51 Best Things To Do in Door County

Here are the best things to do in Door County:

  1. Peninsula State Park
  2. Cherry Picking
  3. Kayaking
  4. Renting a boat
  5. Boat Tour
  6. E-Bike Tour
  7. Segway Tour
  8. Peninsula Players
  9. Donny’s Glidden Lodge Restaurant
  10. The Farm in Door County
  11. Door County Maritime Museum
  12. Cave Point County Park
  13. Cana Island Lighthouse
  14. Northern Sky Theater
  15. Egg Harbor Fun Park
  16. Washington Island Stavkirke
  17. Newport State Park
  18. Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik
  19. Going to the Beach
  20. Cherry Blossoms
  21. Whitefish Dunes State Park
  22. Rock Island State Park
  23. Pottawatomie Lighthouse
  24. Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Lighthouse
  25. Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Pierhead Lighthouse
  26. Potawatomi State Park
  27. Ahnapee Trail
  28. Visiting Wineries
  29. Lavender Fields
  30. Fishing
  31. Sailing
  32. Nightingale Supper Club
  33. English Inn
  34. Alexander’s of Door County
  35. Kitty O’Reilly’s Irish Pub
  36. AC Tap
  37. Washington Island Ferry
  38. Schoolhouse Beach
  39. Hiking
  40. Fat Tire Biking
  41. Snowshoeing
  42. Ice Skating
  43. Sister Bay Fall Fest
  44. Fish Creek Winterfest
  45. Door County Beer Festival
  46. Camping
  47. Fyr Bal Festival
  48. Door County Lighthouse Festival
  49. Pumpkin Patch Festival
  50. Independence Day Festivities
  51. Baileys Harbor Autumnfest

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the best things to do in Door County! Door County is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. From the serene beauty of Peninsula State Park to the charming allure of local festivals, this region offers a diverse array of activities to suit every interest. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or simply in search of relaxation and good food, you’ll find something to love here. Join us as we explore the must-do activities that make Door County a truly special destination.

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Best Door County Things To Do

Peninsula State Park

sign for Peninsula State Park
Via Hello Door County.

Peninsula State Park, a jewel in Wisconsin’s park system, is a place where memories are made under the expansive sky. As I walk the Eagle Trail, the ground beneath my feet tells stories of ancient times. This trail, winding through rugged terrain, offers a thrilling challenge for hikers. The views from Eagle Tower are breathtaking, revealing a tapestry of forest and water that stretches to the horizon.

Camping here is an experience unlike any other. Each morning, I wake up to a symphony of nature, with birds chirping and the gentle rustle of leaves. The campsites offer a perfect blend of comfort and wilderness, making it an ideal spot for families and solo adventurers alike.

One of my favorite sights is the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, standing proudly as a beacon of Door County’s rich maritime history. Its walls, steeped in stories of keepers past, overlook the serene waters of Green Bay. The vistas from the bluff are particularly mesmerizing at sunset when the sky is painted with hues of orange and purple.

Every visit to Peninsula State Park is a reminder of nature’s grandeur and the timeless beauty of Wisconsin’s landscapes. It’s a place where every path leads to discovery, and every visit feels like coming home.

Cherry Picking

Cherry picking in Door County isn’t just an activity; it’s a tradition that has transformed this charming region into a beloved tourist destination. Each year, I join countless others in this wholesome, intergenerational activity, feeling a sense of community and connection to the land. The experience of being outside, surrounded by rows of cherry trees under the open sky, is rejuvenating.

There’s something incredibly satisfying about plucking these ruby-red treasures directly from the branches. It’s more than just gathering fruit; it’s about taking an active role in providing food for myself and my loved ones. The joy in the faces of children as they reach for the cherries, and the laughter shared between families and friends, makes every moment special.

Door County’s cherries are not only delicious but also a symbol of the region’s agricultural heritage. Whether eaten fresh, baked into a pie, or preserved for later, these cherries carry the flavor of Door County’s rich soil and the warmth of its summer sun.

This simple yet profound experience of cherry-picking connects us to the earth and to each other. It’s a reminder of the simple pleasures in life and the importance of slowing down to enjoy nature’s bounty.

Kayaking

Cave Point–eastern shore of Door County

Kayaking in Door County offers an escape into tranquility, a way to connect with the water that’s both intimate and exhilarating. For me, the appeal lies in the silence – gliding across the water without the hum of an engine, just the soft sound of my paddle slicing through the waves.

If you are an experienced kayaker, you can bring your own gear and hit the waters. But, if you aren’t experienced, you should know that the waters around Door County can be quite treacherous. You’d be better off going as part of a guided trip.

Cave Point Kayak Tour

One of my favorite guided kayak trips in Door County is the Cave Point Kayak Tour. This tour lets you see Cave Point County Park, one of Door County’s most popular natural sites, from a perspective that few get – from the water. You can actually see the caves which give this park its name, and even take your kayak inside one of them. These trips book up well in advance, so if you’re interested, make sure that you check availability now.

Peninsula State Park Kayak Tour

Another fun kayak tour is the Peninsula State Park Kayak Tour. This kayak tour is on the Green Bay side of Door County, so you can expect the waters to be warmer and calmer here than at Cave Point. If you’re not used to kayaking and want a little bit more experience before heading out to more challenging waters, this is the kayak tour for you.

Exploring the shoreline by kayak allows me to appreciate the nuances of the landscape. The cliffs, beaches, and hidden coves reveal themselves in a way that’s not possible from a larger boat. It’s a more personal encounter with nature, where I can feel the gentle sway of the waves and the subtle changes in the current.

Renting a Boat

boat wake
Via Depositphotos. Used by permission.

Powerboating in Door County offers an entirely different kind of aquatic adventure, one that’s filled with excitement and the thrill of speed. As the engine roars to life and the boat begins to slice through the waters, I feel a rush of adrenaline.

You can experience this, too, and you don’t even have to bring your own boat. You can rent a pontoon boat in Door County, and it’s surprisingly affordable. If you think you might be interested in this, don’t hesitate to check availability, as boat rentals often fill up months ahead of time.

Boat Tours

clouds over lake

Boat tours in Door County offer a fantastic way to explore the waters safely and conveniently, without the need for personal equipment or rentals. These tours provide an opportunity to experience the beauty of the area from the water, guided by knowledgeable captains who share fascinating insights about the local geography and history.

On a boat tour, I enjoy the leisure of sitting back and taking in the sights while someone else handles the navigation. It’s a stress-free way to see the best of Door County’s shoreline, lighthouses, and natural formations. Whether it’s a sunset cruise, a wildlife-watching expedition, or a tour around the historic lighthouses, each trip is a unique adventure.

The most exciting boat tour in Door County is the “North Shore to Death’s Door Crossing” tour. This tour will take you up to the famed Porte de Morts (Door of the Dead) passage between the tip of the Door Peninsula and Washington Island.

Along the way, you’ll see some of the Upper Midwest’s most beautiful homes. And, if the weather permits, you’ll get an up-close view that few get of the Plum Island Lighthouse. This trip is definitely worth it.

If you think you might be interested in this tour, don’t hesitate to check availability. These types of experiences in Door County often book up months in advance.

E-Bike Tour

E-bike in nature landscape
Via Depositphotos. Used by permission.

An e-bike tour combines the best of worlds. When you want to exercise, you can propel yourself. And, when you want mechanical assistance, it’s right at your finger tips. And, all that without any fumes or noise.

It’s a great way to experience the outdoors and the beauty of Door County.

You don’t even have to bring your own e-bike. Multiple e-bike tours are available in Door County.

