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volcam May 1st, 2005 09:04 PM

Wisconsin in Early November? Door County?
We're thinking about booking a timeshare exchange vacation for a week in early November. Since we'll be in the Chicago area prior to the week and we've never traveled in Wisconsin, we thought that a nice resort in Door County might be fun. We're exchanging through RCI, and there are many resorts in Door County that still fall within the "red week" (most desirable) designation. Will the weather be reasonable enough for us to enjoy some outdoor activities? Are day trips from Door County feasible, or are there enough sights in Door County to fill up a week? We haven't made the exchange request yet, and we would love to hear experienced travelers' input. Thanks!

placeu2 May 2nd, 2005 06:03 AM

Things in Door county really slow down after about October 15th. Some seasonal businesses close for the season. There should still be a good amount of things to do but you should prepare for potentially cold weather. Highs in the 30's to mid 40's and lows in the teens and 20's. Of course each year could see 60's in an unusual year. Snow is not out of the question.

It depends on what you like to do but many traditional Door County "things" will not be available. IE: boating, fishing, biking, golf, leaf peeping, festivals. Not sure on fish boils but I imagine the numbers will be less if any.

Keith May 2nd, 2005 06:10 AM

It will also get dark very early i November.


cd May 2nd, 2005 07:48 AM

We were in Door County the end of October. It is a lovely place but at that time of year many restaurants and summer activities were closed.

sobolik Oct 6th, 2005 04:19 PM

I can't recommend anywhere in Wisconsin in early November. Except home. I do not know where you are from but that may save the day here. If you have never experienced "the North woods" in November then it may be novel enough to be OK. Early November usually sees the hard freeze set in real good. It is when I expect my lake to freeze over. It may then melt and be nice again for a brief time. The trees are getting good and bare. The gray bleakness of winter has usually made its unwelcome presence thoroughly known. I expect a good snow in later Nov. but it is possible earlier. I therefore suggest you try to plan considerable people interaction activities rather than just nature activities. Nature may be a bleakish disappointment if all your eggs are in that basket.

beentheretwice Oct 6th, 2005 05:11 PM

DItto Sobolik! A nice B&B room with a fire, books and someone "fun" would be the best plan. Walking along the lake shore will be brisk at best. The calendar may not say "winter", but the weather will and you'll need flashlights by 5pm.

makai1 Oct 6th, 2005 06:29 PM


I would def head to Door Co. in early November hands down. While, yes, it will be "chilly", plan for it. Bring warm clothes, boots. You can walk around the lake, drive through Penninsula State Park, shop, eat, sit in front of a fireplace with a glass of wine.

We love the Door in autumn... have been there early Oct, early Nov, late Jan for the "Winter Games"... so a "few" restaurants or shops might be closed. Enjoy the ones that are open. Temps don't have to be in the 60's to enjoy a place. We actually bring our bikes that time of year. Brisk, yes, but it's a great place to cruise, esp. the parks.

If you want more specific restaurant or attractions info just post back. Not sure if you've booked yet... I just noticed that your post was back in May.

volcam Oct 13th, 2005 11:38 PM

Yes, we did go ahead and reserve a week. We had a timeshare week through RCI that we needed to use. We booked The Rushes in Baileys Harbor, which from its website and from the RCI Directory seems to be a very nice place. Please, by all means, give us your recommendations for dining, shopping, sightseeing, and any nice amenities such as day spas. My wife has received information from Door County Chamber of Commerce, and we have purchased a Wisconsin travel guide from the Moon guidebook series. Frankly, I've not had a lot of time to read any of these references in depth.

We're arriving in Chicago the first weekend of November. We'll be attending the Tennessee-Notre Dame football game in South Bend, IN, on Saturday afternoon. We will then drive to Door County on Sunday and stay in BH until the following Saturday. We then will stay Saturday night in Green Bay before flying back to Memphis.

