Teens and tweens might be worlds apart, however, we all know neither group would enjoy an afternoon on the playground in Sister Bay. Entertaining the burgeoning young adults might prove to be a challenge on a family vacations, so I’ve compiled a shortlist, Door County Adventures with Teens, that will be sure to crack a smile on their faces and produce bursts of belly laughs on the most indomitable of creatures.
Here are my Top 5 full-day Door County adventures with teens (and tweens) which will give you, the parent, an immense amount of satisfaction and pleasure when on the ride home all they can talk about is how much fun they had and how they wish they didn’t have to leave.
Beaches with Kayaks, Paddleboards and Mini-Sail Boats
The Beaches of Door County are great and each has its own flavor and flare. For teens, there is exponentially more fun to be had with the help of water sport toys. Kayaks and paddleboards make for prodigious entertainment and excercise on a full-day Door County beach excursion. Not all Door County beaches have these rentals. Here are a couple Door County beaches I recommend:
Nicolet Beach in Peninsula State Park
Located inside Peninsula State Park, this beach has it all: picnic and grill areas, a camp store/surf shop, a snack bar, restrooms with running water including showers and changing rooms and — wait for it — a beach rental area supplied with dozens of kayaks, paddleboards, canoes and bikes. Spend an entire day here and leave well-
rested worn out.
Egg Harbor Beach, Door County
Near the southern end of the peninsula on the Green Bay side, you’ll find Egg Harbor Beach. This beautiful sandy beach has water sport rentals such as SUPs, kayaks and more. Egg Harbor Beach amenities include restrooms with plumbing, a foot shower, a playground (for the littles in your family) and lots of room to picnic and play, sure to appease even the oldest of teens.
Rent a Moped, UTV, or Bike and Tour Washington Island
Annie’s Island Moped Rentals on Washington Island
Head to the island on the Island Clipper Ferry (aka the Passenger Ferry) and bring your bikes along for free. Or take advantage of the friendly faces at Annie’s Island Moped Rentals and rent a bike! You can even rent a moped for the day and zip around the island! There’s nothing more fun than cutting loose at (no more than) 40 mph, feeling the warm breeze against your face, and exploring all the wonderful things that Washington Island, Door County has to offer! Lavender farms, food, beaches, and more! Note: Unfortunately, you might need to be 21 to rent a moped at Annie’s.
UTV Rentals at Island Adventure Company
If biking or skittering around in a moped is not your jive, then head on over to Island Adventure Company, located just down the street from either of the ferry ports. Rent kayaks for the day or tool around the island in a open air vehicle. Choose from a 4- or 6-person UTV. All of Washington Island roads are open to ATV and UTV use. Pile your kayaks or SUPs up on the roof if you want to make memories that last a lifetime. For rainy days, add on a hard top, pop up the windshield and you’re all set. You might even let your teen sit behind the wheel if her / his driving record is clean! 🙂
PSST… No need to bring the car to the island. Save the expense and spend it on the Moped or UTV!
Get a Bird’s Eye View of the Peninsula!
What a spectacular view you will enjoy from 200-500 feet above the water! Door County has two fabulous parasailing companies. Parasail Door County resides in Sister Bay. Wisconsin Water Wings is in Ephraim. Depending upon where you are and who you choose, you can ride tandem or send your teen up alone! Ages 5 and up can safely soar high as long as they weigh at least 70lbs. Rides are 6-15 minutes long and the boat rides are at least one hour or longer. Weather and wind are always factors, so make your reservation early. I promise, your teen will be talking about this a long time after their wings have landed.
After you and your family have soared to new heights, hang out around the bay. In Ephraim, head to Wilson’s for an ice cream cone. In Sister Bay, belly up to the surf hut and grab a freshly baked pretzel and a rootbeer. Relive the moments and watch the grin on your teen’s face. You’ll feel thrilled to know you’ve made a positive impact on your kids.
4. Cave Point Kayak Tour
Get on the water and see the a part of Door County that you cannot see anywhere else: Cave Point County Park. Tropical waters house underground caves that one can only see from the perpective of a kayak. Because the waters can be trecherous, I recommend only experienced kayakers paddle these waters on their own. For a family wanting to explore new territory, I suggest booking a tour. Door County Kayak Tours offer daily excursions to this area, weather dependent of course. There are several other companies that will guide you through the caves as well. I highly recommend visiting the park, even if you don’t get on the water. As of the publication date of this article, the water levels have been high enough for swimmers to jump off the 15-foot cliffs and plunge into the water turquoise waters below. Please read my detailed article, The 4 Best Things to Do at Cave Point County Park, before you head to this gorgous area of Door County. Truly not to be missed!
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5. Door County Trolly Ghost Tour
Step aboard the “Trolley of the Doomed” at Door County Trolly where tales of ghostly sunken ships, haunted lighthouses and mysterious happenings are shared. Door County peninsula is home to hundreds of tragic incidents of the past. Maybe some of the poor souls who met with tragedy will appear right before your very eyes! Surely this will keep your teens close as you hear the ghastly stories about the darker side of the peninsula.
Bonus: A few other stops along the way
In need of a few other ideas for your visit to Door County? Here are full-filled activities and places to visit which older and younger kids will love.
- Rope Maze at Seaquist Orchards
- Pizza a Wild Tomato
- Fireworks, anywhere
- Swimming at sunset, anywhere
- Rootbeer and games at Door County Brewing Co. Taproom & Music Hall
- Fishboil complete with all the hutzpa
- Hike Eagle trail
- Cherry Spitting Contest at Lautenbach’s Orchard
- Play mini golf at Red Putter
- See a movie at the Skyway Drive-in
Have you tried any of the above suggestions? If so, I’d love to hear about your time in Door County with your teens. Are there things you did that I didn’t list? I’d love new suggestions! Let me know in the comments below.