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DOWNTOWN IN DOOR COUNTY - WISCONSIN'S SUMMER HAVEN
 
(2014 - Winter Issue)

Writer: NICOLA GORDON



Sunset over Egg Harbor ends many a perfect day in Door County, Wisconsin.

Dusk glows orange over the waters of Green Bay as tundra swans and wood ducks soar for home. The glow soon leaves the sky in darkening shades of night. That stunning sunset was only the opening act. Out here in Door County’s wide-open spaces, the Milky Way puts on a spectacular show!

The peace and serenity of “The Door’s” nighttime show highlights a major attraction for holiday goers year-round. Now spice it up a little with what’s described by Door County Visitor Bureau as “something for everyone.”

Silent sports enthusiasts will find their paradise in five state parks and more than 480 kilometres of shoreline. Bike, ski or snowshoe on all-season trails through miles of natural preserves at Crossroads at Big Creek, or hike the Ice Age Trail at Potawatomi State Park. If fishing is your sport, this place can’t be beat—literally. Bassmaster.com voted Door County’s Sturgeon Bay the No. 1 bass-fishing destination in the U.S. in 2014. And if winged creatures are your hobby, Door County shares your passion. Birders flock to the designated “Bird City” of Baileys Harbor to enjoy an environment enhanced and protected for avian abundance. Now take silent sports and outdoor pursuits to a new level with a Segway tour of Sturgeon Bay. This unconventional transportation is a unique way to tour this lovely town’s waterfront and country boutiques.  

With something for everyone in mind, here are more great reasons why you’ll love your downtime in Door County.

Luxury Accommodation

While Door County is great for everything outdoors, when it comes to where to lay your head, I recommend luxury all the way at the White Lace Inn bed and breakfast. A four-poster canopied bed wraps you in comfort, a wood-burning fireplace keeps you toasty in the dead of winter, and an ensuite whirlpool sets the scene for ultimate holiday relaxation. Eighteen suites mirror the outdoors with bright floral colours. And if there’s any doubt you’ve found the perfect spot for Door County downtime, suite names will set you straight with monikers such as Romantic Retreat, The Hideaway and Royal Chamber.

Don’t miss that essential part of your bed-and-breakfast experience. Innkeeper Dennis Statz serves your morning repast at White Lace with hot Door County coffee and dishes freshly baked with the favourite local ingredient—cherries. You won’t leave hungry with cherry almond French toast on the menu!

Morning Java

Appreciate waking up to a good cup of java? Then plan an early-morning stop at Door County Coffee & Tea Co., the place for specialty class 1 Arabica coffee, roasted and flavoured on-site, and brewed to perfection. For a unique coffee-lover’s experience, tour the 1,858-square-metre facility to learn how coffee beans get to your cup from the sunny slopes of some far-off land. The essential element is highlighted by owner Vicki Wilson’s mantra: “From the best bean to the best taste in your cup!” You’ll also enjoy her recipe for business success: “Happy employees who are passionate about their craft.” Their T-shirts say it all: “20 years of coffee awesomeness!” And their clapping and cheers whenever a major order came through made for a memorable tour. Who can resist a smile when employees are having such fun?

I highly recommend the Door County Coffee & Tea Co.’s country café where hash-brown bake, mango smoothies and more java provide a great start to any day

More Local Treats

Vacationers love to go local, and what better way than to experience Door 44’s locally-grown and produced wines. “Fruit-forward, balanced, food-friendly wines” are sourced from the county’s selection of Marquette, Vidal and Frontenac grapes. Owner Steve Johnson turns tastings of “Bubbler” and “Sailor’s Delight” into teachings with insight into the local terroir and Door 44 history. Most interestingly, I learned how Door 44 got its name. It sits on the latitude of 44 degrees north, just like the great wine regions of Bordeaux and Tuscany.

Your holiday is not complete without a traditional Door County fish boil. Drive out to Waterfront Mary’s Bar and Grill to stake out a spot around the roaring beachside fire and watch the show with a cold Door County Cherry Wheat in hand. The locals share legends and tall tales as a massive pot boils dinner on the open flames. Consisting of cod, potatoes, onions and carrots, this is the simplest of meals but oh so tasty with plenty of salted butter.

As the sun sets on another great Door County fish boil, a summertime party under the stars continues with a campfire, live music and a little dancing.

If you still doubt there’s “something for everyone” in Door County, consider this. The Door’s population explodes from 28,000 residents in winter to 250,000 outdoorsy types, foodies and serenity-seekers who come to take in those balmy summers. That says it all. Downtime in Door County just can’t be beat.

Travel Planner

For more information and downtime diversions, visit:

Door County Visitor Bureau: doorcounty.com

Door 44 Winery: parallel44.com/door-44

Door County Coffee & Tea: doorcountycoffee.com

Waterfront Mary’s: waterfrontmarysbarandgrill.com

White Lace Inn: whitelaceinn.com

 
 
 
 
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