A Day Trip to Door County WI: Explore These Must-See Attractions

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Are you planning a day trip to Door County, Wisconsin? This charming destination is known for its picturesque scenery, quaint small towns, and outdoor activities. Whether you’re a nature lover, a foodie, or a history buff, Door County has something to offer for everyone. In this article, we’ll guide you through the must-see attractions that you shouldn’t miss on a day trip to Door County WI.

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One of the top attractions in Door County is Cave Point County Park. This stunning park features limestone cliffs, sea caves, and crystal-clear water. You can hike along the cliffs, take a kayak tour to explore the caves, or simply relax on the beach and enjoy the view. Another must-visit destination is Peninsula State Park, which offers over 3,700 acres of natural beauty. You can hike, bike, swim, or even play golf in this park. Make sure to visit the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, which dates back to 1868 and offers panoramic views of the bay.

If you’re a wine lover, you can’t miss the Door County wineries. There are over a dozen wineries in the area, each offering a unique selection of wines. You can take a winery tour, sample the wines, and even purchase a bottle to take home. And if you’re a foodie, you’ll love the local cuisine. Door County is known for its fish boils, cherry pie, and artisanal cheeses. You can visit a local restaurant or farmers’ market to taste the flavors of Door County.

Getting to Door County

If you’re planning a day trip to Door County, you’ll want to know the best way to get there and when to visit. In this section, we’ll cover both topics in detail.

Best Time to Visit

Door County is a popular tourist destination, and the best time to visit depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to avoid the crowds, the best time to visit is during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. The weather is still pleasant, and you’ll have more space to explore the attractions. The fall is especially beautiful, with the changing leaves providing a stunning backdrop.

If you’re looking for warm weather and outdoor activities, summer is the best time to visit. The weather is warm and sunny, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as hiking, biking, and water sports. However, keep in mind that this is the busiest time of year, and you’ll need to book your accommodations and activities in advance.


Travel Options

Door County is located in northeast Wisconsin, and there are several ways to get there. The most common way is to drive, as there are several major highways that lead to the area. If you’re driving from Milwaukee, it will take about 2.5 hours, and if you’re driving from Chicago, it will take about 4 hours.

If you don’t want to drive, there are a few other options. You can take a bus or shuttle from Milwaukee or Chicago, or you can take a ferry from Manitowoc or Washington Island. The ferry is a great option if you’re coming from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or from the northern part of Wisconsin.

Once you’re in Door County, the best way to get around is by car. There are several car rental companies in the area, and having your own car will give you the freedom to explore at your own pace. Alternatively, you can also bike or walk around some of the smaller towns and parks.

Overall, getting to Door County is easy, and there are several options to choose from. Whether you’re driving, taking a bus, or ferry, you’ll be able to get to this beautiful area with ease.

Historical Landmarks

If you’re interested in history, Door County has plenty of landmarks to explore. Here are two must-see historical landmarks:

Eagle Bluff Lighthouse

Location: 10249 Shore Rd, Fish Creek, WI 54212

The Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, located in Peninsula State Park, was built in 1868 and is one of the oldest lighthouses in Door County. The lighthouse is open to the public from May to October and offers guided tours. You’ll learn about the history of the lighthouse and the important role it played in keeping ships safe on Lake Michigan.

Cana Island Lighthouse

Location: 8800 E Cana Island Rd, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202

Another iconic lighthouse in Door County is the Cana Island Lighthouse, built in 1869. This lighthouse is located on a small island accessible by a causeway. Visitors can climb the tower’s spiral staircase to get a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan. The lighthouse is open to the public from May to October and offers guided tours.

Both of these lighthouses are beautiful and historic landmarks that are worth visiting during your Door County day trip.

Natural Beauty Spots

Door County is home to some of the most beautiful natural attractions in Wisconsin. From stunning parks to serene beaches, there’s no shortage of breathtaking scenery to explore. Here are two must-see natural beauty spots in Door County:

Peninsula State Park

Location: 9462 Shore Rd, Fish Creek, WI 54212

Peninsula State Park is a 3,776-acre park located on the Door Peninsula. It’s one of the most popular state parks in Wisconsin, and for good reason. The park boasts eight miles of shoreline, 20 miles of hiking trails, and stunning panoramic views of the bay.

One of the best ways to explore the park is by bike. The park has over 10 miles of bike trails that wind through forests, bluffs, and along the shoreline. You can also rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards to explore the bay.

If you’re looking for a more leisurely activity, take a scenic drive through the park. The park’s Skyline Road offers some of the best views of the bay, and there are plenty of spots to pull over and take in the scenery.

Ridges Sanctuary

The Ridges Sanctuary is a nature preserve located in Baileys Harbor. It’s home to over 400 acres of forests, wetlands, and meadows, and is one of the most unique natural areas in Door County.

One of the highlights of the sanctuary is the boardwalk trail. The trail winds through a pristine wetland and offers stunning views of the surrounding forest. You’ll also have the opportunity to see a variety of birds and other wildlife.

Day Trip to Door County WI Ridges Sanctuary

The sanctuary also offers guided hikes and nature programs throughout the year. These programs are a great way to learn more about the local flora and fauna and the history of the area.