I just happened to click on my name tonight and saw these interesting replies. If any of you have time to post your recommendations, please do so. My wife and I are looking forward to learning about a state that we have never traveled in before.

cedar Oct 14th, 2005 04:03 AM

Go see Door County but not for a week in November.
I am sure you can satisfactorily take in the Peninsula in 2 days.

janeygirl Oct 14th, 2005 01:04 PM

Bailey's Harbor is on the "quiet side" of Door County. Meaning, during the summer months, there's a lot more tourist activity around Fish Creek, Egg Harbor, Sister Bay, etc.

My family used to stay at the Bailey's Harbor yacht club, which is not far from the Rushes.

Not sure what will be open in November but we always enjoyed Egg Harbor (some cute little shops). Fish Creek has some nice shops and probably won't be crazy busy like during the summer months.

Great Friday night fish fry at the Sister Bay Bowl.

We always had at least one lunch at Al Johnson's in Sister Bay because, well, just because it's Al Johnson's and that's what one does (look for the goats on the roof).

If you like lighthouses, there's one just north of Bailey's Harbor but I can't recall the name of it.

makai1 Oct 14th, 2005 01:31 PM

Hey volcam,

I just topped an ole restaurant thread for you... have a great time!

Keith Oct 14th, 2005 03:53 PM

Birmingham’s, a little old bar & grill just outside Sturgeon Bay will be open

They are friendly and have great hamburgers, fresh French fries and a Wisconsin specialty - fried cheese curds.


ginnyS Oct 25th, 2005 02:58 PM

I have a summer house in Baileys Harbor and you will be right on Kangaroo Lake at the Rushes, a 1440 acre lake. Everyone is right, November is dark and grey, BUT lots of friendly people. If you are walkers, take a hike to the Coyote Roadhouse a great place right on the lake at the causeway- near you or drive. Great food, we are there about twice a week. Lots of shops will still be open in November, and since the whole penisula is only about 42 miles long and 9 miles wide you will drive it all in a week. More places open on weekends then during the week, so save your reading and napping for weekdays! You should experince the Door County fish boil at Pelliters in Fish Creek - most shops there too. Also experience a old fashioned Wisconsin Supper club- try Mr G's at Jacksonport. For a very nice night out go to Donny's Gliden Lodge outside of Valmy, best Saturday night prime rib every (and I live in Chicago) it is an old lodge built in 1938 all stone on the bottom and timber on the top(I am describing the inside) right on Lake Michigan with lots of lights. Complete dinners cost about $20.00-23.00 and we always take home leftovers.
You will not be sorry if you follow my suggestions we entertain our best friends at these places every week!
If you like smoked fish, at the tip- Gills Rock, take home some smoked chubs or smoked whitefish- it is smoked within days of purchasing it.
Charlie's Smoke House
Do go to Target and get some thin long underwear, if you dress for the weather Door County is beautiful- layers, hats and gloves.
Take the side roads too, don't be a traveller that takes only the main roads 57 and 42, you will miss some beautiful sites and it is impossible to get lost.
Let us know after your trip what you thought!

makai1 Oct 25th, 2005 03:08 PM

Yah GinnyS! And the smoked salmon spread at Charlie's Smoke House in Gills Rock is to die for! Also check out Bea's Homade Products. Their pies are wonderful There's also a little deli store in Jacksonport that sells the best brats in the world.

Here's the link to a good old restaurant thread.;tid=34494098

Hope you see this volcam before you leave.

tuckerdc Oct 29th, 2005 05:12 AM

Thought an update might be useful to you, volcam. Like much of the upper Midwest, color came very late to DC; it turned out to be one of the most gorgeous in recent memory however, and some of it lingers still. (Though it probably will be completely gone by the time you arrive.) Weather has been pretty moderate - no true hard freeze to speak of, yet.

Of course, this could all change by the time you arrive, so the suggestion for some long undies is an excellent one. That can make the difference between being miserable and having a really good time.

