For Father’s Day this year I booked a little family getaway. Mike is impossible to shop for and I know he prefers spending time together over material things, how sweet. But seriously, we’ve talked about taking a trip to Door County in the past, but we never got around to it. So, I found us a little cabin in the woods for Labor Day Weekend.
If you’re not familiar with Door County Wisconsin, it’s a peninsula about as far north as you can go on the eastern side of the state, and it has some of the quaintest little towns with tons of charm– think cape cod and lighthouses.
It’s about a three hour drive from us in Milwaukee.
We planned out our trip before leaving but some things changed when we got there because of COVID changes. But if this pandemic has taught us anything it’s how o swerve and make the most of our time, and that’s just what we did!
Here’s our itinerary:
12:00 pm Arrived in Sturgeon Bay. Walked around downtown, checked out the shops and different areas around the lake.
1:30 pm we had a late lunch at Waterfront Mary’s. It was about a 5 minute drive from the downtown area. There was a short wait and we hung out on the water with a couple of Bloody Mary’s while we waited. This place was right on the water and since it was a Saturday there was live music. I had crab cakes and they were delish.
4:00 pm We got to our cabin a little early to get unpacked and see what it was all about. It was a cute and literal cabin in the woods, surrounded by trees and about as far north as you can get in Gills Rock. It had all of the necessities that we needed (and some) but nothing over-the-top. It actually looked like it was straight out of the 70’s, and we loved the old-school charm of it. We’d planned to start up the fire pit and hang out once she fell asleep, but we were so tired– haha we’re so embarrassing. Traveling with a baby means earlier nights than before.
Day two: We got coffee and frittatas at Gills Rock Coffee. It was pretty underwhelming for a couple of reasons. One was, of course, COVID. Two, the latte machine was down. But we were actually surprised at how tasty their regular coffee was, and the frittata was delicious, homemade and oh so fresh.
10:30 AM We headed to Sister Bay for the Day. This is my favorite place in all of Door County, and I don’t think I’m alone on that.
First we had (more) Bloody Mary’s, this time at Al Johnsons’s. This is probably the most iconic place in Door County because of the goats that hang out on the roof and its unique Swedish traditions. The waitresses all wear dirndls. Check out this story I did on the dirndls last year.
We didn’t eat inside because we wanted to stay mostly outdoors and distanced when possible, but their beer garden area was a great place to hang out and goat-watch.
Our next stop was to Door County Creamery. We stocked up on goat cheese curds, goat jerky and, my absolute favorite, goat milk gelato. Have you figured out that they love goats in Sister Bay? We were curious why, so we did a google search. I guess it all started with Al Johnson’s goats on the roof.
We spent a lot of the afternoon in sister bay. As part of the gift, I’d gotten Mike a gift card to Boathouse on the Bay. We’d planned to have a late lunch/early dinner there, but because of COVID they were closed! We were a little disappointed, but we weren’t really hungry after filling up on snacks all day, haha. So, we finished off Sister Bay by walking along the pebble beach.
3:00 pm We headed to Peninsula State Park. It was about a 10 minute drive from Sister Bay. We stopped at a couple of the park’s lookouts and saw an old lighthouse. This would be a great park to bike through, but it’s also worth it to just drive through, which is what we did.
4:00 pm We went back to Gills Rock for dinner at Shoreline. This wasn’t our first choice, but with the baby and things being closed we decided to go some place closer to our cabin. We had a whitefish dip, I had the ahi for dinner and a DC Polka King porter, all delicious.
On Sunday we stopped at FIKA Coffeehouse for a Swedish cinnamon roll and a couple of coffees.
We’d planned a couple other things that we didn’t get to because traveling with a baby is so exhausting, if you know…you know. But I’l list them below in case you have time to stop.
Ellison Bay Bluff County Park
Good Eggs in Ephraim
This is far from an extensive list. There are so many places to eat and see in Door County. We already can’t wait to plan another visit next year.
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You are a great writer!