Door County covid-era travel tips!

Our six glorious days in Door County during the last week of July 2020 (the wretched pandemic year) were all the better thanks to great tips from our airbnb host on where to eat, bike, swim, hike – and stay reasonably staff during a pandemic. Here they are: (I’ve bolded the ones we visited. all good!)

Sand Bay Town Park and Beach
A wonderful bbq/picnic spot, secluded with cedars and great for swimming, shallow but sandy.
11154 N Sand Bay Ln, Sister Bay, WI 54234

Garret Bay
Going NORTH out of Ellison Bay, take LEFT off of HWY 42 onto Garret Bay Rd.  Follow on Garret Bay Rd till it curves to the right a bit and you see on your left the boat ramp and historical marker for the Fleetwing Shipwreck.  Pebble/rock swimming beach with a beautiful view.

Europe Lake
Europe Lake Boat/Kayak Ramp area also has a small spot for picnic/bbq.  We like to swim here when the Lake is too cold!  This is a great little lake to kayak on.
460 Europe Lake Road

Pebble Beach (Our favorite)
going SOUTH out of Sister Bay, (when you see Open Hearth Lodge on your left), take RIGHT off of HWY 42 onto South Bayshore Drive and merge to the RIGHT onto Pebble Beach Rd.  You will then follow this down to the small but lovely swimming beach.  Great for sunsets but probably less frequented during the morning.

Hotz Memorial Town Park The Europe Bay area of Newport State Park is another wonderful place for bbq/picnics and swimming.
Take HWY 42 NORTH of Ellison Bay, taking a RIGHT off the HWY onto Europe Bay Rd, follow the road until you reach the kayak launch and park.
349 Europe Bay Road

Washington Island
Worth the visit!  You can take your bicycles on the ferry. (There are two different ferry services)
Schoolhouse Beach is a wonderful pebble swimming beach with a deeper drop off.  We love to pick up lunch at the Island Cafe and Bread Company and head to this spot.  Sievers School of Fiber Arts is also worth a visit if you are interested in weaving, knitting or basketry arts.  They have a shop that sells supplies as well as a gallery with items for sale.

We also really love the Ellison Bay Potters! (our favorite too)
There are several wonderful pottery studios in Ellison Bay.  Start with Clay Bay on the highway and tour the others in the village area.  (Gills Rock Stoneware, Ellison Bay Pottery etc)

Sand Bay
(4.2 miles (one way) from the unit) Waters End Rd to Sand Bay Town Park & Beach.  Take a right out of our lane onto Hillcrest Rd, follow Hillcrest until Waters End Rd.  Take a right onto Waters End and stay on it until you reach Lake Michigan!  Just before you reach the lake, take a left onto Sand Bay Ln.  At the end of the lane on your right is Sand Bay Town Park and Beach–great for swimming and picnics/bbqs!

Beach Road
(5.1 miles (one way) from the unit) Bicycling down Beach Road is a wonderful mostly-shady ride.  Take a right out of our lane onto Hillcrest Rd.  At Waters End, take a left and go down a fairly steep hill till you reach HWY 42.  Cross the highway toward your right, onto Beach Rd.  Beach Road eventually connects to Porcupine Bay Rd and then HWY 42 again.  You could make a nice day trip out of this route by adding Ellison Bluff State Natural Area as a picnic spot towards the end and your turnaround (take a left onto Ellison Bluff Rd).  Ellison Bluff has a great lookout and nice wooded trails to stretch out on.  (We recommend returning on the same route to avoid having to cross and travel on the highway)

Eats and Drinks:



Although Heirloom is in Baileys Harbor, it is our other favorite place for breakfast. And we really love Skipstone, Analog and Kick Ash for nearby coffee alternatives…
Sunflour bakery in Sturgeon Bay has great bread but I think they’ll be closed by the time you get up here. Macready Bread Company in Egg Harbor is also wonderful (open till 4). And Seaquist Orchards just north of Sister Bay on HWY 42 has great apple cider donuts and lots of other goodies. (It’s kind of a large farmstand with preserves etc)


Fish Boils:(please call to check on their takeout/outside-seating options)

White Gull Inn in Fish Creek 920-868-3517
4225 Main St, Fish Creek, WI 54212

Viking Grill in Ellison Bay 920-854-2998
12029 WI-42, Ellison Bay, WI 54210

Rowleys Bay Resort in Ellison Bay 920-854-2385
1041 Co Rd Zz, Ellison Bay, WI 54210

Old Post Office Restaurant in Ephraim 920-854-4034 (our pick — it was great!)
10040 N Water St, Ephraim, WI 54211

Here is a list of some of our favorites on the peninsula.  (Although-if you find a special spot that’s not on our list, please let us know so we can try it too!)


Bluefront Cafe
Tuesday – Sunday 11-3 Take out and Curbside Only
a few outside tables first come first serve
order by phone or online
(920) 743-9218
86 W Maple St, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235

Lawlss Coffee
Everyday 7:00am-3:00pm,
limited seating inside and outside
(920) 257-3782
Online ordering available for pickup as well
108 S Madison Ave, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235

Kick Coffee
Everyday 7:30am – 3:00pm
limited back patio, street and indoor seating
(920) 746-1122
148 N 3rd Ave, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235

‘Get Real’ Cafe
Wednesday – Saturday, 10am-2pm
limited indoor and outdoor seating
Curbside pickup available
116 S Madison Ave, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235


Heirloom Cafe
Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday 8:30am-2pm
Friday and Saturday 8:30-4
pickup only
inside ordering or call
no dine in
2434 County F, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202

Bearded Heart Coffee (yum)
order online only, no phone calls or order in person at counter
Friday-Sunday 7-5
Monday-Thursday 8-2
carry out only
limited outside seating
8093 WI-57, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202

Wednesday – Sunday 4pm – 10pm
inside dining available, reservations accepted
—Chives Food Trucks (located next to Chives)
Wednesday-Saturday 11am – 8pm
Sunday 11am – 3pm
8041 HWY 57, Bailey’s Harbor, WI 54202

Door County Brewing Co. Taproom & Music Hall
Check website for latest hours
(920) 412-7226
8099 WI-57, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202

Waseda Farms (brats! you pick-em raspberries, beautiful grounds!)
Farmstand/Grocery Store on Farm with trails open to the public, call to ask for updates!
Order ahead or order at curbside Everyday 10-5 (call or email them at
They update their lists of produce/meat/specialty/local items here:
7281 Logerquist Rd, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202


Ephraim Coffee Lab
Curbside PIckup Thurs-Sun 8am-2pm
order online
3055 Church St, Ephraim, WI, 54211

Thursday – Monday 5pm – 9pm
day-of orders for pickup or outside dining
No Reservations for outside dining, first-come first-served
order online or call day-of
9996 Pioneer Lane, Ephraim, WI, 54211

Good Eggs
Open daily, 7am – 1pm
Pickup orders placed online only
9820 Brookside Ln, Ephraim, WI 54211


Open for patio pickup, 5pm – 9pm
order online
7829 WI-42, Egg Harbor, WI 54209

The Fireside Restaurant
Thursday – Monday  Lunch 11am – 3pm or Dinner 4pm – 8pm
Offering pickup
or patio seating only.
7755 WI-42, Egg Harbor, WI 54209


Skip Stone Coffee Roasters
Every day 7:30am-2:00pm
or for pickup order online
or call in (920) 421-4388
10678 South, N Bay Shore Dr Building 2, Sister Bay, WI 54234

Analog Coffee
Daily 6:30-8
Pickup Orders available
(920) 854-1155
10649 N Bay Shore Dr, Sister Bay, WI 54234

Grasse’s Grill
Open Thursday-Monday 11am – 7pm
Walk up or Curbside TO GO
920-854-1125 or 920-854-3302

Door County Creamery
Open 11am-7pm Wednesday-Monday (closed Tuesday)
Pickup Only call or order online
Online Store also open
(920) 854-3388
10653 N Bay Shore Dr, Sister Bay, WI 54234

Open Every Day 11am-2am
Inside/Outside dining/bar and takeout
10641 N Bay Shore Dr, Sister Bay, WI 54234

Wild Tomato
Sister Bay location open for Dine-In, Patio or Take Out
Open Daily 11am-9pm
10677 N Bay Shore Dr, Sister Bay, WI 54234

Thursday-Monday 4pm-8pm
Take Out
or Patio Dining (which is Take Out but they will bring a cocktail to your table!)
Limited Indoor Seating call for reservations
10627 N Bay Shore Dr, Sister Bay, WI 54234

Door County Ice Cream Factory
Call ahead for hours
Curbside or Pickup Window
(920) 854-9693
11051 WI-42, Sister Bay, WI 54234

Ellison Bay

Kick Ash Coffee
Online Ordering or call for Pickup 8am-4pm
or inside 8am-4pm
(920) 854-9400
12001 Mink River Rd, Ellison Bay, WI 54210

Wickman House
Friday – Monday 4pm – 8pm
Limited Outdoor Dining 5pm – 9pm, no reservations, first come-first served
(or order a drink and walk the grounds while you wait)
Takeout Available
Order Online (day-of)
11976 Mink River Rd, Ellison Bay, WI 54210

Gills Rock

The Shoreline
Curbside Pickup: Wednesday& Thursday 4-9 Friday-Sunday 12-9pm
….their hours are changing frequently, please check for updates
12747 WI-42, Gills Rock, Wisconsin 54210

Charlie’s Smokehouse
(A retail smoked fish shop)
Daily 9-4
12731 WI-42, Ellison Bay, WI 54210


There is a map of LandTrust trails on the coffee table. Those are great spots as well as Peninsula Park (between Ephraim & Fish Creek) and Newport Park (between Ellison Bay & Gills Rock).
There is an easy to moderate trail on Cty NP (off of HWY 42 between Ellison Bay and Gills Rock) called Schoenbrunn Trail that winds out to the Mink River. It’s a sweet trail that may give some canopy coverage from the rain today.

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