Door County Trip Report (Early Nov. 2005)

Feb 3rd, 2006, 07:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 71
Door County Trip Report (Early Nov. 2005)

I apologize for the lateness of my report, but I wanted to post a report about the wonderful experiences my wife and I had on our first-ever visit to Wisconsin and Door County. I thank those of you who sent in recommendations on what to see and do in this beautiful place. In particular, I want to acknowledge makai1, janeygirl, ginnyS, and tuckerdc.

We drove from Chicago to Green Bay on Sunday, 6 Nov 2005. We had picked up a rental car at O'Hare and were to drop off the car at the Green Bay Airport. The drive was smooth through Milwaukee and on up to Green Bay. We had timed our arrival into Green Bay to occur during the Packers-Steelers game that evening. The sunset as we approached Green Bay was spectacular, featuring gorgeous purple and gold hues. We easily drove to the GB Airport, dropped off our one-way rental, and picked up a Mazda Tribute for our week-long stay in Door County. I hate that we drove onto the Door County peninsula in darkness, but at least we were avoiding post-game traffic. Since we had not eaten since a late brunch before leaving Chicago, we decided to stop in Sturgeon Bay at Stone Harbor Inn just across the Michigan Avenue bridge and eat dinner. I had a wonderful salad featuring dried Montmorency cherries, a fitting start to a great week. We then drove on to The Rushes, which is just south of Baileys Harbor. The signage from Sturgeon Bay to the resort was excellent, and we did not make one wrong turn. We easily checked into our timeshare unit, and then we enjoyed the very nice indoor pool and fitness center.

On Monday, we started exploring Door County. We had a nice lunch at Harbor Grille in Baileys Harbor. We then drove from BH over to Fish Creek and visited several shops. There was a great jewelry store and some nice clothing stores. We then went to Egg Harbor and enjoyed the mid to late afternoon sunshine as we visited several neat shops. There was a wonderful Christmas store there that we really enjoyed. We then drove south toward Sturgeon Bay, intending to drive down to do some shopping at a big supermarket and WalMart. We took a detour to the Dairy View Country Store and really enjoyed the nice shop and being able to view the Holstein cows being milked. We made it to Sturgeon Bay, did our shopping, and decided to eat dinner at Perry's Cherry Diner, a neat place with an unexpectedly varied menu.

Tuesday was our wedding anniversary. Our only definite plan for the day was to have dinner at Alexander's at Hotel du Nord in Sister Bay. The weather was dictating what we could do outdoors each day. Tuesday was kind of like Monday in that there were periods of sunshine interrupted by overcast skies. After arising Tuesday morning, we went over to the bay side of the peninsula and enjoyed driving through Ephraim and Sister Bay. We decided to go on up to the end of the peninsula and take the ferry over to Washington Island, making sure that we made the last ferry back so that we would not miss our dinner reservations. We enjoyed the ferry ride over to WI, and we drove around the island. There was a nice tower in the center of the island that affored a panoramic view of the island. The island was very quiet, but we could see why people would want to visit there. I would love to return in season and be able to go to Rock Island State Park. Our dinner at Alexander's was superb. The dining room was cozy and perfectly romantic. The food was excellent.

Wednesday was a very windy day. Gusts of wind up to 50 mph on land and apparently up to 70-75 mph on the lake and bay were reported. We started the day with a late breakfast at White Gull Inn in Fish Creek. We shopped some there and then decided to go to Sturgeon Bay and look around the numerous shops downtown. My wife had heard about the Christmas Treasure Hunt Contest, and we were going to stores listed as participating in the contest. Before heading south, we spent a lot of time at Tannenbaum's Holiday Shop in Sister Bay. What a fantastic store! When we got to Sturgeon Bay, the wind was terribly strong so we hurried from store to store. We found a lot of nice things, and we really enjoyed the unique shops. That night, we ate in.

Thursday was an intermittently sunny day, and we drove along some of the county roads we had not been on before. We made a special stop at PassTime Books in Sister Bay and really enjoyed that. We had an early dinner at Mission Grille in Sister Bay, which we really enjoyed. The way the former church had been redesigned was beautiful. The menu was very creative, and the food was outstanding.

Luck was with us for Friday. We had seen in the AAA guide for Wisconsin that air tours of Door County were available at the Cherryland Airport in Sturgeon Bay. Friday was the only weekday that week that a pilot was going to be available for a tour. We had booked the flight on Monday, hoping that the weather would be better by Friday. And, was the weather great! Our flight was for mid morning, and we could not have asked for better conditions. We had a hour-long flight beginning in Sturgeon Bay and following the shoreline along Green Bay and then along Lake Michigan back to SB. What a beautiful experience! The pilot was very cordial, and my wife and I loved every minute of the flight. We were thrilled by the views of Potowatami SP, Peninsula SP, all the harbors on both the bay and lake side, all the lighthouses, and the WI ferry.
After our flight, we spent time at Potowatami. We then drove to Cave Point County Park and ate lunch in our vehicle. We saw that park at a great time and were able to take some great photographs. We then headed over to Peninsula SP and stayed there until the sun set. The photographs we took of the islands in the bay and of the vistas from the tower were fantastic. (We had tried twice earlier in the week to go to the tower in the park, but they were painting the tower and would not allow visitors to use it.) So, we made the most of a beautiful sunny day that Friday! We had reservations for the first seating at the fish boil at White Gull Inn that Friday night. We thoroughly enjoyed everything about the dinner. The food was superb, and we enjoyed learning about this unique and colorful tradition.

