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Photo by Jon Jarosh/Destination Door County

Featured Article

What's Waiting for You in Wisconsin?

5 Destinations to Discover in Door County

Article by Patrick T . Cooper

Photography by Courtesy of Destination Door County

Originally published in SOFU Lifestyle

Now that travel is re-emerging, we challenge you to see the light of the world through 11 active lighthouses that await you in Door County, Wisconsin. Arise from your stay at the Bailey Harbor Yacht Club Resort to marvel at the soul-touching experience of Lake Michigan. Sweeping shorelines make this region a generational and repeat visitors paradise.

This peninsula is an imperative visit for outdoor enthusiasts, explorers, and discoverers. Door County is an outdoor oasis that is riddled with activity. An agricultural town that quickly transitioned into an escape for the affluent. The explosive growth of the area is the result of a National Geographic article published around 1969. Moreover, this region grew in notoriety as a result of the frenzy for timber and limestone to rebuild Chicago twice after its fires.

Affectionately known by neighboring midwestern cities and states, Door County is a respite that exudes natural beauty year-round. Whether you are looking for ice fishing, cruising in a canoe, cherry or apple picking, this Wisconsin destination has tons of options for adventure. Five state parks make Door County a hotbed and haven for the active traveler. Invest in your personal growth by allowing your eyes to wander the 300 miles of beaches, bays, and bluffs that contribute to the land's unique appeal.

Peninsula State Park

3700 acres of mature landscape make this park a massive backdrop with over 150 campgrounds you can enjoy with family, friends, or as a solo adventurer. Waterfront, sunrise, and sunset photography pale in comparison to appreciation by the human eye.  Whether you wish to bike or lob some tennis balls on the court, the park is designed to accommodate all of your desires. Step into 150 years of maritime history with the recent restoration of the eagle bluff lighthouse which remained in service until 2018. Be educated, be elevated, fascinated, and forever changed by this park encounter. 

Thyme Cuisine

Say hello to a delicious variety of grilled cheese. The self-proclaimed “Grilled Cheese Project” will have your mouth watering and perhaps drooling. Strongly recommended that you opt for the fig jamming. The kalua pork sliders are simply divine too. Defined as down-to-earth comfortable, and affordable cuisine with a twist, this dynamic husband and wife duo will greet you with a hello that is rooted in seasons of hospitality. This new dining addition to the Door County community is a commune of catering, outdoor fire pits, and delicious house wines unique to the restaurant. 

Woodwalk Gallery 

Art is paramount in this vintage barn presentation. 25 years in business make this facility an atisan Midwest showroom. Jilllaine and Andrew Seefeldt continually preserve Wisconsin artistry and repurpose the wood into beautiful custom furniture. To conclude, the majestic venue serves as an outdoor wedding, corporate and special event destination. 

Door Artisan Cheese Company 

More cheese please! The best cheese and #1 product is the Top Hat at  Door Artisan Cheese Company. Prepare to marvel in cheese. Have you ever heard of cave aged cheese? Well, journey to the custom designed lower level of this establishment  where the owners have invested time and financial resources with fieldstone to recreate a real cave! The details include  parmesan gaining 10 months to reduce cracking and the education of cheesemaking by architect cheesemaker Mike Brennenstuhl will have you mesmerized. Cheesemaking is a dance from fast to slow, mold or no mold, and perfecting humidity. It is sheer passion to make a delicatessen to create cheese that is mouthwatering. This local vendor produces  30 variations of cheese to WOW you while visiting Door County, Wisconsin. 

The Ridges

Bill Wolff of The Ridge Sanctuary will march you through with confidence and passion in this wonderland. Be careful, you may learn something along the journey.  Submerged 200 years ago by Lake Michigan, The Ridges is your ultimate escape into nature. The Hidden Brook Boardwalk offers a communion with nature for children, adults, and adults with disabilities. The guided tour will educate you in rain and snowmelt. Groundwater draining to very clean freshwater presents  a home for several species nesting along the bank and in the trees from spring to fall. Rest assured no mosquitoes bite because this is not resting water. Absorb the beauty of a varietal of wild flowers and blooms. The color, textures and vibrant backdrop will have you having anxiously planning your return to  Door County!

  • Photo by Jon Jarosh/Destination Door County
  • Photo by Dan Eggert/Destination Door County
  • Photo by Jon Jarosh/Destination Door County
  • Courtesy of Thyme Restaurant + Catering
  • by Jon Jarosh/Destination Door County