Recently I spent less than 24 hours in Door County, Wisconsin, and it was a 24 hours full of scenic drives, wood fired pizza, pastel sunsets, and rainbow-covered wheat fields.
I’d only been to Wisconsin once before, and that was on a disastrous college visit in the depths of a long-ago winter. Other than that, my opinion of the Midwest state has predominantly been formed by a combination of a cheese-shaped eraser that my dad gave me post-business trip to Milwaukee, and my recent binge watching of the Netflix series Making a Murderer.
Needless to say I’m not a Wisconsin expert?
However, when my family ended our UP Roadtrip with 24 hours in Door County, Wisconsin, a gorgeous peninsula that juts out into Lake Michigan, I got a bit more of the Wisconsin flavor! (It was cheesy and I liked it!).
^^ incredible pastel sunset in the little town of Fish Creek
We began our 24 hours in Door County on a late Sunday afternoon after a long day of driving west across the UP. There are lots of cute B&B’s in the area, and of course my favorite, Airbnb (click here for $33 off!), but we’d opted for a no frills stay at a Best Western hotel in Sturgeon Bay, the “big city” of the peninsula.
^^I missed this Midwest sight – barn, field, and even a rainbow!
The little lake-side town almost has a cape cod feel, with its shingled roofs, sprawling but quaint boutiques, and boats bobbing in the harbor. Maybe it was the humid summer air and the slightly fishy smell of the lake, but I felt like I was back in New England!
^^That is, until you come across something like this…. Bait vending machines. Can you honestly get more Midwest than this?!
^ my fisherman dad having a field day.
I don’t have any photos (testament to how good the food was?), but we stopped at Wild Tomato Wood Fired Pizza for dinner and boy was it the right choice. Don’t you love when you travel somewhere with no prior knowledge and every decision you make ends up being the right one?? This place was packed and we had to wait 45 minutes for a table but it was worth it. I loved the gluten free pizza and they even had cider in house from my favorite randomly tiny cidery we discovered in Washington last year!!
Fish Creek was also the prettiest place to watch this bright sunset. ^^
The next morning saw us packed up and ready for our journey out of Door County and across Lake Michigan! Naturally we needed a hearty breakfast…
Which we definitely got at Geat Real Café in Sturgeon Bay! The café has tons of gluten free options – I enjoyed the Mexican burrito on gluten free bread. The food is super fresh and healthy and local and hand made!
^^my parents munching away
The café is just a block from the lake and in a great area to wander through, shopping, exploring, and antiquing.
And if you get hungry (or caffeine deprived) there is another great Sturgeon Bay coffee shop, Glas, nearby and overlooking the lake.
^^maybe the best marketing ever?
Soon it was time for us to leave Door County and journey back to Michigan via the Lake Michigan ferry. I was happy to drive through Manitowoc, the nearby county (home to the Making a Murderer documentary).
24 HOURS IN DOOR COUNTY, WISCONSIN
- Drive the peninsula
- Visit the boutiques and harbor of Fish Creek
- Explore and antique shop in Sturgeon Bay
- Dinner at Wild Tomato Wood Fired Pizza in Fish Creek
- Breakfast at Get Real Café in Sturgeon Bay
- Coffee at Glas in Sturgeon Bay
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