What To Do in Door County — The (Not So Short) Shortlist

2018-05-21T14:41:26+00:00 May 21st, 2018|Door County with Kids, Featured Articles|

What should we do when we go to Door County? I get asked this question all the time. Friends and family look to me for my experience and expertise since my son and I have been coming up to Door County for over ten years. Here’s what I tell them.

  1. Stop at a roadside orchard market. Sample the jams and pies. Most of the markets have an outdoor area for kids to run and play. Give them some time out there!
  2. See Cave Point.
  3. Drive, bike or walk through Peninsula State Park.
  4. Hike Newport State Park — Europe Bay Trail.
  5. Check out the scenic overlook in Ellison Bluff County Park.
  6. Eat at Door County Creamery.
  7. Drive to Northport Pier so you can “lose your tummy” on the winding road.
  8. Stop in at Bier Zot for a delicious pretzel and a beer.
  9. Don’t leave without trying Door County Ice Cream Factory for homemade ice cream.
  10. Watch a sunset as many times as you can.

    Gills Rock sunset, no filter

  11. Stop in Gill’s Rock Petragraphs to meet Matt. You must tell him I sent you.
  12. See Jorns’ Sugar Bush for Maple Syrup. It’s an experience not to be missed.
  13. Stop in at the Viking Grill for breakfast and order Swedish Pancakes (forget your diet and enjoy the gluten and pile on the butter please).
  14. Try a fish boil if that’s your jam. Get first in line and grab a tail piece! And be sure to watch the whole event because, really, that is part of the process.
  15. If you have kids, stop at the Sister Bay playground.
  16. Spend a day walking around Sister Bay.
  17. For shallow beaches, check out Alpine Beach in Egg Harbor, Ephraim Beach, Bailey’s Harbor Beach (by the Ridges Sanctuary) or Fish Creek Beach.
  18. For an out of the way beach that is not overly-crowded find the one in Ellison Bay.
  19. Walk down Whitefish Dunes beach then hike up to Old Baldy.
  20. Paddle or kayak on Europe Lake.

    Door County Boy paddle boarding on Europe Lake

  21. Check out Bayshore Outfitters to rent a kayak.
  22. For a fabulous, one-of-a-kind super-delicious dinner go to Wickman House. (Reservations needed, weeks in advance!)
  23. Try the pies. Try several places. My favorite bakeries are Sweetie Pies (try the Chocolate Chip, Raspberry, or Apple pies) and Bea’s Pies (try the 4-berry, just WOW).
  24. Go to the Skyway Drive-in!
  25. Stop at Fred & Fuzzies and have a Cherry Margarita outside. Let the kids play in the water while you relax. It doesn’t get any better than this!
  26. To spend a full day at a beach, I love Sister Bay Beach because there are a lot of restaurants nearby within walking distance. Plus they have a playground for the kiddos and clean bathrooms.
  27. My favorite outdoor shop is Ecology Sports in Sister Bay.
  28. My other favorite shop is Twisted Tree in Sister Bay.
  29. Listen to live music. Wherever you hear it, pull over and get out of the car.
  30. Check out Door County Brewery in Bailey’s Harbor. Go to the family-friendly music hall at night with the kids (bring a game).

    Sweetie Pies are incredible and made fresh daily!

  31. Eat out as much as you can. You can cook when you’re at home.
  32. My favorite coffee shops? Oh, there are so many! (New blog post coming soon!)
  33. Go to Seaquist Orchards and see if you can find your way to the middle of the rope maze. If you made it, I want to hear from you! I doubt you will make it!
  34. Go to Charlie’s Smokehouse and pick up a package of smoked fish. Sit on the patio in the back and enjoy the view.
  35. See a lighthouse. Cana Island is cool.
  36. Go to Cloud Nine and meet the bright young owners;  have a healthy breakfast. Tell them Door County Mom sent you!
  37. Check out the beautiful boats in Fish Creek.
  38. Visit The Ridges Sanctuary for stunningly beautiful hikes and boardwalks.
  39. Check out Edgewood Gallery even if you are not into art. I’m not an art-gallery-gal but I never miss a chance to check this place out. Take a walk in their whimsical sculpture garden. It grows larger every year.
  40. Stop in the Oilerie and try the Cherry vinegar.

    Seaquist Orchards Giant Rope Maze — Only a few select folks can make it to the middle. Are you one of them?

  41. Go to (Orange) Spot and find some pretty clothing!
  42. Go to (Green) Spot and find some playful home goods!
  43. Sign up for a class at the Savory Spoon Cooking School. Tell Janice I sent you!
  44. Buy her baguettes. Oh. My!
  45. Or order a freshly baked baguette at Door County Creamery.
  46. Need to see the game? I love Husby’s in Sister Bay.
  47. Go bowling at Sister Bay Bowl!
  48. Play giant Jenga at Starburr Beer Garden in Sister Bay.
  49. Stop at the Sister Bay Library outdoor garden. You can bring the library books outside.
  50. Take the passenger ferry to Washington Island. Walk to the main street, have coffee, stop at the bookstore and come back home. You can’t beat a boat ride for $12.
  51. Take the car ferry and spend the day in Washington Island.
  52. Watch the fireworks over the water on any given weekend. There’s always something going on.

    Fireworks display over Sister Bay, Door County, WI

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