There are some places that beg you to return to them. They are so magical, so relaxing and offer endless opportunities to explore. Door County, Wisconsin is one of them. If you are a city family preferring urban settings this is not a destination for you. But if your family loves the outdoors, farm to table food and some of the best sunsets you will ever see, I highly advise planning a family vacation here.
I have spent time in Door County over the years first as a child myself, then as a couple, followed by my family but this past summer, I got the chance to spend a long weekend with one of my 3 kids. A priceless memory for us and we even added a few more things to our list.
Door County is a peninsula extending out in Lake Michigan on the east coast of Wisconsin made up of small towns. The trees far outnumber the restaurants and although some of the towns feel busy during the height of the summer, it overall has a quiet, slow pace to it.
In no particular order is our list of summer must-dos as a family in Door County. It’s an hour from Sturgeon Bay in the south to Gills Rock in the north of the peninsula so all of these are easily doable on a vacation:
- Watch a sunset in Ellison Bay.
- Get ice-cream at the Door County Ice-cream Factory.
- Spend an afternoon at Hands On Art Studio.
- Taste everything cherry and run through an outdoor maze at Seaquist Orchards.
- Say hi to the animals at The Farm.
- Bike or hike in Whitefish Dunes State Park.
- Go for a swim in Clark Lake.
- Grab dinner at Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza and Grill in Sister Bay after spending the day on the beach nearby.
- Drive the windy road on Hwy 42 just north of Gills Rock.
- Stop for the best pie at Bea’s Ho-Made Products after the windy road.
Clark Lake is our favorite place to rent a house. The lake is shallow enough to explore nearby beaches by taking a “water hike”. It’s perfect for small kids and right next to Whitefish Dunes State Park. We recommend this house*.
Gill’s Harbor is at the northern tip and is quiet and peaceful – great for getting away from it all. Lucky for us our Creative Director, Door County Mom, has a place here.
Another recommendation is the Wickman House, offering amazing food that parents will enjoy and a great orchard and area outside for the kids to run around while waiting for dinner.
Comment below if you’ve ever watched a sunset in Door County. If you haven’t I promise you’ll thank me for the recommendation.
For more ideas with kids in Door County during the Fall read more here.
*Always check reviews as things change.
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