A vacation in Door County, Wisconsin, is a chance to experience the pleasures of a simpler time.
*To read Deborah Geigis Berry's full story about Door County and find tons of tips on where to stay, what to eat, and more, click the link below.
Our rental cottage in Whitefish Bay was steps away from the spectacular beach at Whitefish Dunes State Park, on Lake Michigan. The park is also home to the state's tallest sand dune (93-foot Old Baldy).
Cherry Berry Delight, Dark Secret, and Root Beer Frosty are just a few of the ice-cream specialties at Wilson's, a family favorite since 1906.
Hang an old-school speaker in your car window (or turn on your radio), and enjoy a double feature at Skyway Drive-in Theatre, a 1950s-era outdoor movie theater in Fish Creek, complete with retro advertisements.
At PC Junction, a restaurant in Baileys Harbor, the food is delivered by a miniature train chugging down the countertop. Outside, families can steer pedal cars through a wooded course.
"A goat! Stop, Dad, stop," Hudson calls out when we drive past Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant & Butik in Sister Bay. At this old-time spot, real goats graze on the sod roof while inside, families dine on Swedish meatballs and pancakes with lingonberries.
Our family goal is to take in every fish boil on the peninsula (there are at least ten), though it's hard to stray from Pelletier's. At these outdoor communal suppers, families gather around the kettle as the master boiler adds potatoes and onions to the salty water. When the vegetables are tender, he adds the whitefish, then flings a bit of fuel oil on the fire. The results: raging flames, a boilover...and a fantastic photo op! Pelletier's also serves breakfast (French crepes) and lunch (Wisconsin brats).
Getting a running start at the corn maze at Schopf's Hilltop Dairy.
At artist-owned Hands On Art Studio in Fish Creek, families can make a mosaic, throw a bowl on a potter's wheel, or cut out a metal sculpture.
In a land where cheese curds and frozen custard rule, a Door County vacation requires an appetite (and perhaps elasticized pants). We work off our treats by swimming, kayaking, cycling, canoeing, and hiking at scenic spots, such as the 3,776-acre Peninsula State Park.