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What We’re Thankful for this Year


With fall in full swing, Thanksgiving and the holiday season are right around the corner. That means it’s the perfect time to start slowing down, reflecting on the previous year, and thinking about how the next one could be even better.

In Door County, we’re lucky to have an abundance of things to be grateful for—from beautiful natural scenery to our tight-knit and supportive communities to our slower-paced and nature-filled lifestyle. 

Here are 10 things about Door County to be thankful for, whether you live in the heart of the peninsula or you’re getting excited for your very first visit.

1. An abundance of arts and culture opportunities: The arts scene here has been going strong since the earliest days of tourism. Artists and creatives of all disciplines have called Door County home over the years or visited regularly to exhibit their art, teach classes, collaborate with other artists, and find creative inspiration.

2. So many outdoor adventures, right outside our doors: In Door County, we live and work among the forests, parks, and nature spaces of the region. So for many of us, the next adventure is always just beyond our backyards—often literally.

Friends snowshoeing in the woods

3. Local food and specialty goods: With a large network of farmers, growers, and producers, Door County is a hotspot for artisan foods and other local products. Eating at locally owned restaurants and shopping at small businesses support the local economy and can be one part of a larger individual sustainability plan.

4. A beautiful place to call home: Nature and natural scenery are constants in the background of our day-to-day lives. This scenic, storied beauty of the region and the history of travelers coming here to see it is well documented, but it continues to be one of the greatest perks of living here.

5. A huge number of nonprofits and a community that gives back: Door County is lucky to have an abundance of nonprofit organizations—as well as caring and generous residents—that work hard to keep Door County a special place for everyone. The Door County Foundation is a great example: its mission is to inspire people who love Door County to protect what makes it great and donate to the region's more than 350 arts, history, recreation, and environmental charities.

6. Epic sunrises and sunsets, especially in winter: The county’s 300 miles of shoreline and numerous parks and overlooks make it an unusually great place for catching a photo-worthy sunrise or sunset. The crisp, clean air found up here in fall and winter make for particularly stunning light shows for those willing to brave the elements.

The Sturgeon Bay Pierhead Light bathed in sunrise golds and blues

7. The success of Care for Door County: Early in 2021, we launched Care for Door County and The Pledge to spread awareness of the environmental burden the region has faced in recent decades. Since then, more than 3,500 people (and counting) have signed it and committed to embracing sustainable-travel practices when they visit. This was just the start of a movement, but we’re thankful for all the support and enthusiasm we’ve received so far.

8. Collective love and support for small businesses: Locally owned shops, restaurants and bars, lodgings, and other businesses, large and small, make up the fabric of our communities. They’re a huge part of what draws people to Door County and an even larger part of what sustains it in the long run.

Downtown Fish creek in winter

9. Our rich history that continues to get richer: It’s rare to find a place that takes as much pride in its history and cultural heritage as Door County. From the architecture and historic fish boils to the food and drink inspired by our ancestors’ homelands, history is all around us up here.

10. A calmer and slower way of life: We’re a little less rushed around here—meals move slower, sunsets linger longer, and afternoons on the water or in the woods seem to last forever. Door County is a place where you can slow down, relax, and take in the view. The next time you’re here, try out some of the principles of slow travel and watch your experience improve.

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