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Wisconsin Winter Wonderland

Snowshoeing at Cave Point County Park on a winter afternoon.

There is never a shortage of things to do on a small peninsula in the middle of Lake Michigan 

By Andy Temmel

As many of us are ready to put winter in the rearview mirror, others are seeking it out for the activities, events and romantic getaways that some destinations are known to offer this time of year. 

“Tourism has been a part of Door County since the late 1800s,” explains Jon Jarosh, director of communications and PR for Destination Door County. 

Door County is located in “the thumb of Wisconsin,” as Jarosh describes it, but in reality it is a narrow peninsula that’s sandwiched between Lake Michigan and Green Bay.  

“We’re a cul-de-sac, we’re not on the way to anywhere. You have to mean to come to Door County. I think it is part of our allure,” says Jarosh, “and when you look out at the horizon, you can’t see the other side, all you see is water.”  

The county, with 29,000 year-round residents, can draw up to 3 million visitors annually, contains 300 miles of shoreline and is surrounded by 34 named islands, which enables it to offer a plethora of activities.  

Door County is home to five state parks, 19 county parks and, for the winter activity enthusiasts, a laundry list of snowy, recreational adventures in which to to participate.  

“Certainly ice fishing, some great cross-country skiing, snowmobile and snowshoeing are very popular. We’ve got some rental places you can rent fat tire bikes for the snow,” says Jarosh,“and even winter camping is pretty popular.” 

If relaxing and dining is more your style, the county is dotted with several mom-and-pop bed-and-breakfast establishments that can make for a romantic getaway that invites you to watch the sun set over the bay.