Enjoy the Fourth of July at Area Beaches and Parks

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Fourth of July is around the corner! The months of March and April crept by at a snail’s pace and somehow, we’ve made it to the end of June and I cannot believe we’re already celebrating the commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

Our lives have changed considerably since mid-March and that includes changes to our holiday celebrations. Cities have canceled July 4th celebrations and many towns have canceled fireworks as they limit crowds, but this does not mean that you can’t have a fun Fourth of July! You can enjoy a socially distanced celebration with friends or family by visiting one of our treasured area beaches and parks and enjoying good food! (Click here for a list of the few fireworks shows that are still happening.)

Because my family has had all but one trip canceled this year, my husband and I have been taking my step-daughters to area beaches and parks to enjoy time in nature…and get them off electronics!! Instead of focusing on what is canceled, I am trying to focus on what we can do, while socially distancing.

Below are some fun outings to enjoy during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

  1. Maribel Caves County Park: We enjoyed a visit for Father’s Day and I highly recommend a visit to hike through the park. The paths are very well managed. It’s not happening over the July 4 weekend, but the Wisconsin Speleological Society & Manitowoc County Parks Dept. offer free tours every third Sunday of Remains of Cherney Hotel at Maribel Caves County Parkthe month from May – October from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m., free to the public. The tour lasts about 10-15 minutes. They do accept donations, which all stay at the park to help improve Cherney Maribel Caves Park (masks are required on tours). They have toilets but take some toilet paper and hand sanitizer with you as they were empty during our visit. Another fun thing about this county park is that you can see the ruins of the Cherney Hotel, which was built in 1900. I am not sure how long the hotel stayed in business, but I don’t think it was more than a few decades. The building was engulfed by a fire in 1985. The hotel was more intact until a tornado came through the area in 2013 and the photograph is what is left today. This is private property; do not go into the buildings.
  1. Door County Beaches: Pack a picnic and drive up to Door County to enjoy one of their many beaches. My family loves Frank Murphy County Park and beach and the Egg Harbor Beach. If you don’t want to pack a picnic, grab pizzas from One Barrel in Egg Harbor and enjoy an afternoon at the beach. Frank Murphy beach has a pier that kids can jump from and there is a boat launch.
  2. Hikes at High Cliff State Park: this is a state park that requires a vehicle admission sticker.
  3. Visit Cana Island and the lighthouse in Door County. This is on our list to do this summer!Frank Murphy Park Pier
  4. Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve features nine miles of hiking trails. Note that buildings have been closed due to COVID-19, but trails are open. Check before you go!

My step-daughters love a good picnic and it’s even more fun to enjoy one at our area beaches and parks!  We take a lot of water and below are some of our favorite picnic lunches:

  • Fruit salad or cut up watermelon, assorted cheeses, assorted meats like salami, pepperoni, turkey, and prosciutto with crackers and pretzels.
  • Turkey and cheese wraps or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, assorted fruit, chips and salsa, and veggies and hummus (the veggies are more for me!).
  • A fun salad such as a caprese salad, an avocado and tomato salad, a corn and black bean salad, pasta salad, or a regular green salad topped with some rotisserie chicken.
  • And I always have a bag of snacks including beef jerky and beef sticks, mixed nuts, goldfish, Nutri Grain bars, and small bags of popcorn.

Whatever you choose to do this Fourth of July holiday weekend, be safe, healthy, and have a good time!