Overall, Peninsula State Park and the Ridges Sanctuary are two natural beauty spots in Door County that you won’t want to miss. Whether you’re looking for a scenic drive, a leisurely bike ride, or a peaceful hike, these parks offer something for everyone.

Food and Drink

If you’re a foodie, Door County is the perfect place for you. With its fertile soil and proximity to the water, the region is a cornucopia of fresh produce, seafood, and dairy products. Here are some must-try food and drink experiences during your day trip to Door County.

Door County Wineries

Door County is home to a thriving wine industry, with several wineries producing award-winning wines. Some of the most popular wineries in the region include:

Winery NameLocationSpecialties
Stone’s Throw WineryEgg HarborFruit Wines
Door Peninsula WinerySturgeon BayCherry Wines
Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery & MarketFish CreekGrape Wines

Most wineries offer tastings and tours, so you can sample their wines and learn about the winemaking process. Some wineries also have restaurants or cafes where you can enjoy a meal or snack while taking in the beautiful scenery.

Local Delicacies

In addition to wine, Door County is known for its local delicacies. Here are some must-try foods during your day trip:

  • Door County Cherry Pie: Made with tart cherries grown in the region, this pie is a local favorite.
  • Whitefish: Caught fresh from the waters of Lake Michigan, whitefish is a staple of Door County cuisine. Try it smoked, grilled, or fried.
  • Cheese Curds: Wisconsin is known for its cheese, and Door County is no exception. Sample some fresh cheese curds for a delicious snack.
  • Fish Boil: A traditional Door County meal, fish boils involve cooking whitefish, potatoes, and onions in a large pot over an open flame. The meal is served with coleslaw, bread, and butter.

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a food lover, Door County has something to satisfy your cravings. Don’t miss out on these delicious local delicacies during your day trip.

Shopping in Door County

If you’re looking for unique souvenirs or gifts to bring back home, Door County has a lot to offer. From local art shops to farm markets, there’s something for everyone.

Local Art Shops

Door County is known for its vibrant art scene, and there are plenty of local art shops to explore. Here are a few that you won’t want to miss:

Shop NameDescription
Francis Hardy GalleryThis gallery features the work of over 100 local and regional artists. You’ll find everything from paintings and sculptures to jewelry and pottery.
Popelka Trenchard GlassThis glassblowing studio and gallery offers a unique opportunity to watch artists at work. You can also purchase one-of-a-kind glass pieces to take home.
Edgewood Orchard GalleriesSet in a picturesque orchard, this gallery features the work of over 150 artists. You’ll find paintings, sculptures, and more in a variety of styles and mediums.

Farm Markets

Door County is also known for its fresh produce, and there are plenty of farm markets where you can stock up on local goodies. Here are a few to check out:

  • Seaquist Orchards Farm Market: This market offers a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as homemade jams, jellies, and baked goods.
  • Lautenbach’s Orchard Country: In addition to fresh produce, this market offers wine tastings and a variety of cherry products, including cherry salsa and cherry BBQ sauce.
  • Waseda Farms Market: This market specializes in organic, grass-fed meats, as well as fresh produce and dairy products.

Whether you’re looking for art or fresh produce, Door County has plenty of shopping options to explore.

Outdoor Activities

If you’re looking to enjoy the great outdoors during your day trip to Door County, you’re in luck! There are plenty of outdoor activities to choose from, including kayaking and hiking.


Door County is known for its beautiful shoreline, and one of the best ways to experience it is by kayak. There are several companies that offer kayak rentals and tours, including Cave Point Paddle & Pedal and Door County Kayak Tours. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced kayaker, there’s a tour or rental option that will suit your needs.

Day Trip to Door County WI kayaking

Kayaking in Door County allows you to explore the stunning caves and cliffs along the shoreline, as well as the crystal-clear waters of Lake Michigan. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including bald eagles, osprey, and even the occasional seal or porpoise.


If you prefer to keep your feet on solid ground, Door County has plenty of hiking trails to choose from. One popular option is Peninsula State Park, which has over 20 miles of hiking trails ranging from easy to challenging. The Eagle Trail is a must-do for experienced hikers, offering breathtaking views of the bay and the surrounding landscape.

Another great option is the Door Bluff Headlands County Park, which offers a challenging hike with stunning views of the shoreline and surrounding forests. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water, as the hike can be strenuous.

No matter what outdoor activity you choose, be sure to take in the natural beauty of Door County and enjoy your day trip to the fullest.

Cultural Experiences

If you’re interested in immersing yourself in Door County’s culture, there are several must-see attractions that you won’t want to miss.

Door County Maritime Museum

One of the top cultural experiences in Door County is the Door County Maritime Museum. This museum is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich maritime history of the area. The museum features exhibits on shipwrecks, lighthouses, and the commercial fishing industry that has been a cornerstone of the Door County economy for generations. You can also take a tour of the restored tugboat John Purves, which was built in 1919 and served on the Great Lakes for over 60 years.

