Door County Specialties
- 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
Flowers show up in mid-May and you’re likely to be plowed under by camera-toting tourists here for blooming season. Cherry trees are lovely enough, but much of the county’s cutover land and agricultural pasture has been left to regrow wild, and the county contains five state parks and the Ridges National Natural Landmark, a wildflower preserve with 13 species of endangered plants. The county is now also making a concerted effort to become one of the daffodil capitals of the world, planting more than 100,000 bulbs annually. Look for the white-and-peach-colored daffodil — I mean, doorfodil (seriously), developed locally.
Generally by the second or third week of May, blooms are peeking out. The bay side blooms first; the lake side follows a week to 10 days later. As soon as the blossoms are out, it’s time for the Festival of Blossoms, a monthlong shindig of blossom field trips, midway rides, pageants, fish boils, shipyard tours (your only chance to see the operations up close), lighthouse tours, parades, and special cherry-centered celebrations.
Door County has more lighthouses (people like to quiz you on this around here) than any other county in the United States. Starting in 1836 with Rock Island and in 1858 on Pilot Island (which can be toured only from the water), 10 lighthouses were constructed along the coasts and canals to hold Lake Michigan’s stormy temperament somewhat in check. Almost all are still in some recognizable condition, and tours of some are offered regularly.
© Thomas Huhti from Moon Wisconsin, 5th Edition