The Doors of Door County

I hope Norm won’t take offense.Today, as part of Norm’s Thursday Door series, I’m utilizing doors from over four years ago. Doors that were not meant to be the showcase, but rather the backdrop. Doors that are from Door County, the “thumb” of Wisconsin – the place where summer means mega tourists and tourism dollars.

Cabin at Gills Rock

I’ve been to Door County since the 2012 visits, but never for a “Doorscursion.” One usually heads up to this Wisconsin County for relaxation, to test samples from the area’s eight wineries, to play at the miniature golf courses and go-kart tracks, to hike or bike at one of the five State parks, to shop or visit a lighthouse, to partake in fish boils and eat cherry pie for dessert.

Doors for Cat People. (“Take that” you darn dogs!)

During the summer tourist season, the population of Door County can increase from the permanent 28,000 residents to as much as 250,000 human beings. I can tell you from experience, that heading north up Hwy. 42 on a beautiful summer Saturday can be like Saturday afternoon traffic, by the mall, during the holidays. This is a busy place. However, if one wanders over to the east side of the Door peninsula and Hwy 57 (known as “the quiet side”), you may find less traffic and a slower pace. There’s also less shopping on the east side, but it’s all in what you want during your time here.

There’s a “door” attached to the wooden box filled with brightly colored golf balls.

From Wikipedia: “The Door County peninsula has been inhabited for about 11,000 years. Artifacts from an ancient village site at Nicolet Bay Beach have been dated to about 400 BCE. This site was occupied by various cultures until about 1300 CE. Door County’s namesake came from “Porte des Morte”, anglicized as “Death’s Door”, or the passage between the tip of the Door County Peninsula and Washington Island. It’s a common misconception that the name “Death’s Door”, or “Porte des Morts”, arose from the number of shipwrecks associated with the passage. It was instead the result of native-american tales, heard by early French Explorers, related to a failed raid by the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) tribe to capture Washington Island from the rival Potawato mi tribe in the early 1600’s. A storm arose as they war party was half-way across, capsizing and killing about a third of the Ho-Chunk tribe in the process.”

Door County attracts vacationers from all over the country, but many are from the Milwaukee and Chicago areas. This is “up north” to them, a place that allows them to escape. The most notable tourist was also a celebrity. Bob Hope came to Door County to vacation on occasion, hanging out at Casey’s Inn and hitting the golf links at Alpine Resort, both in Egg Harbor.

Bob Hope at Casey’s Inn, October 1972.

During the trips to Door County in 2012, girlfriends and I visited a few wineries, did a little shopping and eating, hung out at the cabin, and paid little attention to doors. Had I known that I would be trying to put together a door post, things may have turned out differently. There are many fun activities, unique buildings and doors in the county that beg for attention and a return trip. I hope this minor door offering gives a little taste of the county and what one might expect with a warm-weather visit.

If you’d like to see up-close-and-personal doors that are pretty, cool and downright awesome, take a trip over to today’s Thursday Doors. Check out Doormaster Norm’s post and click on the little blue froggie thing at the bottom. That click will take you to other door bloggers and a ton of photos for your viewing pleasure.

46 responses to The Doors of Door County

  1. Joanne Sisco says:

    The goat place!!!

    Any place called Door County deserves a special recognition on Thursday Doors … especially if they have a goat on the roof 🙂

    • bikerchick57 says:

      The goat place is a Swedish restaurant in Sister Bay called Al Johnson’s. It has been around, goats and all, since I was a child. It’s a big stopping point for tourists who are fascinated by goats on a roof. The simple things in life…

      • bikerchick57 says:

        It actually began as a joke. A friend of owner Al brought him a goat named Oscar. The joke continued when it was suggested to put the goat on the sod roof. When people started taking note of Oscar, Al bought more goats and they’ve been up there (in good weather) ever since. So, not really brilliant marketing, it was more like a brilliant joke.

