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Door County has a fantastic wardrobe of attire: the white and neutral colors of winter, a cool, blossoming layer in spring, a lush green coat in summer, and of course, a brilliant quilt of bright warm colors in fall. The season that shows the most spectacular colors is here and it is a part of the reason that so many call Door County their favorite place to be in fall!
But the colors are only one piece of the pie that is the peninsula and Washington Island. Fall is also considered the best season for many outdoor activities and adventures, and the autumn colors serve as a beautiful backdrop wherever you go. And with summer break in the rearview mirror, the number of visitors in the county has surpassed it’s peak. Take advantage of the slower pace and experience Door County in the new season with a fall tour, dining and shopping. Reservations to your favorite or must-do places are still encouraged as the peak colors do attract a lot of leaf seekers!
Door County summers are warm with most days peaking in the 80’s, but come fall, the sun is still shining yet the temperatures have begun to decline. This makes for the perfect weather to trail run, bike, hike and more spend time in the parks. Just add an extra layer for cooler weather and you’ll find you’re in the perfect season for outdoor activities. Go off-road with with your bike for a new trail adventure on two wheels or use our trail genius map to find the perfect hiking trail to explore.
Golfing becomes even more of a spectator sport when you add in the gorgeous scenery cloaked in fall color. Take your clubs out for a spin before the season is over and see how your stroke has improved this year. With a total of ten beautiful courses to try, you’ll look forward to tee time no matter where you are on the peninsula.
The season for fishing in Door County never really ends. From walleye to salmon and whitefish to trout, the county has an abundance of shoreline and waters to fish and explore with rod in hand. In fall and into winter, walleye and whitefish are the targeted fish of choice. Be advised that the rules and regulations in the county vary greatly depending on when and where you are fishing and what you are fishing for. Do you research on the rules and regulations along with knowing the water you fish before you go.
The fall season also brings in new varieties of birds to spot as they travel south for the winter. Catch sight of Tundra Swans, Canadian Geese and Wood Ducks on their southbound journey. Plan your own birding excursion to one of our five state parks of go on a guided hike to discover the feathered friends within Ridges Sanctuary.
Shopping is always a favorite pastime for Door County visitors, but with peak season come and gone, you’re bound to find some season’s end specials. Boutiques, artisan products, antiques and home goods are some of the specialities you will find nestled in quaint shops in each town.
Don’t forget the upcoming holiday season! The peninsula is home to several Christmas themed shops and gift-giving becomes a breeze with the unique finds in art galleries, jewelers, clothing boutiques and craft stores. Didn’t find the perfect gift? Gift an experience instead! From romantic weekend getaways, to brewery tours, there’s something in Door County for everyone.
It’s officially bonfire season! Pack up your s’mores and head to one of Door County’s many campgrounds to find yourself surrounded by the autumn scenery. Don’t forget to book your campsite in advance or hike-in early to the “first come, first serve” sites. Savor the dark skies and watch the sunrise at Newport State Park or take a nature hike and watch the sunset over the bay at Peninsula State Park. Feeling more adventurous? Put miles on your bike at Potawatomi State Park or take the two-ferry trip over to Rock Island for a rustic camping experience.
Roll your windows down and open the sunroof or rev up the motorcycle for a scenic spin. Whatever your transportation, there are spectacular views to be had on the roads of Door County. Read about five favorite drives here, or choose a section of the peninsula to explore yourself. Pack a picnic for a pit stop or grab goodies from the many roadside markets.
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