This past weekend we headed up to Door County, Wisconsin for our very first time. For years, I’ve heard colleagues and friends talk about how wonderful Door County is, and I honestly never had it on my radar until recently. Spending a good portion of this past summer in Michigan, it was only respectful to give Wisconsin a fair shake, so I began asking around, researching and crafting a weekend itinerary that turned out to be more than we could have ever hoped for!
If quaint towns, picturesque light houses, old-fashioned ice cream parlors, rolling golf courses, adorable boutiques, tasty bistros and stunning water views are your thing, Door County should certainly be on your bucket list.
We decided to stay at a bed and breakfast, At The Water’s Edge in Algoma. The reviews were all positive and the location being just south of all of the towns we wanted to explore in Door County, I figured it was the perfect starting point for our Wisconsin weekend.
We headed on our road trip right after school on Friday afternoon, stopping for dinner in Milwaukee and continued the rest of the four hour trek from Naperville, arriving quite late and in total (kind of eerie) darkness. The hosts of At the Water’s Edge left us a lovely welcome note along with the keys to our room. We were exhausted and although we couldn’t see Lake Michigan we certainly knew it was close by, as were immediately lulled into a deep sleep by the sound of crashing waves.
Upon awaking and drawing back the curtains, we were in awe. The panoramic Lake Michigan view was stunning! An expansive deck encompasses the entire first level and is the ideal spot for enjoying morning coffee sunrises and relaxing cocktail sunsets, reading, lounging, you name it! Besides the enormous deck, each of the seven rooms has its own private entrance and personal theme– our tropical-themed room even had its own expansive private balcony.
If you are a nature lover, this bed and breakfast is for you. It has recently been named a certified wildlife habitat with a plethora of bird species, ground hogs, chipmunks, squirrels, and other critters. Both mornings, we headed down the backyard staircase which directly leads to a secluded beach where we enjoyed the sunrise and creating beautiful artistic stone towers.
Kari and Dave, the owners, could not have been more hospitable. They made us feel so welcome, like we were visiting family. They prepared the most delicious breakfasts–hot coffee upon waking, homemade Mexican quiche, caramel apple pancakes, fresh fruit, muffins and pastries–scrumptious comfort food for a crisp fall morning.
The quiet solitude, beautiful views and overall serene setting At The Water’s Edge set the perfect tone for a weekend to reconnect and our family truly valued this special time.
After the hearty breakfast, we drove about 45 minutes to Cave Point County Park. The drive into the park rendered us speechless. The cascading canopy of color over the meandering country lanes was something out of a fall fairy tale. Hiking the golden trails and craggy bluffs, and soaking in the stunning cliff-side views, as the spray of the cold crashing waves hits your face was exhilarating. We literally took well over 100 photos. The beautiful rock formations on the beach also occupied us for quite some time. If you need to rejuvenate your soul and reconnect with nature, this is the spot. Without question, Cave Point is a must if you visit Door County.
After our invigorating two hour hike, we drove up Highway 57 to check out the quaint town of Baileys Harbor. We then continued on to Fish Creek, planning on staying here for a while, since the town was celebrating a Jack-O-Lantern Festival. We were quite hungry by this point and enjoyed a great lunch at Juniper’s Gin Joint. After lunch, we explored the adorable town, fully adorned for the fall seasons, with orange and white pumpkins lining the crimson canopied streets, and enjoyed watching all of the trick-or-treaters collecting candy from the local shop owners.
We departed Fish Creek around 2pm, with a plan to return by sunset, as we were informed that Sunset Beach Park is the best location for watching the Sunset. We drove north on Highway 42 through the towns of Ephraim, Ellison Bay, Gills Rock and then continued onto Jens Jensens windy road which was a photographer’s dream. Due to the frigid winds and temperatures, we decided to forego the ferry ride to Washington Island and will keep that excursion on our list for next summer’s visit.
As we headed back to Fish Creek, we stopped in Sister Bay for delicious ice cream (and wine) at the Door County Creamery. We made it just in time to Sunset Beach Park to enjoy a beautiful, yet bone chilling sunset.
Sunday morning, we enjoyed our final Door County sunrise, delicious homemade breakfast made with love by Kari and Dave, and unfortunately had to head back to reality. We said our goodbyes to our new At The Water’s Edge Family and were on our way.
When we return to Door County next spring or summer, when the temperatures are a bit warmer, we are looking forward to kayaking, zip lining, biking, swimming and many more warm weather activities, but we have absolutely no regrets for visiting Door County in the fall, for the foliage, people and memories were all truly glorious.