Full disclosure here - I've spend the least amount of my time in Door County in Egg Harbor, we're normally north in Sister Bay or Ephraim. So if anyone has any favorite places here, I'd love to hear!
1. Shipwrecked Microbrewery & Restaurant - Fun casual restaurant and bar. Short walk to the beach, right downtown, and they have a great selection of their own beers.
2. Trio - Craving pasta? Trio has great Italian and French dishes. We don't get down to Egg Harbor that much, but I always try to stop here when we do.
3. The Bistro Bar & Grille - Another great casual place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It has a fun patio to sit outside and enjoy both the food and the weather.
1. Egg Harbor Beach and Marina - The great thing about Door County is that most of the towns are beach towns. Egg Harbor has a great beach for swimming and a fun marina to explore.
2. Wine Tasting
a) Harbor Ridge Winery and the Wisconsin Cheese Masters Shop - This is another one of my favorite stops in Door County because the wine shop and the cheese shop share the same parking lot. How much better can it get? Start at the Harbor Ridge Winery for some free wine tasting (their oaky Cab is amazing!) and the walk a few steps over to the Wisconsin Cheese Masters and take a cheese journey (No really, that's what the sign says) when you sample some of their many cheeses. So much goodness.
b) Door Peninsula Winery/Door County Distillery - The Door Peninsula Winery/Distillery has a special place in my heart. We used to come here when we were younger to taste the fudge and olive oil (while my parents tasted the wine) and in the last few years it opened a distillery in another part of the old schoolhouse building. They produce small batch gin, whiskey, vodka, and now brandy. This is my favorite gin ever. EVER.
c) Simon Creek Vineyard - This vineyard is inland a bit, but if you're in Egg Harbor it's not too far of a drive. Another winery that I'd recommend visiting.
3. Antiquing - Egg Harbor is near some great antique stores. Some of my favorites are Old Orchard Antique Mall which feels like it's miles long and full of fun and Bay Trading Company which has an entire room full of architectural discards such as shutters, mantels, doors and other goodness. If I had a house in Wisconsin I'm pretty sure half of the decor would come from that shop.
4. Kurtz Corral - If you want to ride horses through the countryside, this is the place to go. They're open all year, but summer and fall are my favorite times to explore the fields on horseback.
5. Various locations - cherry picking - Door County is known for their cherries. If you're up there while they're in season (late July to early August) definitely go cherry picking! There are numerous orchards and locations, so just find one that's close to you.
1. Cooper's Corner - Fantastic food and a great environment. They have indoor and outdoor seating, but my favorite is their second story patio and bar where you can eat and watch the hustle and bustle of the main street below.
2. Bayside Tavern - This is your typical Wisconsin neighborhood corner bar, and it's fantastic. A favorite of locals and sailors, with pub grub (fantastic chowder!) drinks, and a relaxed casual atmosphere.
3. The Cookery - PIE!!! The cookery has great food - especially breakfast - but pie is the most important thing here. Door County cherry pie. If there's only one thing you do in Fish Creek, get some pie from here and eat it. You can thank me later. Growing up we used to stop here and get a cherry pie to go. We'd take it back to the condo and eat it all weekend. It was delicious and I miss it greatly.
4. Mr. Helsinki - This restaurant has been around for a while but I just discovered it this past year. Which is a shame, because it's incredible and I wish I would have gone there more. Its menu is a mix of crepes and Asian fusion - which sounds really weird but it works. You can get a variety of crepes for lunch, and all sorts of Thai inspired cuisine for dinner. It's also a wine bar with a great selection.
5. Not Licked Yet - This is a gnome themed frozen custard stand. Yes, you read that right. It's awesome. It's a mix of Scandinavian and gnome decor located right along a creek (I'm assuming it's Fish Creek). Also, if you're not a midwest native, frozen custard is a creamier and more delicious version of ice cream. I'm a fan of stopping by here for a scoop of ice cream - excuse me - custard, but they also serve burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. Worth visiting for the decor alone.
1. Fudge House/Door County Confectionary - I mentioned this before in the Sister Bay guide, but stop by either the Confectionary or the Fudge House for some free samples of fudge. They're right next to each other and are nestled in with a bunch of cute shops.
2. Shopping at all the cute independent shops - Fish Creek has probably the best selections of little independent shops in Door County. Everything from clothing to souvenirs to a grocery market and deli where you can get supplies for a trip into the state park or a lunch by the beach.
3. Alibi Marina - I don't think you can rent boats here, you'll have to hit up some of the other towns or Peninsula Park for that. But If you have a boat, you can rent slips and this is a great marina to wander around and take in the sites. There's a park right there so you can bring a picnic lunch and watch the boats go by.
4. Wine Tasting (more to come next week with Egg Harbor)
a. Orchard Country Wine and Market - I love the markets like this that are in Door County. They have everything you could ever want - salsas, mustards, preserves, baking mixes, dressings, oils, jams, etc. And usually there are free samples! They also have free wine tasting here. If you like sweet, fruity wines this is the place to go. They have all sorts of fruit/grape wines that are made on site. The wines here are a bit too sweet for my own taste (I like bolder, dryer wines) but I have many family members and friends who prefer their wines. Even if you're not into wines, check out their market!
b. Stone's Throw Winery - Don't like sweet fruit wines? Look no farther! Stone's Throw is probably the most "high end" winery in Door County. Their grapes are all brought in from California and if you're looking for your standard merlots, cabernets, and chardonnays to taste this is the place to go. They have really great wines and a very cool wine cellar-like atmosphere. They're a bit east of Fish Creek, but it's definitely worth the quick drive!
5. Peninsula State Park (See Guide to Ephraim for specific activities) - The park is located between Fish Creek and Ephraim so not matter which town you're visiting, it's easy to access the park and all it's activities.
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!
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!