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25 Wintry Things to Do!

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Winter is magical in Door County – and you can capture it!  You’ve seen it in movies or read about it in books – snowy landscapes, tranquil feelings, crisp clean winter air – well, it’s all here! You must try Door County in the Winter, because once you have been here in the Winter, you will indeed return!  There’s plenty to do and nothing to do, all at the same time.   Winter is truly the “quiet season”, so plan to enjoy the tranquil times the Door County Peninsula has to offer, where both traveler and resident are at ease, have time to relax and talk, and have fun!  So here are some of the things you should try out this Winter in Door County.

1.  Merry-Time Festival of Trees at Maritime Museum in Sturgeon bay, November 10 – December 11th.

2.  Door Community Auditorium: Always something happening in winter at the Door Community Auditorium!   Check it out the schedule!

  • Additional events from January through May 2019: Click here! And tell them sent you!

3.  Winter Breakfast! One of our favorite things-to-do! Is there anything cozier that a nice warm winter breakfast at an old inn?  You remember pictures from story books, or Currier and Ives prints?  Well, imagine no more and live it!  Get yourself to the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek – there simply is no better place for a Winter breakfast!  The Inn was built in 1896, and is a wonderful country experience as the snow is falling and drifting outside while you watch through the windowpanes from a warm and cozy inside with great people, great food, super atmosphere, and a roaring fire!  Best table in the house for this: as you enter the dining room, the corner table by the windows to the left!  Don't miss this Winter experience - you will love it!  We love this place!

Also, catch Winter Concerts at the White Gull Inn, at 8PM (optional dinner at 6PM)

Dates of event:  

  • Dec. 5th : “Ronnie Fulks” tickets $23
      • Jan. 16, 2019: “Johnsmith and Dan Sebranek” tickets $22
      • March 27 2019: “Susan Gibson” tickets $22
      • May 1st 2019: “Mile Twelve” tickets $22

Phone 920-868-3517 or toll free 800-624-1987.  White Gull Inn Concerts Website.  Important! Please tell them that sent you!

4.  Miss Door County Pageant – February 2 2019 – 4PM at Southern Door Auditorium, in Brussels Wi – 920- 493-5979


5.  Stay at a wonderful B&B or Inn! There are many beautiful inns in Door County, and we have reviewed quite a few on our website here including all of these below (or go to our page where you can Read our Reviews of all of these inns).   

Some of our highly recommended inns include (please make sure to tell them you saw them on - that helps keep the site fresh and viable!):

  • Fish Creek
    • The White Gull Inn: Andy or Jan (in their 43rd year!) at 920-868-3517
    • Thorp House: Melanie at 920-868-2444
  • Ephraim
    • Eagle Harbor Inn: Natalie or Nedd at 920-854-2121
  • Sturgeon Bay
    • The White Lace Inn: Dennis or Bonnie at 877-948-5223
    • The Chanticleer Guest House: Darrin or Bryon: 920-746-0334
  • Baileys Harbor
    • Blacksmith Inn on the Shore: Joan or Bryan at 800-769-8619 – the best!
  • Egg Harbor
    • Cornerstone Suites: Leif: 888-495-3005 or 920-868-3005

Other really nice places to stay are:

  • Sturgeon Bay
    • The Westwood Shores Waterfront Resort in Sturgeon Bay: 920-746-4057
    • Bridgeport Waterfront Resort, in Sturgeon Bay: 920-746-9919
    • Bay Shore Inn: 800-556-4551
  • Sister Bay
    • Country House Resort in Sister Bay: Joan or Jerry at 800-424-0041
    • Open Hearth Lodge: 920-854-4890
    • Scandinavian Lodge in Sister Bay: call 888-645-6343
    • Birchwood Lodge in Sister Bay: Mary at 866-854-7195
  • Egg Harbor
    • Newport Resort in Egg Harbor: Sandy: 920-868-9900, 800-468-6160
  • Fish Creek
    • Hilltop Inn in Fish Creek: Kelly: 888-868-3556
    • Homestead Suites: Paul or Kevin: 800-686-6621, or 920-868-3748
    • White Gull Inn: 920-868-3517
  • Ephraim
    • Eagle Harbor Inn: 920-854-2121

Read all our Trusted Reviews on these Inns and Resorts on our Review Page. 

Snuggle in front a fireplace with a nice bottle of Door County wine and enjoy your Winter get-away!

