Above image credit: @coastalcaninesofdoorcounty
The best adventures are shared with friends, and our four-legged friends are no exception. If you’re looking for a dog-friendly trip with plenty of welcoming restaurant patios, drinking spots, parks, trails, campsites and lakes, Door County will be your (and your dog’s) new favorite adventure destination. So set tails a-waggin’ with this list of things to do with your furry friend.
Year-round Fun with Fido in Door County
While Door County is a four season destination, there is plenty of fun to be had with your four legged friends during the cold winter months. Check out these indoor and outdoor options you can enjoy all year long.
Sit & Stay at Welcoming Lodging
From shoreside resorts to cozy cabins and vacation rentals, finding pet-friendly lodging is easy in Door County. Check out our dedicated section of listings here.
Happy Trails For Happy Tails
Need to help fido get some of that energy out so you can enjoy some rest and relaxation in Door County? Fortunately there are dozens of great places to hike in parks, preserves, and rustic roads on the peninsula. While most beaches are not dog-friendly (dogs were determined to be a top cause of beach contamination), most trails are, including some of our favorites. Here are four great pet-friendly trails for you to explore in Door County.
Rock Island State Park
Rock Island State Park is a short ferry ride from Washington Island and is an explorer's paradise. There are no cars, no bikes and no stores—it's just you, your pup and the great outdoors. Explore historic structures, a restored lighthouse, an expansive sand beach and rustic back-country campsites. There are several miles of hiking trails through wooded uplands, too.
Whitefish Dunes State Park
Trails provide access to Clark Lake and a great pet-friendly beach area on Lake Michigan at Whitefish Dunes State Park. Explore towering sand dunes, wooded trails and beautiful wildflower patches.
Newport State Park
Check out the Europe Bay/Hotz trail, which provides access to Europe Lake in Newport State Park. Dogs are welcome on the northern part of the main beach as well, so take your dog for a dip!
Peninsula State Park
Explore a variety of trails, including Eagle Trail in Peninsula State Park. This advanced trek to the bottom of Eagle Bluff will challenge you and your dog, so make sure your dog is agile — and you are, too!
Above image credit: @where_to_dilly
Door County Dog Parks
If your dog is really looking to stretch their legs and roam free, the best option is to visit one of our dedicated dog parks. We have four throughout the county:
Harbor Hounds Dog Park in Egg Harbor
Open year-round and located in Village View Park in Egg Harbor, Habor Hounds Dog Park features two acres of fenced play area with both large and small dog areas with benches and picnic tables. Water is provided in summer, and a porta-potty is also available. The park is a project of the Village of Egg Harbor; donations by park users are appreciated.
Sister Bay Dog Park
Located adjacent to the Sister Bay Sports Complex on Autumn Court, Sister Bay Dog Park’s fenced grassy area is equipped with picnic tables and "mutt mitts." All are welcome and encouraged to bring their dogs to Sister Bay to play and socialize in a safe, comfortable environment. There is no fee for use of the dog park.
Shiloh Road Bark Park in Sturgeon Bay
Supported by the Door County Humane Society and open 24 hours a day, Shiloh Road Bark Park is located south on County Road U off Highway 42/57. This fenced-in four-acre park consists of two dog areas: a one-acre area for small dogs and a three-acre area for larger dogs.
Captain Bailey's Dog Park
Located in Baileys Harbor, Captain Bailey’s Dog Park features two large grassy areas, one for large and small dogs.
Pawsitively Perfect Summertime Adventures
The summertime sun brings more adventures for you and your pets, when local establishments offer places to play on patios and more. So start planning your next vacation with your pet when the temperatures start rising.
Doggone Good Dining
Dogs are welcome in Door County but state law does not permit dogs inside dining establishments. Thankfully, many Door County restaurants offer pet-friendly dining options at restaurants with an approved variance. Check out this list of pet-friendly patios to get you started.
Vino With Your Fido
Although Wisconsin is known for its beer, Door County’s lakeside weather and nutrient-rich soil make for the perfect place for vineyards to thrive. Sit back, raise a glass and enjoy these dog-friendly wineries.
Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery & Market
Located in Fish Creek, the Lautenbach Family has been growing, harvesting, and producing award-winning fruit products since 1955. Leashed and well-behaved pets are welcome at the Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery & Market on the patio, grounds and indoors (if not too crowded). Just remember to bring your own water bowl and poo baggies.
Twelve Eleven Wine Bar + Provisions
Located in Sister Bay, Twelve Eleven Wine Bar + Provisions specializes in unique varietals from Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Pull up a chair on their patio with your furry friend, sit back and relax in one of their Adirondacks on the grass or cozy up next to one of their firepits.
Anchored Roots Vineyard & Winery
Located in Egg Harbor, Anchored Roots Vineyard & Winery features traditional Washington-grown European vinifera grapes and Wisconsin-grown cold-hardy grapes. Overlook their 6 ½ -acre vineyard as you sip on bold reds and aromatic whites on their pet-friendly patio.
Door Peninsula Winery
Located in Sturgeon Bay, Door Peninsula Winery is home to the largest selection of wines in Wisconsin and has more than 200 awards for its wines. Grab a wine flight, glass or cocktail and head to their dog-friendly Wine Garden for endless sipping.
Get Out on the Water
When you’re in Door County, don’t limit yourself to being land mammals! There are several boat tours ranging from kayaks to sailboats and scenic cruises that welcome your dog. Call in advance when making reservations to see if there are other guests booked and if there are any objections to dogs.
If you're taking your pup on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard, we recommend you choose a calm day and make sure your dog has a life jacket. As always, keep your dog’s enjoyment in mind. Make sure they are comfortable on the water and in a boat before making the commitment. See our list of tours and guides to plan your water adventure.
Dog Kennels in Door County
If you need some pet-free time during your trip, plan ahead by reserving a dog kennel stay for your dog. In the busy summer months, kennels often book up and require information in advance for your pet to stay, so make sure to get in contact while you are still in the planning stage.
5 Guidelines to Avoid a Ruff Trip
While traveling with your pup takes a bit of extra planning, the memories made are always worth it. Here are five things to know before you go to plan your pet-friendly getaway in Door County.
1. Dogs are welcome in Door County, but don't expect to be able to take them everywhere. Do your research to find out how dog-friendly your preferred destination is before heading out, and call ahead to confirm the rules of each venue or activity.
2. Keep pets on leashes. It’s common courtesy to your fellow humans, but it’s also a good rule to follow to keep your dog safe and sound. Don’t forget to pick up your pup poo, too.
3. Exercise caution during walks on the county’s rural roads. Speed limits are often 45-55 mph, so wear bright clothing, walk or run against traffic and step off the road when cars approach.
4. Many towns and villages have their own dog parks. Take your family pet to the dog park nearest you to let loose, meet other pups, run laps, and chase endless tennis balls.
5. Invest in a good harness to keep control of your dog, and bring plenty of water for your pup.
Sign up today!
Visit Door County virtually with monthly newsletter updates. Each issue is jam-packed with vacation ideas, special offers, recipes, festivals, events, and more.