People in Wisconsin are obsessed with Door County. Everyone I know seems to know someone from there or vacation there or own a home there or talk obsessively about the sights and tastes. Being a Minnesota-loving skeptic, I questioned them. What’s the big deal?
Wisconsin has three of my favorite things: great people, the Packers and fabulous cheese. Door County took all of those things, added in some wine, state parks and good weather. I was a happy camper. Our weekend did, however, consist of a lot of driving (which does not make me a happy camper)–from Appleton through the quiet fields of upper Wisconsin to the scenic peninsula that is Door County.
In our weekend, our favorite stops for hikes and scenery were Cave Point and Peninsula State Park. Cave Point was a quick detour with a cool view of Lake Superior, and well worth it for a quick snapshot of the water up close and personal. The drive to Peninsula State Park was short and a day pass is only $8. We took a 2-hour hike around the coast and loved every minute of seeing the water, islands, lighthouses and caves. I don’t think you could be disappointed with any of the hikes you do, but we did the Eagle Trail (and saw a bald eagle on the way!).
My biggest recommendation (of course) involves wine. Carve out an hour or two for Door Peninsula Winery. Along with a GREAT deal of a $3 tasting for eight different wines, the tasting get you a $3 off coupon for any bottle of wine. From fruity, sweet wines to unique flavors, it feels like you get to try every flavor under the sun. After the tasting, hop over to Door County Distillery (in the same building) to try their famous cherry vodka lemonade. I swear we spent another hour walking around the gift shop exploring the creative knick knacks. Dinner and Door County Brewing Co. were the last stop of our apparent alcohol tour of DC. Live music, unique flights of craft beer and board games topped our Friday off.
We were lucky enough to make it to all these attractions and some small shops before the busy summer season begins–so if you have a chance, go at a quiet time when you can experience everything without crowds.
In my time in Door County, I feel like I captured what draws Wisconsinites to this peninsula. Door County is an escape; it doesn’t feel like the rest of Wisconsin. The quaint antique shops, the long stretches of open grassland, the peaceful coast on Lake Michigan – Door County is charming.
I’m definitely a Minnesota girl, but Door County is so beautiful that I might have to rethink my favorite places for hiking – not to mention the fantastic wine, beer and food. While its quite a drive from where we live, DC is definitely worth the trip, especially when you can pack all the good stuff into two days.
Door County Weekend Recommendations
Don’t Miss: Door Peninsula Winery, Peninsula State Park, Cave Point.
If You Have Time: Wild Tomato, Whitefish Dunes State Park, Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant (yes, there are really goats on the roof).
Skip: Trying to get all the way around the peninsula in one trip.