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With five state parks, dozens of natural areas and county parks, as well as water access at nearly every turn, Door County is a paradise for those traveling with pets.
The rapid growth in al fresco dining options means there are more places to grab a meal with your pup and some of the best views in the county. You’ll want to choose your own adventure when you visit, but here’s a guide full of ideas for a pup-friendly weekend in Door County.
Before you head to Door County, make sure you have reservations at one of the area’s pet-friendly lodging options so you don’t get stuck when you arrive. Try the Country House Resort, located right in Sister Bay.
The Country House offers designated dog-friendly rooms and suites and welcomes children age 13 and older with well-behaved dogs. It’s the perfect environment for a dog inclusive getaway on 27 wooded acres and 1,100 feet of private shoreline – plenty of room for you and Fido to roam and some of the most attractive accommodations on the peninsula. A welcome basket for four-legged guests includes bowls, treats, dog towels and sheets for covering furniture during your stay.
The resort includes private water view balconies, in-room whirlpools and gas fireplaces, all within walking distance to many shops and restaurants in Sister Bay. Note that dogs may not be left unattended in your room at the resort so make your dining and activity plans accordingly. A picnic on your private balcony or on the dock at the shoreline is a great way to do dinner with your dog. Don’t be surprised if you meet Riley the resident Corgi out for a stroll with one of the Country House’s owners. Riley is the inspiration that makes the Country House not only dog tolerant but dog welcoming.
If your pooch is restless after a long drive, you may want to head straight to the dog park and let him or her make new friends. Over the last several years many Door County communities have added dog parks to their list of outdoor amenities.
A quick play session at the dog park get some of that energy out. In Sister Bay, you can take your dog to the Sister Bay Sports Complex dog park and check out tennis courts, frisbee golf, basketball, soccer and baseball fields.
If your dog is a boater, you’ll want to take the chance to explore Door County by water. You’ll find dog-friendly kayak tours, boat tours and sailing cruises. Find tips for dog-friendly tours from our pet-friendly insider.
Take a step back in time to experience a slice of Americana at a drive-in theater. Back up the truck or pull up the car and take in a movie in the open air.
Grab breakfast on the patio of one of the county’s dog-friendly restaurants and fuel up for some fun in some of the Wisconsin State Parks.
Stroll along the Sunset Trail, an easy gravel path, or embark into the wilderness on one of the park’s famed hiking trails. Keep your dog leashed at all times and make sure to bring your doggie bags for easy clean up.
For more trail options for you and your pet to enjoy, check out our pet-friendly trails blog post.
If you love to spoil your pet, you can find a lot of homemade treats, pet accessories and decorations in the boutiques around Door County.
What you don’t want dogging you on your active vacation days is an illness – whether that’s cold symptoms that crop up or an earache after a day of swimming in the bay. You don’t plan for an illness or medical emergency on your weekend getaway, but fortunately, Bellin Health’s team of healthcare professionals does.
Bellin has enhanced its services in Sturgeon Bay by taking a clinic that served employees from a local shipbuilder, expanding it and opening it to the public. Residents and visitors (of the two-legged variety, of course) are reaping the benefits.
Bellin Health is located at the north end of 3rd Ave., Sturgeon Bay’s main street, offering primary care, x-ray, lab and physical therapy.
Perhaps most important if you want to quickly resume your active schedule, Bellin Health offers FastCare — walk-in services that are just $67 per visit, including lab. FastCare clinic hours are available from 7 am - 7 pm Monday - Thursday, 7 am - 5 pm Friday, and 8 am - noon Saturdays.
Click here to learn more about Bellin Health Sturgeon Bay. You’ll have to leave Fido with a friend during your visit, but they’ll have you back to your best buddy soon.
And that’s something worth barking about.
If you need a little time to take on activities where dogs aren’t allowed, or where it’s not safe to bring the little guy, you can drop her off at doggy day care. Find a list of options for doggy daycare in Door County here.
Then take some time to hit one of the many gorgeous beaches where dogs aren’t allowed, or catch a meal at one of dozens of renowned restaurants that don’t offer patio seating.
Craving ice cream? Don’t worry, you can bring your pet to a couple of the most popular dessert spots. Grab a little custard for dessert and pick up a puppy cone for your pet while strolling along Fish Creek or Sister Bay.
Is your dog a swimmer? Take her for a morning dip!
To keep the county’s beaches clean and safe, dogs are not allowed at many of them. However, there are several beaches on Washington Island, in Rock Island State Park, Newport State Park, Whitefish Dunes State Park and Potawatomi State Park where dogs are welcome. Make sure to look for posted signs or ask a park ranger to show you.
Your dog can also splash around at many boat launches, marinas, and other access points.
Need to find a meal on your way south from the Country House in Sister Bay? You’ll find some great restaurant options in Sturgeon Bay.
Need more pet-friendly ideas? Our pet-friendly insider offers a host of them!
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