Check-in Open Hearth Lodge.
Start with Breakfast at the White Gull Inn—It could be a story from modern-day Silicon Valley: a middle-aged professional gives up his lucrative practice and moves to a quaint village to become an innkeeper. Except that it happened in 1896. Now owned by Jan and Andy Coulson, The White Gull Inn is a Door County mainstay and a favorite among visitors and local year-round.
We suggest you try: Door County Cherry Stuffed French Toast was honored as the winner of the Best Breakfast in America Challenge on Good Morning America–two golden brown slices of egg bread, with pockets of Wisconsin cream cheese and Door County cherries, served with real maple syrup.
Board the Door County Trolley for a narrated scenic tour—See breathtaking vistas from Door County’s scenic bluffs overlooking the islands, learning local legend and lore along the way.
Celebrate the season at Orchard Country Winery & Market in Fish Creek—With Mother Nature’s cooperation, this is arguably one of the places in Door County to see the spectacular sight of rows, upon rows of blossoming cherry trees. Breathe in the fragrance, walk upon a cloud of blooms and photograph this wonder of nature before tasting the final product – the Door County Montmorency cherry is freshly picked and packaged during summer harvest with the morning dew still present.
We suggest you try: Sample fresh baked cherry pies, fresh-pressed jugs of tart cherry juice, plump dried cherries, cherry wine and rows of scrumptious cherry jams and pie fillings.
Lunch at Wilson’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor in Ephraim—A classic Door County landmark that possesses the enchantment to take the youngest visitors back in time with its old-fashioned soda fountain and ice cream specialties, home-brewed draft root beer, flame broiled burgers and jukeboxes playing the classics.
We suggest you try: The classic bacon cheeseburger and for dessert indulge in the homemade cherry ice cream made with fresh, sweet cherries.
Visit Cana Island Lighthouse—Travel back in time and explore one of Door County’s most popular lighthouses that’s been standing watch on the shore of Lake Michigan for more than 140 years. Investigate the entire 8.7-acre island that includes the 89-foot-tall light tower, the original home of the lighthouse keeper and his family, and the oil house where fuel for the light was stored. The highlight of any Cana Island visit is climbing the 97 steps of the tower’s spiral staircase to reach the gallery deck. The outside deck delivers a sweeping view of Lake Michigan and the Door County peninsula. While the ascent is fun for visitors, imagine the lighthouse keeper’s job as he trudged up and down the steps each night, carrying heated lard to keep the light burning!
Dinner at Fred & Fuzzy’s Waterfront Grill in Sister Bay—Featuring casual cuisine like “Fred’s Favorite,” a scrumptious steak and Bleu cheese sandwich and the “Three Cheese Deluxe,” a grilled cheese like you’ve never seen, loaded with provolone, cheddar and swiss—in a beautiful lakeside atmosphere. You won’t want to miss their famous cherry margaritas and the breathtaking sunset over the water!
We suggest you try: Wash your meal down with a Door County Cherry Margarita!
Experience Northern Sky Theater’s production of “Boxcar”—Set in Wisconsin in the 1930s, Boxcar tells the inspiring story of a young boy named Charlie who befriends two drifters camped out on the edge of his family’s property. As this tender story unfolds and soars, Boxcar explores the deep struggles of the era while celebrating the ultimate triumph that comes from one human being coming to the aid of another in tough times.
Start the day out with a tour of the Door County Maritime Museum—Located on the working waterfront of Sturgeon Bay, focusing on Sturgeon Bay shipbuilding and featuring a working periscope, the pilothouse from the Great Lakes ore carrier, the Elba, a fourth order Fresnel lens crafted in 1880 and more. Check out the new exhibit “Shipwrecks of Door County” which features information and artifacts from shipwrecks including the Louisiana and Fleetwing!
Stop at Door County Candy—Since 1996, owner Terry Ullman has been the satisfying visitor’s sweet tooth with confectionary delights. Their homemade delicacies and the old-fashioned fun atmosphere continue to turn our regular customers into candy aficionados. Door County Candy will tempt you with a collection of decadent chocolates, savory gourmet popcorn, hand-dipped ice cream, and homemade fudge. You’ll also find a collection of nostalgic toys and classic candies, licorice, and bulk salt water taffy.
We suggest you try: Their fudge flavor of the month.
