It’s only been spring for a couple of weeks, but the fact that we’ve already hit 91 degrees has us terrified of the summer ahead.
So we’ve started compiling a list of places we can go this summer that aren’t as blazing hot as Texas.
Top of our list: Door County, Wisconsin. Fly into Green Bay or one of several other nearby travel hubs, then prepare to have a relaxing adventure. Or an adventurous bit of relaxation, whichever you choose.
We visited about this same time last year and we’ve been holding out for winter to end so we can sing its cherry-scented praises. (Yes, among many other selling points for the destination, the cherries here are to die for.)
Of course, so is the cheese.
We stayed at the tastefully simple and chic Dörr Hotel, which has a decidedly Scandinavian vibe—a purposeful nod to Swedish, Danish and Norwegian settlers who called Door County home. Request a room with a Lake Michigan view and you’ll immediately get acclimated to the charming town of Sister Bay.
Among our top must-do excursions, you should definitely take a ferry to Washington Island, kayak near Cave Point County Park, explore lighthouses, visit a lavender farm and stay up late for the breathtaking International Dark Sky Park, Newport State Park (the first in Wisconsin).
We love our boozy beverages and Door County makes the most of its natural resources and local crops to create some killer beers, ciders, wine and distilled spirits. Door County Distillery makes one of our new favorite gins (among several other types of liquor). Plus, they have a bar where they’ll make cocktails with any of their spirits.
The food scene’s pretty amazing, too, and one of the most unique cooking experiences we’ve ever witnessed can be found at the fish boil at the Old Post Office Restaurant—a totally flaaaaaming experience.
And speaking of flaming (we couldn’t resist), we felt totally welcome in all of Door County and we’re about as flaming as they come (especially with some of that Door County Gin in us). Throughout our stay, we saw several people from the LGBTQ community out and about—both locals and visitors—so that immediately made us feel safe and comfortable.
Door County even has its own Pride event, which returns to Sister Bay this June 21. Northern Door Pride celebrates diversity and makes a fun centerpiece experience when you start planning your upcoming vacation to the area.
To help you find the best of the best things to do, we created a gallery of our favorite things to do in Door County. Click on any image below for a larger photo. And click on any website to be taken directly to more information on each business or destination.
We promise, if you love small-town charm, spectacular landscapes and a cool breeze blowing up your shorty shorts, Door County is a spring and summer destination you’ll want to visit again and again.
Door CountyAll photos courtesy of Destination Door County, except: Dörr Hotel photos courtesy of Kathryn Brockett; Big Sister beer photo courtesy of Steven Lindsey; and Dark Sky photo via Shutterstock.