Door County on a Shoe String

When I’m out of town and tell people I’m from Door County I frequently get the same comment,  “Oh, I love Door County but everything is sooo expensive”. My response back is generally always the same when  I tell them they just need to know where to go.  I live here year round and I’m not on a millionaires salary so knowing the good stops is a need to know.   Just to prove my point, that you can still be a tourist and stretch your dollar without sacrificing quality, I’ve listed just a few of my favorite stops.


  • The Bistro inside Liberty Square has a “Fill-Me-Up” breakfast from 8-11am for $4.99 that includes all you can eat hash browns.  (Pretty sure even McDonalds doesn’t have anything of that quantity that cheap and definitely not as good)


  • Hands down brunch has to be Alexander’s in Fish Creek.  On Sundays they put on a spread like no other with cook to serve omelets, gourmet salads, tons of fruit with specialty breakfast and lunch dishes.  They even include mimosa’s and the whole shebang is right around $15 a person.  The last time I checked my coffee and breakfast sandwich from Starbucks cost more than that.


  • Now the Harbor Fish Market is one of my all time favorite stops for every meal but when I can’t afford the luxury dinner and bottle of wine I can still stop in for a beer and a burger at the bar with the same quality food and service.  They offer a gourmet burger with lettuce, tomato and onion on a toasted Kaiser roll with fries for right around $5.00.  Enough said.


  • The Nautical Inn in Sturgeon Bay has an all-you-can eat pasta buffet featuring two types of soup, garlic bread, salad bar, and a variety of pasta sauces and topping choices for $8.25 for dinner or $6.95 for lunch.
  • Kitty O’Reillys has great drink specials at happy hour and a fish fry on Fridays for $9.99.


  • You can’t beat the prices at the farmers markets and it’s all grown local and fresh.  During the summer and fall there is just about one every day of the week.
  • Scaturo’s two for one bread specials on Wednesdays

Attractions & Tours

  • Free concerts in the park throughout the county
  • Free wine tasting at Door Peninsula Winery, Harbor Ridge, Simon Creek and Lautenbach’s
  • Geo-Caching
  • 5 State Parks- Passes start at $3 for the day and include access to beaches, boating, diving, fishing, hiking and biking trails.
  • Take a scenic ferry ride across Death’s Door to Washington Island for $12.
  • Schopf’s Dairy – Free ice cream tasting