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Old 07-04-2022, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Rural Wisconsin
16,670 posts, read 6,517,102 times
Reputation: 32942

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabininthetrees View Post
Hello Katharsis,
We have a trip planned to Door County next week to hopefully find a new home. Is there a town in Door County that you might suggest? We want to spend a lot of time outdoors and understand that everything gets very busy in the Summer. Is there a section of the Penisula that is less likely to be crowded in the Summer? Have the mosquitoes been a problem for you? It would be great to hear any insights you may have for a Door County newcomer. We have been reading the Penisula Post daily for months but it would be so fine to hear from you. Your insights and posts have been very helpful!
Hi.

These are some notes for tourists like yourself. Of course, the following is just my OPINION, for the most part, so keep that in mind!

ALL of the northern part of Door (Sturgeon Bay is the dividing line between north and south Door) is loaded with tourists in the summer, but the western side (the bay) is more popular than the eastern side, which is not as affluent and doesn't have as many shops and restaurants. July and August are the busiest months, followed by October (wonderful foliage) or June, and then September or May. It is NOT as busy this year, however -- I am not sure why.

July and August are muggy, however, but mosquitoes have not been as much of a problem as I would have thought. You do have to worry a bit about ticks, however, if you go to the woods.

Now I am partial to Egg Harbor, Fish Creek and Ephraim, but I think Fish Creek has the advantage because of its proximity to Peninsula Park, which is between Ephraim and Fish Creek, and is my personal #1 favorite place to go -- absolutely gorgeous. (And it contains Eagle Lighthouse, which has a wonderful tour that is available in summer.) Ephraim is prettier and more picturesque than Fish Creek, but Fish Creek has more shops and restaurants in a very short area -- only about 12 blocks, I think. However, Ephraim has Wilson's Ice Cream shop, which has been around for over 100 years and is a very traditional ice cream shop that also serves great sandwiches. I like Egg Harbor because it has a nice beach area and it is very close to Fish Creek, while being closer to Carlsville (Door County Coffee and Tea. and Door County Candle) and Sturgeon Bay. There are about six wineries in Door, btw, with most of them located between Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay. (The great majority of these are sweet fruit wines, btw.) Also many fruit orchards have "pick your own" available -- first strawberries (now), then cherries, and then apples. There are dozens of art galleries and antique shops in Door, also, along with many public golf courses. Kayaking is available, but one of our favorite things to do is to take a sunset sailing cruise on the Edith M. Becker, a tall ship, operating out of Sister Bay. Oh, before I forget, just north of Fish Creek is the Skyway Drive-In Theater, which is a fun and nostalgic thing to do!

I have specifically not mentioned Sister Bay because it is VERY crowded, and it is a kind of a tourist madhouse, which I don't care for, and north of Sister are only the small towns of Ellison Bay and Gills Rock, and although the northern coastal views are beautiful, the towns themselves are nothing much at all. We have not yet been to Washington Island, but it is on our "to do" list.

Btw, south of Sturgeon is almost all farms and nothing much to see there, imo. Sturgeon Bay is just a working class town, but it also has many tourist shops and it is where we do most of our grocery shopping. (There is a GREAT market in Egg Harbor, Main Street Market, but it is smaller and about 10-20% higher than the Sturgeon grocery shores, but it is a wonderful place to browse and they do have a good selection of food and groceries, including many fine wines, some of which are very expensive.)

As far as lodging, I don't know what you are looking for, but they have ALL kinds of lodging except for chain motels or four-star hotels. I recommend that you check TripAdvisor -- and you should definitely contact the Door County Visitors Center, and they will send you all kinds of guides. https://www.doorcounty.com/

Be aware, though, that restaurants are VERY busy in summer, and especially on weekends and holiday weekends and when there is a triathlon going on. (Door County is very big on various kinds of "runs", both bike and running.) In fact, we have learned to not even try to go to a restaurant that doesn't take reservations on weekends -- and most restaurants don't. We will only go on weekdays, and we arrive when the restaurant first opens. (This is especially true for Wilson's!)

Btw, this is my very favorite video of Door for those who haven't yet seen it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiIYXkwvdNg&t=4s

Again, ALL of the above is my personal OPINION. YMMV!


P.S. If you or anyone else would like more info or more personalized info, please either post it or send me a DM.

Last edited by katharsis; 07-04-2022 at 10:06 AM..
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Old 07-04-2022, 01:58 PM
 
5 posts, read 2,527 times
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Default Many thanks Katharsis

Hi Katharsis,

You have been a tremendous help and I thank you so for the beautiful overview. We are very much akin to you which is why I chose to write. We have taken months to research Door County on many levels. I would dm you but it is not allowed for newcomers, maybe someday.
Thank you again for your comprehensive overview and insights, at this time we think Door County is going to work for us and only hope that we will be as content as you.

All the best!
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Old 07-05-2022, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Rural Wisconsin
16,670 posts, read 6,517,102 times
Reputation: 32942
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabininthetrees View Post
Hi Katharsis,

You have been a tremendous help and I thank you so for the beautiful overview. We are very much akin to you which is why I chose to write. We have taken months to research Door County on many levels. I would dm you but it is not allowed for newcomers, maybe someday.
Thank you again for your comprehensive overview and insights, at this time we think Door County is going to work for us and only hope that we will be as content as you.

