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First Time Visitor Question(s)

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
111 posts
15 reviews
5 helpful votes
First Time Visitor Question(s)

I will be visiting Door County in August for four days with my wife and college-age son. We are staying at the Inn at Little Sister Hill. We are first time visitors to Door County and enjoy the outdoors (e.g., hiking, birding, biking, photography) and good places to eat. Can anyone recommend some not to miss places to visit and eat at while we are visiting? We are driving up from the Chicago area, so we'll have a car but no bikes. Is Washington Island worth a visit...or perhaps some of the surrounding towns like Fish Creek and Egg Harbor? Sorry for all of the questions but we want to make the most of our time while visitng your beautiful area. Thank you.

5 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
6,178 posts
117 reviews
105 helpful votes
1. Re: First Time Visitor Question(s)

Door County is small enough to visit all the towns, drive through, stop where you wish.

Some high points: Cana Island Lighthouse, Peninsula State Park, Whitefish Dunes State Park and next door Cave Point Cty. Park is a don't miss. Also based on your post I'd say Ridges Sanctuary. I know some of the inns loan out bikes, here's just one of them: http://ephraimshores.com/amenities/ You already have lodging though so perhaps another route unless your lodging provides them.

www.doorcounty.com is helpful.

Al Johnson's for the goats on the roof, Wilson's in Ephraim for dessert (not homemade ice cream this bothers some, it's just a neat spot with great history and good dessert). The Door County Confectionery in Ephraim is good for sweet treats and next door dine on surf tables outdoors with an egg wrap breakfast at Good Eggs.

White Gull Inn is known for their cherry stuffed french toast (Fish Creek), Wild Tomato in Fish Creek for wood fired pizza.

If you enjoy theater check out: http://www.peninsulaplayers.com/ There's also a drive in movie theater in Fish Creek and the Hands On Art Studio in Fish Creek for the art enthusiast.

Washington Island some recommend some do not. Sometimes it's a time thing, if you have the time go for it.



Edited: 02 July 2014, 07:40
Level Contributor
6,178 posts
117 reviews
105 helpful votes
2. Re: First Time Visitor Question(s)




The above threads share some helpful info. for you to help you decide what's of interest to you.

Chicago Suburbs
Level Contributor
4,631 posts
24 reviews
10 helpful votes
3. Re: First Time Visitor Question(s)

Visit Sister Bay, Ephraim, Fish Creek, Egg Harbor, and Baileys Harbor.

Rent bikes form Nor-Door in Fish Creek and bike the Sunset loop and backroads in Peninsula State Park.

Hike the Eagle Trail in Peninsula State Park.

Visit Sturgeon Bay on the way up or back from Sister Bay.

Fish Creek is good to visit in the evening; it is the only village with shops open in the evening.

Look at the TA reviews for restaurants and come back with specific questions about places. Or, read the recent posts on the Door County forum. Sister Bay has a full range of restaurants-from a couple of diners to a sub place to fine dining.

For birding, look at "Door County Outdoors" by Magill Weber. Lots of specific information in that book.

Don't go to Washington Island. There is little there, and nothing you can't see on the mainland.

Feel free to come back and ask more specific questions.

Level Contributor
5,754 posts
147 reviews
155 helpful votes
4. Re: First Time Visitor Question(s)

Good suggestions from the rest of the regulars. I'll just tell you our "must dos". Chocolates and other sweets: Sister Sweets in Fish Creek. Cherry Pie from the White Gull Inn, also Fish Creek.Other sweets would be Door County Bakery in the center of the county at 57 & hwy Q. Wine from, well ANYWHERE, but we like Simon Creek and Door Peninsula. Hiking or birding, anywhere in the beautiful county and state parks but particularly Ellison Bluff county park and Peninsula State Park, Eagle Trail (and their tower). Make sure you catch the sunsets, either in Ephraim or Sunset Beach Park at Fish Creek for photos, or the wild flowers (and eagles) in the parks.

Eating? We like Bistro 42, at the southern end of the Door at Door Peninsula winery, Door Bakery has a terrific counter and regular small restaurant. I had the best quiche of my life there a few weeks ago. We like sandwiches at Drink Coffee/Cookie Lady in Sister Bay. The Shops at Liberty Square has both fine dining at Galileo's or a bit more casual at the Bistro. But there a lot of other very good restaurants. Like Hatch said, make sure you get out and see the rest of the communities, not just Sister Bay (your lodging has always intrigued me, I think you'll like it). There's also some good golfing, despite limited courses if you're interested.

Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
187 posts
28 reviews
29 helpful votes
5. Re: First Time Visitor Question(s)

If you like being outdoors and hiking, you're in luck. You can visit the state parks in Door County and the county parks; you can hike at the Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor. You'll want to visit all the towns, as others have mentioned, because each one has its charms. If you enjoy theater, take in a show at the American Folklore Theater or Peninsula Players. If you like art, you'll find plenty of galleries -- two of my favorites are Woodwalk and Edgewood Orchard, and there's a really cool Asian art gallery in Ellison Bay. Some of my favorite places to eat are Al Johnson's in Sister Bay (touristy and crowded, with long wait times at peak hours, but the food is good and it's a Door County institution -- read my review for tips on dining there without too much aggravation); Good Eggs in Ephraim; Wild Tomato and Mr. Helsinki in Fish Creek; Chop in Sister Bay; Trio in Egg Harbor (I've never had a bad meal there); Bluefront Cafe in Sturgeon Bay; Village Cafe in Egg Harbor; Base Camp coffee shop and Mission Grille in Sister Bay. If you like fish, try a fish boil -- many restaurants offer it.

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