Cave Point E-bike Tour

The most popular e-bike tour in Door County is the Cave Point e-bike tour. This is a gorgeous part of Door County, and you’ll get to experience lots of it under the guidance of your e-bike tour guide. Check availability now to see if you can get on this tour.

Peninsula State Park E-bike Tour

Another great e-bike tour is the Peninsula State Park e-bike tour. What’s great about Peninsula State Park is that it combines natural beauty, history, and human ingenuity all-in-one. The e-bike tour is a great way to get all these experiences within a few hours time. See if you can get on this tour before it books up.

Segway Tour

segways - things to do in door county
Via Depositphotos. Used by permission.

If you prefer standing rather than sitting, a segway tour might be what you prefer over an e-bike tour. A segway tour offers a lot of the same advantages, and it’s also cool to use the technology.

The two most popular segway tours in Door County are the Peninsula State Park tour and the Fish Creek tour.

Peninsula State Park Segway Tour

The Peninsula State Park tour will take you through one of the most beautiful natural area in all of Door County. You’ll have the chance to explore natural wonders and mandmade wonders alike – things like scenic vistas and lighthouses.

Fish Creek Segway Tour

The Fish Creek tour will take you through the quaint and historic town of Fish Creek. You’ll learn about the history and culture of this unique place, and see some natural beauty here too. You’re never far from the loveliness of the natural world in Door County.

Peninsula Players

Stage with an audience
Images from A Little Night Music performed at Peninsula Players, photo by Len Villano. Via Peninsula Players. used by permission.

Arriving early at Peninsula Players is part of the enchantment. The festive gathering on the gorgeous grounds, right on the shore of Green Bay, sets the tone for an unforgettable evening. As I mingle with fellow theater enthusiasts, the anticipation builds. The legendary “air conditioner” cocktail in hand, the cool, refreshing drink is a perfect start to the night’s experience.

sunset over water with trees around
Credit: Brian Kelsey. Via Peninsula Players. Used by permission.

Peninsula Players is renowned for its world-class performances. The talent on stage is always awe-inspiring, capturing the essence of each story with passion and depth. It’s not just a show; it’s an emotional journey that stays with me long after the final curtain call.

The theater’s unique design, an open-air venue with a roof overhead, blends the best of both worlds. The natural backdrop of the bay, combined with the intimate setting under the roof, creates an ambiance that’s both invigorating and cozy. This architectural marvel ensures that no matter the weather, the show goes on, and the audience enjoys a comfortable experience.

Each visit to Peninsula Players is a celebration of art, nature, and community. The combination of stunning performances, breathtaking surroundings, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere makes it a cornerstone of Door County’s cultural landscape.

Donny’s Glidden Lodge Restaurant

Grey stone building in front of Lake Michigan. Donny's Glidden Lodge Restaurant

When I step into Donny’s Glidden Lodge Restaurant, it’s like stepping into a timeless, classic world. The ambiance of this small, intimate restaurant envelops me with a sense of warmth and history. Perched on the shore of Lake Michigan, it offers some of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen, a panorama of water and sky that’s ever-changing yet always mesmerizing.

It’s the perfect spot to celebrate an anniversary or any special occasion. The intimate setting, coupled with the breathtaking views, creates an atmosphere of romance and exclusivity. It’s not just a meal; it’s an experience, a celebration of love and life.

In my opinion, Donny’s Glidden Lodge is one of the best supper clubs not only in Door County but in all of Wisconsin. The menu, rich with savory delights, complements the stunning scenery outside the windows. To fully savor the experience, I always make sure to get a reservation well ahead of time. And an early reservation is key – dining here is as much about the views as it is about the food, and you’ll want to enjoy your meal in the warm embrace of the setting sun rather than after dark.

Each visit to Donny’s Glidden Lodge leaves me with a sense of fulfillment and joy, a testament to the art of fine dining in a setting that’s simply unparalleled.

The Farm in Door County

Image depicting cows at The Farm in Door County,
Via Hello Door County.

The Farm in Door County is a living museum of rural history, a place that immediately connects me to the agricultural past that is so integral to the history of humanity. Each visit here feels like a journey back in time, offering a profound insight into the ways our ancestors lived and worked the land.

Feeding the baby goats and lambs is always a highlight of my visits. The joy of interacting with these adorable creatures, and the laughter they bring, is simply unmatched. And then there are the kittens, fluffy and playful, always ready for a gentle petting. It’s a delight to watch families and children experiencing these simple pleasures, connecting with nature in the most direct way.

The huge Brahmin bull at The Farm is a gentle giant. Despite his imposing size, he’s incredibly friendly and beloved by all who meet him. He’s a testament to the gentle nature of farm animals and a favorite among visitors.

The beauty of The Farm extends to its demonstration gardens and the display of antique farm equipment. These gardens are not just a feast for the eyes but also an educational experience, showing the variety and richness of what the land can produce. The antique equipment, meanwhile, tells a story of innovation and hard work.

For me, The Farm in Door County is more than just an attraction; it’s a place of learning, joy, and connection. It’s one of my favorite things to do in Door County, a reminder of our roots and the simple beauties of life.

Door County Maritime Museum

Facade of the Door County Maritime Museum.
Via Hello Door County.

The Door County Maritime Museum is an ideal first stop in any Door County adventure. It offers a comprehensive overview of the area’s unique geography and its significant role in shaping local culture and history. This museum isn’t just a collection of exhibits; it’s a gateway to understanding Door County’s place in the wider world of maritime exploration and industry.

Inside, the array of beautiful boats and maritime equipment captivates me every time. Each piece tells a story of innovation, resilience, and the unbreakable bond between humans and the sea. The craftsmanship and history embodied in these artifacts are a testament to the region’s rich maritime heritage.

A highlight of the museum is the tug boat tour of the legendary John Purves. Stepping aboard this historic vessel is like stepping back in time. The stories and details shared during the tour bring to life the everyday realities and extraordinary adventures of those who worked on these waters.

The views from the museum’s tower are nothing short of spectacular. As I look out over the water, I’m reminded of the endless possibilities and challenges the sea represents. The panoramic vista from this vantage point is a breathtaking reminder of the beauty and power of nature.

Visiting the Door County Maritime Museum is not just an educational experience; it’s an immersive journey that deepens my appreciation for this unique corner of the world and its maritime legacy.

Cave Point County Park

bowl shaped cave formation called Devil's Cauldron at Cave Point County Park in Door County, Wisconsin

Cave Point County Park is a place of stunning natural beauty and a sensory wonderland. Standing at the edge of the park, I’m always struck by the panoramic views that stretch out before me. The contrast of the rugged cliffs against the vast expanse of Lake Michigan is a sight to behold, a reminder of nature’s grandeur and power.

The park offers a multi-sensory experience that goes beyond just visual splendor. The unique sounds here are unforgettable; the rhythmic crashing of the waves against the limestone cliffs creates a natural melody that’s both soothing and exhilarating. The power of these huge waves, especially on windy days, is awe-inspiring, showcasing the untamed beauty of the Great Lakes.

A feature that always captures my attention is the “Devil’s Cauldron.” This spot, where water swirls and churns in a natural limestone basin, is mesmerizing. Watching the water’s relentless motion, I’m reminded of the ceaseless forces that have shaped this landscape over millennia.

Visiting Cave Point County Park is an experience that engages all the senses. It’s a place that leaves me with a profound sense of wonder and a deep appreciation for the unique beauty of Door County’s natural landscape.

Cana Island Lighthouse

cana island lighthouse in door county wisconsin
Via Hello Door County

The journey to Cana Island Lighthouse is an adventure in itself, beginning with a unique tractor-towed wagon ride across a water-covered causeway. This unusual approach adds to the excitement and anticipation of visiting one of the most iconic lighthouses in the region.

