Door County Wisconsin's Premier Vacation Guide

Want to capture some winter magic, like you see in movies or read about in books? You must try Door County in the Winter, because once you have been here in the Winter, you will indeed return! There’s plenty to do and nothing to do, all at the same time. Winter is truly the “quiet season”, so plan to enjoy the tranquil times the Door County Peninsula has to offer, where both traveler and resident are at ease, have time to relax and talk, and have fun! So here are some of the things you should try out this Winter in Door County

1. Winter Breakfast! One of our favorite things-to-do! Is there anything cozier that a nice warm winter breakfast at an old inn? You remember pictures from story books, or Currier and Ives prints? Well, imagine no more and live it! Get yourself to the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek – there simply is no better place for a Winter breakfast! The Inn was built in 1896, and is a wonderful country experience as the snow is falling and drifting outside while you watch through the windowpanes from a warm and cozy inside with great people, great food, super atmosphere, and a roaring fire! Best table in the house for this: as you enter the dining room, the corner table by the windows to the left! Don't miss this Winter experience - you will love it! We love this place!

Also, catch Winter Concerts at the White Gull Inn, at 8PM

Dates of event:

1/12/11: Lou and Peter Berryman
2/02/11: John McCutcheon
2/16/11: Antje Duvekot
3/02/11: The Waymores
4/06/11: The Honey DewDrops

Call 920-868-3517 or 888-364-9542. - Please tell them that sent you!

2. How about a Winter Wonderland Tour? Check out Door County Trolley for lots of winter fun! Like a WINTER WONDERLAND TOUR! Trolley guests will tour/taste at an award winning winery, followed by a cozy sleigh ride through the Door’s most wintery landscape. Top it all off with a fireside lunch at the wonderful White Gull Inn. Call 920-868-1100 for reservations. Info at . $58 per person (plus tax). Includes trolley transportation, fireside lunch, and sleigh ride. Limited seating available. See our Review of Door County Trolley! And tell them sent you!

2010-2011 Dates
JANUARY: Saturday January 1st, 9th, 15th, 22nd, and 26th, 2011.

FEBRUARY: Saturday February 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th, 2011MARCH: Saturday March 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th.

3. Stay at a wonderful B&B or Inn! There are many beautiful inns in Door County, and we have reviewed quite a few on our website here including all of these below (or go to our page where you can Read our Reviews of all of these inns).

Some of our highly recommended inns include (please make sure to tell them you saw them on - that helps keep the site fresh and viable!):

Fish Creek
The White Gull Inn: Andy or Jan at 920-868-3517
Thorp House: Christine at 920-868-2444

Eagle Harbor Inn: Natalie or Nedd at 920-854-2121, 800-324-5427
Village Green Lodge: Sue or Steve: 920-854-2515, 800-471-8277
Lodgings at Pioneer Lane: Hugh or Alicia: 920-854-7656

Sturgeon Bay
The White Lace Inn: Dennis or Bonnie at 920-743-1105
Reynolds House: Heather at 920-746-9771
Scofield House: Vickie or Dan at 920-743-7727
Black Walnut Guest House: Geri or Mike: 920-743-8892
The Chanticleer Guest House: Darrin or Bryon: 920-746-0334
Inn at Cedar Crossing: Steve or Kelly at 920-743-4200

Baileys Harbor
Inn at Windmill Farm: Ed: 920-868-9282
Blacksmith Inn on the Shore: Joan or Bryan at 800-769-8619

Egg Harbor
Cornerstone Suites: Leif: 888-495-3005 or 920-868-3005
Door County Lighthouse Inn: Claire and Frank: 920-868-9088
The Feathered Star: Sandy at 877-743-4066 or 920-743-4066
Wildflower BYB & Shoppe: Judy: 920-868-9030

Other really nice places to stay are:

Baileys Harbor
The Baileys Harbor Yacht Club in Baileys Harbor: 920-839-2336
Baileys Harbor Ridges Resort: 930-839-2127
Gordon Lodge: 920-839-2331

