farm offers workshops and demonstrations on gardening, beekeeping, and cheese-making for those interested in learning more about farming and agriculture. These hands-on experiences allow guests to develop new skills and better appreciate the farm-to-table process.
After a day filled with excitement and discovery, visitors can head to the farm’s gift shop to pick up souvenirs and locally made products and even adopt a plush animal to take home. The farm’s cozy café also serves delicious homemade treats, ensuring no one leaves Plum Loco Animal Farm with an empty stomach.
In summary, Plum Loco Animal Farm is a fantastic destination for families, animal lovers, and those looking to reconnect with nature. With its stunning array of animals, engaging activities, and peaceful surroundings, a visit to Plum Loco Animal Farm will surely create lasting memories for all who attend.
The Ridges Sanctuary
As Wisconsin’s oldest private nature preserve, The Ridges Sanctuary is a must-visit destination for families interested in exploring Door County’s diverse ecosystem. Wander through the unique ridge-and-swale landscape, learn about local flora and fauna, and participate in guided hikes and educational programs.
With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Door County, Wisconsin, has become a favorite destination for travelers from all walks of life. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, cultural experiences, or simply a place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature, Door County is a destination that truly has it all.
Historic Lighthouses of Door County
Cana Island Lighthouse
Constructed in 1869, the Cana Island Lighthouse is an iconic symbol of Door County’s maritime history. Take a scenic walk across the causeway and climb the 97 steps to the top of the lighthouse for breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding landscape. The lighthouse grounds also feature a restored keeper’s quarters, now a museum.
Located in Rock Island State Park, Pottawatomie Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Wisconsin. Built-in 1836 and restored in 2004, the lighthouse offers guided tours where visitors can learn about the history of the keepers who once called the lighthouse home. Access to Rock Island is via a ferry from Washington Island, making it a memorable adventure for the entire family.
Relax on Door County’s Beautiful Beaches
Situated within Peninsula State Park, Nicolet Beach is a popular destination for families looking to enjoy a day of sun and sand. With its soft, sandy shoreline and crystal-clear waters, Nicolet Beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and building sandcastles. Kayak and paddleboard rentals are also available for those looking to explore the surrounding area on the water.
Whitefish Dunes State Park
Whitefish Dunes State Park boasts the giant dunes in Wisconsin and offers a pristine, sandy beach for visitors to enjoy. The park is ideal for swimming, picnicking, and hiking, with several trails winding through the dunes and forests. Be sure to visit the park’s nature center to learn about the area’s unique ecosystem and history.
Door County’s Iconic Fish Boils
Old Post Office Restaurant
A visit to Door County wouldn’t be complete without experiencing a traditional fish boil. The Old Post Office Restaurant in Ephraim offers one of the most authentic fish boils in the region. Gather around the outdoor fire as your meal is prepared, and learn about the history and tradition behind this unique Wisconsin culinary experience.
Located in the heart of Door County, Wisconsin, the Old Post Office Restaurant offers a unique and memorable dining experience that combines history, charm, and delicious cuisine. Housed in a beautifully restored, historic post office building, the restaurant has become a favorite destination for locals and tourists looking to enjoy a meal in a cozy and nostalgic setting.
Upon entering the Old Post Office Restaurant, guests are immediately transported back in time. The interior is adorned with vintage postal memorabilia, antique furnishings, and warm lighting, creating an inviting and intimate atmosphere. The walls are decorated with historical photographs and documents, offering a glimpse into the rich history of the building and the surrounding area.
The Old Post Office Restaurant menu features American classics and local Wisconsin favorites. Known for its traditional fish boils, the restaurant serves up mouth-watering whitefish caught fresh from the nearby Lake Michigan. The fish is perfectly cooked, accompanied by potatoes, onions, and a side of coleslaw, providing an authentic taste of Door County’s culinary heritage.
In addition to the fish boils, the menu offers a wide selection of dishes to suit all tastes. Guests can choose from steaks, seafood, sandwiches, and salads made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available, ensuring everyone can enjoy a satisfying meal.
The Old Post Office Restaurant offers a carefully curated selection of local and regional wines and beers to complement the delicious food. With a focus on Wisconsin breweries and wineries, the beverage list is a testament to the state’s thriving craft beverage scene.
For those with a sweet tooth, the dessert menu features a variety of indulgent treats, including the signature Door County cherry pie made with fresh, local cherries. Guests can also savor homemade ice cream, brownies, and delectable delights.
The Old Post Office Restaurant prides itself on offering warm, friendly service in a relaxed and welcoming environment. With its rich history, charming ambiance, and delicious menu, a visit to this Wisconsin gem will leave a lasting impression on all who dine here.
Pelletier’s Restaurant & Fish Boil
Located in Fish Creek, Pelletier’s Restaurant & Fish Boil is another excellent option for experiencing this local tradition. With a warm and welcoming atmosphere, Pelletier’s offers a delicious fish boil dinner with freshly caught whitefish, potatoes, onions, and homemade cherry pie for dessert.
From its natural beauty and outdoor adventures to its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and delectable cuisine, Door County, Wisconsin, is a destination that has something for everyone. Whether planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, you can create lasting memories in this enchanting corner of the Midwest.
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Door County, Wisconsin:
- Where is Door County located?
Door County is located in northeastern Wisconsin, USA, on a peninsula that separates Green Bay from Lake Michigan. The county seat is Sturgeon Bay.
- What is Door County known for?
Door County is known for its picturesque landscapes, charming small towns, historic lighthouses, outdoor recreational activities, and vibrant arts scene. The region is also famous for its cherry and apple orchards, as well as its wineries and fish boils.
- When is the best time to visit Door County?
The best time to visit Door County depends on your interests. Summer (June to August) offers warm weather and a variety of outdoor activities, while fall (September to November) is perfect for enjoying the vibrant foliage and harvest season. Winter (December to February) offers opportunities for snow sports, while spring (March to May) showcases the blossoming cherry and apple orchards.
- What are some popular attractions in Door County?
Some popular attractions in Door County include Peninsula State Park, Cana Island Lighthouse, Door County Maritime Museum, Newport State Park, and Door Community Auditorium. The county is also home to numerous art galleries, wineries, and charming small towns like Fish Creek, Ephraim, and Sister Bay.
- What outdoor activities are available in Door County?
Door County offers various outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, kayaking, boating, fishing, golfing, and birdwatching. In the winter, visitors can enjoy snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.
- Are there accommodations available in Door County?
Yes, Door County has a wide range of accommodations to suit different budgets and preferences. Visitors can choose from hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, and campgrounds.
- What are some local culinary specialties in Door County?
Door County is known for its fish boils, a traditional cooking method that involves boiling fresh fish with potatoes and onions over an open fire. The region is also famous for its cherry pie, made with locally grown cherries, and its apple cider donuts. Additionally, visitors can sample local wines, beers, and spirits at the many wineries, breweries, and distilleries in the area.
- How do I get to Door County?
Door County is accessible by car, with major highways like US Highway 42 and State Highway 57 connecting the region to nearby cities like Green Bay and Milwaukee. The closest airport is the Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport, approximately 60 miles from Sturgeon Bay. From there, visitors can rent a car or arrange other transportation to Door County.