Upon arriving, the lighthouse stands as a picturesque symbol of maritime history. Its classic beauty is almost exactly what comes to mind when people think of a lighthouse – tall, white, and standing proudly against the backdrop of Lake Michigan. It’s a testament to the timeless allure of lighthouses and their role in guiding sailors through treacherous waters.

Climbing the lighthouse is an experience I always look forward to. Ascending the steps, I feel a connection to the keepers who once maintained this vital beacon. At the top, the lighthouse’s gorgeous Fresnel lens captivates me. This intricate masterpiece is not only a feat of engineering but also a piece of art, casting a guiding light that has stood the test of time.

The views from the top are simply breathtaking. Gazing out over the vast expanse of water and the surrounding landscape, I’m treated to a perspective that’s both awe-inspiring and serene. It’s a view that captures the heart of Door County’s natural beauty and the enduring spirit of its maritime heritage.

Northern Sky Theater

Northern Sky Theater offers a truly unique theatrical experience, nestled in the heart of Door County’s natural landscape. The setting of the theater, surrounded by the tranquility of the woods, adds a magical element to each performance. As I settle into my seat, the open sky above and the rustling leaves around create an ambiance that can’t be replicated in any indoor venue.

What strikes me most about Northern Sky Theater is the originality of its productions. The plays, often centered around regional themes and folklore, resonate with a sense of place and community. The talented performers bring stories to life with a passion and energy that’s infectious, making each show a memorable event.

The intimacy of the theater is another aspect that enhances the experience. The connection between the audience and the performers feels personal, almost like a shared journey through the narrative. This closeness allows for a deeper engagement with the story and its characters.

Attending a show at Northern Sky Theater is more than just an evening out; it’s an immersion into the heart of Door County’s artistic spirit. It’s an experience that celebrates the local culture, the beauty of nature, and the joy of live theater.

Egg Harbor Fun Park

top details of a go cart
Via Depositphotos. Used by permission.

Egg Harbor Fun Park is a destination that brings out the child in everyone, and it’s a particular favorite for my kids. Each visit here is filled with laughter and excitement, as the park offers a wide range of activities that cater to all ages.

The vibrant atmosphere of the park is contagious. From the moment we step in, my kids are off, eager to explore everything from go-karts to mini-golf. The go-kart track is a huge hit, with its twists and turns offering a thrilling ride. Mini-golf, on the other hand, provides a fun challenge for the whole family, set in a creatively designed course that captures the imagination.

The arcade is another area where my kids spend hours. Filled with a variety of games, from classic pinball to the latest interactive games, it’s a haven for playful competition and joy. The sound of tokens clinking and the flashing lights add to the exhilarating environment.

Egg Harbor Fun Park isn’t just about the activities; it’s about creating memories. The joy on my kids’ faces as they dart from one attraction to another is priceless. It’s a place where they can freely enjoy the simple pleasures of play, and where I can join in and relive the carefree days of my own childhood.

Washington Island Stavkirke

the stavkirke on washington island in door county, wisconsin
Via Hello Door County

The Washington Island Stavkirke stands as a testament to architectural beauty and spiritual serenity. As a Christian, my visits to this stunning structure are not just about admiring its physical beauty but also about connecting with my faith in a profound and personal way.

The design of the Stavkirke, with its intricate woodwork and traditional Scandinavian style, transports me to a different era. Its construction is a marvel, showcasing the skill and dedication of those who built it. The moment I step inside, I’m enveloped in an atmosphere of peace and reverence, which allows me to reflect and find solace in my faith.

The tranquility of the surrounding woods adds to the spiritual experience. It’s as if nature itself is in harmony with the purpose of the Stavkirke, providing a perfect backdrop for prayer and contemplation. The quietness of the setting allows me to listen, not just to my thoughts, but also to the subtle voice of God.

Visiting the Washington Island Stavkirke is a deeply moving experience. It’s a place where I can strengthen my connection with God, surrounded by the beauty of His creation and the majesty of this remarkable building.

Newport State Park

Picture depicting sunrise over Lake Michigan at Newport State Park, Wisconsin.
Newport State Park by Amy Meredith via Flickr. Used by permission (CC BY-ND 2.0).

While Peninsula State Park may be the most popular in Door County, Newport State Park holds a special place in my heart as my personal favorite. Its unique charm lies in the sense of wilderness and seclusion it offers, a rare find in today’s fast-paced world.

The dispersed, walk-in campsites are a highlight for me. They provide a genuine back-to-nature experience that’s both rustic and peaceful. Setting up camp amidst the quiet of the forest, with the night sky above, is an experience that reconnects me with the earth and offers a respite from the noise of everyday life.

Newport State Park’s hiking trails are nothing short of spectacular. The trails along the shore of Lake Michigan offer breathtaking views of the water, while the paths winding through intriguing rock formations provide a sense of adventure and discovery. The contrast of the rugged terrain against the serene lake is a vivid reminder of nature’s diverse beauty.

This park, with its wilderness feel, offers an authentic outdoor experience. Each visit here is an opportunity to explore, reflect, and soak in the beauty of one of Door County’s most treasured natural landscapes.

Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik

got on the roof of Al Johnson's restaurant in Sister Bay, Door County, Wisconsin
Goat on the roof of Al Johnson’s Restaurant in Sister Bay, Door County, Wisconsin. Image credit: Eden, Janine and Jim via Flickr. Used by permission (CC BY 2.0).

Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik is a Door County landmark that offers more than just a meal; it’s an experience steeped in charm and whimsy. One of the most delightful and unique features of this restaurant is the sight of goats grazing peacefully on the grass-covered roof. Watching these friendly goats while waiting to dine is a quirky and joyful start to the experience.

The interior of Al Johnson’s transports me to a cozy Swedish cottage, complete with Scandinavian decor and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The menu offers an array of traditional Swedish dishes that are both hearty and delicious. Enjoying a plate of Swedish pancakes with lingonberries here feels like a culinary journey to another land.

But it’s not just the food or the goats that make Al Johnson’s special; it’s the sense of tradition and community that permeates the place. It’s a spot where families gather, friends reunite, and memories are made. The laughter and chatter that fill the air add to the convivial ambiance.

Visiting Al Johnson’s, with its iconic goats on the roof and its delightful Swedish fare, is a must-do in Door County. It’s a place that embodies the character and charm of the area, leaving guests with a smile and a story to tell.

Going to the Beach

shoreline

Going to the beach in Door County is one of my favorite ways to relax and soak in the natural beauty of the area. The beaches along Green Bay, in particular, have a special allure, as their waters warm up sooner than those along Lake Michigan, making them perfect for early summer visits.

There’s something about the combination of sun, sand, and gentle waves that instantly puts me at ease. Laying on the warm sand, feeling the sun’s rays, and listening to the rhythmic sound of the water creates a peaceful atmosphere that’s hard to find anywhere else. It’s a place where time seems to slow down, and the worries of everyday life fade away.

The fun and lively atmosphere of the beaches in Door County add to the experience. Watching families build sandcastles, groups playing beach volleyball, and kids splashing in the water brings a sense of joy and community. It’s not just about lounging in the sun; it’s about the shared moments of happiness and the simple pleasures that come with a day at the beach.

Whether it’s for a quick swim, a day of sunbathing, or a picnic by the water, going to the beach in Door County is a refreshing and rejuvenating experience. It’s a reminder of the joys of summer and the beauty of Wisconsin’s natural landscapes.

