Door County with frost: Cozy and quiet

Cave County Park, Door County, Wis. Photos by Lisa Meyers McClintick.

Take in the Lake Michigan scenery and enjoy sleigh rides, skiing, wine tasting and more in the blissful quiet of winter.
At Door County’s Cave Point Park along Wisconsin’s thumb, Mother Nature cued up new chords on a crisp January morning. Sun warmed the water, and waves nudged wafer-thin shards of nighttime ice to the rocky shore. They shooshed forward with a rhythmic tinkling and constant crackling.

Even more alluring was the brilliant blue-green of Lake Michigan. It hugged limestone cliffs undercut with caves and a snow-white shoreline. Caribbean-colored water lapped against icicles strung as delicately as chandeliers.

Ice shove near Peninsula State Park

“She’s singing,” Dwight Zeller said of the lake after we ran into each other looking for good photo opportunities.

Zeller manages Door County’s historic site at Cana Island Lighthouse station in the warm months, but says winter is his favorite season on the 75-mile-long peninsula.

“If you’re looking for a single-word answer,” he said, “it’s ‘quiet.'”

Grab the Sunday Star Tribune

To read my full feature on a Door County’s winter vacation, check out the Star Tribune. It ranks as one of the best travel sections in the country.

This week’s lead story is by Catherine Watson, the section’s former editor. If I can pick one writer and photographer to guide my armchair travel to places such as Petra or Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations, she’s it.

A few more Door County picks 

Best eats

It’s a tie between baked goods and cherries.

Sweet treats: The Inn at Cedar Crossing’s “morning rolls,” an addictive and wonderfully chewy version of cinnamon buns using croissant dough. Also dangerously delicious is Skorpa, the Village Cafe’s buttered, chewy twice-baked cinnamon twists.

Cherries a-plenty: From hot mulled wine and cider to cherry barbecue, pies, juice, jams, dressings and even brats, Orchard Country has it. Sleigh rides, too!

Creative haven

In all my travels, Hands-On Art Studio, ranks as one of my top 10 happy places. Admittedly, I was the camp counselor who was happy being at the craft hall all day, but this place is superb.

The converted rural barn and outbuildings hum with kids and grown-ups playing with stained glass, mosaics, metal jewelry, pottery wheels, spin-painted T-shirts and even fire as staffers teach how to handle blowtorches and plasma cutters for metal sculpture.

As tempting as it was to play with fire (it sounds cool just to claim that), I’m thrilled with vibrant mosaic mirror I chose. If you take a good friend along (that’s my friend, Amy, on the right), it’s even better.

My Hands-On Art Studio mirror makes me smile every time I pass it. That’s what the best trip souvenirs should do.

For more info on travel to Door County, click here.

Return to Door County in the spring to enjoy its festival of blooms