6.  Cross-country ski!  Door County has gorgeous cross-country ski trails throughout the State Parks!  Try Peninsula State Park for sure - they even have candlelight runs sometimes just for fun (snow permitting of course)!  Sometimes hiking will be substituted for skiing if no snow. Note vehicle stickers required.  Check our calendar of events.  


  • Whitefish Dunes State Park: Info 920-823-2400 or 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463
    • Candlelight Ski January 26th 2019
      ADDRESS: 3275 Clark Lake Rd, Sturgeon Bay
      (Candlelight Hike replaces ski if not enough snow)
  • Newport State Park: 920-854-2500
    • ADDRESS: 475 County Hwy NP, Ellison Bay
    • Candlelight Ski: 5:30-8:30PM Feb 9 2019.
  • Peninsula State Park: 920-868-3258


  • Bay Shore Outfitters in Sister Bay: Snowshoes, Cross-County Skis, Sledding Tubes and lots more! 920-854-7598
  • Nor-Door Sport & Cyclery: 920-868-2275   They rent cross-country skis, ice skates, snow shoes and more! Great place!
  • Join the Polar Bear Club and take the plunge in Jacksonport on New Year’s Day if you can take the shock and cold! 10:30AM registration; 11AM plunge! That’s what Polar Bear Clubs are all about!
  • New Year’s Day Parade in Egg Harbor - Well, OK, here’s another one! This is a fun parade on New Year’s Day in Egg Harbor, and yes, YOU can be in it!  Just show up!  1PM no matter what the weather is like!   Live music, food vendors, shopping specials, snow sculptures and the YMCA Icy Fun Run. Fun event and a great way to kick off the New Year!!  920-868-3717.
  • Wine, Spirits & Beer Trolley Tour, December 31st 2016, 10AM 920-868-1100 

7.  Snowmobile - there are 250 miles of snowmobile trails in Door County that wind through the Peninsula!  If you like snowmobiling, or want to try it, there aren't too many better places than Door County!  Bring your own snowmobile – but here are a couple of places that service them, just in case!

  • Door County Motorsports: 920-743-3999 in Sturgeon Bay
  • Harbor Marine & Motorsports, 2556 Hwy F, Baileys Harbor - 920-839-2930

And yes, there are a few dealers up here where you can purchase your very own!

  • Snowshoe! There are even more places to hike and snowshoe!  So bring your own snowshoes for a romantic little outing, or rent them when you are up here - but call ahead to reserve just to make sure.  Do something different!

Got your gear!  Head up to Baileys Harbor for a Guided Snowshoe Hike at the Ridges Sanctuary, Fridays and Saturdays in January and February.  Some snowshoes will be available. Call ahead at 920-839-2802.

8.  Sleigh ride!  This is your chance to stop by the snowy woods!   Want something right out of Robert Frost?  Take a sleigh ride in Door County, through the snow-puffed woods on a two-horse open sleigh!  We have done it a few times - take a camera because you will want to remember every moment - it is just awesome and awe-inspiring! Do yourself a favor and take a sleigh ride – there is nothing else quite like it!

Tell John, please, that sent you!

9.  Ice Fishing! Brrrr!  Yes - you too can ice fish, and actually thousands of people do.  This is a very cold thing to do, and you have to be very careful of the ice conditions, etc.  You can get the best information about ice fishing from the local bait and tackle shops, inns and other local towns folk.   Fishing Hotline: 920-743-7046

10.  Take a Trolley ride – with a few twists:


11.  Visit some bars and talk to the locals. Winter is great for people having and taking the time to chat and relax after the busy summer season.  Visit some local bars, and enjoy the conversation!  Some good talking places: (see our reviews of bars, taverns and saloons on our website and read about them, then visit!).  NOTE: some have limited hours in Winter, like Thursdays – Sundays, or some just weekends.