Cherry Blossoms

cherry blossoms in Door County
Taken on 5/12/2023 at Meleddy Orchard in Forestville, Door County, Wisconsin

The cherry blossoms in Door County present a spectacular display of nature’s beauty, typically blooming from mid to late May. These blossoms are not just a sight to behold; they’re a fleeting symbol of the changing seasons, a reminder to appreciate the present moment.

Staying up-to-date with the cherry blossom status is crucial, as their bloom is a brief and eagerly anticipated event. When word gets out that the blossoms are peaking, I move quickly to witness this annual spectacle. The sight of cherry orchards awash in delicate pink and white flowers is breathtaking, transforming the landscape into a vibrant tapestry.

The Montmorency cherry, the classic Door County variety, takes center stage during this time. Seeing these specific trees in bloom is not just visually stunning but also a nod to the region’s agricultural heritage. The orchards become a canvas of color, a testament to the beauty and bounty of nature.

Witnessing the cherry blossoms in Door County is a truly magical experience. It’s a brief but glorious period when the orchards come to life, marking the onset of warmer days and the promise of summer. The beauty of these blossoms, in their short-lived splendor, stays with me long after they’ve faded, a cherished memory of spring in Wisconsin.

Whitefish Dunes State Park

cropped-20230104-600-1067-beach-whitefish-dunes-state-park.jpg

Whitefish Dunes State Park, with its unique charms and natural wonders, holds a special place in my outdoor adventures. One of the park’s delightful features is its dog beach. Even though I don’t have a dog, the trail to the beach is always a joy, as I get to meet a variety of friendly dogs along the way. Their energy and enthusiasm add a layer of fun and warmth to the experience.

The park is famous for its “squeaky sand,” a fascinating natural phenomenon. Walking along the beach, the sand underfoot makes a curious squeaking sound, a playful reminder of the unique characteristics of this coastal environment. It’s one of those small wonders that make a visit to Whitefish Dunes so memorable.

Situated on Lake Michigan, the water here is cooler than on the bay side. This makes it an ideal spot for a refreshing swim, especially during the hottest days of the year. The contrast of the cool water against the summer heat is invigorating and revitalizing.

The trail that winds between the dunes is a journey through a rare and unique ecosystem. The beauty of the dunes, with their tall grasses swaying in the breeze, and the glimpses of Lake Michigan in the distance, create a serene and picturesque landscape. This trail isn’t just a path; it’s an immersive experience into a delicate and extraordinary part of Door County’s natural heritage.

Rock Island State Park

Picture of the boathouse at Rock Island State Park Door County Wisconsin
The Boathouse at Rock Island State Park, Door County, Wisconsin. Via Hello Door County.

Visiting Rock Island State Park is an adventure from the start, requiring a bit of effort but offering immense rewards. The journey begins with a ferry ride to Washington Island, followed by crossing the island, and then another ferry ride to reach Rock Island. This multi-step trip heightens the sense of escape and anticipation, making the arrival all the more satisfying.

One of the park’s gems is the beautiful boathouse built by Chester Thordarson. Thordarson, an Icelandic immigrant who made his fortune in electrical inventions in the United States, was drawn to this tranquil island. His boathouse, constructed from local stone, is not only an architectural marvel but also a symbol of his love for Rock Island. Its rustic yet grand design reflects Thordarson’s appreciation for natural beauty and his Icelandic heritage, adding a layer of historical intrigue to the park.

The Pottawatomie Lighthouse, another highlight of Rock Island, is an amazing piece of history. As Wisconsin’s oldest lighthouse, it offers a glimpse into the maritime past of the Great Lakes. Exploring this lighthouse, with its well-preserved interior and fascinating stories, is like stepping back in time.

Rock Island State Park, with its unique journey, Thordarson’s legacy, and the historic lighthouse, is more than just a park; it’s a journey through nature and history. Each visit here is a reminder of the diverse beauty and rich heritage of Door County.

Pottawatomie Lighthouse

Picture depicting the Pottawatomie Lighthouse on Rock Island in Door County, Wisconsin
Pottawatomie Lighthouse by Charles Hartman via Wikimedia Commons. Used by permission (CC BY-SA 3.0).

My visits to the Pottawatomie Lighthouse, perched on a high bluff above Lake Michigan, are always filled with a sense of adventure and discovery. The journey to the lighthouse involves a hike that, while challenging, is incredibly rewarding. As I trek through the beautiful landscape, anticipation builds with every step.

Once I reach the lighthouse, I’m greeted with an amazing view that makes the hike well worth it. Standing there, overlooking the vast expanse of Lake Michigan, I feel a profound sense of peace and awe. The panoramic vista from this vantage point is a breathtaking showcase of the lake’s immense beauty and tranquility.

Exploring the lighthouse itself is a journey through time. It’s steeped in history, each room telling a story of the keepers who once lived here and maintained the light. The preservation of the lighthouse allows me to immerse myself in its past, imagining life on this remote bluff, guiding ships through treacherous waters.

The Pottawatomie Lighthouse, with its stunning location and rich history, is a highlight of my Door County experiences. The hike, the views, and the sense of history combine to create an unforgettable adventure that connects me with the natural and cultural heritage of the area.

Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Lighthouse

sturgeon bay ship canal lighthouse in door county wisconsin
Via Hello Door County

The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Lighthouse stands as an impressive structure, a beacon of guidance for mariners navigating the waters of Door County. Unlike some lighthouses where you can walk up to the top, this lighthouse is not accessible for such visits. However, this doesn’t diminish its grandeur or the sense of wonder it inspires.

Viewing the lighthouse from a distance, I always take a moment to appreciate its stately presence against the backdrop of Lake Michigan. Its bold, striking appearance is a testament to the vital role lighthouses have played in maritime history. The sight of it, standing tall and steadfast, evokes a feeling of reassurance and awe.

The lighthouse sits on federal property, a reminder of its importance in the larger network of navigational aids maintained by the government. Respecting this property is paramount, as it’s not just a beautiful landmark but also a crucial part of the maritime infrastructure.

Each time I visit the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Lighthouse, I’m struck by its imposing beauty and the sense of continuity it represents. It’s a symbol of the enduring relationship between humans and the sea, a monument to our efforts to navigate and coexist with the vast waters of the Great Lakes.

Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Pierhead Lighthouse

sturgeon bay ship canal pierhead lighthouse in door county wisconsin
Via Hello Door County.

The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Pierhead Lighthouse, with its rugged appearance, is a striking feature in the waters of Lake Michigan. Each time I see it, I’m impressed by its bold, commanding presence. This lighthouse isn’t just a navigational aid; it’s an iconic structure that captures the essence of Door County’s maritime heritage.

Standing on the shore, looking out at the lighthouse, I’m always struck by how it boldly stands out against the vastness of the lake. The contrast of the red lighthouse against the blue of the water and sky is visually stunning, a vivid reminder of humanity’s endeavors to conquer the challenges of the sea.

The lighthouse’s sturdy structure, designed to withstand the harsh conditions of Lake Michigan, speaks of resilience and perseverance. Its simplicity in design adds to its charm, a no-nonsense beacon that has guided countless vessels through the years.

Visiting the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Pierhead Lighthouse is always a memorable experience. Its iconic status and the beauty of its surroundings make it a symbol of Door County’s enduring connection to the maritime world. It’s a place that I always look forward to seeing, a landmark that never fails to inspire awe and admiration.

Potawatomi State Park

Rock formation at Peninsula State Park
Untitled by Ryan Dickey via Flickr. Used by permission (CC BY 2.0).

Potawatomi State Park is a destination that offers a diverse range of outdoor activities, making it a favorite spot for many nature enthusiasts like me. One of the park’s standout features is its access to amazing fishing waters. Whether I’m casting a line from the shore or venturing out on a boat, the experience is always rewarding, with the calm waters and abundant fish making for a perfect day of fishing.

