How to Spend a Fall Weekend in Door County

Northern Wisconsin this time of year holds a special place in my heart. My family and I used to camp and spend time in cabins during the fall months and every time I go back I just have pure nostalgia from every trip, every bonfire, every perfect lake day, every grove of orange and red, every pumpkin patch, and every friend we brought up to enjoy our time with. 

This time around, I made a solo trip up with my good friend Shaylin (hi if you're reading this) for a quick getaway for the weekend and it was the perfect fall refresh. The second and third weeks of October are the best times to go up there and we were lucky enough to even find a place to stay weeks before. It's special trips like this that I cherish because they're short and spontaneous but full of adventure. 

Fish Creek

The humble little beach town of Fish Creek in Door County is typically where my family and I will rent a cabin in Little Sweden and share it with family friends just outside of town, but since we made the plans so last minute, we were lucky enough to find a hotel 30 minutes south in Sturgeon Bay. On our way into town, we made a few stops to my favorite family-owned and pick-your-own pumpkin patches. Shartner's Farm Market has the biggest and roundest pumpkins, gourds, but most importantly the most divine cherry pie.


We made a quick stop at the Shipwrecked Brew Pub in Egg Harbor on our way into town for some bavarian pretzels and caffeine, with a lake view of course. Then we proceeded up the winding roads, playing Frank Ocean and The Lumineers as we please, and arrived at our destination for a peruse around town. 

We were sure not to forget to stop into the cute little trinket-y gift and candy shops that I used to spend so much time in as a kid. 

My favorite shop was called Touch of the World and it had jade buddhas, friendship bracelets, beads, delicate animal figurines, alpaca gloves, and mini bamboo trees you could buy. The owner would take trips to Thailand every summer and bring back locally made goods, but I was sad to see that the store had closed permanently this year. 

With the smell of crisp leaves, firewood, and the local fish boil, we opted for an outdoor patio dinner spot at Juniper's Gin Joint, now called The Loft, for an old fashioned and some locally caught grilled salmon before we headed to the Northern Sky Theater to watch a show called Naked Radio...you had to be there! 

Northern Sky Theater is a local production company full of sing-song, dance, and just good 'ol humor—throw in a banjo, maybe a kazoo or two, and you are transported by storytelling and heartfelt acting. The show isn't over until we finished the night at the Bayside Tavern for some Oktoberfest and good chatter with the locals. 


It isn't a Door County trip without a visit to Peninsula State Park. But first be sure to make a pitstop on the way to Blue Horse Beach Cafe for a warm caramel latte and the best egg and sausage biscuit your heart desires. This cafĂ© is what remote working dreams are made of. Views of Nicolet Bay from the front patio windows lure me in every time, but alas there are even more stunning views ahead in the park. 

While we weren't camping, just taking a Sunday drive through the park is truly all you need. We made a few pitstops along the way to view the breathtaking bluffs over Lake Michigan and the painted tree lines as far as the eye can see. Whether it be taking a quick gaze over the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse or mustering up the courage to climb the newly constructed Eagle Tower. There are tons of trails, but one thing I recommend checking out is the outdoor amphitheater where the Northern Sky Theater used to put on its shows under the stars. 

After we had our much needed trek in the woods, we made sure to pick up a six pack of Spotted Cow on our way out of town and snack on the abundance of apple cider donuts and caramel apple cookies we picked up. They were both as sweet as the trip and I would recommend Door County to everyone looking for the perfect midwestern fall escape. 

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