  • Casey's BBQ & Smokehouse in Egg Harbor, right on Hwy 42: 920-868-3038 (Great food too!)
  • Coyote Roadhouse in Bailey's Harbor, right on Kangaroo Lake, 920-839-9192
  • Bayside Tavern in Fish Creek, right on Hwy 42 (a classic): 920-868-3441. Usually can get food until 10PM
  • Cornerstone Pub in Baileys Harbor: 920-839-9001
  • Sister Bay Bowl, the bar section, right across from Husby's: 920-854-2841
  • The Blue Ox in Bailey's Harbor, on Hwy 57: 920-839-2771 
  • The Hitching Post, at County T in Sturgeon Bay (see Hughy!): 920-743-5735
  • AC Tap in Bailey's Harbor, between Sister Bay and Baileys Harbor: 920-839-2426

12.  Door County Coffee! No better time to warm up than now, and with one of the greatest cups of coffee in the world! Visit the Door County Coffee & Tea Company about 3 or so miles south of Egg Harbor in the town of Carlsville!  Owner Vicki Wilson roasts her own beans and has a tremendous assortment of flavors, like Door County Christmas (one of our very favorites), White Christmas, Southern Pecan and more.  She also has straight, unflavored roasts, like Sumatra and more.  Take the time to stop in and smell the coffee . . . and take some home too!  This place is a real find!   They also sell jams, light lunches, and other country items!  This is GREAT stuff!  You can put together some wonderful holiday gifts for the coffee-lovers on your list!

  • Door County Coffee & Tea Company, 5773 HWY 42, Sturgeon Bay (Carlsville) - 920-743-8930 or 800-856-6613 and please tell them that sent you! We love this place!!

13.  Historic Sturgeon Bay! Over the last 12 years or so, they have revitalized the downtown area of Sturgeon Bay, and did a magnificent job!  Stroll down 3rd Avenue and enjoy the many quaint shops in near turn-of-the-century buildings, like The Dancing Bear, coffee houses, restaurants and inns.  Sturgeon Bay really IS part of Door County, and at least you should take the 16-mile drive south of Egg Harbor into town and enjoy it!  Or even stay in Sturgeon Bay.   And check the calendar for special events.

  • How about gourmet popcorn (caramel, cashew, more) and handmade fudge? Stop in Door County Candy on 3rd Avenue – see Terry and get some of the best gourmet goods around! 
  • Find some wonderful clothing and accessories at Wilkins and Olander on Historic Third Avenue, including huge Vera Bradley collection, Pandora jewelry, Switch Flops and more. Also check On Deck in Sturgeon Bay for fabulous men’s and women’s clothing and accessories.
  • There are many beautiful B&Bs and Resorts in Sturgeon Bay worth checking out!

14.  SWIM!   Are we crazy?  Well, some people will think that the members of the Door County Polar Bear Club are as they dive into the icy waters of Lake Michigan, off Jacksonport Lakeside Park at noon on January 1st!  They've been doing it for 20 years already! Call 920-823-2231 for info! Brrrrrrr.

OR you can check out the winter hours at one of Door County's YMCAs!  A whole lot warmer!

  • Door County YMCA Northern Center in Fish Creek, 3866 Gibraltar Rd, Fish Creek - 920-868-3660
  • YMCA, 17 S. 5th Ave, Sturgeon Bay - 920-743-4949 OR 1-800-287-4949

15.  SUNSET WATCHING! Where you ask?  Try it at Sunset Park, one of the hidden gems in Door County!  It's in Fish Creek - stay on Main Street heading towards Founder's Square, The Main Street Motel, The White Gull Inn - and keep going to the end of the road.  Park the car - there is a little park here, and you can climb down right near the shore and watch the sunset over the icy Green Bay waters and see Chamber Island in the distance!  Spectacular!  Don’t forget the camera – there are some spectacular pictures you can take in winter!

  • Or try heading up to Ephraim and watching the sun set from there – right from the beach – truly wonderful!
  • Or try the Egg Harbor down around the (new) marina and dock area!
  • Ellison Bluff County Park – Scenic Overlook. A top spot for Door County sunsets.

16.  Cave Point!  While you're in the outdoorsy mood, head over to Cave Point, another very much photographed site in Door County.  It's over on the Quiet Side (the Lake Michigan side), near Jacksonport and Whitefish Dunes State Park - head south on Hwy 57 from Bailey's Harbor.  This is a bluff of rock overlooking the Green Bay waters, and it produces wonderful sprays of splashing waters in summer as the waves crash the rocks below, and it takes on an icy chilly, mysterious cloak in winter!  Be careful, watch for ice - don't slip. And bring the camera for sure – you will want to frame a shot or two!  This is one awesome spot year round!

17.  Photo Opportunities!  Don't forget the camera!  The icy water scenes, and the tranquility of the interior peninsula with its beautiful old barns, rolling field and trees all make a wonderful backdrop for people picture, or just plane landscape pictures that you will cherish for a long time.

