On the Garden Path-Door County, Wisconsin

A favorite vacation destination for families.
Karen Sutherland
March 2009
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Gorgeous perennial flower gardens grace Door County, Wis., outside the Country Walk Shops in Sister Bay.
Karen Sutherland

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Every year, I anticipate summer’s arrival, which almost always involves a few days spent in Door County, Wis. The county – located on a peninsula that extends into Lake Michigan, with Green Bay on its west side – contains more than 300 miles of coastline. The tranquil setting can soothe the most overstressed soul.

Famous for its light­houses, Door County is a favorite vacation spot for many folks. Ten lighthouses dot the shore on both the Lake Michigan and Green Bay sides, and most of them are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. My favorite lighthouse is Cana Island, which is on the Lake Michigan side.

Door County is also a land of parks. There are five state parks and 18 county parks, as well as numerous local parks. Four of the five state parks offer camping sites. Peninsula State Park is the largest of the state parks, at more than 3,700 acres, and has its own beach and golf course.

For visitors who love nature, Ridges Sanctuary is a must-see attraction. If you want to see birds, check out Washington Island at the top of the peninsula. It is home to more than 200 species of birds, including the killdeer, the sandhill crane, the bald eagle and the red-throated loon.

In addition to the breathtaking natural beauty of Door County’s rugged coastline and calming sunsets, the gardens of gorgeous flowers, which seem to be everywhere, are more than impressive. They splash the horizon with beautiful reds, yellows, purples and pinks on lovely green foliage. They cluster around strip malls, dot the sides of the streets and roads, and surround churches and restaurants.

Located some 230 miles north of Chicago on Lake Michigan, Door County, Wis., features miles of coastline. To plan a trip, or for more information about where to stay, where to dine and what to do, visit www.DoorCounty.com­.­

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