All the best!
I just sent you an email this morning (Tuesday), so please let me know if you did not receive it. Thanks!
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Old 07-07-2022, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Wisco Disco
1,494 posts, read 665,837 times
Reputation: 2283
Yup. You head north until you come to one of the bridges that cross Sturgeon Bay and you have arrived at the beginning to nowhere
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Old 07-08-2022, 08:56 PM
 
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Default Sturgeon Bay

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManApplet View Post
Yup. You head north until you come to one of the bridges that cross Sturgeon Bay and you have arrived at the beginning to nowhere

Can you please elaborate a bit on your ideas about Door County and visiting or living there?

Thank you
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Old 07-09-2022, 07:55 AM
 
Location: SE WI
660 posts, read 655,725 times
Reputation: 1772
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManApplet View Post
Yup. You head north until you come to one of the bridges that cross Sturgeon Bay and you have arrived at the beginning to nowhere
Have you ever even been there??? I own a rental property north of there and can barely stand to go there between June and November due to the crowds and congested traffic. The county receives over 2 million visitors a year. Thankfully I found someone to manage and maintain my property.
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Old 07-09-2022, 08:58 AM
 
5 posts, read 2,527 times
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Default TRlaura

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRlaura View Post
Have you ever even been there??? I own a rental property north of there and can barely stand to go there between June and November due to the crowds and congested traffic. The county receives over 2 million visitors a year. Thankfully I found someone to manage and maintain my property.
Thanks for the information. Do you like SE Wisconsin?
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Old 07-09-2022, 10:26 AM
 
4,125 posts, read 7,371,353 times
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I have a house in Wisconsin in Door County. Not everyone that lives there is from Illinois. Where I live, its mixed. Some people from Illinois, others are from other places in Wisconsin. Some live in Florida in the winter and come to Door county in the summer. I am sure there are hunters and fisherman up there, but I have not personally encountered them. Door County is a bit different than other parts of Wisconsin. It has an artsy tourist vibe. Really pretty little towns along the coasts. The bay side has most of the towns, the Lake Michigan side mostly just has a large state parks and Bailey's Harbor which is nice. On the bay side, Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, Ephraim and Sister Bay are the most popular tourist towns. Ellison Bay is a tiny hamlet (I love it though its quieter) and Gills Rock is really just a few buildings not really a town. The interior is mainly farm land or cherry orchards or nothing much at all. Housing prices have shot up in recent years and its hard to find anything reasonably priced!! Door County has become increasingly upscale with expensive home and condos being built. It is a beautiful place.
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Old 07-09-2022, 11:21 AM
 
2,648 posts, read 2,277,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRlaura View Post
Have you ever even been there??? I own a rental property north of there and can barely stand to go there between June and November due to the crowds and congested traffic. The county receives over 2 million visitors a year. Thankfully I found someone to manage and maintain my property.
Is Sturgeon Bay that crowded and congested too?
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Old 07-09-2022, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Rural Wisconsin
16,670 posts, read 6,517,102 times
Reputation: 32942
One thing I want to bring to the discussion is that a lot of what one thinks about traffic and congestion in Door County is what one is used to.

I lived in So Cal from 1963-1986 and in metro Denver from 1986-2012 -- with a three year break when we lived in rural Maine from 2004-07 -- and Door County traffic on the main Hwy 42 route even on July weekends is nothing compared to metro Denver or SoCal traffic. YES, Hwy 42 can be bumper-to-bumper on some summer weekends and if the draw bridges are open, that can add as much as another 15 minutes or so. However, taking the alternate bay route north from Sturgeon -- County B to County G -- eliminates much of the frustration from going to Sturgeon to Egg Harbor, at least, although you do have to be careful of bicyclists. (And on the Triathlon weekend, drivers are actually forced to take 42, I think. We actually isolate ourselves in our home after the first time we experienced the Triathlon traffic. Once was enough, lol.)

But in short, it has never taken us more than 35 minutes to travel the 17 or so miles from Sturgeon to Egg Harbor, even on summer weekends.

Now, again, all of the above has been just my experience, but -- of course -- other people might have had different experiences! But, personally, I would rather endure 20 miles of driving on the Door County highways than go for even five miles on any of the L.A. or Denver freeways!


P.S. However, although traffic is not a problem as far as I am concerned, finding a place to park can be a major challenge in the tourist towns in July and August. They do have shuttle services during the off-season festivals, and I think they should consider this on summer weekends, too! I am not sure why they don't. Too costly, maybe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhpa View Post
Is Sturgeon Bay that crowded and congested too?
No, Sturgeon Bay is not nearly as congested as the northern bayside towns. Sturgeon Bay is just an average working class town, and even the main downtown part of Sturgeon has plenty of parking even on weekends, if you don't mind walking up to about four blocks or so, at most. Again, that is based on my experience -- YMMV.
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