  • Great Spots:
    • Sunset Park (again, beautiful and scenic water, ice and island views); Fish Creek
    • Cave Point - see above #15!
    • Take a trip across County E from Egg Harbor to Bailey's Harbor - lots of beautiful open fields, trees and Kangaroo Lake - which you can cross on a causeway by car.
    • Gills Rock - the Top of the Thumb!  Great water and island shots available here
    • Peninsula State Park - climb Lookout Tower and take some panoramic pics!
    • Ellison Bay Bluffs: watch for the signs on the left as you head north into Ellison Bay - and find this bluff above the trees for a great view of the icy waters of Green Bay.

18.  Visit a Gallery! Many of the galleries have some winter hours especially on weekends, or by appointment – so why not take this quiet time to enjoy some art, and maybe even select a special piece. Especially visit: See our Gallery page!  Call to make sure they can see you when you are there.  Fun places and please tell them that sent you!

  • Hands On Art Studio
    3655 Peninsula Players Road

    (head west from Hwy 42, about 1 ¾ miles)
    Fish Creek

19.  Restaurants!  Well, you'll probably want to dine out, so here are some restaurants that will maintain some winter hours as far as we know, mostly weekends, some from Thurs - Sun.  Call ahead and Read our Reviews: and please tell them that sent you!

  • The Carrington Pub & Grill at the Landmark Resort in Egg Harbor (Review)
  • The White Gull Inn: a Door County classic: 920- 868-3517 (Review)
  • The Waterfront in Sister Bay: 920- 854-5491 (Review) – Check if open
  • JJ’s in Sister Bay and Jacksonport.
  • Coyote Roadhouse, Baileys Harbor at Kangaroo Lake: 920-839-9192
  • Mink River Basin, Ellison Bay: 920-854-2250
  • Alexander’s in Sister Bay: 920-854-7972 – tell Jill we sent you! And Read our Review!
  • Casey’s BBQ & Smokehouse in Egg Harbor: 920-868-3038 – tell Matt we sent you! (Review)

20.  SHOP TILL YOU . . . well, get too c-c-c-cold? Not too many years ago, even on the weekends, you would not find many shops open in Winter.  Well, there are a bunch of shops and galleries open on the weekends in Winter!  So, you will find plenty to do if you like shopping, and probably be able to come home with a treasure or two!  So have some fun and shop the winter blues away in Door County!  Check our Shopping pages for Open in Winter!

21.  Fish Creek Winter Festival! You never know what to expect at the Fish Creek Winter Festival!  Sleigh rides, Kites over the Bay, food, music, fun!  It’s really fun event, February 1 – 3rd 2019.  Activities could include a “fun and funky” parade, the always-popular chili cook-off, family games, trolley and sleigh rides, winter wine festival, Rock and Roll Snow Dance, live music and great food. 


22.  Fire & Ice Festival in Sturgeon Bay is on for February 16 2018! Fun time for all!  At Stone Harbor Resort – check the Fire & Ice info page!

23.  Chill at a great Spa! With the snow flying outside, be cozy on the inside as you get a special spa treatment, massage and more at one of Door County's premiere spas!   We love going to Lavender Spa ~ Fish Creek


24.  14th ANNUAL WINTER WINE & CHERRY FEST – FISH CREEK - Date of Event: 2/02/19 - At Orchard Country Winery & Market from 10 AM-4 PM. Cure the winter blues with live music, free product tastings, door prizes, cherry pit spit competition 1:30 PM, children activities, warm food and bakery. Fun for all! For info call 920-868-3479 or Toll Free: 1-866-946-3263 Tell Carrie and the gang that sent you!


25.  And Lots more: Comedy Club at Carrington Pub & Grill in Egg Harbor (Landmark Resort), Salsa Dancing, Ski-For-Free in Sturgeon Bay! Check our Calendar of Events for everything, and always check What’s Happing this Week in Door County!

Always check with establishments ahead of time to make sure of schedule, cancellations etc.  Things can change without notice.


Check our Things to Do section for more and download our mobile app Door County On the Go! 

For Apple or Android devices.

Have a great time this Fall, in Door County. So enjoy some Autumn Awe – Fun-For-All on the Door County Peninsula! And remember, wherever you go, please tell them that sent you! That helps us keep this site going (in our 19th year)! 


Always check with establishments ahead of time to make sure of schedule, cancellations etc.
  Things can change without notice.