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.
As we only had one evening to enjoy the scenery (due to the whole, y’know, 24 hours in Door County thing), we dropped our bags off and hopped back in the car to drive to the edge of the peninsula.
^^I missed this Midwest sight – barn, field, and even a rainbow!
Door County peninsula is speckled with cute, small harbor towns – I don’t imagine you can go wrong. But we stopped in Fish Creek for dinner and a wander and it was perfect.
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).
And soon enough we were back in Michigan!
24 HOURS IN DOOR COUNTY, WISCONSIN
- Sturgeon Bay Best Western Maritime Inn
- 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
Pin it for later…
Thank you 🙂 all iPhone lol
The sunsets look incred!! Such beautiful colours ?
It was absolutely beautiful!!
The tipping jar really made my day. My sides are aching with the amount I laughed! Loved all your photographs. They are really pretty.
Hahaha I’m glad… a good tactic for more tips for sure!!
Oh wow, such pretty skies! I’ve never been to Wisconsin but it looks incredible. Gorgeous scenery and that food looks delicious!!
Yes I was really surprised at how beautiful it was!
Beautiful photos. I don’t know what filters you use but they are definitely working for you. As cliche as it sounds I love the idea of a road trip through those Midwest states and the great American countryside! I guess being British it’s just completely different the idea that you can drive for hours and not see one town. Thanks for sharing.
Haha thank you 🙂 Yes we do love a good roadtrip in the Midwest, if you ever go I really recommend a roadtrip through Michigan’s upper peninsula (which can end in Door County, WI!).
I love discovering new spots to explore! Especially somewhere close enough for a road trip 🙂 Saving this for later!
I hope you get to go!!
What a beautiful place. I’ve heard so much about Wisconsin, but fell in love with your photographs 1000%. I’d love to visit for myself!
Thank you 🙂 I hope you can go one day, especially in late summer/fall it is really beautiful.
I love visiting unexpected little gems. I definitely pinning this post for a future trip. I want to drive around all the Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes are the best!!
Good read. I have been to Door County in the fall and it was spectacular. Also visited some of the beautiful historic lighthouses in the area and camped by the lake. I love your photos, Fish Creek looks so quaint!
Yes I would LOVE to go back when the fall colors are on show.
What the heck is a breakfast burrito…on bread? Only in Wisconsin, lol!
I’ve always wanted to take the ferry across the lake, but it seems super expensive!
Haha well I’m gluten free so luckily they could accommodate for me but usually it would be in an actual burrito 🙂
Such a cute town. Never been to Wisconsin but on my list to visit!
Yes all the towns were so so pretty!
What great pictures and you highlighted some nice places, but if you didn’t go north of Fish Creek, you didn’t really experience the full Door County experience. I hope you get to come back again and drink a beer at Shipwrecked in Egg Harbor, eat an ice cream cone as big as your head in Ephraim, see the goats on the roof while eating Swedish pancakes at Al Johnson’s in Sister Bay, explore the workshop at Ellison Bay pottery, and visit Death’s Door in Gills Rock/Newport. It takes less than an hour to drive the entire peninsula and there is so much to do and see. Great shopping, eating, hiking, and exploring. I’m glad you mentioned the rainbows because they are very common here because the bay and the lake often create competing weather patterns. Come back and experience it again. You’ll love it here. Especially in the fall.