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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!