By Jordan Dechambre   Published Aug 14, 2002 at 6:02 AM

Door County sunset Recently rated one of North America's "Ten Best Places to Vacation" by Money magazine, Door County, is a haven for Milwaukee and Chicago travelers alike. In this two-part series, Door County-native Jordan Dechambre uses her hometown expertise to highlight the resort area's often-overlooked hot spots -- restaurants, lodging, shopping and leisure -- that give Door County its flair.

Door County offers more things to do than your average amusement park. Although roller coasters aren't common, the villages that make up this traveler's paradise offer the best in performing arts, natural beauty and recreational activities. If you're staying for a weekend or a week, try to fit in as many of these activities as you can! For part two, click here.

Sturgeon Bay

Whitefish Dunes State Park
3701 Clark Lake Rd.
(920) 823-2400

The park offers more than 6,000 feet of sandy beach and dunes. Although the hiking trails and observation deck with priceless views of Lake Michigan are the most common tourist activity at the park, making a stop at Cave Point is a must. Cave Point, which features rock formations and cut outs on the Lake Michigan shoreline, is one of the most beautiful spots in Door County. Climb the rocks down to the beach for a great view of the jagged formations.

Door Peninsula Winery
5806 Highway 42
(920) 743-6431 or (800) 551-5049

Every wine lover must visit this winery. And, don't forget to take home a bottle of Razzle Dazzle champagne -- it's the best! The winery was won numerous awards for its vino, and offers guided tours to show how it's made. The best part -- free wine samples!

The Farm
4285 Highway 57
(920) 743-6666

A living museum of rural America, the farm is the ultimate place to take the family (everyone needs to feed a goat with a baby bottle at some point). In fact, you can bottle feed lambs and piglets too, and even milk a goat and see a chick hatch. The kids will love you for it, and it's a great way to say goodbye to the city and hello to county living.

Bailey's Harbor

Maxwelton Braes
7620 Highway 57
(920) 839-2321

An 18-hole championship golf course nestled on the "quieter" side of Door County. This is a gorgeous spot that is surely any golfer's paradise. Plus, there's a restaurant and sports bar on site. If you check out one golf course in Door County, this is the one.


Egg Harbor

Birch Creek Music Performance Center
3821 County E
(920) 868-3763

This is a wonderfully unique music school in a beautiful setting. From late June through mid-August, the talented musicians that teach at the school perform concerts in symphony, percussion and Big Band styles. And, the students even hop on stage and perform with their teachers, or at the open air gazebo before the concert and during intermission.

Alpine Golf Course
7670 County G
(920) 868-3000

Thirty-six holes! That's a lot of golf. But the Alpine offers even more -- terrific bay views, breathtaking bluffs and abundant natural hazards that make for a great day or weekend of golf.

Fish Creek

American Folklore Theatre
Peninsula State Park
(920) 854-6117

The American Folklore Theatre: This talented musical theatre knows how to put on a show. With a look at this summer's lineup, featuring the sci-fi inspired football musical Packer Fans from Outer Space, box office summer hit Loose Lips Sink Ships and a tribute to the co-founder of American Folklore Theatre, Beneath the Northern Sky, there's no reason to not stop in and check out a performance.

Peninsula Players: From tragedies to in-your-face comedies, Peninsula Players has been making audiences laugh and cry for almost 70 years. The surroundings are exquisite -- a theatre in the midst of a cedar forest with views of the bay. A personal favorite, Peninsula Players is a once in a lifetime theatric experience. Talented actors and well-chosen works only accentuate the outdoor experience.


I love to shop. Some people have sports, others have hobbies. I have shopping. Since I worked in my first shop -- a store called the Door Belle at the ripe age of 13 -- it's been in my blood. No doubt, my mother had a large influence on that. She was that mom that would show up at my high school volleyball games in Jimmy Choo heels and a Betsy Johnson dress, much to the dismay of the other moms and delight of the dads. I hated it. Would it have killed her to own a sweatshirt that wasn't cropped and Donna Karan? Now her style has influenced me to the point of obsession. I can't afford most of the clothes I own, and have been known to forgo a meal or two to buy a great pair of designer jeans. Why am I telling you this? So you know you can absolutely trust my advice on the following stores, including the one my mom currently manages. Happy shopping!

