I needed to get away for few days some place rich in natural beauty, good shopping, delicious food and low stress. Door County, Wisconsin fit the bill perfectly and I surely wasn't disappointed. I planned to visit this charming place for the September 2015 Labor Day long weekend and had my mom for company who is always excited for any travel experience and opportunity to explore a new place! I am glad that she enjoys traveling as much as me or maybe even more!
The county has earned its name from the treacherous Lake Michigan waters around the peninsula, which has claimed thousands of ships. Sailors christened the waters between the peninsula and Washington Island as “Death’s Door,” which later led to the name Door County.
To keep vessels from harm; the door county peninsula is lined with almost 10 different lighthouses which with the advanced maritime technology have been decommissioned but are an important part of history; and is something which no tourist should miss when visiting Door County.
I began my drive from Chicago early Saturday morning so as to be on time when the sun is at its full glory.
This in turn helps me utilize the entire day for sightseeing.
After driving for close to 250 miles I reached my first destination which was the Sherwood Point Lighthouse.
This lighthouse is however no longer open to the public and is utilized by the US Coast Guard and so we were just able to take some pictures from the outside.
Thereafter I visited the Potawatomi State Park (GPS: 3740 Park Dr, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235)
Within the park I drove along the Shoreline Rd. for excellent views of the Sturgeon Bay and also climbed up the Observation Tower.
The Observation tower was built in the 1930's and is taller than all the trees in the Park and offers panoramic views of the Sturgeon Bay and the small islands within the Bay.
Next we visited the Sturgeon Bay Bridge a steel bridge again constructed in the 1930's. Next to the Sturgeon Bay Bridge is the Door County Maritime Museum which I had chosen to skip. We were lucky to witness the opening of this old bridge to allow one of the Ships to cross the canal which can be a pleasant experience for many.
We also visited the Sturgeon Bay Canal which basically connects the Bay to Lake Michigan.
While driving towards the Canal we found a side pullover which provided access to wild flower bed which was totally unexpected and which made mom happy!
and then drive towards Peninsula State Park (GPS: 9462 Shore Rd, Fish Creek, WI 54212)
The following spots are a must see within the Park along with driving along the Shore Rd:
Eagle Bluff Lighthouse (most photographed spot within the Park and also a great Sunset viewing point)
Nicolet Bay Beach
Nelson and Weborg Point
For visiting the bluffs you can take the Bluff Rd within the Park.Sven’s Bluff
Lastly for the day I visited the Cana Island Lighthouse (GPS: 8800 E Cana Island Rd, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202)
From the parking lot you will need to cross over the causeway to reach the Cana Island which houses the light house.
Entry fee for the island is $7/person with an additional $5/person charge to climb up to the top of the Lighthouse.
Thereafter drive towards Green Bay for night stay. You can choose to stay in Sturgeon Bay too.
But I preferred Green Bay so as to drive down the Hwy 42 and drove along the Green Bay downtown to spend the evening and for dinner.
Day 2 Sunday:
Lake Michigan has sculpted amazing cave and inlets, to view the wind caves visit Cave Point County Park. These caves have been carved out of the limestone cliffs by strong winds. (GPS: 5360 Schauer Rd, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235)
Surrounding the Cave Point County Park on three sides is the Whitefish Dunes State Park.
Whitefish Dunes offers a mile of white sand beach and the highest sand dunes.
You can access the beach right next to the Nature Center.
This State Park is bike friendly and has many biker friendly trails so you might want to get your bike along.
My plan was to bath in the cool waters of Lake Michigan and relax on the beach.
That signaled the end of my trip to Door County and I began the drive back home to Chicago.
(Additionally people can also visit the Washington Island via a ferry from Sister Bay which has additional beaches - Pebble Beach, lighthouse and nature trails.
Also one can visit the different wineries located along highway 42 and highway 57 if interested)
The beauty of Door County was just enough to soothe our souls, treat ourselves and most importantly no blues for the wallet!