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Romantic Getaway in Door County
Romantic B&B: All rooms with double whirlpools, gas fireplaces, and comfortable beds; breakfast basket delivered to your room. Stay in the lovely farmhouse or the renovated barn. Walk the grounds & see the sheep.
Gourmet dinning experience in a former church. Extensive wine list. Friendly & knowledgable serving staff.
Hang with the locals for an evening! The food is good. We especially liked the "garbage salad" (large enough for two people) and ribs. You must try their famous beans. Full bar. Decent pricing. Restaurant is between Baileys Harbor and Egg Harbor, near the bridge, on Kangaroo Lake.
Another place that caters more to locals. It's a cafe on Ellison Bay's main street. We had the perch sandwich for lunch. It was delicious. The perch tasted fresh, like it had never been frozen. The bread was a homemade marble rye. This restaurant has a large "backyard" are for their famous fish boils. Fish boils only offered a few nights per week in the autumn.
Clean, comfortable hotel in the middle of Ephraim, WI. They offer the usual double/double hotel room with balcony, and suites with whirlpools & fireplaces. The hotel has an indoor pool with whirlpool plus another whirlpool in another section of the hotel. Outdoor pool for summer only. This would be a great option for a romantic or family getaway.
Wonderful spa experience. This is one of only two places that offers a couples massage. We were in the same room with our own massage therapist. Both therapists were great. My husband had a man's facial (his first) and will not be his last. I had a pomegranate hand and foot scrub (my first) -- Wow!
The atmosphere is calm, not rushed at all. You will be greeted and given a robe, slippers, and a locked locker to keep your items during your session. They have water and tea available to keep your hydrated. Stop in and enjoy the library with its fireplace and comfortable chairs.
This spa has another site in Egg Harbor, but I didn't go inside; maybe it was just for haircuts.
Family-style dinning --if you're Scandinavian-- in downtown Sister Bay. This restaurant has two unique features. The grass roof is kept trimmed by goats. Goats are sent up on the roof to graze. Village of Scandinavian-style architecture behind the restaurant. The village is filled with items to purchase & so is the gift shop inside the restaurant. Try the lingonberries. These berries grow only in the mountains of Sweden. They are not easy to harvest, but are treasured by the locals in Sweden. If you want to bring them home, purchase a jar in the gift shop.
A traditional fish boil is wonderful entertainment. Come early to watch them stoke the huge fire. They add water in a giant kettle & boil. Fish, potatoes, cabbage, and other vegetables are added & boiled until cooked throughly. Salt? is added at the end to make the water boil over -- putting out the fire. Many restaurants offer fish boils on a limited basis in the autumn, and nightly in the summer. You must watch a fish boil to truly say you've been in Door County! For me, it's all about the "show". I'm not a big boiled fish lover, but this is a local tradition, so I wholeheartly recommend trying it.
To choose the right Fish Boil experience for you: Call before you go. Some places pick the bones out of the fish for you, others consider this a DIY job. Ask the restaurant directly. If you refuse to eat a boiled meal, some places will allow you to watch the "show" and order something else off the menu, others will serve only fish boil the night of a "show". Even if you order off the menu, order 1 fish boil meal for your group just to try it. Think of it as an inter-cultural experience. For once, you're not expected to eat cheese in WI!
Door County is an outdoor-lovers paradise. You must visit some of the state parks in the area, the privately-owned sanctuary in Bailey's Harbor, and the lighthouses in & outside the state parks. We enjoyed hiking and walking in the pristine areas. Pack a picnic lunch or order lunch to-go & eat in one of the parks. The area is known for their lighthouses & each has a unique story.
Door County has many wineries. Our favorite wine tasting experience was at the Red Oak Winery. It is located inside a former strip mall. The winery is downstairs, but the tasting room is at street level. For a set fee, you can try six wines served with bar snacks and a cheese plate. The hosts are knowledgable and friendly. The tasting room has comfortable bar and table seating in a rich, burgundy, relaxing atmosphere. You are not rushed or pressured to purchase anything.
We ate lunch in the inn's dinning room. The food was delicious and unique. I had a cream of broccoli soup and quiche; my husband had a grilled sandwich with pastrami and gouda cheese. The atmosphere was casual with couples, families, and even a business lunch ocurring side-by-side. Service was excellent.
Take a day trip to Washington Island. Meet the ferry in Gills Rock in the morning. We left our car, but would advise that you take yours. In September, we rented mopeds to ride around to see the sights - but we didn't get far. I loved the mopeds! My husband drives a motorcycle, so he wasn't as impressed. We saw more sites on the Cherryland Train Tours. This is a fast way to see many of the sites and get information from a guide; however, we felt like we would have lingered longer if we had our own transportation. Self-guided tours are easy with a map available at the port. See the Viking Chapel. In the summer months, another ferry is available from this island to Rock Island, entirely state park land.
We've ate at the resort's scandinavian smorgassbord (sic?) more than once. There's something for everyone at this buffet. The atmosphere is casual, for families and couples.
If you like to stroll through stores with unique, antiques, or local merchandise -- Door County will be heaven to you. Every town has stores to browse. Egg Harbor has many stores in an area called "The Market", Shop along the shoreline in Sister Bay or Ephriam. Sturgeon Bay has an area on Superior Street (I think that's the street) with many unique stores in former houses.
Take a little taste of Door County home with you. Stop at Bea's Ho-Made on your way to Gills Rock (the only thing on the way, so you can't miss it). Bea makes jams, jellies, salsa with every fruit imaginable. We LOVE the cherry pie filling. If you ever wondered what cherries would taste like mixed with any other fruit -- wonder no more!
Groceries are available at "The Market" are in Egg Harbor. Stop by the meat counter to see if the plastic black pig is still on display. When we visited, the pig had a sign that stated, "We have great 'meat'!" We're not sure what it means when meat is in quotations at the meat counter, but the meat in the display case looked fine. It's the go-to place for groceries, something you forgot, or wine. Practically half of this little store is wine. The owner is a vinophile who stocks whatever he likes.
We like taking the "back way" from or to Sturgeon Bay. Check on a map for the road that meanders next to Green Bay.
In Ephraim, take the high road, I think it's Morovian Road or something like that, it passes the Morovian Church. It's pretty & wonderful for admiring fall's change of color.
A traditional outdoor-ampitheater community theater (has a roof). Lovely grounds to walk and view Green Bay & limited bar before the performance. Plays & Musicals by locals and attracts talented summer stock and some nationally-known actors. Season runs until early Oct.
Other theater groups on the penninsula too.
Wonderful chef trained at Cordon Bleu in Paris and former owner of restaurants in Texas now retired and makes her home in Door County. She is fun, informative, and helpful during student preparation. Come hungry because the evening ends with dinner and wine. Various topics, check her schedule.