Camping at Potawatomi State Park is another highlight. The campsites are nestled in a serene natural setting, offering a peaceful escape under the stars. Whether I’m in a tent or an RV, waking up to the sounds of nature and the fresh, crisp air is a refreshing experience. It’s the ideal way to disconnect from the bustle of daily life and reconnect with the great outdoors.

The park is also home to a segment of the Ice Age Trail, a national scenic trail that traces the edge of the last glacial period in Wisconsin. Hiking this trail is like walking through history. The path takes me through a variety of landscapes, each with its unique features and beauty. It’s not just a hike; it’s an exploration of Wisconsin’s glacial heritage and natural wonders.

Potawatomi State Park, with its excellent fishing, camping facilities, and the Ice Age Trail, offers a rich outdoor experience. It’s a place where I can indulge in my love for nature and enjoy a range of activities in a beautiful, natural setting.

Ahnapee Trail

Ahnapee Trail in Forestville, Door County, Wisconsin
Via Hello Door County.

The Ahnapee Trail, a converted railroad track, holds a special place in my heart as a haven for outdoor activities. The trail, with its numerous access points, makes it easy for me to jump on and start my adventure. My favorite section lies between County Road J and County Road X, near Forestville, where the natural beauty of the trail really shines.

This particular stretch of the Ahnapee Trail is a fantastic place to observe wildlife. As I travel along, I’m often treated to sightings of birds, deer, and other animals in their natural habitat. The peacefulness of the trail allows for these quiet encounters, making each visit a unique experience.

The surface of the Ahnapee Trail is well-maintained, providing a smooth journey whether I’m biking or even horseback riding. The versatility of the trail means that every visit can be different, depending on how I choose to explore it.

Riding my bike along the trail, with the gentle rustle of leaves and the chirping of birds as my soundtrack, is an experience that never gets old. The Ahnapee Trail offers a perfect blend of accessibility, natural beauty, and tranquility, making it one of my favorite outdoor spots in Door County.

Visiting Wineries

Friends clinking wine glasses
Via Depositphotos. Used by permission.

Exploring the wineries of Door County is a delightful journey through the flavors and traditions of this unique region. Each winery visit offers a new experience, from tasting the local vintages to learning about the winemaking process. The wineries here, nestled in picturesque settings, provide not just a taste of wine but a taste of the local culture and history.

The intimate and personal atmosphere of Door County’s wineries makes each visit special. I love engaging with the winemakers, hearing their stories and the passion behind each bottle. These conversations add depth to the tasting experience, making each sip a little more meaningful.

The variety of wines available is impressive, ranging from classic favorites to unique blends that capture the essence of Door County. The scenic vineyards and cozy tasting rooms create the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of leisurely wine tasting.

For me, visiting these wineries is more than just sampling wine; it’s about immersing myself in the local culture and savoring the slower pace of life. Whether I’m sitting on a sunny patio overlooking the vineyards or cozying up in a rustic tasting room, the experience is always relaxing and enjoyable.

Lavender Fields on Washington Island

Beautiful purple Lavender field landscape on sunny day. Aromatherapy. Concept of natural cosmetics and medicine.
Via Depositphotos. Used by permission.

The lavender fields on Washington Island are a sight to behold, a serene and beautiful landscape that’s a highlight of my visits to the island. Walking among rows of lavender, with their vibrant color and soothing fragrance, is an experience that’s both calming and invigorating.

The fields come alive in a sea of purple during the blooming season, creating a picturesque setting that feels almost surreal. The gentle hum of bees and the soft rustle of the lavender in the breeze add to the tranquility of the place. It’s a perfect spot for photography, meditation, or simply enjoying the peaceful ambiance.

Visiting the lavender fields is also an opportunity to learn about this versatile plant and its uses. Many of the farms offer tours and workshops, where I can discover the process of turning lavender into essential oils, soaps, and other products. It’s fascinating to see how this beautiful flower is transformed into items that I can take home as a reminder of my visit.

The lavender fields of Washington Island are more than just a tourist attraction; they’re a testament to the island’s unique agricultural landscape. Each visit here leaves me with a sense of relaxation and a deeper appreciation for the natural beauty of Door County.

Fishing

walleye

Fishing in Door County is an activity that I find both peaceful and exhilarating. The waters here, rich with a variety of fish species, offer some of the best fishing experiences in the Midwest. Whether I’m casting a line from a quiet shore or heading out on a boat, the thrill of the catch is always a rewarding experience.

The calmness of fishing, especially during the early hours of the morning, is something I cherish. There’s a serene beauty in watching the sunrise over the water, with the gentle sound of waves and the occasional call of a seagull. It’s a moment of tranquility that sets the tone for the day.

The anticipation of what each cast might bring adds excitement to the experience. Feeling a tug on the line and reeling in a fish is a moment of triumph, a connection to the age-old tradition of living off the land (or in this case, the water).

What I appreciate most about fishing in Door County is the variety of settings available. From the quiet bays to the open waters of Lake Michigan, each spot offers a unique fishing adventure. Whether I’m an experienced angler or just enjoying a leisurely day by the water, fishing here is an opportunity to enjoy nature and the simple pleasures of life.

If you fish, make sure you have the appropriate license!

Sailing

sailboat off the shore of Door County, Wisconsin
Via Hello Door County

Sailing on the waters of Door County is an experience that embodies freedom and adventure. The feeling of setting sail, with the wind guiding my course, is exhilarating. As the sails catch the breeze and the boat glides through the water, I’m reminded of the simple joys of connecting with nature.

The expansive waters around Door County are perfect for sailing. Whether I’m navigating the serene bays or venturing out into the open waters of Lake Michigan, each sailing trip is unique. The changing winds and the rhythmic motion of the waves make every outing unpredictable and exciting.

One of the things I love most about sailing here is the opportunity to see Door County from a different perspective. From the water, the shoreline unfolds in a panorama of natural beauty, with its cliffs, beaches, and lighthouses. It’s a view that’s both peaceful and awe-inspiring, offering a moment to appreciate the beauty of the area.

Sailing is not just about the physical act of maneuvering the boat; it’s about the sense of peace that comes from being on the water. It’s a chance to disconnect from the everyday and immerse myself in the rhythm of the wind and waves. Whether I’m an experienced sailor or trying it for the first time, sailing in Door County is an unforgettable experience that speaks to the heart of the maritime spirit.

Nightingale Supper Club

nightingale supper club in sturgeon bay, door county, wisconsin
Nightingale Supper Club. Via Hello Door County.

The Nightingale Supper Club is a quintessential part of the Door County dining scene, offering a classic Wisconsin supper club experience that’s a favorite among locals, though tourists are warmly welcomed too. The atmosphere here is one of warmth and hospitality, embodying the true spirit of a traditional supper club.

As soon as I walk in, I’m greeted with a friendly ambiance that makes me feel like a regular, even on my first visit. The interior, with its cozy and inviting decor, sets the stage for a memorable evening of dining. The Nightingale Supper Club’s menu features classic dishes, expertly prepared, that remind me why Wisconsin’s supper clubs are so renowned.

One key thing to remember is that reservations are a must at the Nightingale Supper Club. Its popularity with locals and visitors alike means that it’s often booked up, especially during peak times. Securing a reservation ensures that I won’t miss out on this delightful dining experience.

Whether I’m there for a special occasion or just a casual evening out, the Nightingale Supper Club always delivers a satisfying experience. It’s a place where good food, friendly service, and a welcoming atmosphere come together to create a dining experience that’s both authentic and enjoyable.

