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Visiting Door County, WI always is a welcoming experience. If you are tired of the blandness of chain hotels and restaurants, you will enjoy visiting Door County. No cookie cutter approach here! Chains aren't even allowed on the peninsula north of Sturgeon Bay.
Each little town along the bay has its own ambience with unique restaurants, hotels and inns, shops and activities. My favorites are Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, Ephraim, and Sister Bay. But the whole peninsula is worth exploring. I enjoy anchoring in Sister Bay (not by boat....that's just where I anchor down a hotel). Our favorites are Country House (lovely grounds, tennis courts, rooms with balconies with bay views, a nice pool and big whirlpool, and condos for families) and Church Hill Inn (which I particularly like in winter with its four living quads with comfy furniture and crackling fireplace, its wonderful breakfasts, a bar with U.K. beers and ales, a video library with British mysteries and comedies like Fawlty Towers and Mr. Bean, and a pool and garden for warm weather enjoyment.)
It is fun to explore throughout the peninsula. There are many discoveries off the beaten track such as hidden shops and restaurants, galleries, candy stores, ice cream shops, orchards, and wineries. The shops are great for Christmas shopping especially since their are many unusual gift items for that special someone or for that proverbial person who has everything. There are many other things to see and do. Try biking through Peninsula State Park, searching out lighthouses, going to the beaches, fishing, golf and mini-golf, or taking the ferry over to Washington Island.
Culturally there are many things to do. The Peninsula Players have along history and have now happily moved into their newly renovated theater...still in a lovely beer garden setting where you can come early and watch the sunset. Shakespeare in the Bjorklunden garden and the American Folklore Theater in Peninsula State Park are great too. Galleries and artistic opportunities abound...and I love spending at least an hour in Caxton's used bookstore. Take the Sunset Dinner Cruise and enjoy jazz while the sun sets on the water.
Gourmet opportunities call such as Al Johnson's in Sister Bay. Great Swedish food and goats on the grass roof. There's also Summertime Restaurant, several good supper clubs such as C & C in Fish Creek, and the peninsula's famous fish boils. J.J.'s Mexican Retaruarant in Sister Bay always seems to have a line waiting for those great margaritas.....as does Sister Bay Bowl. For a little more upscale try Mission Grille and Kristopher's in Sister Bay.
You won't be bored, that's for certain. And you will more than likely feel like you have fallen back in time to summer days gone by when vacations meant sun drenched days, rest and relaxation, and a deep sigh of happiness.