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There is no shortage of lovely hotels and inns to choose from when deciding where to stay in Door County. But, if you are seeking something that leads you off the beaten path, Door County has those options to offer you as well. Whether you are looking for something more adventurous or simply a one-of-a-kind space, don’t overlook these special lodging opportunities.
At the very northernmost part of the peninsula sits Newport State Park. Spend a night camping at one of a total of 14 campsites that are hike-in only. To reach your campsite, you’ll need to bring all of your gear in via foot or an off-road bike. The hike-in will vary from 1 to 2.5 miles and is well worth your effort. With 2,370 acres of wilderness and 11 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, you will feel truly removed from it all. Newport was recently designated as Wisconsin’s first “dark sky” park, meaning it has joined the elite ranks of parks that provide stunning views of the cosmos due to their lack of urban city lights.
Try another walk-in camping experience on Rock Island, which is two ferry rides northeast out of Gills Rock. Described as offering primitive camping, the park offers 40 campsites accessed by hiking trails. To first access the island, you will take a 30 minute ferry ride to Washington Island, where you must transfer to the opposite shore to take Karfi, the Rock Island Passenger Ferry, across to Rock Island. Cars are not allowed on Rock Island, but the campground does provide carts for transporting your gear. Campsites are reservable online or on a first come, first serve basis.
If the full on camping experience makes you nervous, try camping with a provided shelter such as a yurt or rustic cabin at the Wagon Tail Campground near Rowley’s Bay. The circular yurts provide sleeping room for five and the rustic cabins sleep six. The campground is within walking distance to the entrance of the Mink River Estuary, a pristine freshwater natural area that offers beautiful kayaking and canoeing. Or just spend time at the shore of Lake Michigan fishing, sunbathing or reading a good book.
Opened for business in 2016, the home of Roots is on the National Historic Register and offers both delicious food and an eclectic place to stay. Located in downtown Sister Bay, the inn and restaurant is walking distance to the beach, shopping, bars and nightlife. The house has six guest rooms each with their own bath. The entire house is filled with rare antiques that make this inn a very special place to stay. The lodging is adults only and includes daily breakfast from the kitchen during your stay.
If you are seeking lavish quarters with a northwoods twist, the Double S Lodge in Sister Bay fits the bill. The lodge approaches the guest experience with a focus on service by providing fresh coffee delivered to your room each morning, serving breakfast using locally sourced ingredients in the kitchen, and offering happy hours and s’more campfires on specific days. For dinner, bike into Sister Bay and enjoy the sunsets over the marina and dip your toes in the water at the public beach.
In the Yacht Harbor Marina that sits at the edge of the Sturgeon Bay Canal, you will find a grouping of floating cottages that offer seasonal stays. The four floating cottages provide space for six guests alongside onboard bathroom facilities and kitchen amenities. Soak up the sunshine on the upper deck or take advantage of the marina’s swimming pool, pickleball court, fire pit or pavilion with picnic areas and gas grills.
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