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The Ultimate Made-In-Door-County Gift Guide


By Jennifer Much

When you’re searching for gifts during the holiday season (or for any time of year), Door County has a wide selection of unique ideas for everyone on your list. We’ve collected some of our favorites to help you shop for the ones you love.

Light of My Life: Door County Candle Company Candles

At Door County Candle Company, tailor your purchases to specific memories with your loved ones. Is apple picking with the family always on your calendar? Buy your dad the Fall Harvest candle. A girls’ day at the shore on your to-do list? Your sister will love the Lakeshore scent. You can even create a one-of-a-kind gift by dipping taper candles into multiple colors at the shop.


A Novel Idea: Books and Guides

Does someone in your family love mysteries? Surprise them with the Dave Cubiak series featuring Door County, authored by a local resident. Does your nephew enjoy exploring the region’s many hiking trails? A guide to the area’s state and county parks would be perfect. Look for Door County displays at local bookstores, including OtherWorlds Books & More and Novel Bay Booksellers. And keep an eye out for special events like book signings to personalize your purchase.


Olive the Things: Olive Oils and More

For the chef in your life, olive oils and vinegars can’t be beaten. Fat Louie’s Olive Oil Co. is your one-stop shop for charcuterie accoutrements and host gifts. Headed to a holiday party or happy hour? Check out Fat Louie’s assortment of infused olive oils, balsamics, wines, spirits, jams, sauces, pickles, and spreads. Bring a little summer flavor to your grandmother’s winter greens with a drizzle of peach balsamic vinegar from Door County Olive Oil Company at the Madison Avenue Market & Wine Shop.


Cheesy Does It: Tasty Treats

Sample your way through Wisconsin (aka America’s Dairyland), and you won’t be disappointed in the variety of cheeses, particularly from Door County. Does your mother-in-law love cheese? Purchase specialty flavors, such as balsamic-and-caramelized-onion cheddar or, for a sweet-and-savory combination, chocolate-fudge cheese from Renard’s Cheese. Wisconsin Cheese Masters offers a cheese-of-the-month club and curated cheese collections. Put together the ultimate cheese board, from creamy (butter käse) to spicy (chipotle Gouda) and everything in between, with a stop at Door Artisan Cheese Company.


Raise a Glass—or Bottle: Wines of Wisconsin

Follow the Door County Wine Trail for an assortment of vino gift-giving options, which you can try before you buy. Highlights include Simon Creek Vineyard & Winery, whose 30-acre vineyard produces such finery as the award-winning Door County cherry wine and the Untouchable Red. The Drink with Your Pet gift set from Door Peninsula Winery includes a non-alcoholic beverage, like “Meowsling,” for furry friends. Stone’s Throw Winery also keeps our four-legged companions in mind; purchases of their Red Rover Cabernet and Wag Your Tail Dry White benefit the Wisconsin Humane Society.


Handmade & Heartfelt: Arts and Culture

Explore the local art scene, including galleries, museums, fairs, and markets, for distinctive pieces in various mediums, precious metals, stones, and designs. The Miller Art Museum features Wisconsin artists; pick up a souvenir from the gift shop. Plum Bottom Gallery’s three Door County locations represent 150+ artists specializing in almost any genre you can think of, from glass to paper collage. At Hands On Art Studio, you can craft your own art piece (open weekends during winter months).


Cheers for Cherries: Fabulous Fruit

For those who crave the tart and sweet taste of cherries, consumable goods made with real cherries and extracts are an ideal present. Barbecue marinades, sauces, and rubs; salsa; seasonings; syrup; pie filling; and jellies and jams...all made from Door County’s signature stone fruit: the beloved cherry. Who’s hungry now? Find all these items and more at Fish Creek Market, Bea’s Ho-Made Products, Cherry De-Lite/Country Ovens, Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery & Market, and Grandma Tommy’s Country Store.


Sugar Rush: Delectable Desserts & Candies

Whether wrapped in a box or on a stick, chocolate-dipped or covered in sprinkles, candy is a decadent gift for anyone with a sweet tooth. Visit Door County Candy for an assortment of saltwater taffy, truffles, homemade fudge, chocolate bark, gourmet popcorn, and sugar-free options. The Candy Bar is known for its caramel apples, chocolate-nut clusters, and nostalgic treats, including a wide selection of jellybeans, gummy bears, and sour balls.


A Whole Latte Love: Coffee Beans and More

Wake up to the smell of fond memories of Door County when you purchase coffee from a local roaster. Door County Coffee & Tea’s holiday-inspired flavors — candy cane, mistletoe mocha, and jingle bell java — are the ultimate stocking stuffers. At Pinky Promise Coffee Roasters, beans are sourced from around the world; while you’re there, check out the art gallery next door. Meander Kick Ash’s expansive store and café for brew-related accessories, such as travel mugs and coffee cup-printed aprons. Prefer tea instead? Tea Thyme in Door County is the place to go.


Seasonal Shopping: Christmas-themed Gifts

We’d be remiss to leave out Door County’s popular place for seasonal gifts: Tannenbaum Holiday Shop. Pop in for Christmas ornaments, imported figurines, Advent calendars, and more, although other major holidays are celebrated here year-round, too.


Stay Calm and Lavender On: Bath & Body + Treats

The fields at the Midwest’s largest single-site lavender farm — Fragrant Isle Lavender on Washington Island — may be covered in snow this time of year, but its shop (open May through October, with special holiday hours in November and December) bursts with scented sundries, such as soothing lotions, soaps, shower scrubs, and essential oils. If your recipient is more of a foodie, the loose lavender tea, lemon-lavender seasoning, flavored caramel corn, and honey are all options at Island Lavender Farm Market.


Dress to Impress: Apparel

Give a shout-out to your favorite vacation destination: Door County! Pop into Mann’s Mercantile Shops (on Washington Island) and Wilkins & Olander for Door County-themed clothing. Keep loved ones warm with stylish sweaters from On Deck (with locations in Sister Bay, Sturgeon Bay, and Fish Creek, as well as an outlet shop) and Spot. Many local restaurants, breweries, wineries, and attractions stock logo-ed clothing and accessories, too.


Hard to Buy-For: Door County Gift Certificates

Door County gift certificates are the ideal solution for a friend or family who has everything. These certificates can be used at hundreds of local shops, restaurants, hotels, and attractions — and never expire! 


Now that you know where to go, start shopping! And be sure to do your part to be sustainable and avoid unnecessary waste. Consider using your own reusable gift bags instead of wrapping paper. For more ideas on how to practice sustainability, check out the Door County Leave No Trace 7 Principles

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