Sometimes, the perfect getaway is right in your own backyard. With dozens of parks and beaches, Door County is the perfect destination for a family visit this upcoming summer. Whether you’re looking to take a full vacation, or just a day trip, head up north to discover the great outdoors and enjoy some quality family time. Here are some of my family’s favorite ways to see the sights of Door County in the summer.
Door County is home to several state parks that come alive in summer. Everyone tends to think of Peninsula State Park, which is a beautiful and well-maintained spot for camping, boating, and more. If you drive further up the peninsula, Newport State Park in Ellison Bay is also worth checking out. They have great hiking trails and beaches, and it offers a bit more seclusion.
Ephraim is a smaller town on the drive between Fish Creek and Sister Bay. They have a public beach that’s a lot of fun to visit for kids, and you can end the afternoon with an ice cream cone from the famous Wilson’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor. Speaking of treats, Fish Creek’s Not Licked Yet serves up the best frozen custard. They have a playground for kids, and plenty of seating to sit and enjoy a treat on a warm-weather day.
For big kids and little kids alike, visiting one of Door County’s petting zoos is a unique way to spend the day. The Farm in Sturgeon Bay is a classic, or there’s Plum Loco Animal Farm in Egg Harbor. Looking for more ways to hang out with four-legged friends? Head up to Sister Bay to dine at Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant, and see goats grazing for grass on the roof! Sister Bay is also home to Door County Creamery, and they offer tours of their farm as well.
The Door County Library has branches in many locations throughout the peninsula, and they have family-friendly programming for both kids and adults. There are screen-free craft kits for kids, story hours, and book clubs. They also host movie nights, some specifically featuring family films. Check out their website for more information.
Looking for a place to eat? PC Junction is a train-themed restaurant and voted “#1 kid’s spot in Door County.” The counter is made up of doors and has a functioning train that actually delivers your food and drinks. Pelletier’s Restaurant is also a great place for family-friendly dining. They have amazing breakfasts, and they also have authentic fish boils around dinnertime.
Family entertainment doesn’t end once the sun goes down. Head to Peninsula State Park for their performing arts theater, Northern Sky Theater. They have an outdoor theater, as well as a new indoor Gould Theater. If modern movies are what you’re looking for, nothing beats the Skyway Drive-in Theater. One of only nine drive-ins left in our state, this is the perfect place to catch a double feature of brand new movie releases. The first movie is usually kid-friendly, in case little ones need to stick to their bedtime – it’s no problem to leave after the first movie.
One of my favorite parts about Door County is the focus on everything local, and family-owned and operated; this can also mean that some are quite seasonal. Because of this, please check the individual web page for any places you may want to visit this summer. There, you’ll find the most up-to-date information and anything new that may be on the horizon. There truly is something for everyone in Door County. Have a fun and safe visit this summer!
For more information, https://www.doorcounty.com/ is an invaluable planning resource and our go-to before any visit!