Sturgeon Bay
The Westwood Shores Waterfront Resort in Sturgeon Bay: 920-746-4057
Bridgeport Waterfront Resort, in Sturgeon Bay: 920-746-9919
Glidden Lodge in Sturgeon Bay: Bill at 920-746-3900

Sister Bay
Country House Resort in Sister Bay: Joan or Jerry at 800-424-0041
Open Hearth Lodge: 920-854-4890
Pheasant Park Resort in Sister Bay: Michelle at 800-392-3921
Scandinavian Lodge in Sister Bay: call 888-645-6343
Birchwood Lodge in Sister Bay: Mary at 866-854-7195

Egg Harbor
Newport Resort in Egg Harbor: Sandy: 920-868-9900, 800-468-6160
Bay Point Inn: 800-707-6660
Door County Bluff House: 847-778-3202

Fish Creek
Hilltop Inn in Fish Creek: Kelly: 888-868-3556
Homestead Suites: Paul or Kevin: 800-686-6621, or 920-868-3748
AppleCreek Resort Motel & Suites: 800-569-0059
White Gull Inn: 920-868-3517

Edgewater Resort in Ephraim: 920-854-2734
Eagle Harbor Inn: 920-854-2121
High Point Inn in Ephraim: Scott: 800-595-6894

Park’s Edge Lakeshore Homes and Cottages: 414-481-2654

Read all our reviews on these Inns and Resorts on our Review Page.

Snuggle in front a fireplace with a nice bottle of Door County wine (watch our Winery Video to your right!) and enjoy your Winter get-away!

4. Cross-country ski! Door County has gorgeous cross-country ski trails throughout the State Parks! Try Peninsula State Park for sure - they even have candlelight runs sometimes just for fun (snow permitting of course)! Sometimes hiking will be substituted for skiing if no snow. Note vehicle stickers required. Check our calendar of events.

Whitefish Dunes State Park: 920-823-2400 1-888-936-7463).

Candlelight Ski January 29 2011, 5:30 - 8:30PM ADDRESS: 3701 Clark Lake Rd, Sturgeon Bay (Candlelight Hike replaces ski if not enough snow)

Newport State Park: 920-854-2500 Candlelight Ski. 2/12/2011
ADDRESS: 475 County Hwy NP, Ellison Bay
5:30 - 8:30 PM

Peninsula State Park: 920-868-3258
Candlelight Ski: 5:30 - 8PM: 02/05/2011


Bayshore Outdoor Store in Sister Bay: Snowshoes, Cross-County Skis, Sledding Tubes and lots more! 920-854-7598
Nor-Door Sport & Cyclery: 920-868-2275 They rent cross-country skis, ice skates, snow shoes and more! Great place!

5. Snowmobile - there are miles and miles of snowmobile trails in Door County that wind through the Peninsula! If you like snowmobiling, or want to try it, there aren't too many better places than Door County! Bring your own snowmobile – but here are a couple of places that service them, just in case!

Door County Motorsports: 920-743-3999 in Sturgeon Bay
Harbor Marine & Motorsports, 2556 Hwy F, Baileys Harbor - 920-839-2930

And yes, there are a few dealers up here where you can purchase your very own!

6. Snowshoe! There are even more places to hike and snowshoe! So bring your own snowshoes for a romantic little outing, or rent them when you are up here - but call ahead to reserve just to make sure. Do something different!

Bayshore Outdoor Store in Sister Bay: Snowshoes, Cross-County Skis, Sledding Tubes and lots more! 920-854-7598
Nor-Door Sport & Cyclery: 920-868-2275 They rent cross-country skis, ice skates, snow shoes and more!

7. Sleighride! This is your chance to stop by the snowy woods! Want something right out of Robert Frost? Take a sleigh ride in Door County, through the snow-puffed woods on a two-horse open sleigh! We have done it a few times - take a camera because you will want to remember every moment - it is just awesome and awe-inspiring! Do yourself a favor and take a sleigh ride – there is nothing else quite like it!

