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Mid-May Couple's Get-a-Way...We love wine and people!

Saint Charles...
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Mid-May Couple's Get-a-Way...We love wine and people!

My boyfriend and I thought it would be a nice idea to get away for a mini-vacation in Door County. We're both born and raised in Chicago and I've passed through Door County several times on my way to stay on Washington Island but have never stayed/visited all of the neat little towns.

We love people and interacting with strangers and we are definite lovers of wine. The wineries are a must while we are there; I believe there are six of them. The map can be deceiving so can someone tell me if it's possible to do them all if we stay from a Friday early afternoon to Sunday morning? About how close/far apart are they from each other?

We also love just walking around and exploring so suggestions on what there is to offer and what we should do/see is greatly appreciated. We're 29 but not looking for the "crazy night life" which is why we're obviously going to DC!!

Also, any places we should check out to stay? At first we thought of a B&B but now we are thinking we should go a different route. Looking for something affordable yet clean, great customer service, and close enough to wineries, restaurants, and he has a sweet tooth so some sort of confectionary!

Thanks everyone!!!!

Chicago, IL
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1. Re: Mid-May Couple's Get-a-Way...We love wine and people!

Given your interest in socializing and doing/seeing a lot in a short time, I think you ought to stay somewhere within walking distance of downtown Fish Creek or Sister Bay. Those are the two "liveliest" villages, and if you are walking distance from the downtown area, you don't have to drive all the time. There are many decent resorts/hotels; I haven't stayed in one in years (my husband and I have three kids, so we usually rent a house), but I'm sure you can get some ideas here or on the Door County chamber of commerce website.

People in Door County are friendly, and I've had many interesting conversations with strangers at various pubs and restaurants, or just by chatting with people working at shops. Two major (by Door County standards) hangouts are the Bayside Tavern in Fish Creek and Husby's in Sister Bay. There really is no "crazy" night life to speak of, but if you want to see live bands and have a few drinks, Bayside Tavern is the place. If you want to hang out at a dive bar, visit the AC Tap on Route 57 between Baileys Harbor and Sister Bay. Fish Creek, in particular, is lively on Friday nights; many shops stay open late, and it's fun to walk around and browse.

You are only going to be there for two nights, so you won't be able to do and see everything. Some of my favorite things to do are: seeing an outdoor play at American Folklore Theatre, going out for ice cream at Wilson's or Door County Ice Cream Factory, dinner at Mr. Helsinki's or Mission Grille, Swedish pancakes at Al Johnson's, a hike through The Ridges in Baileys Harbor or Peninsula State Park, visiting the various art galleries, breakfast or lunch at Village Cafe in Egg Harbor or Good Eggs in Ephraim, seeing a movie at the Skyway drive-in, hanging out at one of the coffee shops (Base Camp, Leroy's). Almost every village has a Door County Confectionery candy shop, so you will have no problem finding candy or fudge!

In terms of wineries, the Door Peninsula Winery is a place that sells Boone's Farm-style sweet fruit wines, so unless you like that sort of thing, it's not worth a visit. The "serious" wineries are Stone's Throw, Simon Creek and Red Oak. You can definitely visit all three in one day; they are not that far apart -- Simon Creek and Red Oak are in Sturgeon Bay, and Stone's Throw is on the north end of Egg Harbor, maybe a half hour from the others.

May is a great time to visit Door County. I am sure you will have a lot of fun!

Fish Creek...
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2. Re: Mid-May Couple's Get-a-Way...We love wine and people!

Allow me to clarify the winery situation a bit...

Red Oak is in Sturgeon Bay at Third and Jefferson, right downtown. Stop there on the way up to the north county. At Hwy 42 and Co Rd I in Carlsville is Door Peninsula winery. To describe their wines as Boone's farmish is a bit harsh, but what I think the previous poster was trying to convey is that in Door County, local fruit for wine production is cherries, blueberries, lingonberries, etc, and this is used to produce some of the wine. A lot of people enjoy these fruity wines. Vineyards take a few years to become productive, ans while some have been planted in Door County I think 2011 might be the first year for local grapes. Anyway, you can buy fruit wines from local fruit, or varietals that are produced from California grapes, but all the wines are made locally.

OK, back to the tour. Door Peninsula winery at 42 and Co Rd I is your second stop. They have fruit wines and varietals. They will also have a distillery on-line in May, and they own a micro brewery so you should be able to punch all the buttons here. They also have a restaurant. Continue east on Co Rd I to Simon Creek, not in Sturgeon Bay but between Carlsville and Valmy.

Continue east on I to Hwy 57, north to Co Rd V in Jacksonport. Take a left on V to Co Rd A to the corner of A and E to Stone's Throw winery. These are varietals, they are also opening a restaurant. Go across the street to my buddy's bar, the Pen Pub.

Continue east on E to Egg HArbor, left on 42 to Shipwrecked for microbrews, continue south on 42 to the top of the Egg Harbor hill for a new winery, which I believe is called Harbor Ridge.

Back down the hill through Egg Harbor on Hwy 42 north to Fish Creek, before you get there you will see Lautenbach's Orchard Country winery. My buddy Bob makes really good local fruit wines.

Go back south to stay in Egg Harbor, or north to stay in Fish Creek.

Please be careful driving. A good option to this is to take the Door County trolley wine tour. It leaves and returns at Orchard Country.

Have fun!

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for Wisconsin, Colorado Springs
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3. Re: Mid-May Couple's Get-a-Way...We love wine and people!

Cave Point to walk around--it's gorgeous

and next to it Whitefish Dunes... which has the singing sand down by the dog park end.

Peninsula State Park is gorgeous as well and fun to walk around/bike/drive through.

Ephraim is a lovely town bordering Peninsula State Park that is worth mentioning. Yes it's a dry town, but you drive a few minutes to Fish Creek so it's no big deal. It's a charming town filled with history/architecture and Wilson's Ice Cream Parlor--for dessert (skip the food). The dessert is a meal in itself and is worth the stop. Also for sweet treats The Door County Confectionary is good.

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4. Re: Mid-May Couple's Get-a-Way...We love wine and people!

We love the Untouchable Red at Simon Creek. They're still growing their grapes, but they make the wine there. Remember, depending when you're going in May it may be rather cool, plan accordingly. We love Egg Harbor, but Fish Creek is definitely livelier and has all the shops you can easily walk to.

5. Re: Mid-May Couple's Get-a-Way...We love wine and people!

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