Sights and Activities
- Where to Go
- The Best of Milwaukee and Madison
- The Best Wisconsin Weekends
- A Perfect Week in Door County
- Wisconsin for Recreationists
- Rustic Road Tripping
- Made in Milwaukee
- Madison Weekend
- Sports: The Packers and Beyond
- Out on the Town in Milwaukee
- Say Cheese!
- Four Days in the Mad City
- A Wisconsin Family Road Trip
- Wisconsin’s Best Brews
Most visitors to Fish Creek prefer to simply stroll about, getting a look-see at the original architecture in an old county. The harbor area also has remnants of the earliest cabins. Even the remains of an 1855 cabin built by the founding Thorp brothers stands on the grounds of the newfangled Founders Square mélange of shops and restaurants in the village center—they were rebuilt after a fire as closely as possible to the original designs. Another landmark structure is its famous “haunted house,” the 1875 Greek revival Noble House (intersection of WI 42 and Main St., 920/868-2091, noon–5 p.m. Fri.–Sat. mid-May–mid-June, noon–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat. mid-June–Labor Day weekend, $3). The Gibraltar Historical Association (920/868-2091) has historic walking tours.
The country’s oldest summer theater, the Peninsula Players (north of Fish Creek off WI 42 on Peninsula Players Rd. inside Peninsula State Park, 920/868-3287, www.peninsulaplayers.com) perform a spate of Broadway plays and musicals in a gorgeous garden setting with bayside trails late June–mid-October, a tradition in its seventh decade. Reservations are recommended. Even better: relatively recent renovations include heated floors!
Less than half as old, but with boatloads of attitude, the tongue-in-cheek American Folklore Theatre (920/839-2329, www.folkloretheatre.com) is an acclaimed theater-and-song troupe as likely to perform their own rollicking originals (as in “Cheeseheads: the Musical” or “Guys on Ice,” a paean to ice fishing) or a ghost story series as they are the works of the Bard. Performances are held May–mid-October, also in Peninsula State Park, and now include an autumn Town Hall Series performed around the county. Mixed with the zaniness, as the name suggests, is an admirable amount of state and national heritage.
During August, professional musicians from across the country assemble in Fish Creek for the annual Peninsula Music Fesival (920/854-4060, www.musicfestival.com), which offers Renaissance, Reformation, baroque, and chamber ensembles, along with an array of thematic material. Nationally known folk musicians and touring troupes make an appearance at Door County Auditorium (3926 WI 42, 920/868-2787, www.dcauditorium.com); theater and dance performances are also held regularly.
At the north end of town, the Skyway Drive In (3475 WI 42, 920/854-9938, www.doorcountydrivein.com) is a throwback movie experience—it’s charming to catch a flick under the stars with a Green Bay breeze wafting.
Perhaps the most, er, accessible winery in Door County, and one that focuses on the county, Orchard Country (WI 42 S, 866/946-3263, www.orchardcountry.com, 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. daily, till 6 p.m. Fri.–Sat.) is a fave. The winery has award-winning county fruit wines, pick-yer-own fruits, sleigh rides, and a bunch more.
Without chartering a boat or flying your own plane, the easiest way to take in (but not actually step onto) Chambers Island across the Strawberry Channel is via twice daily sailboat rides (920/256-9042, www.friendlycharters.com, $40 per person).
The Fish Creek Information Center (4097 WI 42, 920/868-2316 or 800/577-1880, www.fishcreekinfo.com) is fully equipped to deal with your travel snafus or last-minute needs; trust me—I’ve given it lots of practice.
© Thomas Huhti from Moon Wisconsin, 5th Edition