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3 Days of Door County Color

The sea of color that takes over Door County’s landscape each fall is a sight to behold. Nearly every turn offers a stunning display, but some views are better than others.

Here’s your guide to three days of the best fall color drives in Door County.

Friday

Morning

Start on the tip of the peninsula by catching the sunrise through the leaves on the curvy road to the ferry dock. Head south into Gills Rock, where you’ll see the pristine waters of Garrett Bay framed in colors from Door Bluff Headlands County Park, then head down Garrett Bay Road through a canopy of foliage. Stop for breakfast in Ellison Bay and stroll through this tiny slice of rural Wisconsin.

Mid-day

After a stroll and gallery hopping in Ellison Bay, you’ll have to visit the Grand View overlook at the top of the Ellison Bay hill to see one of the most splendid fall vistas in Wisconsin. The highway between Ellison Bay and Sister Bay will take you past fields lined in color, with glimpses of the water through the thinning trees.

Evening

Grab lunch at one of Sister Bay’s many outstanding restaurants, then enjoy a drink at an alfresco hotspot to soak in the sunset as it lands on the bay and bluffs. You can catch a sailing or boat tour out of the Sister Bay Marina and catch color from the water as well.

Saturday

Morning

Early morning is a great time to head down the eastern shore of the county, where sunrise hues glisten on Lake Michigan’s shore. Take highway 57 out of Sister Bay before turning left on County Road Q for a meandering, uninterrupted drive along the quiet shoreline. You’ll end up in Baileys Harbor, where you can hike through the colors at The Ridges Sanctuary, grab a bite or coffee at a host of great restaurants.

Mid-day

From Baileys Harbor you can add several great fall spurs to fill the day. A trek south to Cave Point County Park is not to be missed, as fields of gold and yellow spread along your route.

Once you’ve taken in this amazing site, a stop at The Farm is a must if you have kids with you, or a trek into Sturgeon Bay for a bite and a walk along the waterfront. An easy cruise to Sunset Park on the edge of the city opens up a spectacular panorama of Potawatomi State Park across the bay.  

Evening

Start in Baileys Harbor and head west out of town on CTY HWY F, turning right to stay on F where it intersects with CTY HWY EE. Here you’ll likely pass the cows in pasture at Gray-Aire Dairy Farm, then continue for about a mile till you hit Highland Road. Continue straight to High Plateau Road, where you’ll turn left and soon find one of the great under-the-radar backroad overlooks, as the colorful valley surrounding Peil Creek opens up before you.

Soak it in, then turn left on CTY HWY EE for a short stretch before turning left on North Maple Road, which will soon become Logerquist Road.

This is another sneaky beautiful stretch, taking you south past Waseda Farms and the old Logerquist Barn, which you’ll no doubt want to get a photo of. Turn around, heading back up Logerquist Road, and take a right on Fairview Road, then a left on West Kangaroo Lake Road until you hit CTY HWY E.

Turn right, and you’ll soon see the waters of Kangaroo Lake and surrounding natural area open up before you (another great photo op). If you're hungry or craving libations, Coyote Roadhouse is a great stop on the lake.

Head over the causeway to Red Cherry Road and turn left. You’ll see beautiful protected Door County Land Trust property to your west. Finally, turn right on Bluff Road and ride through the wooded canopy until you’re back in Baileys Harbor staring at the water as you enter town.

Evening

From Sturgeon Bay, take the shoreline drive north to Egg Harbor via Horseshoe Bay Road.  You’ll get incredible water and color views from George Pinney County Park, then again as  Door County Land Trust’s Bayshore Blufflands preserve displays its hues on the bluffs along the road. You’ll also see the ruins of the mysterious Chateau Hutter before passing the historic barns of Horseshoe Bay Farms and Alpine Golf Course beneath the bluff. Finish with a sunset from above the Egg Harbor marina.

Get the route.

Sunday

Morning

Skyline Drive in Peninsula State Park is home to several breathtaking overlooks. Head to Fish Creek for breakfast at one of its famous restaurants, or grab coffee near the park entrance to open your eyes to the views that await you. If you have time, stop at the market and pack a picnic, because you’ll want to soak it in.

Start your ride or drive at the Fish Creek entrance to the park and weave through the forest to Weborg Point, where you’ll want to stop to get a picture Fish Creek drenched in color across the harbor. Follow Shore Road until you take a right on Skyline Road to climb up Sven’s Bluff and be rewarded with a spectacular view of the shoreline and islands. Eagle Terrace, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, gives you a colorful view of Ephraim. Eagle Panorama looks out over the shore of the park.

As you wind your way through the park you’ll find Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, and incredible views of Nicolet Bay, Horseshoe Island, and the Village of Ephraim from Eagle Terrace. You can easily make a day of it in the park, stopping for a picnic at Eagle Terrace or Weborg Point. Or rent bikes at the park entrance and check it out on the saddle.

Mid-day

Chill out in Fish Creek, named on many lists of the top small towns in America. Visit the orchard and sample wines and locally made products. Shop in the unique stores and boutiques in the town center, or sip on beers and cocktails at a local tavern or restaurant.

Evening

Come the golden hour, you’ll have time for one last drive to see the sun paint Baileys Harbor’s rural splendor. Take County Road F from Fish Creek to Baileys Harbor. Turn right on Highland Road, then left on High Plateau Road, where you’ll find one of the great under-the-radar backroad overlooks, as the colorful valley surrounding Peil Creek opens up before you.

Continue till you turn left on County Road EE for a short stretch before turning left on North Maple Road, which will soon become Logerquist Road.

This is another sneaky beautiful stretch, taking you south past Waseda Farms and the old Logerquist Barn, which you’ll no doubt want to get a photo of. Turn around, heading back up Logerquist Road, and take a right on Fairview Road, then a left on West Kangaroo Lake Road until you hit CTY HWY E.

Turn right, and you’ll soon see the waters of Kangaroo Lake and surrounding natural area open up before you (another great photo op).

Head over the causeway to Red Cherry Road and turn left. You’ll see beautiful protected Door County Land Trust property to your west. Finally, turn right on Bluff Road and ride through the wooded canopy until you’re back in Baileys Harbor staring at the water as you enter town.

Get the route.

These are just a few ideas to take in fall color. Door County offers many more! Book a room and get your experience today.