English Inn

sign for The English Inn

The English Inn in Door County is a dining destination that offers a touch of elegance and a taste of old-world charm. This restaurant, with its classic English-inspired setting, provides a delightful escape from the ordinary, making each meal here feel like a special occasion.

From the moment I step through the door, I’m transported to a place that feels both grand and intimate. The decor, reminiscent of a traditional English inn, creates an atmosphere of refined comfort. The soft lighting and richly appointed furnishings add to the sense of warmth and hospitality that pervades the establishment.

The menu at the English Inn features a variety of dishes that are both familiar and indulgent. Each dish is prepared with care and presented with a flair that makes dining here a culinary delight. Whether I’m enjoying a hearty entrée or indulging in a decadent dessert, the flavors and presentation never fail to impress.

What makes the English Inn particularly appealing is its ability to cater to both locals and tourists. It’s a place where everyone is welcomed with the same gracious hospitality, making it a favorite for those seeking a dining experience that’s both upscale and welcoming. The English Inn is more than just a restaurant; it’s a culinary journey that adds a touch of sophistication to the Door County dining scene.

Alexander’s of Door County

sign for Alexander's restaurant

Alexander’s of Door County stands out as a culinary gem, offering a dining experience that’s both sophisticated and welcoming. Each visit here is a celebration of flavors, where the dishes are crafted with a blend of innovation and tradition.

The ambiance at Alexander’s strikes the perfect balance between elegance and comfort. It’s a place where the mood is always just right, whether for a romantic dinner, a family gathering, or a special night out with friends. The warm lighting and tasteful decor create an inviting atmosphere that complements the exceptional dining experience.

What sets Alexander’s apart is its menu, a delightful array of choices that cater to a range of tastes. The chefs here have a knack for combining local ingredients with creative culinary techniques, resulting in dishes that are both familiar and exciting. From the perfectly cooked steaks to the fresh, flavorful seafood, each meal is a testament to the restaurant’s commitment to quality and taste.

The service at Alexander’s is another aspect that makes dining here a pleasure. The staff are attentive and knowledgeable, adding a personal touch that enhances the overall experience. It’s clear that customer satisfaction is a priority, making each meal here not just a dinner, but an event to remember.

Kitty O’Reilly’s Irish Pub

Kitty O’Reilly’s Irish Pub in Door County is a lively spot that brilliantly captures the spirit of a traditional Irish pub. It’s a place where the atmosphere buzzes with energy, making it a favorite for both locals and visitors seeking a fun and friendly dining and drinking experience.

The menu at Kitty O’Reilly’s is a delightful mix of classic Irish fare and American favorites. Whether I’m craving a hearty shepherd’s pie, a perfectly poured pint of Guinness, or a juicy burger, the food here never disappoints. Each dish is prepared with a touch of Irish charm, adding to the authentic pub experience.

One of the best things about Kitty O’Reilly’s is the sense of community it fosters. It’s a place where friends gather to share a meal, a laugh, and maybe even a dance. The friendly staff add to the pub’s charm, ensuring everyone feels part of the Kitty O’Reilly’s family. Whether I’m here to enjoy a meal, catch a game, or simply relax with a pint, Kitty O’Reilly’s Irish Pub is a spot that guarantees a good time.

AC Tap

3 hands holding cocktails in a bar
Via Unsplash. Used by permission.

AC Tap in Door County stands as a classic, no-frills tavern that’s beloved by both locals and visitors. This unassuming spot is where simplicity meets character, offering a genuine slice of Wisconsin’s tavern culture.

The moment I step into AC Tap, I’m greeted by a friendly, laid-back atmosphere. It’s the kind of place where it’s easy to strike up a conversation with a neighbor at the bar or join in on a spontaneous round of darts. The rustic and casual decor, with its wood-paneled walls and eclectic memorabilia, gives it a cozy, old-school vibe.

AC Tap’s menu is straightforward but satisfying, featuring classic bar food that’s both tasty and hearty. From delicious burgers to crispy fries, the food here is the perfect accompaniment to a cold beer. Speaking of beer, the selection here includes a variety of local brews, offering a taste of the region’s best.

What I particularly enjoy about AC Tap is its unpretentious charm. It’s not about fancy dishes or trendy interiors; it’s about good food, good drinks, and good company. It’s a place where I can unwind and enjoy the simple pleasures of a classic Wisconsin tavern.

Washington Island Ferry

Washington Island Ferry in Door County, Wisconsin
Via Hello Door County

The Washington Island Ferry is more than just a mode of transportation; it’s an integral part of the Door County experience. The journey across the waters to Washington Island is both scenic and soothing, offering stunning views and a sense of adventure.

As the ferry departs, I find myself captivated by the expansive views of Lake Michigan. The open water, the distant shoreline, and the occasional sighting of wildlife make the trip a delightful experience. It’s a moment to breathe in the fresh lake air, feel the gentle sway of the boat, and anticipate the discoveries that await on the island.

Washington Island itself is a charming destination, rich in natural beauty and local culture. The ferry ride is the perfect introduction to this unique area, providing a glimpse of the serene and picturesque landscape. Whether I’m visiting for a day trip or a longer stay, the ferry ride is an essential part of the island’s charm.

The convenience and reliability of the Washington Island Ferry service make it easy to plan a visit. The friendly staff and well-maintained vessels ensure a comfortable and safe journey. Each trip with the Washington Island Ferry is not just a crossing; it’s the start of a new adventure in one of Wisconsin’s most enchanting locales.

Schoolhouse Beach

pciture depicting a rock cairn on school house beach in door county wisconsin
Schoolhouse Beach by Anne Marie Peterson via Flickr. Used by permission (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Schoolhouse Beach on Washington Island is a natural wonder that stands out even in the beauty-rich Door County. This beach is unique, not for its sand, but for its smooth limestone pebbles, making it one of the few of its kind in the world.

The moment I step onto the beach, the smooth stones beneath my feet create a tactile experience unlike any sandy beach. These stones, shaped and smoothed by countless years of wave action, are a testament to the power and artistry of nature. The clear, cool waters of Lake Michigan here invite a refreshing dip, especially on warm summer days.

Schoolhouse Beach isn’t just a place to relax and soak in the sun; it’s a spot that encourages exploration and appreciation for the natural world. Building stone towers or simply admiring the variety of pebbles becomes a meditative activity, connecting me to the environment in a meaningful way.

The beach’s name, derived from a historic schoolhouse that once stood nearby, adds a touch of historical intrigue. It’s a place that captivates both the imagination and the senses, offering a peaceful retreat and a unique beach-going experience that stays with me long after I’ve left its shores.

Hiking

hiking trail
Via Hello Door County

Hiking in Door County is an activity that truly captures the essence of the area’s natural beauty. With a diverse range of trails, each hike presents an opportunity to explore different facets of this stunning region. Whether it’s a leisurely walk through a forested path or a challenging trek along a rugged cliffside, each trail offers its own unique experience.

One of the things I love about hiking here is the ever-changing scenery. From the serene shores of Lake Michigan to the dense woodlands and open meadows, the landscapes are as varied as they are beautiful. Each season brings a new perspective to these trails, making hiking a year-round delight.

The trails in Door County are well-maintained and cater to all levels of hikers. Whether I’m looking for a short, family-friendly hike or a longer, more strenuous journey, there’s always a trail that fits my needs. The well-marked paths and scenic overlooks along the way make these hikes both safe and rewarding.

Beyond the physical exercise, hiking in Door County is a chance to disconnect from the hustle of daily life and reconnect with nature. The peace and tranquility of the trails, combined with the stunning natural backdrop, create a perfect setting for reflection and relaxation. Each hike is a journey of discovery, not just of the landscapes but also of a deeper appreciation for the natural world.