The best: call John at Mayberry's Carriages, in Egg Harbor, 920-743-2352. Through March 31 2011, snow permitting!

If you sleigh through the wood at Orchard Country Winery & Market (GREAT PLACE) , John can even give you a lesson in the many varieties of cherries grown in Door County. Tell John, please, that sent you!

8. Ice Fishing! Brrrr! Yes - you too can ice fish, and actually thousands of people do. This is a very cold thing to do, and you have to be very careful of the ice conditions, etc. You can get the best information about ice fishing from the local bait and tackle shops, inns and other local towns folk. Fishing Hotline: 920-743-7046

9. Door County Trolley’s Progressive Dinner - Trolley guests will experience unique stops for hors d’ oeuvres/cocktails at a surprise location, an elegant dinner at "The Inn at Kristofers and a decadent dessert at a Romantic Inn". Selected Saturday’s only in January thru June.( $73/person.) Call 920-868-1100 for details/reservations. (Trolleys are heated). Pickup at 5pm at Orchard Country Winery.

2010 - 2011 Dates

December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18

January 7, 8

10. Visit some bars and talk to the locals. Winter is great for people having and taking the time to chat and relax after the busy summer season. Visit some local bars, and enjoy the conversation! Some good talking places: (see our reviews of bars, taverns and saloons on our website and read about them, then visit!). NOTE: some have limited hours in Winter, like Thursdays – Sundays, or some just weekends.

Casey's Inn in Egg Harbor, right on Hwy 42: 920-868-3038
Coyote Roadhouse in Bailey's Harbor, right on Kangaroo Lake, 920-839-9192
Bayside Tavern in Fish Creek, right on Hwy 42 (a classic): 920-868-3441
Husby's in Sister Bay, 920-854-2624
Weisgerber's Cornerstone Pub in Baileys Harbor: 920-839-9001
Sister Bay Bowl, the bar section, right across from Husby's: 920-854-2841
The Blue Ox in Bailey's Harbor, on Hwy 57: 920-839-2771
The Hitching Post, at County T in Sturgeon Bay (see Hughy!): 920-743-5735
AC Tap in Bailey's Harbor, between Sister Bay and Baileys Harbor: 920-839-2426

11. Door County Coffee! No better time to warm up than now, and with one of the greatest cups of coffee in the world! Visit the Door County Coffee & Tea Company about 3 or so miles south of Egg Harbor in the town of Carlsville! Owner Vicki Wilson roasts her own beans and has a tremendous assortment of flavors, like Door County Christmas (one of our very favorites), White Christmas, Southern Pecan and more. She also has straight, unflavored roasts, like Sumatra and more. Take the time to stop in and smell the coffee . . . and take some home too! This place is a real find! They also sell jams, light lunches, and other country items! This is GREAT stuff! You can put together some wonderful holiday gifts for the coffee-lovers on your list!

Door County Coffee & Tea Company, 5773 HWY 42, Sturgeon Bay (Carlsville) - 920-743-8930 or 800-856-6613 and please tell them that sent you! We love this place!!

12. Historic Sturgeon Bay! Over the last 10 or 11 years, they have revitalized the downtown area of Sturgeon Bay, and did a magnificent job! Stroll down 3rd St and enjoy the many quaint shops in near turn-of-the-century buildings, like The Dancing Bear, coffee houses, Perry's Cherry Diner (a 1950's diner), restaurants and inns. Sturgeon Bay really IS part of Door County, and at least you should take the 16-mile drive south of Egg Harbor into town and enjoy it! Or even stay in Sturgeon Bay. And check the calendar for special events.

Enjoy the town - eat at the Inn at Cedar Crossing on a snowy day or night - you'll like it - trust us!

How about gourmet popcorn (carmel, cashew, more) and handmade fudge? Stop in Door County Candy on 3rd Avenue – see Terry and get some of the best gourmet goods around!

