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Door County, Wisconsin

getaway-chicago logo All of Wisconsin's Door Peninsula on an extended weekend is doable, but not recommended, per antique-lover Neil. “There’s too much to savor in this very unique Midwest destination,” he says. Alan thinks a long weekend is plenty, but worth it!

Once merely the gateway to the Door Peninsula (where better things could be seen and done), Sturgeon Bay has metamorphosed into a destination itself. Some old, some new, now there’s stuff to see and do, making this a good base for further venturing up the Peninsula. In no particular order of preference: The Door County Historical Museum, The Miller Art Center (local and regional art), the Door County Maritime Museum, and the Fairfield Center for Contemporary Art (topical exhibits and a permanent collection). Less exalted, but fun and perhaps beneficial: Younker’s Department Store, Bookworld (definitely pick-up Door County general and arts maps here), Sage (for a savory meal), The Inn at Cedar Crossing (good fare and an inviting hotel), Jefferson Street Antiques, and Bay Ship Yard (large ship building). doorI1For a another place to stay and something unique check out the Firefly Cottages on Lake Michigan (, Neil's favorite for years.

With the county map and a sense of direction (“Which way is North?” Neil asks), the Peninsula is wide open. Two main routes lead from Sturgeon Bay: Wis. 42 along the bay side and Wis. 57 on the lake side. An alternative for 42 is County B (leading to Egg Harbor), but for 57 there’s no comparable alternative. The map makes using County roads easy, if you'd like to meander a bit.

Egg Harbor and Fish Creek are fun to visit. Both have a summer-at-the-beach atmosphere with many restaurants of different types and shops offering a wide variety of merchandise. In Egg Harbor, the Main Street Market is great for food stuffs for a picnic.  For those interested in antiques (Neil), before Egg Harbor on 42 there are the Peninsula Antiques Center, the Olde Orchard Antique Mall, and Bay Trading Antiques. Between Egg Harbor and Fish Creek there’s Shades of the Past. In Fish Creek, another interesting source for food stuffs is the Fish Creek Market which has the added attraction of the Lower Deck, a great place for casual attire at very reasonable prices. A bit north of Fish Creek on 42 is the entrance to Peninsula State Park, a must-go destination with wooded paths and striking views of Green Bay from atop limestone cliffs.doorI2

At Fish Creek make a choice. Continue north on 42 or swing east and south on County F to hook up with Wis. 57 in Bailey’s Harbor for destinations on the “quiet side.” Neil chose F to see the Peninsula Art School (good exhibits) and to stop at the Maple Grove Gallery (hand made clothing and jewelry) before stopping in Bailey’s Harbor at the Ridges Sanctuary (great flora, fauna and information). At least Alan liked the last choice. In Bailey's Harbor, Zahn House or Harbor House (lodgings), Harbor Fish Market & Grille or Common House (food), Hjertehjem (clothing) and – an absolute must – Yum-Yum Tree (ice cream and candy) are good stops. Proceed down 57 to Jacksonport and possibly the best antique shop (LaMere House – “Haven't we had enough?” Alan asks) on the peninsula before continuing south for a stop at Cave Point County Park to soak up some vistas before heading back to Sturgeon Bay. More territory can be covered, but we don’t recommend it. September 2006

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