Fat Tire Biking

Man with arms outstretched on a fat tire bike in the snow.
Via Unsplash. Used by permission.

Fat tire biking in Door County is an exhilarating way to experience the area’s diverse landscapes. These bikes, with their wide, sturdy tires, are perfect for navigating the varied terrain, from sandy beaches to snowy trails. The sense of freedom and adventure that comes with fat tire biking is unmatched.

One of the best things about fat tire biking is its versatility. Regardless of the season, these bikes provide a stable and enjoyable ride. In the summer, they glide over sandy paths, allowing me to explore the beaches and dunes in a unique way. In the winter, they effortlessly tread over snow-covered trails, opening up a whole new world of exploration.

The experience of riding a fat tire bike is distinctively different from traditional biking. There’s a certain thrill in tackling more challenging terrains, feeling the grip of the tires on the surface, and the bike responding to every turn and dip of the landscape.

Fat tire biking in Door County not only offers a fun and active way to explore the area but also allows me to connect with the environment in a deeper way. It’s about more than just the ride; it’s about being immersed in the natural beauty of the region, feeling the breeze, and taking in the sights and sounds of the outdoors.

Snowshoeing

Two people walking in the snow with snowshoes.
Via HelloDoorCounty.com

Snowshoeing in Door County is a magical way to experience the winter landscape. When the snow blankets the ground, it transforms the area into a winter wonderland, and snowshoeing is the perfect way to explore this serene, snowy world.

As I strap on my snowshoes and step onto the trail, the crunch of snow underfoot and the crisp winter air instantly invigorate me. The beauty of the snow-covered trees and the stillness of the landscape create a peaceful, almost otherworldly atmosphere. It’s an escape into a quieter, slower-paced world.

One of the joys of snowshoeing is its simplicity and accessibility. It’s an activity that doesn’t require extensive experience or technical skill, making it suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Whether I’m traversing a frozen forest or making my way across a snowy meadow, snowshoeing allows me to enjoy the outdoors in a way that’s both gentle and rewarding.

The trails in Door County offer a variety of snowshoeing experiences, from easy, scenic routes to more challenging paths. Each trail presents its own unique beauty, with opportunities to spot wildlife and enjoy the tranquility of the winter season. Snowshoeing here isn’t just about physical activity; it’s an opportunity to connect with nature and experience the quiet, enchanting side of Door County’s winters.

Ice Skating

girl in ice skates on a frozen lake
Via Unsplash. Used by permission.

Ice skating in Door County is a delightful winter activity that combines fun, exercise, and the beauty of the season. The moment I step onto the ice, the crisp, cold air and the smooth glide of the skates transport me into a world of winter joy.

The ice rinks in Door County, set against picturesque backdrops, provide a perfect setting for this classic winter pastime. Whether it’s an outdoor rink surrounded by snow-covered trees or an indoor facility where I can skate in comfort, each offers a unique skating experience. The sound of blades cutting across the ice, the laughter of families and friends, and the occasional fall followed by good-natured laughter all add to the charm of ice skating here.

What I particularly enjoy about ice skating in Door County is the sense of community it fosters. People of all ages and skill levels come together to share in the fun and excitement of skating. For beginners, it’s a chance to learn and enjoy a new activity, while experienced skaters can revel in the thrill of gliding and twirling on the ice.

Ice skating in this beautiful region is more than just a way to pass a cold winter day; it’s an opportunity to create lasting memories. Whether I’m holding hands with a loved one as we skate or watching children experience the ice for the first time, it’s an activity that warms the heart despite the chilly weather.

Sister Bay Fall Fest

pumpkins
Via Unsplash. Used by permission (public domain).

The Sister Bay Fall Fest is a cherished autumn tradition in Door County, marking the season with a vibrant celebration. This festival is a highlight of the year for me, encapsulating the warmth and beauty of fall in Wisconsin.

As I stroll through the fest, the lively atmosphere is contagious. The streets come alive with music, laughter, and the aromas of delicious food. Local vendors showcase their crafts and goods, offering everything from handmade jewelry to artisanal foods. It’s a wonderful opportunity to support local artisans and find unique treasures.

The array of activities at the Fall Fest is impressive. From the classic parade to fun-filled games for all ages, there’s something for everyone. The sight of children playing in the leaves and families enjoying the festivities together creates a heartwarming scene.

What makes the Sister Bay Fall Fest special is the sense of community it fosters. It’s a time when locals and visitors come together to celebrate the season’s bounty and the beauty of Door County. The backdrop of changing leaves and crisp autumn air adds to the festival’s charm, making it an event I look forward to year after year.

Fish Creek Winterfest

winter festival goers
Via Unsplash. Used by permission.

The Fish Creek Winterfest is a highlight of the colder months, offering a cheerful celebration in the heart of winter. This festival brings a burst of energy and warmth to the chilly season, and I always look forward to being a part of it.

During the festival, Fish Creek transforms into a winter wonderland, with decorations and lights adding a festive sparkle to the snowy landscape. The air is filled with the sounds of laughter and music, creating an inviting atmosphere that draws people out despite the cold.

The range of activities at the Winter Festival is one of its best features. From quirky games and contests to live music and delicious food, there’s no shortage of entertainment. I particularly enjoy the outdoor activities like snow sculpting and ice bowling, which embrace the spirit of winter fun.

What’s truly special about the Fish Creek Winterfest is the way it brings the community together. Locals and visitors alike bundle up and gather to celebrate, sharing the joy and camaraderie of the season. It’s a wonderful reminder of the beauty and fun that winter can offer, making it a much-anticipated event in Door County’s annual calendar.

Door County Beer Festival

Close up on a glass of beer and people drinking in a bar or pub
Via Depositphotos. Used by permission.

The Door County Beer Festival is an event I eagerly await each year, a celebration of craft beer and local flavors. This festival is a paradise for beer enthusiasts like me, offering a chance to sample a wide range of brews from local and regional breweries.

As I wander through the festival, the variety of beers available is impressive. From classic lagers and ales to more adventurous flavors like fruit-infused beers and stouts, each tasting is a discovery of new tastes and brewing techniques. The brewers are often on hand to discuss their creations, adding depth and context to each sip.

But the Beer Festival is about more than just beer. It’s also a celebration of local food and music. Pairing delicious brews with mouth-watering local cuisine enhances the experience, and the live music sets a lively and festive tone. It’s a joy to see the community and visitors coming together, sharing stories and laughs over a pint.

The Door County Beer Festival is a testament to the region’s thriving craft beer scene and its commitment to local produce. Each visit is an opportunity to support local businesses and indulge in the best of Door County’s culinary and brewing talents, making it a must-attend event for anyone who enjoys good beer and good company.

Camping

Picture depicting Door County camping.
Camping Site HDR by Justin S. Campbell via Flickr. Used by permission (CC BY-ND 2.0).

Camping in Door County is an experience that brings me closer to the serene beauty of nature. This region, with its diverse natural landscapes, offers a variety of camping experiences, from rustic tent sites to comfortable RV parks. Each camping trip here is an opportunity to disconnect from the hustle of daily life and immerse myself in the tranquility of the outdoors.

What I love about camping in Door County is the chance to wake up surrounded by nature. Whether it’s the gentle sound of waves on a lakeshore campsite or the peaceful rustle of leaves in a forested area, each morning is a refreshing start. The clear night skies, perfect for stargazing, add a touch of wonder to the camping experience.

The campgrounds in Door County are well-maintained, with amenities that ensure a comfortable stay while preserving the natural environment. The availability of hiking trails, fishing spots, and water activities nearby means there’s always something to do and explore.

