Artist studios and galleries tucked away on roads and secluded glens. One charming shop after another in one charming village after another, up and down the peninsula.

This is Door County. Known as a haven for artists, art enthusiasts flock to Door County to purchase one-of-a-kind pieces and artists from around the area come to take part in various residencies or to show off their work in local galleries. Alongside the art, you will also find a burgeoning culinary scene featuring everything from craft ciders and expertly brewed beer to farm-fresh cherries and some of the nation’s best cheese.

Sturgeon Bay

Renard’s Cheese

In 1961, Howard Renard would open Door County’s oldest cheese store. Today, the business is still family owned and operated – Chris Renard is the cheesemaker, one of approximately 62 in the world. Renard’s produces 11 varieties of cheese and 50 flavor-infused cheeses. They make cheese fresh daily starting at 2 a.m. and produce nearly three million pounds of cheese per year! To learn more, visit renardscheese.com.

These are the paintings of Margaret Lockwood, a many-times awarded and featured Master Artist. The Margaret Lockwood Gallery is the home of Margaret’s ethereal, abstract paintings interpreting the beauty and landscapes of Door County.

Margaret Lockwood Gallery

As the name suggests, the paintings in this gallery belong to Margaret Lockwood, who finds inspiration from Door County. She explains, “I’ve been here for 25 years. We came from St. Louis, but I have vacationed in Door County all my life. In 1994, I opened the gallery.” Purchasing a piece of Margaret’s work is like purchasing a little piece of Door County. To learn more, visit margaretlockwoodgallery.com.

Miller Art Museum

Gerhard Miller, considered one of the greatest Wisconsin watercolor painters, left an incredible gift to the people of Door County – The Miller Art Museum. This permanent collection features art from more than 190 artists. Expect to see paintings, drawings, photography and more. To learn more, visit millerartmuseum.org.

Door County Candy

Owner Terry Ullman has been in the business of selling sweets for 25 years. At Door County Candy you’ll find handmade chocolates and various treats made from scratch. Don’t miss the truffles! To learn more, visit doorcountycandy.com.

Crate Restaurant

The only place on the peninsula where you will find sushi, Crate has mastered the art of seafood and steak. Their menu features dishes created from locally sourced, wholesome ingredients and they pride themselves on their dedication to sustainability. To learn more, visit crate.restaurant.com

 

Sister Bay

Seaquist Orchards

Jams, pie filling, syrups, salsas, oh my! At Seaquist Orchards, owned by Dale Seaquist, you’ll find a variety of products featuring local produce like cherries, apples, apricots and pears. Dale notes, “I am fourth generation. My son, Jim, is fifth generation and he is general manager.” Keeping it in the family, Seaquist Orchards is the country’s largest single producer of cherries. They offer 30 varieties of sweet cherries and four varieties of tart cherries. On their property you will find a gift shop and bakery along with a processing plant for their farm.

Goats graze the sod roof atop Al Johnson’s in Sister Bay; this casual log-cabin eatery serves traditional Swedish fare.

Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant

Goats on a roof!? Yes, goats on a roof! Perhaps the easiest way to recognize this Swedish family-owned restaurant is by the goats that graze the roof. What started as a gag is now a long-withstanding tradition. Be sure to stop by to try a traditional Swedish dish or one of the local favorites. To learn more, visit aljohnsons.com.

 

Ephraim

Ephraim Historical Foundation

Many of the buildings and homes in Ephraim are more than 100 years old. Take a tour of this picturesque village on the water and bask in the quiet stillness you’ll find here. To learn more, visit ephraim.org.

The Hardy Gallery is situated directly on the shore of Eagle Harbor and has been a pillar of the Door County art community since the mid-1900s. Colorful graffiti covers the exterior. Just as in its early days of receiving sailors, visitors today continue to commemorate their arrival with colorful graffiti. Today’s visitors presumably haven’t braved dangerous waters to reach Ephraim, but they’re still invited to record their names on the Hardy Gallery’s exterior walls, thereby participating in the dock’s rich history of welcoming travelers to Ephraim.

Francis Hardy Gallery

A businessman from Chicago, Francis Hardy started the gallery from a love of art and Door County. Today, you can take part in the art of Ephraim when you stop by the gallery to sign the wall. Leave your mark by writing your name. To learn more, visit thehardy.org

Fish Creek

Fish Boil at Rowley’s Bay Resort

No trip to Door County would be complete without a fish boil dinner! Enjoy freshly caught fish cooked over an open fire, a tradition taken from the Scandanavian settlers who migrated to the region more than 100 years ago. To learn more, visit rowleysbayresort.com.