Find some wonderful clothing and accessories at Wilkins and Olander on Historic Third Avenue, including huge Vera Bradley collection, Pandora jewelry, Switch Flops and more. Watch the video to your right!

There are many beautiful B&Bs and Resorts in Sturgeon Bay worth checking out!

13. SWIM! Are we crazy? Well, some people will think that the members of the Door County Polar Bear Club are as they dive into the icy waters of Lake Michigan, off Jacksonport Lakeside Park at noon on January 1st! They've been doing it for 20 years already! Call 920-823-2231 for info! Brrrrrrr.

OR you can check out the winter hours at one of Door County's YMCAs! A whole lot warmer!

Door County YMCA Northern Center in Fish Creek, 3866 Gibraltar Rd, Fish Creek - 920-868-3660

YMCA, 17 S. 5th Ave, Sturgeon Bay - 920-743-4949 OR 1-800-287-4949

14. SUNSET WATCHING! Where you ask? Try it at Sunset Park, one of the hidden gems in Door County! It's in Fish Creek - stay on Main Street heading towards Founder's Square, The Main Street Motel, The White Gull Inn - and keep going to the end of the road. Park the car - there is a little park here, and you can climb down right near the shore and watch the sunset over the icy Green Bay waters! Spectacular! Don’t forget the camera – there are some spectacular pictures you can take in winter!

Or try heading up to Ephraim and watching the sun set from there – right from the beach – truly wonderful!

Or try the Egg Harbor down around the dock area!

15. Cave Point! While you're in the outdoorsy mood, head over to Cave Point, another very much photographed site in Door County. It's over on the Quiet Side (the Lake Michigan side), near Jacksonport and Whitefish Dunes State Park - head south on Hwy 57 from Bailey's Harbor. This is a bluff of rock overlooking the Green Bay waters, and it produces wonderful sprays of splashing waters in summer as the waves crash the rocks below, and it takes on an icy chilly, mysterious cloak in winter! Be careful, watch for ice - don't slip. And bring the camera for sure – you will want to frame a shot or two! This is one awesome spot year round! See our Cave Point video to your right!

16. Tour Door County By Air! Yes, you can tour the County by air when you go on a tour conducted by Orion Flight Services! Here is the contact info - call ahead of course to see when they are flying! P.O. Box 845, 3418 Park Drive, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235-0845 - Phone: 920-743-6952 or 1-888- 743-6952, or Fax: 920-743-7874

17. Photo Opportunities! Don't forget the camera! The icy water scenes, and the tranquility of the interior peninsula with its beautiful old barns, rolling field and trees all make a wonderful backdrop for people picture, or just plane landscape pictures that you will cherish for a long time.

Great Spots:

Sunset Park (again, beautiful and scenic water, ice and island views); Fish Creek

Cave Point - see above #15! See our Cave Point video!

Take a trip across County E from Egg Harbor to Bailey's Harbor - lots of beautiful open fields, trees and Kangaroo Lake - which you can cross on a causeway by car.

Gills Rock - the Top of the Thumb! Great water and island shots available here

Peninsula State Park - climb Lookout Tower and take some panoramic pics!

Ellison Bay Bluffs: watch for the signs on the left as you head north into Ellison Bay - and find this bluff above the trees for a great view of the icy waters of Green Bay. See our Ellison Bluff County Park video!

18. Visit a Gallery! Many of the galleries have some winter hours especially on weekends, or by appointment – so why not take this quiet time to enjoy some art, and maybe even select a special piece. Especially visit: See our Gallery page! Call to make sure they can see you when you are there. Fun places and please tell them that sent you!

Ed Fenendael Watercolor Excitement
3829 Fairview Road
Bailey's Harbor, Wisconsin
Ed Fenendael

Hands On Art Studio
3655 Peninsula Players Road
(head west from Hwy 42, about 1 ¾ miles)
Fish Creek

19. Restaurants! Well, you'll probably want to dine out, so here are some restaurants that will maintain some winter hours as far as we know, mostly weekends, some from Thurs - Sun. Call ahead and Read our Reviews: and please tell them that sent you! Read Our Reviews...