Camping here is also a great way to bond with family and friends, sharing stories around a campfire, cooking meals together, and enjoying the simple pleasures of outdoor life. It’s these moments of connection and the beauty of the natural setting that make camping in Door County a special and memorable experience.

Fyr Bal Festival

fire
Via Depositphotos. Used by permission.

The Fyr Bal Festival in Door County is a unique and enchanting event that marks the arrival of summer with a Scandinavian tradition. This festival, with its roots in Norse culture, is a celebration that I find both fascinating and joyous.

During the festival, the community gathers to recreate the ancient tradition of burning a winter witch, symbolizing the end of winter and the welcome of longer, warmer days. The bonfires along the waterfront are a spectacular sight, illuminating the night and casting a warm glow over the gathered crowd. The flickering flames dancing against the backdrop of the dark lake create a magical atmosphere.

The Fyr Bal Festival is filled with activities and entertainment, including music, dancing, and crafts. The air is filled with the sounds of laughter and music, and the smell of delicious food. The event also features a crowning of the ‘Chieftain,’ a tribute to the community’s leaders and heroes.

What makes the Fyr Bal Festival special is its blend of tradition and community spirit. It’s a time to come together, celebrate the changing seasons, and enjoy the rich cultural heritage of Door County. The festival’s warm and welcoming atmosphere makes it an event

Door County Lighthouse Festival

The famous Cana Island lighthouse located next to lake Michigan in Door County Wisconsin with a drone.
Via Depositphotos. Used by permission.

The Door County Lighthouse Festival is an event that highlights the rich maritime history of the region, and it’s something I always look forward to. This festival provides a unique opportunity to tour and learn about the historic lighthouses that have guided sailors through the waters of Door County for generations.

During the festival, I enjoy the chance to visit several lighthouses, some of which are not typically open to the public. Each lighthouse has its own story and character, from the majestic Cana Island Lighthouse to the charming Eagle Bluff Lighthouse. The guided tours are enlightening, offering insights into the lives of the lighthouse keepers and the history of maritime navigation.

The boat tours offered during the festival are a highlight, allowing me to view these iconic structures from the water, just as sailors have for centuries. Seeing the lighthouses standing tall against the backdrop of Lake Michigan and Green Bay, I’m struck by their beauty and the crucial role they’ve played in maritime safety.

The Door County Lighthouse Festival is more than just a historical tour; it’s a celebration of the area’s nautical heritage and a tribute to the enduring beauty of these maritime landmarks. It’s an event that brings together history buffs, nautical enthusiasts, and anyone who appreciates the scenic beauty and historical significance of these coastal beacons.

Pumpkin Patch Festival

pumpkins on a hay bale at a Door County fall festival
Via Unsplash. Used by permission (public domain).

The Pumpkin Patch Festival in Door County is a colorful and festive celebration of fall, a season marked by crisp air, changing leaves, and the harvest. This annual event is a highlight of autumn for me, offering a delightful blend of family fun, art, and entertainment.

As I walk through the festival, the vibrant displays of pumpkins and fall decorations create a cheerful atmosphere. The creativity on display is impressive, with intricately carved pumpkins and artistic arrangements that capture the essence of the season.

The festival features a variety of activities for all ages, from live music and craft booths to games and hayrides. It’s a joy to see families enjoying the festivities together, children engaging in pumpkin painting and other crafts. The sense of community is palpable, with locals and visitors alike coming together to celebrate the joys of autumn.

One of the things I particularly enjoy at the Pumpkin Patch Festival is the array of local foods and treats. The smell of apple cider, pumpkin pie, and other fall delicacies fill the air, adding to the festive mood. This event is not just a celebration of the season but also a showcase of Door County’s local produce and culinary talents.

The Pumpkin Patch Festival in Door County is a charming and fun-filled event that encapsulates the beauty and spirit of fall. It’s a perfect way to experience the warmth and vibrancy of the community and the season.

Independence Day Festivities

fireworks
Via Hello Door County.

Independence Day in Door County is a celebration filled with patriotism, community spirit, and a whole lot of fun. The Fourth of July here is marked by a series of events and activities that bring the community and visitors together in a festive and joyous atmosphere.

The day is typically packed with parades, live music, and family-friendly activities. Walking through the streets during the parade, I’m engulfed in a sea of red, white, and blue, with flags waving and people dressed in their patriotic best. The sound of marching bands and the sight of floats add to the lively spirit of the celebration.

What truly makes Independence Day special in Door County are the stunning fireworks displays. As the evening sets in, people gather in parks and along the waterfront to witness the spectacular show. The night sky lights up with vibrant colors and patterns, reflecting over the waters and creating a mesmerizing spectacle.

The sense of community is strong during these celebrations. Families set up picnics, friends gather, and strangers share in the joy of the occasion. It’s a day to celebrate not just the nation’s independence but also the close-knit community and the shared values that make Door County a wonderful place to be during this patriotic holiday.

Baileys Harbor Autumnfest

Superimposed text says: "Baileys Harbor Autumnfest." Leaves in background.

Baileys Harbor Autumnfest is a celebration that captures the essence of fall in Door County. This festival, set against the backdrop of colorful autumn foliage, is a perfect way to experience the charm and beauty of the season.

The festival atmosphere is vibrant and welcoming, with a variety of activities that celebrate the harvest season. Strolling through the fest, I’m greeted by the sights and sounds of autumn: the rustling of leaves, the scent of spiced cider, and the laughter of festival-goers enjoying the crisp fall air.

One of the highlights of Autumnfest is the local artisan market, showcasing handcrafted goods and seasonal produce. It’s a pleasure to explore the stalls, each offering unique items and tasty treats that reflect the bounty of the region. From homemade jams and jellies to hand-knit scarves and hats, the market is a treasure trove of fall delights.

The festival also features live music, adding a lively soundtrack to the autumnal celebration. Bands and musicians from the area perform a range of styles, creating a festive ambiance that’s perfect for a fall day. Whether I’m tapping my feet to a bluegrass tune or enjoying a warm drink to the sound of a folk melody, the music at Autumnfest always enhances the experience.

Baileys Harbor Autumnfest is more than just a festival; it’s a gathering that brings the community and visitors together to celebrate the beauty and traditions of fall in Door County. It’s an event that I look forward to each year, a highlight of the autumn season.

Fun Things to Do in Door County

Some of the most fun things to do in Door County include going to the beach, The Farm in Door County, and renting a boat. But, beyond this, Door County has an almost endless amount of fun activities and attractions.

Top Things to Do in Door County

Some of the top things to do in Door County include going to Peninsula State Park, checking out lighthouses, going to the beach, and renting a boat.

Best Door County Attractions

Door County has hundreds of attractions. Some notable attractions in Door County include: Peninsula State Park, lighthouses, golf courses, and shopping. Door County is set apart because it has both amazing natural beauty and also access to arts and culture.

Top Door County Attractions

Some of the top Door County attractions include The Farm in Door County, Peninsula State Park, and the Washington Island Stavkirke.

Best Door County Activities

Some of the best activities in Door County include cherry picking, golfing, and fishing. But, there is also great arts and culture, informative programs, performances, and more. Door County has endless activiteies to enjoy.

Conclusion: Discovering Door County’s Best Attractions and Things To Do

As our journey through the best things to do in Door County comes to an end, it’s clear that this Wisconsin gem has something for everyone. From the tranquil beauty of its state parks and the excitement of its outdoor adventures to the rich cultural experiences of its festivals and the delightful flavors of its local cuisine, Door County offers a plethora of activities to fill your days with joy and wonder. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, each visit to Door County promises new discoveries and cherished memories. So pack your bags, set your sights on this beautiful peninsula, and get ready to explore all the wonders that Door County has to offer!

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