Lunch at The Inn at Cedar Crossing—Nestled within Sturgeon Bay’s downtown historic district, Inn at Cedar Crossing invites you to relax in the warmth and charm of our historic Door County Inn. After changing owners in September 2017, they are excited to showcase their newly expanded and updated menu along with their beautifully renovated bar.
Create your own art at Hands On Art Studio in Fish Creek—This do-it-yourself Door County destination offers a freewheeling walk-in art experience designed for adults and children to create and play! Choose your project:
Metal Studio Buffet—Peruse the interesting selection of metal shapes, rods, balls, gears and “junk” – they’ll help you design and quickly arc-weld them together into an indoor or outdoor functional or decorative sculpture. Glass fusing—Cut, grind and layer glass to create plates, bowls, sun-catchers or even a set of wind chimes. Choose from a rainbow of sheet glass colors (some with textured and iridescent surfaces), thin glass rods and glass “confetti” to experiment with. Mosaics—Choose from mirrors, frames, plaques, trivets, boxes, plates, tiles and trays – even metal café tables made especially for tile tops! Create a design from ceramic and glass bits (both randomly “smashed” and perfectly shaped). They’ll grout it for you, in your choice of color. Paint or glaze—Grab a brush and choose a base project to paint—they’ll supply you with everything you need!
Free time in Sister Bay—Settled in 1857 by Norwegian immigrants, Sister Bay was formally created in 1912, and now features shops, restaurants, accommodations, galleries, and activities. More than 1,900 feet of public waterfront provide visitors with a sand beach, docks, an extensive park area, Village Hall for indoor events, and a gazebo that hosts free concerts in the summer.
Dinner at Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza and Grille in Sister Bay – Featuring not only great wood-fired pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and burgers but also a new attitude toward giving to the community by using sustainable products and creating an affordable restaurant using the best ingredients available.
Cross Death’s Door via ferry and arrive Washington Island—Wisconsin’s largest island (36 square miles) and dubbed “The Crown Jewel” of Door County, it’s located “north of the tension line” (the line marking the halfway point between the Equator and the North Pole). Founded in 1850, the island became home to immigrants who established the second oldest Icelandic settlement in the US.
Start the morning with a brisk climb of 186 steps to the top of the Island and enjoy majestic views and great photo ops of the land and water from Mountain Park and Lookout.
Visit Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm & Shop and enjoy lunch at le Petit Bisto—Visit The Lavender Shop to experience the unique essence of lavender and the magical attraction of lavender based pet, home, food, and bath products. Wander through the demonstration gardens filled with multiple varieties of fresh lavender and learn more about this amazing herb. Visitors will find a collection of beautiful lavender fields with 10,000 lavender plants. Fragrant Isle Lavender is one of the largest lavender farms in the Midwest.
Board The Cherry Train for a narrated tour of Washington Island— Enjoy brief stops at The Art & Nature Center, featuring a working beehive, bird calling station, exhibits and artifacts in a circa 1904 schoolhouse building; Stavkirke, built by island craftsmen and blending ancient Norse tradition with a new form of worship this “Church of Staves” recalls the days of shipbuilding techniques—the stavs (masts) of the vertically placed timbers, the arches, joinery and brackets right down to the dragon heads at the “prows”—the structure lives and breathes like a Viking ship; and Schoolhouse Beach, with its unique distinction of being one of only five beaches in the world with all white limestone “polished” rocks.
Board the Washington Island Ferry back to the mainland.
Enjoy an authentic Fish Boil dinner, a Door County dining tradition, at Rowley’s Bay Restaurant – a vintage waterfront resort. A storyteller weaves the tale of the fish boil outside around the fiery cauldron on Rowley’s Bay before dinner inside. A traditional Door County fish boil features freshly caught Lake Michigan whitefish caught by local fishermen and cooked outside over an open fire, just as it was 100 years ago by the Scandinavian settlers of the Peninsula. Original Door County at its finest!
Did you know? The fish boil tradition began as an economical way to feed large, hungry groups of lumberjacks and fishermen. Churches picked up the tradition to raise money, and people from all over would come to taste the local fish, potatoes, and Door County cherry pie. Eventually, area restaurants followed and the Door County Fish Boil became a “not to be missed” event for every visitor.
Enjoy a summer evening in Sister Bay and take in the sunset over the water. Have an after dinner drink at the Garage at Husby’s or listen to live music as part of Sister Bay’s Concert in the Park series.