With or without snow, Door County is a magical place (even in winter)
This peninsula north of Green Bay is known for agritourism (and cherries), but there's so much more to The Door.
You’ve never had a cherry until you’ve had a Door County cherry, but what can you do in this scenic northern tip of Wisconsin when it’s not cherry season?
Door County is a 20-mile wide, 70-mile long stretch of land sandwiched between Green Bay and the western shore of Lake Michigan. For more than a century, the Door, as some folks call it, has been home to acres and acres of cherry – and apple – orchards, and a thriving agritourism industry to go with it.
Fresh air and sweet cherries are why tourists originally flocked to Door County, but I went at the beginning of winter to experience the snowy side of this little pocket of the upper Midwest.
This region was originally inhabited by Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, Ojibwe, Sauk, Menominee and Ottawa peoples, and white settlers first started moving to the region when loggers were looking for new sources of lumber to build the lakeside cities of Chicago and Milwaukee. They arrived by boat, often passing through the harrowing “Door of Death” between this sliver of land north of what is now the city of Green Bay and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
After the original forests were felled, farmers moved in and planted fruit orchards, which added to the appeal for citygoers throughout the Midwest who wanted to find a bit of natural solace during the summer months.
I’d never heard of Door County before visiting in December. Growing up in Southwest Missouri, we lived in the Ozark Mountains, not far from Branson, a totally different type of tourism experience that draws its own unique crowd each summer.
But in Door County, I felt like I was in a place more akin to Fredericksburg, the Hill Country destination built originally on agritourism but that now features a number of culinary, artistic and historical attractions that make it an appealing destination for families, couples, retirees and nature lovers.
Here are 7 magical things to do if you visit Door County: