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Where to stay?

IL
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Where to stay?

This will be our first trip to Door County and I am kind of confused as to what part to stay in. We are going in early October which I think is a pretty busy time. The main thing we want is to be close to shops and restaurants. Is a particular place the center of the shopping (egg harbor etc) or is it basically sprawled out between all the towns? Thanks

Chicago Suburbs
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1. Re: Where to stay?

The villages near Peninsula State Park-Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, Ephraim and Sister Bay-have the most of interest to the first-time tourist. Fish Creek is the best for shopping-it has the most shops, and they are open in the evening. Ephraim is a dry village and, therefore, has very few restaurants.

You might also consider staying in Baileys Harbor.

Check the calendar of events at doorcounty.com to see if you are visiting during a festival weekend.

In addition to doorcounty.com, ppulse.com is a good resource for lodging and dining.

A very good intro to Door County is at: moon.com/destinations/wisconsin/door-county

IL
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2. Re: Where to stay?

Thank you for your help. I was doing a little more research last night and came across Sturgeon Bay and liked a hotel called Stone Harbor. Do you think there is much to do around that area or is it probably best to be farther north?

Thanks

Chicago Suburbs
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3. Re: Where to stay?

Sturgeon Bay is the only city in Door County, and has lots of places to stay and restaurants. Shopping is ok.

If you stay in Sturgeon Bay, you might spend lots of time driving back and forth to northern Door County.

To maximize your time, stay in Fish Creek or thereabouts. Visit Sturgeon Bay on your way up or back.

chicago area
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4. Re: Where to stay?

For your first trip to Door County I highly recommend you stay in Egg Harbor or any of the villages north. This will cut down on your driving time from town to town. Sturgeon Bay is Door Countys largest town and has a lot to offer but I think you should be further north for your first visit. If you are looking for a place with a nice indoor pool I like the Newport in Egg Harbor or Homestead Suites in Fish Creek.If you just want a nice clean motel you could look at Lulu-Bye in Egg Harbor or the Main Street Motel in Fish Creek. If you are planning a weekend trip in Oct. book now and plan on a three night minimum at almost every place.If you are going mid week it should be more open. If you want to walk to bars and restaurants in the evening, I would make Fish Creek or Egg Harbor your base. Ephraim is a dry town that pretty much rolls up the sidewalks at night.

IL
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5. Re: Where to stay?

Great advice, thank you. I am glad I didn't book Sturgeon Bay. We are a couple with no kids so we are looking for a fairly elegant hotel as it will also be for our anniversary. I would prefer a hotel within walking distance to restaurants for night time if that's possible.

Thanks again

chicago area
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6. Re: Where to stay?

The Ashbrooke, Egg Harbor Lodge , The Lighthouse Inn, or Bay Point in Egg Harbor, The Lodgings at Pioneer Lane in Ephraim or the Church Hill Inn in Sister Bay may be worth looking into as well as the Blacksmith Inn in Baileys Harbor.

Chicago Suburbs
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7. Re: Where to stay?

I'd add the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek. While there are many nice inns and BnBs that will take plenty of your cash, there is no place that I would call an "elegant hotel." Don't stay in Ephraim if you want to walk to restaurants.

chicago area
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8. Re: Where to stay?

Rick M.P, forgot about the White Gull! The nice thing about the White Gull is as a guest you eat anything off the beakfast menu in their restaurant each morning and they have a great breakfast.

Wisconsin
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9. Re: Where to stay?

Glad you've changed your mind about Sturgeon Bay as a base. It's worth checking out, but I tell people I consider ALL of Door County as my backyard when I'm up there. From a more central location you'll be driving around the Door to check out various activities and places as things aren't terrible far apart. Start at the south end makes it just too far.

We usually stay in Egg Harbor as it's a bit less expensive lodging but that's as far south as I'd stay. We really enjoy Newport Resort and their indoor pool is one of the best I've ever been in. We normally go up the first few days in October (that's when our anniversary is). The earlier the better in October as the later it gets the busier and more expensive it gets. Also, if you can avoid a Friday/Saturday stay (we come on a Sunday/Monday if we can) it's cheaper. The weekend rates and festival times are real budget killers.

Lots of good suggestions here. We've not stayed at the Bay Point in Egg Harbor, but keep considering it, very nice from the outside, good reviews and nice view. White the view is wonderful at Egg Harbor Lodge, I wouldn't stay there again. Dated, small rooms and you're paying quite a bit extra for the view. We were at the Somerset Inn and Suites on the north end of Ephraim. It wasn't fancy, but it was a good price, nice service. If you want just a basic room with a little extra wet-bar space it's fine. The White Gull Inn has terrific food. Their cherry/cream cheese stuffed french toast is as good as it sounds.

Chicago, IL
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10. Re: Where to stay?

How about staying in Ephraim? It's quite charming -- in fact, many say it's the loveliest of all Door County's villages, with beautiful water views, and it's close to Peninsula State Park. There are a few hotels, resorts and B&Bs there that cater specifically to adults, and many, if not most, of the accommodations are walking distance to the downtown area. It has a real "vacation village" sort of feel; there are shops and restaurants, but it's all in good taste and not tacky-touristy. One caveat, Ephraim does not sell alcohol, nor serve it at any restaurants in village limits. However, Ephraim is close to everything and it does not take long to drive someplace where you can have a drink.

Fish Creek is wonderful, but also the most crowded and noisy of the villages on the peninsula (e.g., north of Sturgeon Bay). And there aren't a lot of nice hotels within walking distance of Fish Creek's downtown (there are a few, yes, but not a lot). Fish Creek is lively and fun, and many of the stores stay open late on Fridays for visitors, so you'll want to spend some time there, even if you don't stay in town.

I would also suggest you consider Sister Bay, because there is something special about it. Of all the towns north of Sturgeon Bay, it's the one that strikes me the most as being a complete town of its own and not just a tourist village. It has a nice public park and beach, a marina, many good restaurants (including the famous Al Johnson's with the goats on the roof), a supermarket, even a bowling alley. However, there are not too many upscale hotels within walking distance of the downtown area -- although I think Country House resort has a walking path to town, but I'm not sure since I've never stayed there.

Egg Harbor is nice, but there isn't quite as much to do or see there as in Sister Bay, Fish Creek or Ephraim. Some may disagree with me on this, of course. Egg Harbor does have a gorgeous park and many good restaurants, and some highly-rated resorts and hotels, although most of them are not within walking distance of the downtown area shops and restaurants. You will drive more if you stay in Egg Harbor. It's the closest town to Sturgeon Bay, so if you want to be near the modern conveniences (Target, Walmart, large supermarkets, fast food, movie theater, Walgreens, etc., which are all in Sturgeon Bay), it's the place to be.

Ellison Bay and Gills Rock, at the northern tip of the peninsula, are lovely but there is not as much going on in those towns, so I would not recommend staying up there, although you should certainly drive up there at least once. The scenery is gorgeous and there are some lovely galleries, shops and restaurants, not to mention Newport State Park, which is less crowded than other state parks in the area.

Edited: 23 January 2013, 18:11