Sunday, July 29, 2012

Door County Style - Part Two

This is my second post from our trip to Door County, Wisconsin. We stayed in a little tiny cabin right next to the Fish Creek hotel and just steps from the bay. You could see the yachts and sailboats from our screen porch. I was a bit tardy in making reservations, so we took the last available cabin.

It only had one bed, so my gracious teenage daughter agreed to sleep on the inflatable mattress. I love staying right in town because you can walk everywhere. We went star gazing on the pier one night and then to Malibu Moo's the next for cold-slab style ice cream.

If you've never been to Door County, I'll give you a little visual tour. I love the noncommercial nature of the peninsula. It is a haven for artists, musicians, and theater-people. You can eat and shop your way through the peninsula that is anchored by a gorgeous State Park.

Small towns dot the peninsula: Sturgeon Bay (at the base) is the largest - but don't stop there. They follow quickly: Carlsville, Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, Ephraim, Sister Bay and upward. At the very tip is Gills Rock where you can take a ferry boat to Washington Island, passing through Death's Door.

My daughter and I love to shop. Here, in Fish Creek, is the Confectionary where I have taken her since she was a little girl - and Founder's Square with wood chip pathways, fudge shops and more.  Another favorite, in Ephraim, is Wilson's, a Door County favorite that has been around forever. Stop in for an old fashioned soda or my favorite - the Dusty Road (three flavors of chocolate ice cream dusted with malt powder).

There are many reasons I love this vacation spot. It is only five hours from Chicago - an easy drive. People are casual - water and shoreline are everywhere. The food is amazing and the air is at least 10 degrees cooler. Breathe deep. Kick your shoes off. Enjoy a Door County vacation!

Just a few of my favorite spots:

Egg Harbor:
Alpine Resort (classic Door County lodge with an amazing screened porch overlooking the bay).
Egg Harbor Antique Mall (just south of town).
Trio Italian restaurant - lovely atmosphere and excellent northern Italian cuisine.

Between towns:
Edgewood Orchard Gallery - lovely sculpture garden in the woods.
Hands-On Art Studio - Make your own jewelry, pottery - even weld! Art nights for adults, too.

Fish Creek:
Brilliant Stranger - Say hi to our friend Dawn Patel who crafts clothing and exudes bohemian flair.
The Summertime - I worked there as a waitress, but its unique architecture will charm you.
Bayside Tavern - Order the cheese curds and the pork chop sandwich.
The White Gull Inn - Classic cape cod style inn - amazing corned beef hash and coffee cake. Fish Boils are excellent as well.
Greenwood Supper Club - see my last post for more details.

Skyway Drive Inn - In between Fish Creek and Ephraim. Classic 1950s drive in theatre - complete with the dancing hot dog commercials.

Wilson's for Ice Cream.
Rent a sailboat or pontoon boat at the shore.
Beach People is a cute shop offering beach style gifts.

Sister Bay:
Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant - grass topped roofs with goats!
JJs La Puerta Restaurant - The JJ Burger and Mojo fries in a funky, surfer dude atmosphere with a touch of Mexican flair.

Ellison Bay:
Pasta Vino - Pete D'Amico opened up his growing Italian restaurant business in this spectacular dining room space - worth the drive!

There are many more places I love to visit, but these will get you started. If you haven't been, make your reservations now at

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