We had to check out of our timeshare unit on Saturday. We gave The Rushes an extremely high evaluation. The property is beautifully maintained. The central indoor pool and fitness facility is wonderful. The units feature individual garages, wood-burning fireplaces, and more than adequate space. We would definitely like to stay there again. We ate a late breakfast at The Cookery in Fish Creek. We then drove to Green Bay via some of the scenic county roads and thoroughly enjoyed the trip. We stayed at Hilton Garden Inn close to Lambeau Field. We took the guided tour of Lambeau and were very impressed by the atrium, Packers Hall of Fame, and Lambeau Field itself. We had dinner at Brett Favre's Steakhouse, which was good.

On Sunday, cold weather was really descending upon Green Bay. We had lunch at Max and Erma's before heading to the airport for our flight to Chicago and then on to Memphis. We had a wonderful time in Door County. We were very impressed by the hospitality with which we were received all week long.

A few weeks later, my wife was surprised when a package from Sturgeon Bay, WI, arrived at our house. The return address was from the Door County Chamber of Commerce. I had won a prize in the contest, which was a sterling silver cherry and pail. My wife will enjoy using that as a charm.

We will definitely return to Door County again. November was not at all a bad time to visit the area. There were enough restaurants open to keep us happy. Alexander's, Mission Grille and White Gull Inn were excellent dining experiences. The state parks were beautiful!
volcam is offline  
Feb 4th, 2006, 05:11 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Thanks for the great TR! I live only 2 hours from Door County and your report gave me some good ideas for our next trip. Glad the food was good at the White Gull Inn. We have that on our list. Much thanks!
StephCar is offline  
Feb 4th, 2006, 06:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,590
Thanks for your report. Door County is one of those little unique places to visit in the Midwest. We were there some summers ago. A little chilly in November no doubt.

Ozarksbill is offline  
Feb 16th, 2006, 04:45 PM
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Posts: 836
Interesting report, Volcam! Shows to go ya: True travelers can have a good time - any time, anywhere.
tuckerdc is offline  
Feb 16th, 2006, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 583
volcam: We spent our honeymoon at the Hotel Du Nord and have been back twice; once while I was expecting our first child and once when they were young teens. Thanks for the memories!
AuntAnnie is offline  
Feb 16th, 2006, 04:57 PM
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Hang on to those mem'ries, Aunt Annie. The DuNord property has been sold for - what else? - condo development.
tuckerdc is offline  
Feb 18th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Thanks for a great trip report, Volcam. If you do return to DC, consider the late spring. We were amazed by all the wildflowers - especially lots of dwarf iris near Bailey's Harbor. And the cherry orchards in bloom are truly a beautiful sight.
SusanEva is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 09:24 PM
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Late spring does sound like an excellent time to visit the Door County peninsula. Thanks for those of you who complimented the trip report. I hope it wasn't too long-winded. I thought about including stores and shops in detail, but I was afraid to offend deserving businesses that I may have overlooked. My wife and I will definitely make a return visit to this gorgeous area.
volcam is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 10
So glad you had a wonderful time, sounds like you and your wife certainly kept busy. We will have to try the air view tour.

We arrived here on the 23rd Feb. and leaving 27th, and it has been the most beautiful blue skies, about 8 inches of snow on the ground and then about 4" more on Friday night, just beautiful. Cold? Yes, but that is why we have our long underwear. It is always so hard to leave.
ginnyS is offline  
Mar 1st, 2006, 03:46 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 46
Loved reading your trip report. We live in Madison, WI and owned condo weeks at the Rushes for many years. Some years in December there would be enough snow so that we could cross-country ski right out the front door with skis that the resort provides free for guests to use. And Kangaroo Lake just across the lawn made for great ice skating. In the summer they have complimentary amenities like sailing and paddle boats. If you go again, pick up a cherry pie at the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek--they are delicious. We've done so many of the things you mentioned, even eating at Max and Erma's in GB. Door County is a special place.
madgirl is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 05:49 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,360
Volcam! Excellent reporting.

I'm amazed to have found your report... I haven't been on board for awhile. It's good to hear how your trip went. Just goes to show that you can have a great time in a wonderful place in off season. Wow you guys were busy! Did you go to the Packers/Steelers game??

Spring in the door is heavenly... flowers everywhere! If you plan a spring, summer or autumn trip be sure to check out a calendar of events, as there are many hometown parades and fests. We were surprised one trip in late June to stumble upon Ellison Bay Days and box car racing down the main street.

Really a great place... glad you had a good time! Thanks for sharing such a great report. ><
makai1 is offline  
Jun 14th, 2006, 07:43 PM
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Posts: 71
makai1, thanks for your kind words. I am just tonight taking time to read through many areas on this forum. There were several interesting questions for which I had information to share. As for Door County, we are planning to return for sure. We ran across a new timeshare property listed in the latest Interval World magazine. The resort is Landmark Resort in Egg Harbor. Do any of you Door County experts know of this? Is this a new resort? Is this a resort that has been recently upgraded to merit Interval International accreditation?

I still am amazed at how many fond memories my wife and I have of our week in Door County last November. It truly is a very special place!
volcam is offline  
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