Sturgeon Bay

Mumbo Yo Yo
139 N. 3rd Ave., Sturgeon Bay
7812 Highway 42, Egg Harbor
(920) 746-1199 (Sturgeon Bay).
(920) 868-1199 (Egg Harbor)

A great store for people looking for funky odds and ends. Eclectic artwork, furniture, jewelry and knick-knacks, I love the great selection of off-the-wall clocks. The furniture is art deco and an interior decorators dream -- the oblong tables are fit to appear in the trendiest of lofts. A must-see for art lovers!

Egg Harbor

Main Street Shops
7828 Highway 42
(920) 868-3851

By far my favorite it store in Door County (and not just because my mom manages it!) The most fashionable and luxurious store in Door County, Posh -- which has only been open for about a year -- caters to women from 20 to 80. Designers such as Carol Anderson and Mac&Jac adorn the funky racks. The shoe selection, trendy handbags and jewelry, and world-renowned Bloom makeup line make this store a must-shop. And, don't forget to ask for Nancy. (I'm not opposed to shameless mom-promotion)

Maxwell's House
7763 Highway 42
(920) 868-2989 or (920) 868-9940

Upscale home furnishings and decorations with an innovative flair. Check out the great lamp, rug, accent table and mirror selection. A great place to pick up accessories for your home. Plus, just a step next door brings you into Crickets, with a wonderful selection of garden necessities and fresh flowers -- green thumbs give this a thumbs up.

Antiques Etc, Etc.
Main Street Shops
7828 Highway 42
(920) 868-1134

Antique lovers everywhere need to make a pit stop at this charming shop. Antiques and collectables abound in the English Victorian atmosphere. Door County antiquing at its best.

Fish Creek

Whistling Swan
4192 Main St.
(920) 868-3442

Located in Door County's oldest inn, this upscale boutique is an elegant women's best friend. The most unique portion of this store, however, is the Cygnet Shop. It's filled with the most adorable children's clothes and toys. You can bet I was dressed up in these fashions when I was a wee one. A great place for mom and baby.

J. Jeffrey Taylor
4175 Main St.
(920) 868-3033

The most distinctive, creative and trendy jewelry shop I've ever had the privilege to shop. No matter what your style -- gold, platinum, silver, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, etc. -- you will find exactly what you're looking for. All are original creations of award winning jewelers. If jewelry isn't you bag, the cutting-edge selection of art, photography, sculptures, and vases is unmatched. Guys -- if a romantic Door County proposal is on your mind, this is the place to choose the ring.

Siobhan's Wine, Spirits and Cigars
9431 Spruce St.
(920) 868-3353

A must-visit for everyone from wine and cigar connoisseurs to those looking to pick up a bottle of rum. Siobhan's shop is packed with the best selection in Door County, and is conveniently located in the heart of Fish Creek.

Sister Bay

Tannenbaum Holiday Shop
11054 Highway 57 (Sister Bay)
4139 Main St. (Fish Creek)
(920) 854-5004 (Sister Bay)
(920) 868-1631 (Fish Creek)

This 12,000-sq. ft. store, based in Sister Bay, features many high-end collectibles, and Christmas ornaments and decorations galore. This is the ultimate store for Christmas lovers! A great place to celebrate Christmas in July. Buy all your decorations now and relax until December.

On Deck Clothing Co.
812 N. Bay Shore Dr. (Sister Bay)
7828 Egg Harbor Rd. (Egg Harbor)
4168 Main St./9341 Spring Road (Fish Creek)
(920) 854-2607 (Sister Bay)
(920) 868-3122 (Egg Harbor)
(920) 868-9090/(920) 868-2221 (Fish Creek)

A series of fine shops carrying Polo Ralph Lauren, Cutter & Buck, Tommy Hilfiger, Timberland and more. A great place to find sophisticated men's and women's clothes, On Deck Clothing Co. has been a Door County tradition since 1986.