Door County, WI is one of my favorite places. The lakeside towns, marinas, independent shops and restaurants make for some happy memories. I've been going up there during the summers for as long as I can remember and after visiting it again last week I wanted to share some of my favorite places. There are tons of other shops and restaurants in Door County and there's no way I could name them all, but here are some of the places that I've discovered and loved over the years. I'll be covering the 4 largest towns - Sister Bay, Ephraim, Fish Creek, and Egg Harbor, though there are many more towns and villages to explore. First on our list - Sister Bay!
1. Al Johnsons - See the goats on the roof and eat a Swedish breakfast. Did I mention real goats? On the roof! It's a bit touristy and there's usually a wait, but it's a classic breakfast spot.
2. Husbys - great for pub grub and pizzas. Relaxed semi-tavern atmosphere but kid friendly. There's darts and game and a huge bar room with tvs if you want to watch the game.
3. Chop - Newer restaurant in Sister Bay, but great steaks and seafood.
4. Door County Creamery - This is possibly my most favorite place in the entire Door County peninsula. Dairy goat farmers opened up a little shop and offer lunch food, wine, and all the amazing goat cheese you could ever want. Even if you don't like goat cheese, they have one you'll like. Also fairly new to Sister Bay and definitely worth going to see.
5. Door County Ice Cream Factory - For dessert, ice cream is king! Eat it and be happy. If you want more than ice cream, they also offer sandwiches and pizza.
1. The Garage @ Husbys - Husby's chill outdoor patio. They offer drinks, appetizers, and live local music. Pretty much the perfect place to spend the evening relaxing outside under the bistro lights listening to music with a drink.
2. Bier Zot - Even though I harbor some resentment toward them for knocking down my favorite brunch restaurant ever and building this instead (goodbye Sister Bay Cafe, you will be missed!), I have to admit this is a fun place to grab a beer. It's right next to the beach and the marina and has a pretty great selection of beers. My husband was a big fan of this place. You can sit on the patio which is right on the main street and people watch to your heart's content.
3. Door County Creamery - Yes, this place again. They offer wines by the bottle and by the glass. You can even buy some cheese, a bottle of wine, and walk like 3 blocks to the beach to enjoy the sunset. Wine. Cheese. Yum.
4. JJs and La Puerta - Technically this is a restaurant, but it didn't make my Eat list because I don't love their food. The rest of my family, however, will tell you that I'm crazy and they make it a point to eat here every single time they go up to Door County. So to each their own, but this is MY list! But don't worry, JJ's opened up a patio that overlooks the marina and now you can sit and drink margaritas and eat chips and salsa while watching the boats go by, so they are ok with me!
1. Sister Bay Marina - I'm a big fan of walking around the marina and looking at the boats, but you can also rent all sorts and go out on the lake. (FYI Sister Bay faces Green Bay, not Lake Michigan so the waters are calmer and not as dangerous for beginners.) The marina also faces west and has some of the most spectacular sunsets in all of Wisconsin.
2. Pirates Cove and Johnson's Park - Play some mini golf at Pirates Cove or Johnson's Park. The later also has go karts, which is always a fun time. Again, great activities for date nights or family nights.
3. Go antique shopping, or shopping in general. There are so many cute little independent shops and antique stores all up and down the peninsula. I have a few favorites in other towns that I'll mention during their guide, but you really can't go wrong with picking a store and checking it out.
4. Door County Confectionary - If there is only one thing you do in Door County, please taste the fudge from the Door County Confectionary. It's incredible. There's one of these in each of the larger main towns so you can't miss it!
5. Door County Creamery - Haha one more time! (Can you tell this is one of my favorite places?) Sample wine and goat cheese pairings. That photo above is from this place. Goat cheese, wine, and bread drizzled with some sort of chili flavored olive oil which somehow went perfectly with the creamy goat cheese. I was dying from all the delicious flavors in my mouth. Also, I'm not affiliated with them in any way, I just cannot stop talking about them! They should hire me to advertise for them. They could pay me in cheese. That would be my dream! They also have cute goats in front of their shop! This one wanted nothing to do with me though.
So there are some of my favorite places in Sister Bay, WI. I'm not affiliated with any of these places, I've just been going up to Door County for over 20 years and wanted to share some of my personal favorite old and new places. Do you have a favorite place in Sister Bay that you think I missed? Let me know!
The next town on the list is Ephraim. This is probably the smallest of the four main tourist towns. It's quaint and artsy and it's quieter than it's southern neighbors of Fish Creek and Egg Harbor.
1. Old Post Office Restaurant - Right across the street from the lakeshore, this place has great breakfasts and daily fish boils in the evening.
2. Good Eggs - Great for omelet wraps and quick breakfasts to get you on your way. Also across the street from the beach and conveniently located next to a Door County Confectionary so you can stuff your face with fudge after your delicious breakfast.
3. Wilsons - My favorite place for ice cream in all of Door County. Such a popular place that you take a number from a ticket dispenser and wait for them to take your order at the ice cream bar. They put a jelly bean in the bottom of your ice cream cone which makes it even better! The restaurant itself is pretty good too if you're interested in some food with your ice cream.
1. Skyway Drive In - Catch a movie at one of the few remaining drive in movie theaters. This is especially fun as a date night or to take the family. Usually the movies are PG-13 or lower.
2. Peninsula State Park - nestled between Ephraim and Fish Creek there's enough to do in this state park to last you a week. There is a fee to get in, but it's less than $10 for a day pass or $25 for a yearly pass.
a. Nicolet Bay Beach - This is one of the main beaches and bays to hang out if you have a boat or want to swim and lay out on the beach. You can also rent kayaks, paddle boats, paddle boards, and other watercraft to explore the bay.
b. American Folklore Theatre - Outdoor theater in the woods under the stars. They're apparently changing their name to Northern Sky Theater, but this group does fantastic comedy plays which includes titles such as "Packer Fans from Outer Space" and "Guys on Ice". Definitely worth checking out!
c. Camp - There are all sorts of campsites to stay the night for tents and trailers. No cabins though, so bring your own gear!
d. Hiking trails and checking out the lighthouse. One of the best parts of the park is the abundance of hiking and biking trails. Definitely check out the lighthouse and the lookout tower for sweeping views of Green Bay.
3. South Shore Pier - If you don't want to go into the state park (which can get crowded) you can still rent boats, including jet skis, pontoons, and sail boats from Ephraim's small marina/pier.
4. Visit the various art galleries. Ephraim is one of the more artistic towns in Door County and a number of artist studios and galleries dot the shoreline. They're definitely worth checking out if you're looking for local art and artists.
Welcome! I'm Sarah and this is my blog about exploring and adventuring while living in the southwest. You'll find a bit of food, DIY, travel, and geekery in these pages. Glad you're here, stay a bit and say hello!