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Door County in the Off-Season

April 6, 2021

Door County in the Off-Season

April 6, 2021

We spent a weekend in Door County, WI in early March. While we were visiting, it wasn’t the “busy” season that is seen during the summer and even fall months in Door County.

If you’ve never been to Door County, WI, you must visit sometime. It is charming and full of things to do with activities for everyone. There are numerous county and state parks that offer amazing outdoor adventures from hiking, swimming, bicycling to kayaking and more. The towns that line the peninsula of Door County all have something unique to offer. Aside from outdoor adventure there are so many shops and restaurants to explore, allowing you to eat, drink, and shop your way through Door County if you wish. We could not fit in all that we wanted to do in one weekend so we hope to be back soon to experience even more that Door County has to offer!

We spent three nights in Door County in the town at the tip of the peninsula, Ellison Bay, very close to the Washington Island Ferry. Although the ferry does run during the winter, we did not go to the island this time. I have been to to the island on several other occasions- the lavender farms and Schoolhouse Beach are must-sees when the weather is warmer.

Our first night we just enjoyed time at our vacation rental. (To read more about our lodging in Door County, click here)


We got food (take-out) from two different places while in Door County.

  1. Mink River Basin Bar and Grill came highly recommended to us as the perfect place to grab casual sports-bar food.
Takeout from Mink River Basin in Ellison Bay, WI

The food from Mink River Basin did not dissapoint. The cheese curds were delicious and hit the spot. It was a quick turn around from when we called to place our order until it was ready for pick-up.

2. Wild Tomato Pizza was the second place we got take-out from while in Door County. This pizza place has become a staple for anyone visiting Door County. We ordered from Sister Bay, but there is also a location located in Fish Creek, WI.

Both locations offer indoor and outdoor (during the summer) dining options that give off a cozy and picturesque feel. The pizza was a big hit and we would order again when coming back to Door County.

Outdoor Activities:

We explored the outdoors mostly near our vacation rental.
We parked at the Hotz Memorial Town Park and from there explored some beautiful beaches. (Address: 349 Europe Bay Road, Ellison Bay, Wisconsin). While we were wishing it was warm enough to dip our toes in the crystal clear blue water, there was something special about being on the beach in March. Our kids loved finding the icicles that were left behind from the waves hitting the shores.

Newport State Park was also close by and we enjoyed exploring there as well. We found Newport State Park to beautiful and less popular than Peninsula State Park, which we kind of like. : )
Additionally, Newport State Park is a designated “dark sky park” meaning that it is perfect for star gazing. Pack some blankets and a late night snack and go view the stars!

While out and about, we stopped by Anderson Dock. Anderson Dock, located in Ephraim, is an iconic and historic Door County Landmark that has been around since 1858. This is a quick stop to see the landmark and maybe leave your mark on the dock with some graffiti.

We didn’t personally visit Cave Point County Park but this one has been on our list for a long time. We’d love to go back to Door County sometime to visit this park!

Shopping and Other Fun

During this trip we spent most of our time in Fish Creek and Sister Bay.

Fish Creek is a really cute downtown with almost everything in walking distance with streets lined with shops and restaurants.

  • We needed a few essentials so we first stopped at the Fish Creek Market right in downtown Fish Creek. This Market is a family-run general store that has a variety of food, wine and beer, gifts, and more!
  • We visited a few shops in Fish Creek. They line the streets and offer a variety of goods. Our favorite shop was Sister Golden which is a store with one of a kind pieces and gifts. It is so apparent that every item in the store was chosen with care. You can’t help but feel happy when you visit Sister Golden!
  • The Door County Confectionary (located in Fish Creek) was another hit. Especially for Sara, our resident candy and all things sugar – lover. The kids loved all the goodies we picked out and brought home to them.

After Exploring Fish Creek we ventured to Sister Bay. The day was running long so we didn’t have as much time to visit Sister Bay as we would have liked. However, there were a couple stores that stood out to us and we’d love to go spend more time in!

  • Bay Shore Outfitters in Sister Bay is a retailer with gear and apparel for any of your outdoor adventures. They also offer kayak and paddleboard rentals along with kayak tours and lessons for sun sport fun. If we were coming back during warmer weather, we’d definitely be checking these out!
  • Twisted Tree is a clothing store with the slogan “rooted in activewear” which is right up our alley. We ran out of time to visit this store before it closed, but our husbands visited and found some things for themselves even. Hoping to get back!
Out and about in Fish Creek, WI

There is so much to do in Door County that you cannot possibly do it all in one weekend. We think this is what has people coming back year after year. Door County is one quaint town after another, with views of Lake Michigan throughout. We will be back soon Door County!

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