Northern Sky Theater

Recently opened in August of 2019, the Northern Sky Theater boasts a 650-seat outdoor theater and a 248-seat indoor theater. All shows performed here are musical comedies and the playwrights are all a part of the Actor’s Equity Association, a labor union representing the world of live theatrical performance. To learn more, visit northernskytheater.com.

Skip Stone Coffee

Named after the owner’s favorite childhood pastime, Skip Stone Coffee serves all traditional coffees and provides homemade flavor options. They also offer homemade pastries and serve beer and wine. To learn more, visit skipstonecoffee.com.

Enjoy a cooking class at The Savory Spoon Cooking School, located in a charming, historic schoolhouse built in 1879 in Ellison Bay. We made this delicious salad!

Savory Spoon Cooking School

Chef Janice Thomas owns and operates the Savory Spoon Cooking School, where she offers cooking classes for all ages! In their 16th season, this is a fantastic experience that you won’t want to miss. To learn more, visit savoryspoon.com.

Island Orchard Cider

Island Orchard Cider uses apples from their orchard on Door County’s Washington Island, where they have 2,500 apple trees, to craft still ciders, cordials and iced cider. Stop by for a taste of Wisconsin! To learn more, visit islandorchardcider.com.

One Barrel Brew

Originally from Madison, One Barrel Brew is brewing batches one batch at a time. They are open every day of the year and serve a variety of cold ones like Kolsch, New England-Style IPA, Oktoberfest and stouts. To learn more, visit onebarrelbrewing.com.

Egg Harbour

Cappaert Contemporary Gallery

Artist Ginnie Cappaert has spent the last five years running the Cappaert Contemporary Gallery. The gallery, located in a log home that dates back to 1873, features work from 40 artists. To learn more, visit cappaertcontemporary.com.

Plum Bottom Gallery

Chad and Angela Luberger are the owners of Plum Bottom Gallery, voted best gallery in Door County the last three years. Artist run, this oasis sits on 20 acres. Chad says, “Door County is an amazing art mecca – here you will find many art galleries hidden in nooks and crannies.” To learn more, visit plumbottompottery.com.

Sweetie Pies

At Sweetie Pies, sit outside under the shade of a tree and enjoy a slice of your favorite pie! Owner Olivia Lowery explains, “My mother developed all the recipes. We hand roll every single crust.” Sweetie Pies is open daily. To learn more, visit sweetiepiesdoorcounty.com.

Wisconsin Cheese Masters

Discover an exclusive selection of cheese at Wisconsin Cheese Masters. All 60 Master Cheese Makers in the U.S. reside in Wisconsin and many of the cheeses carried at Wisconsin Cheese Masters are a result of their hard work and specific techniques. To learn more, visit wisconsincheesemasters.com.

Wisconsin produces 600 varieties of cheese.

Glacier Ledge at Door Artisan Cheese

Part of Door Artisan Cheese’s wine and cheese shop, Glacier Ledge serves amazing food. On their menu you will find dishes like Shiitake-Dusted Sea Scallops, Argentinian-Style Sausage and, of course, a cheese board. To learn more, visit doorartisancheese.com.

Experience the art and culinary scene of Door County for yourself. Visit doorcounty.com to start planning your trip!

Cynthia Calvert
Author: Cynthia CalvertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Owner
A trained journalist with a masters degree from Lamar University, a masters from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, as well as extensive coursework toward a masters of science in psychology from the University of New Orleans, Calvert founded the Tribune Newspapers in 2007. Her experiences as an investigative, award winning reporter (She won Journalist of the Year from the Houston Press Club among many other awards for reporting and writing), professor and chair of the journalism department for Lone Star College-Kingwood and vice president of editorial for a large group of community weeklies provides her with a triple dose of bankable skills that cover every aspect of the journalism field. Solid reporting. Careful interviews. Respect and curiosity for people and places.

Comments (1)

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Just a polite correction. Rowleys Bay Resort is near Ellison Bay on Hwy ZZ. In Fish Creek the place for fish boils is PELLITIERS.

Kelly Thornton.
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