Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock/Kenneth KeiferCana Island LighthouseScenic Hwy 42Lake MichiganLake MichiganSunset atA great place of history in Door County.Along beautiful Lake Michigan.Cana Island Lighthouse

Families will love:

  • An idyllic setting on Lake Michigan
  • An unhurried setting
  • Lake and park activities

If Norman Rockwell was still alive and painting scenes of idyllic American life, he would certainly choose Door County for the setting of "Perfect Family Vacation."

Door County is a peninsula that extends north into Lake Michigan from Green Bay, separating the lake from the actual bay. At its widest point, Green Bay is no more than 18 miles across and much of it is ... more
If Norman Rockwell was still alive and painting scenes of idyllic American life, he would certainly choose Door County for the setting of "Perfect Family Vacation."

Door County is a peninsula that extends north into Lake Michigan from Green Bay, separating the lake from the actual bay. At its widest point, Green Bay is no more than 18 miles across and much of it is less than three miles wide. The peninsula is 70 miles long from top to bottom.

The largest town is Sturgeon Bay, made up of approximately 10,000 people, and is located at the south end of the county. Once you pass through Sturgeon Bay, you'll no longer find fast food joints, chains or the common trappings of most communities. Farmsteads guarded by grazing dairy cows and red barns are interspersed with fruit orchards, art galleries and family-owned restaurants. Charming is the only word to describe little hamlets or villages with names like Egg Harbor, Fish Creek and Gills Rock.

With the absence of strip malls, few neon lights and just an occasional stoplight or stop sign, driving through these communities is indeed like stepping back into a Norman Rockwell painting! This is why families have been vacationing in Door County for generations -- escaping the summer heat via a sail boat ride on the lake, a bike ride around one of three state parks, a ferry ride to a remote lighthouse, or an evening outdoors at a live community theater performance under the stars. There's nothing pressing or hurried about Door County. Catching fire flies or participating in a cherry pit-spitting contest is about as competitive and stressful as life gets in the long summer days in the Door.

Here you'll find Wisconsin's oldest lighthouse, Native American legends and history told with richness and flair by descendants of the Icelandic emigrants. With bountiful local cherry crops, cherries and cherry flavoring abounds, but you'll also find fresh strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and more.

If all of this sounds a little too perfect for your children, perhaps you can entice them with an explanation of Door County's name. It's an abbreviation of what old sailors called Death's Door - the very difficult, narrow passage that ships were required to navigate in order to reach profitable and safe harbors on either side of the peninsula. So yes, there are numerous stories of shipwrecks and ghosts and many dramatic tales surrounding Death's Door, something that Norman Rockwell surely would have enjoyed as much as your family will in Door County.

Written by Diana Lambdin Meyer less

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