  2. Dan Antion says:

    I think “Door County” qualifies this post, and you have some nice doors AND you talked about “to partake in fish boils and eat cherry pie for dessert” which is just awesome and should qualify you to participate in any blog challenge. In fact, I think Mary should give you a few of those coveted bonus points. I really like the door to the lighthouse. Maybe because I like lighthouses, but I also like the angle on that photo. The fish boil looks good, but no pie??? It’s OK, you can keep the bonus points (because you included M&Ms).

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I can give myself bonus points? I never knew! Okay, I’ll give myself 500 today (don’t want to overdo it first time around).

      I have a few more photos of the lighthouse area, but tried to stay focused on doors. I also forgot to take a photo of the cherry pie, which comes after you clean your dinner plate. Door County is well-known for its (tart) cherry orchards, which make great pie and wine. Pie and wine.

      • Dan Antion says:

        Pie and wine? Oh this keeps getting better. I think you can give yourself bonus points but maybe after being recommended. You can decide how many. 500 is good.

  3. loisajay says:

    ‘Meow Spoken Here’?? Oh, I love that! Wow. That is some kind of population swell in the summertime, but it looks like a pretty cute place to visit.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      This place had a metal cat sign that said “purrking” instead of parking. Adorable.

      Yeah, Door County gets pretty crowded in the summer. It’s a fun place if you like lots of people!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Relaxing and happy is what it’s supposed to be, Joey. I can honestly say that I’ve never had a bad time up in Door County.

  4. Norm 2.0 says:

    A doorscursion in Door County? What’s not to love? Another thing added to my bucket list 😉
    I loved this post and the way it brought me back to the best things I love about summer and being on vacation: no rushing, not in a hurry, no particular need to do anything but relax and enjoy where you are and the company you’re with.
    Lots of bonus points for this one – bravo 😀

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Awesome Norm. I love bonus points and glad I could take you back to summer and vacation. Putting this post together reminded me that I need to get back to Door County this coming summer for an expanded Winecursion with girlfriends and perhaps photos of a few more doors.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Some may look at the fish boil photo and be underwhelmed, but it is soooo good! Do you remember where you had your fish boil? Have you been back since?

  5. jesh stg says:

    Fish boils – that’s new to me! But then, have never been to Wisconsin either. Great post and relaxing going on here:)

    • bikerchick57 says:

      It’s fun to watch the process of a fish boil the first few times…quite the presentation and the results are worth the show!

  6. What a wonderful place and such a great name. I love that A-frame cabin, I used to dream about building one of them if we ever bought ourselves a piece of land.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      My friend’s sister owns the A-frame, so my party got a good deal on rental. Once in a while, my friend will just take me up there for a weekend to hang out and shop. The A-frame is nestled among the trees, so it’s very pretty in fall.

  7. John Holton says:

    My aunt had a summer home in Sister Bay for years, and loved it. There’s certainly a lot to do there. Nice shots!

      • John Holton says:

        What’s his name? I talk to my aunt pretty regularly, and she’s the kind that meets everyone. I’ll see if she knows him.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        My cousin passed away several years ago from cancer. But his name was Don or Donny VanAbel. If your aunt has been visiting there for many years, she may have known him.

      • John Holton says:

        I heard back from my aunt, and yes, she did know your cousin. Said it was a shock to hear he died, and that she’d been shopping there since ’83. She just sold her house in Sister Bay this year. Her eyesight isn’t good and she can’t take the drive from Chicago anymore.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        It was pretty sad for all of us when Don passed away. He was one of my favorite cousins, great sense of humor and far too young to leave us. Your aunt is probably going to miss the Door Cty area, but better that she be safe.

  8. Doors from Door County? Really? Hee, hee. We drive through Wisconsin in the summer on our way to Wyoming and it is crowded in that area!! But I’ve heard good things about and we may have to check it out one of these days.


  9. OMG! That goat and grass on the roof!! I’ve never seen anything like that. The view of the lake is superb.

    The animal fight looks hilarious, and it looks like your trip with the girls was great fun.

    I enjoyed your door post.

  10. LB says:

    What a fun post! AND to be able to see a photo of one of my favs: Bob Hope!

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