The Bistro (Egg Harbor): 920-868-4800 (Review)
Chef Andy's Nautical Inn in Sturgeon Bay: Tell Chef Andy we sent you: 920-743-339 ! (Read our Review)
Harbor Fish Market & Grille, Baileys Harbor: 920-839-9999 (See our Review)
Greenwood Supper Club, Fish Creek at Hwys A and F (open F - Sun) 920-839-2451 (See our Review)
The Cookery: 920- 868-2372: rebuilt and better than ever! (Review)
Cooper's Corner, Fish Creek: 920-868-2667! Awesome! (Review)
The White Gull Inn: a Door County classic: 920- 868-3517 (Review)
Mission Grille, Sister Bay: 920-854-9070 (Review)
The Waterfront in Sister Bay: 920- 854-5491 (Review)
Coyote Roadhouse, Baileys Harbor at Kangaroo Lake: 920-839-9192 (See our Review)
Mink River Basin, Ellison Bay: 920-854-2250 (See our Review)
Family Thyme Restaurant, Sturgeon Bay: 920-818-0520 - tell Angie hi! (Review)
Inn at Cedar Crossing: 920- 743-4249 (Review)
Alexander’s in Sister Bay: 920-854-7972 – tell Jill we sent you! And Read our Review!
Casey’s Inn in Egg Harbor: 920-868-3038 – tell Matt we sent you!

20. SHOP TILL YOU . . . well, get too c-c-c-cold? Not too many years ago, even on the weekends, you would not find many shops open in Winter. Well, there are a bunch of and galleries open on the weekends in Winter! So, you will find plenty to do if you like shopping, and probably be able to come home with a treasure or two! So have some fun and shop the winter blues away in Door County!

21. Fish Creek Winter Festival! You never know what to expect at the Fish Creek Winter Festival! Sleigh rides, Kites over the Bay, food, music, fun! It’s really fun event, February 4 - 6 2011. This year’s activities include a “fun and funky” parade, the always-popular chili cook-off, family games, trolley and sleigh rides, winter wine festival, Kites Over the Bay, live music and great food. Peninsula Art School will serve up homemade and the Door Community Auditorium will host the now infamous 6th Annual Door County Idol. Call 920-868-2316, 800- 577-1880 or We have enjoyed this year after year, and you will too!

22. New Years Eve Candlelight Ride – Sturgeon Bay
Date of Event: 12/31/10
At Kurtz Corral. Ride through the woods of Door County. After the ride enjoy a cup of hot cider, wine or champagne around the fireplace. Call for trail conditions. Ride leaves at 4:00 PM if conditions are right. For reservations and information call: 920-743-6742. See general Kurtz Corral video! Tell Jim Kurtz that Dan at sent you!

23. New Year’s Day Parade in Egg Harbor - Well, OK, here’s another one! This is a fun parade on New Year’s Day in Egg Harbor, and yes, YOU can be in it! Just show up! 1PM no matter what the weather is like! Fun event and a great way to kick off the New Year!!

24. Chill at a great Spa! With the snow flying outside, be cozy on the inside as you get a special spa treatment, massage and more at one of Door County's premiere spas! We love going to Lavender Spa ~ Egg Harbor and Spa at Sacred Grounds in Ephraim. You deserve it!'

Date of Event: 2/05/11 - At Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery & Market from 10 AM-5 PM. Cure the winter blues with live music 1-4 PM, free product tastings, door prizes, cherry pit spit competition 1:30 PM, cherry brats, hot soup and baked goods, horse-drawn sleigh rides, wine glass painting...and more! Fun for all! For info call 920-868-3479 or 866-946-3263

AND LOTS OF other stuff to do in the Winter on the beautiful Door County Peninsula! See our Calendar of Events for more details! And open the Video Gallery at the top of any page and choose "Seasons in Door County" to see more Winter videos!

Always check with establishments ahead of time to make sure of schedule, cancellations etc. Things can change without notice.