Shopping will be spotty; a fair number of stores will be closed weekdays, but lots will still be open on Sat/Sunday.

To stock up for your fireside sitting, visit one of the local wineries - Simon Creek off Hwy. I (via either 42 or 57) and Stones Throw (Hwys. A & E between Baileys Harbor and Egg Harbor) are two good choices.

Among the dining choices you can count on being open: the White Gull Inn (Fish Creek/breakfast, lunch and dinner and a must-stop at some point for cozy ambience. White Gull will host one of its acoustic folk concerts during your stay - Grammy award-winning finger-picking guitarist Pat Donohue of Prairie Home Companion fame. Concert only $14; optional pre-concert dinner available. Reservations a really good idea. 920-868-3517. They have a website for more info); Bayside Tavern (FC; lunch/casual supper - typical friendly local tavern); Summertime (FC; weekends); Sister Bay Bowl (dinner); Husby's (Sister Bay; tavern; burgers/sandwiches, etc.) Al Johnson's (Sister Bay; tho the goats will be packed away for winter; kind of a 'must' for (a somewhat pricey) breakfast or a Swedish meatball lunch); Harbor Fish Market & Grille (pricey for dinner, but they may still be open for breakfast or lunch); T. Ashwells (Ellison Bay; $$$ but excellent with a quiet, sophisticated (for want of a better description)ambience not that readily found in DC); Shoreline Restaurant (Gills Rock for an early supper and chance to see a spectacular sunset. DC's late fall skies are fantastic!); Glidden Lodge, as mentioned above. The English Inn; just north of Fish Creek has new owners and is getting good reviews for their dining room. In Sturgeon Bay, right across from Wal-Mart, Nightengale Supper Club has excellent prime rib (Thurs nite special) and a tasty Tenderloin special on Monday nights. Just about anywhere in DC, as well as the state, will offer a Friday night Fish special.

Once you arrive, keep an eye out for a freebie publication, the "Reminder" (tabloid newspaper) that will give you current info for hours, etc. "Key to the Door" (full color tourist mag)will also be helpful.

In Sturgeon Bay, you'll find the Maritime Museum, very worth a visit; the pocket-sized Miller Art Museum, tucked in the Door County Library (also very worthwhile); the Fairfield Museum (contemporary art). The Washington Island ferry will be observing a shortened winter schedule, but a blustery day could make for a fun crossing. There won't be much to do at all on the Island, but pack a lunch (or stop and pick up fixings at Manz Grocery, on the Island), and drive around and be sure to checkout Lookout Mountain and the Stavkirke. (Maps available on the ferry).

Some other things to checkout:

the Peninsula Art School in Fish Creek has a gorgeous round-barn gallery in Fish Creek and will be hosting an exhibit by local artists -

If you arrive in DC in time on Sunday, there's a free concert at 1 p.m. on the grounds of Bjorklunden (a wonderful chance to see a wonderful lakeside estate and lodge). H\Off Hwy. 57 just south of Baileys Harbor - watch for the sign on the right hand side.

It's the start of DC's long-awaited "quiet time," but that doesn't mean it's dull!

As suggested above, do be sure to veer off the two main highways for some oh-so-pleasurable and scenic back-roading. Why not make it a goal to visit all five of the DC state parks? (Admission stickers required).

ginnyS Jan 9th, 2006 01:17 PM

Well, Volcam, how did it go??

JJ5 Jan 9th, 2006 01:23 PM

I hope volcam answers. November in "like weather" MI was really harsh early this year. We just got the pier out in time. I wonder how it went?

volcam, do you go in "short day" time?

volcam Feb 3rd, 2006 08:32 PM

I just posted a long-overdue trip report. Thanks to all who posted wonderful suggestions and recommendations. We didn't get to do everything you told us about, so I guess we'll have to return to this beautiful place. My report is entitled "Door County Trip Report (Nov. 2005)."

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