Local Festivals

Door County is known for its vibrant local festivals, which offer a great opportunity to experience the area’s unique culture and traditions. One of the most popular festivals is the Door County Cherry Festival, which takes place every July and celebrates the area’s famous cherry orchards. The festival features live music, arts and crafts vendors, and of course, plenty of delicious cherry-themed treats.

Another popular festival is the Fish Creek Winter Festival, which takes place every February. This festival celebrates Door County’s winter sports and outdoor activities, with events like ice skating, snowshoeing, and a chili cook-off. There are also plenty of indoor activities, like live music and craft fairs, so you can stay warm and cozy while still experiencing the best of Door County’s culture.

Overall, Door County offers a wide range of cultural experiences that are sure to delight visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you’re interested in maritime history, local festivals, or something else entirely, there’s something for everyone in this unique and vibrant corner of Wisconsin.

Accommodation Options

If you’re planning a day trip to Door County WI, you might be wondering where to stay if you decide to extend your visit. Luckily, there are plenty of accommodation options available to suit every budget and preference.


Door County has a variety of hotels to choose from, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. Some of the most popular hotels in the area include:

Day Trip To Door County WI White Gull Inn
  • The Landmark Resort: This upscale resort offers stunning views of Green Bay and is located near popular attractions like Peninsula State Park and Eagle Bluff Lighthouse.
  • The Ashbrooke: This adults-only hotel is located in downtown Egg Harbor and offers luxurious amenities like in-room fireplaces and whirlpool tubs.
  • The White Gull Inn: This historic inn in Fish Creek features cozy rooms and an on-site restaurant that serves up delicious breakfasts.

Bed and Breakfasts

If you’re looking for a more intimate and cozy lodging experience, a bed and breakfast might be the perfect option for you. Door County has plenty of charming bed and breakfasts to choose from, including:

  • The Blacksmith Inn On the Shore: This waterfront bed and breakfast in Baileys Harbor offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and features cozy rooms with fireplaces and whirlpool tubs.
  • The Hillside Inn of Ephraim: This historic inn in the heart of Ephraim features beautifully decorated rooms and a delicious breakfast served each morning.
  • The White Lace Inn: This Victorian-style bed and breakfast in Sturgeon Bay features individually decorated rooms and a beautiful garden.

No matter where you choose to stay in Door County, you’re sure to have a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Final Thoughts on A Day Trip to Door County WI

You’ve just spent an incredible day in Door County, exploring some of the best attractions this beautiful region has to offer. From the stunning views at Cave Point County Park to the charming boutiques and art galleries in Fish Creek, there’s something for everyone here.

If you’re a fan of the outdoors, Door County won’t disappoint. You can spend hours hiking through the forests, kayaking along the shoreline, or simply relaxing on the beach. Be sure to check out Peninsula State Park, which offers over 3,700 acres of natural beauty and some of the best hiking trails in the area.

For those interested in history, Door County has plenty to offer as well. You can visit the historic Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, which has been guiding ships safely through the waters of Green Bay since 1868. Or, head over to the Door County Maritime Museum to learn more about the area’s rich maritime history.

And, of course, no trip to Door County would be complete without sampling some of the local cuisine. From fresh-caught fish to locally-grown produce, there’s no shortage of delicious food to be found here. Be sure to stop by a local farmers’ market or restaurant to taste some of the best flavors Door County has to offer.

Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or foodie, Door County is the perfect destination for a day trip. With so much to see and do, you’re sure to leave feeling refreshed, inspired, and eager to plan your next visit.

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Frequently Asked Questions about A Day Trip to Door County WI

What are some unique things to do in Door County?

Door County offers a variety of unique activities that will make your trip memorable. You can take a scenic boat tour to Eagle Bluff Lighthouse and Death’s Door, visit the Cana Island Lighthouse, go cherry picking, or explore the numerous art galleries and shops.

What are the best places to stay in Door County?

There are many great places to stay in Door County, depending on your preferences. Some popular options include the Landmark Resort, The Ashbrooke, and The White Gull Inn. If you prefer camping, there are several excellent campgrounds in the area, such as Peninsula State Park and Wagon Trail Campground.

What are some must-see attractions in Door County?

Door County is known for its stunning natural beauty, and there are several must-see attractions that showcase this. Some of the top attractions include Cave Point County Park, Peninsula State Park, and Rock Island State Park. You should also check out the Door County Maritime Museum and the Washington Island Ferry Line.

What are some family-friendly activities in Door County?

Door County has plenty of activities that are fun for the whole family. You can visit the Door County Creamery, take a tour of the Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant and Butik, or go on a Ghost Tour of Door County. Additionally, there are many beaches and parks where you can enjoy a picnic or play games with your family.

What is the recommended length of stay in Door County?

The recommended length of stay in Door County depends on how much you want to see and do. If you’re only interested in a few activities, a day trip may suffice. However, if you want to explore the area more thoroughly, a weekend or longer is recommended.

What makes Door County, Wisconsin special?

Door County is special because of its unique blend of natural beauty, history, and culture. The area is known for its cherry orchards, scenic shoreline, and charming small towns. Additionally, Door County has a rich maritime history, which is celebrated in its many museums and attractions.


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