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Exploring the Picturesque Peninsula and Outdoor Adventures of Door County 

Welcome to Door County, Wisconsin – where the waters of Lake Michigan lap the shores, and the adventures are as plentiful as the stars at night. Known as the Cape Cod of the Midwest, Door County is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts for its plethora of things to do from kayaking to biking. We took a journey to Door County and explored the best adventures with our top-rated outfitters and guides. Here’s your guide to squeezing every drop of fun out of this picturesque peninsula.

Day 1: Biking Cave Point Park & Hiking Mink River Reserve

Morning: Kick off your adventure in Jacksonport, the gateway to northern Door County’s adventures. After settling into your accommodation, grab a 2-hour electric bike rental and a map to explore Cave Point County Park and Whitefish Bay Dunes (~8-10 miles total).  Or join a guided biking tour with Peninsula Kayak Company to tap into the knowledge of a local expert who knows all the secret spots, ensuring you see the best sights without the hassle of planning.

This stunning natural landscape is arguably Door County’s most iconic. Adored by divers, photographers, swimmers, and hikers alike, the sculpted rock face, cliffs and caves that border the blue waters of Lake Michigan epitomize the essence of Door County.  Take in the thundering waves and photo-worthy cliff views.

Lunch: Refuel with a casual lunch at Island Fever Rum Bar & Grill in Jacksonport, a short walk after returning the bikes.  Lounge in their large outdoor area with some Wisconsin cheese curds.

Afternoon: Post-lunch, check out the Mink River Estuary Preserve, a unique hiking spot near Ellison Bay. It offers a chance to explore one of Wisconsin’s most pristine freshwater estuaries. The trails here are relatively easy, less trafficked than some of the larger parks, and provide fantastic opportunities for bird watching and enjoying tranquil river scenery. It’s also a great place to SUP or kayak.

Dinner: Cap off the day with dinner at The Shoreline Restaurant, a spot beloved for its local flavors and stunning views of Green Bay.  Enjoy their cozy, scenic setting and menu that highlights the best of Door County’s seasonal ingredients. 

Evening: Either before or after dinner, make time to see the sunset at Ellison Bluff State Natural Area – it’s truly epic.

Day 2: Horseshoe Island & Peninsula State Park Kayaking

Morning: After breakfast, head to Peninsula State Park for the Eagle Bluff half day kayak and hiking tour (reserve in advance).  Well suited to beginners and experienced paddlers alike, this guided tour captures the best of Peninsula State Park with Kayak Guide Justin, a certified Wisconsin naturalist.  You’ll paddle your kayaks to Horseshoe Island for a short walk to explore the island and then head to the famous Eagle Bluff of Peninsula State Park. After reaching shore again, you’ll take a short walk among the ancient sea caves of Eagle Bluff trail. 

Lunch: Picnic lunch is included with the kayak tour!

Afternoon: Rent stand up paddleboards in Sister Bay with Door County Kayak to extend your water time on the gorgeous shores of Door County. Choose from an inflatable (easy to transport) or non-inflatable (get right out on the water!) boards.  Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced paddler, the calm waters of Sister Bay are perfect for everyone.

Dinner: Enjoy waterfront dining in Sister Bay at Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza, boasting Door County’s first wood fired ovens.

Day 3: Hiking Peninsula State Park

Morning: After a breakfast of Swedish pancakes with lingonberries at Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay, hike off the calories at the Eagle Trail in Peninsula State Park. It’s a bit challenging but totally worth it for the views of Eagle Harbor and the surrounding bluffs.

Afternoon: if you have time before departure, explore local art galleries and shops in Fish Creek.  Before you hit the road, stop at the Blue Horse Beach Cafe for a fresh lunch with stunning views and a relaxing beachside vibe.

Door County Adventure Map 

Door County – Good to Know

  • Budget: $$-$$$
  • Main Airports: Austin Straubel International Airport (GRB) in Green Bay is the closest major airport.  Alternatively, Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) may offer more direct flights and is a scenic 3-hour drive along the lakeshore.
  • When to go: Summer and early fall offer the best weather for outdoor activities.
  • Adventure Rating: ★★★★★ hiking, biking, kayaking and more!
  • Family Friendly: ★★★★★
  • Public Transportation: ★★☆☆☆ Renting a car is recommended.
  • Local Charm: ★★★★★

Whether you’re looking to chill out or charge hard, Door County is a fantastic destination to enjoy the great outdoors. Pack your bags and prepare to be wowed by the natural beauty and endless adventure on the peninsula. 

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