Cruising Southern Door County
When Jane and I moved to Door County 24 years ago Jane taught for the Southern Door School District. Because of that we spent many fun times in the southern Door County area. Going to establishments after a long week, visiting her colleagues on a weekend , and becoming familiar with the area where her students lived occupied a lot of our free time.
Jane left Southern Door after a few years, but that didn't end our love of the people, the area, the restaurants, and the roads! When tourists visit the county most often they think of heading north of Sturgeon Bay. In actuality, some of my favorite rides include roads south of the city. When visiting the county consider spending some time in the southern Door County area; you'll be glad you did! Aside from the fact that it tends to be quieter, it provides a chance to cruise at a slower pace and take in the beauty of the rural landscape as well as stopping at town parks located on Green Bay. A nice start to this trip is a visit to Potawatomi State Park. Heading north into the county (Highway57) you will see a sign for the park shortly before you get to Sturgeon Bay. Take a left on Park Drive(County PD) and follow the signs to the park. Potawatomi State Park is one of five state parks that Door County has to offer. Once there, you will enjoy miles of hiking trails and an observation tower which offers spectacular views of Green Bay. When you're ready for a great dinner and sunset head to one of our favorite restaurants, Sunset Bar and Grill. The ride takes you on scenic back roads that wind through rural southern Door County. As you take a left out of the park you will take a quick right onto Sand Bay Road. Stay on this road until you reach Sand Bay Point Road which will lead to Sand Bay Beach Resort, a beautiful resort tucked back off the beaten path. This would be a great place to spend a night or two with amenities including a private beach, indoor pool, whirlpool and sauna, beachside bonfire pits, and gas grilling areas. To get to Sunset Bar and Grill go back to Sand Bay Road and take a right. For those that like to camp, Jellystone Park Camp-Resort is located right on the corner of Sand Bay Road and May Road. Continue on Sand Bay Road (turns into Woodlane Road) until you get to Rileys Point Road. Take a right, go about a half mile and you will arrive at Sunset Bar and Grill. The sunsets are second to none and the food is fantastic! Plan on a wait if you go early on a Friday night; their fish fry is one of the best in the area! This casual, upbeat restaurant is comfortable and friendly and people know to "come as you are". We have been going to Sunset for years and often take out of town guests there for dinner. Jane and I have been traveling these roads for years and we often see a deer or two. The wooded, grassy area lends itself to a safe home for many animals and the deer are plentiful. If you are riding at dusk especially, I cannot caution you enough about driving slowly and being on a constant lookout for deer and other wildlife. If you are interested in a combination resort/restaurant, Wave Pointe Marina and Resort may be your place. Woodlane Road will run into Stevenson Pier Road which runs along the bay. Take this road until you get to County C. Take a right , go a few miles, and take a right turn onto County CC which will lead to Wave Pointe. A popular destination for boaters, Wave Pointe is a full service marina in addition to a restaurant which offers live music on the patio. Sitting on the patio on summer afternoons watching the boaters and enjoying the peace and serenity of the view make this trip one of our favorites. They offer a wide menu for any appetite with a nice bar to converse with locals and visitors alike. The resort is connected with the restaurant and offers a variety of accommodations. I hope you enjoy your visit and the sometimes forgotten area of Southern Door County. Take a day to cruise the county roads and enjoy stops along the way. With another school year winding down I reflect on the year gone by and the students I've had in class. "Children may forget what you say, but they'll never forget how you make them feel." - Parker J. Palmer