6 bedroom luxury vacation house on Door County’s lakeshore
6 bedroom luxury vacation house on Door County’s lakeshore

Door County

USA Today has described Door County as the “Cape Cod of the Midwest”.  Wisconsin’s “thumb” is a 75-mile long peninsula with 250 miles of shoreline dotted with 11 lighthouses each built over a century ago.  Sitting on the shores of Lake Michigan, the world’s fifth largest freshwater lake, Door County is renown as a summer destination in which to enjoy sun and water fun in a wooded and rural setting.

Door County has been attracting visitors far longer than might be imagined.

  • The current landscape was carved from ancient marine sedimentary rock by glaciers during the last Ice Age 15,000 years ago.
    • Soon after, nomadic Paleoindians came to fish and hunt game including woolly mammoths.
    • Archaeological evidence of permanent Indian settlements date back over 2,000 years.
  • In 1634, French adventurer Jean Nicolet travelled to Door County searching for a water passage to Asia.
    • Instead, he found a route to the Mississippi River and eventually New Orleans.
    • He also established the fur trade in the settlement which became Green Bay.
  • Wisconsin, a Northwest Territory ceded to the U.S. by Britain, became a state in 1848..
    • Logging and fishing industries became the dominant activities in Door County.
    • Stone quarrying and agriculture followed, with cherry and apple orchards in the 1870s.
  • Tourism as we think of it began here in the 1870s with construction of resort hotels.
    • Soon steamship excursions from Chicago and Milwaukee began in volume.
    • Some of today’s tourist attractions date their beginnings back 100 years.
  • Early tourism was often a multi-week stay, but Door County has changed with the times.
  • Vacation patterns have changed with more, but briefer vacations.
  • Improved roads have put Door County within convenient driving time from Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis and even further away make weekend trips possible.
  • The 21st. century has brought even more change to Door County, including:
  • Increased popularity of off-season activities:
    • Door County vies for top ranking in the beauty of its fall foliage with New England.
    • Snowmobiling is a popular winter activity.
    • Summer hiking trails become winter snowshoe trails.
    • With more offseason visitors, more service businesses stay open year round.
  • Recently, trending remote work options driven by the 2020-1 covid pandemic and enabled by increased internet connectivity have led to longer stays and even family relocation away from big cities.




As Door County evolved as a tourist destination since the middle of the 19th. century, its recreational options have kept pace:

  • 10 golf courses and several miniature golf and go-cart parks for the young-at-heart
  • Boating – both cruises and rentals are available at several of the towns
  • Dozens of year-round hiking options for all skill levels
  • Over 100 art galleries – most of which allow you to meet and watch the artists
  • Nationally ranked fall colors within minutes of where you stay
  • World class fishing, especially for bass and salmon.
  • Several live theatre troupes – outdoor and indoor
  • A proliferation of restaurants for foodies
  • Year-round festivals in the picturesque small towns of Door County
  • Museums for both art and the maritime heritage
  • Winter activities include: ice fishing, snow shoeing, and snowmobiling