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Porte Haven in Door County, Wisconsin

March 17, 2021

Porte Haven in Door County, Wisconsin

March 17, 2021

Door County Cabin Collective, owned by Jeremy and Caitlin Jeffrey, is exactly what their name says – a collection of cabins nestled in one of Wisconsin’s prized locations, Door County. We had been fans of Door County Cabin Collective after following them on Instagram for over a year and were very honored when we we were offered to be hosted by them to share their newest cabin, Porte Haven. Along with this home, they also have two other rentals on Clark Lake in Door County called The Point and The Bay – both also on our list! (A bonus is they have optional boat rentals for both of those cabins!)

Prior to our visit, the Jeffrey family sent a very comprehensive guide to Porte Haven with all the amenities, check-in information, hot spots in the area for all kinds of activities, and even included a list of what was included in the rental home. Porte Haven was purchased by the family last year and they’ve worked on some updates over the winter as they got it ready to rent. It’s been fun watching the progress from afar, via Instagram 🙂 The home is now taking reservations for future renters!

Arriving at Porte Haven

Porte Haven is located at the “thumb” of Door County – at the very tip near the Washington Island Ferry. It was a pretty drive up from Madison, especially when passing through the quaint small towns along the way like Bailey’s Harbor, Sister Bay and Ellison Bay. Just prior to arriving at the home, we drove on the well-known Jens Jensen ‘Winding Road’ – as the name implies. Majority of the kids though it was cool, but a couple were pretty carsick by the end 🙂

The driveway to Porte Haven is long and narrow with the home set back from the road on 2 acres of lakefront property, just a few minutes walk from the ferry to Washington Island. The home was so welcoming – if it was this pretty in March, it’s hard to imagine how nice it’ll be come summer!

Shortly after unloading, the doorbell rang with a gift box delivery from Door County Delivered. This is a company that provides curated and themed gift boxes with goodies local to Door County that can be delivered or shipped. It was full of fun stuff – chocolate covered cherries, pizza sauce from Wild Tomato, local soap and candle, some oils and all kinds of stuff! What a nice surprise it was – we’ll be keeping this in mind for future gift-giving, as it was a great service!

Gift box from Door County Delivered

Layout of the home

This home has so many surprises and quirks, none of which will be able to be described easily in this post, nor justified by our photos! The family that stayed prior to us is a professional photographer and wrote an amazing blog post and shared all their photos of the home. The best part? They’re in the process of creating a 3D virtual tour for the home – coming soon! We always appreciate these when planning a trip – it’s just so nice having a feel for the layout when traveling with young kids.

Visit their blog post here — they describe the home in detail, but the pictures are spectacular and truly capture all that Porte Haven has to offer in the off-season. Go ahead and pour yourself a cup of coffee and settle in. You’ll feel like you’re right there visiting along with them!

Our favorite things about Porte Haven:

As always, we love unique details in a home and this one surpassed expectations. It was completely different from the cabin vibe, instead feeling more like a coastal home. We enjoyed the home for it’s storage, having large closets and shelving units. The kitchen was fully stocked with everything needed for a weekend away from home, just bring your own food and beverages! Linens and towels are provided as well.

  • Dog friendly!
    • We’ll usually seek out dog-friendly rental homes when possible, although this is a rarity sometimes. For $100 fee per dog, up to 3 dogs with prior approval, it was cheaper for us to bring our two dogs than to board. Our 6-month old puppy loved sleeping in the master bedroom, along the large patio door overlooking Lake Michigan. Our 9-year old Lab was just happy snoozing in the kitchen around us the whole weekend.
  • Kid friendly!
Our kids loved the triple bunk beds in the bunk room!
  • The endless views and natural light
    • the unique porthole windows in the master bedroom (the namesake of the home, Porte Haven) faced northeast and captured the beautiful morning sunrises. We intentionally left the blinds open so we could wake naturally to the rising sun – it was awesome! The master bedroom also featured a large sliding door out to a small balcony overlooking the lake.
  • Downstairs, the other queen bedroom on the ground level overlooked a small patio on the side of the house. It was snow-covered while we were there, but apparently another firepit exists here too!
    • the entire backside of the house on the ground level has huge windows to look over the lake, along with an upper level deck and lower level patio with firepit (nighttime campfires = hearing the waves crash against the rocks was so cool)
  • The basement boathouse
    • a converted boathouse, now a game room and additional living and sleeping space, was the adult hangout after the kids were in bed. The kids slept on the second floor of the home so we never once had to worry about being too loud. Plus, the cool basement vibe made us feel like we were at a bar – somewhere none of us have been in over a year! The home had a ton of games too, plus the pool table and dart board
Playing games in the boathouse at night after the kids were in bed
  • The “Shauna” (nicknamed this by our kids!)
    • The upstairs bathroom features a steam shower sauna, something everyone wanted to try out! It was the perfect end to the nights after spending all day outside. A little built-in essential oils diffuser was a nice surprise too, so bring your own oils 🙂
  • Outdoor amenities
    • It’s no secret we love campfires. This home had the backyard patio firepit right on the edge of the lake, plus the side patio firepit that we didn’t even realize was there. On the deck off the living room, a Solo stove and a few chairs was another nice option.
    • A large yard to explore and long driveway left a lot of room for the kids to run. One afternoon, we moved the Solo Stove to the driveway while the kids made an obstacle course through the woods and played Freeze Tag around us.
    • A short walk in one direction took us to Port des Mort Park, while a short walk the other direction took us to the ferry landing. The ferry doesn’t run much this time of year, but it was still fun for the kids to see it coming and going.
    • We didn’t have much of an opportunity for it given the weather, but a screen porch off the living room would be spectacular for a Door County summer evening. It keeps the bugs away, yet still allows you to be outside and hear the waves crashing along the shore.

Exploring the nearby outdoor fun!

If it’s not already apparent, we had such a fun weekend away in Door County. Another family ended up joining us as well, our friends from Illinois who were in town and we invited along. With 11 people in the home (6 adults + 5 kids) and 2 big dogs, it never felt crowded. The kids generally kept to themselves upstairs in the bunk room and master bedroom, while the adults were able to spread out and enjoy time by the fireplace or relaxing in the basement boathouse. The kitchen had enough seating for our whole crew and some delicious meals were cooked up here!

Cooking breakfast in the kitchen , while also enjoying the views of Lake Michigan

We all left Door County feeling a little more refreshed and relaxed, yet not wanting to return to the “real world” again. The kids were asking when we could return, so hopefully we’ll be able to come back and see what the other seasons look like!

A huge thank you to Caitlyn and Jeremy – for perfecting this rental and sharing it with us and others. We love that you are “dog people” too, because those are the best kind of people. You provided impecable hospitality, readily available by text and email for any questions along the way and providing the best suggestions for things to do in the area! (Delicious bar food recommendation = Mink River Basin!) They’ve got over 30+ years experience visiting the area and love to share it with others.

Interested in booking your own stay at Porte Haven or the other Door County Cabin Collective properties? Don’t forget to sign up for their email list for exclusive rental openings and priority reservations. Check out their website for all the information here:

Website: Door County Cabin Collective


If you want to see even more amazing details about Porte Haven, read this blog post by The Sojourn Family Blog.

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