Insider Tips for an Artsy Fourth of July

Ah, The Fourth. The Baileys Harbor Parade, fireworks every night, hanging at the beach.  Kids' mouths stained from too many popsicles, sunburned shoulders, and Door County's shops and eateries full to capacity.  We love it! Of course it wouldn't be The Fourth of July without all of these wonderful things, but how about spicing up your holiday weekend with a little taste of what Door County's finest galleries, theatres, and other artsy venues have to offer?Here are my top tips for the weekend: 1. Door Shakespeare. It's the season opener for this uniquely Door County take on the bard. The troupe performs "in the garden" on the grounds of beautiful Bjorklunden, and has an ambitious new director and company made up of some of the hottest young Shakespeareans in the country. This season's plays, classic tragedy and comedy, are Macbeth and Love's Labour Lost. 2. Skyway Drive In Movie Theatre. Nothing says summer like watching a movie in the great outdoors. Buy a foot long hot dog, tune your radio to the am station, and push the recline button. Or bring lawn chairs to set up in the back of your truck. The double feature (Monsters University and Iron Man 3) begins at dusk and ends much too late.  That's why you're on vacation! 3. Peninsula School of Art. Located right across from the Door Community Auditorium, the art school's Guenzel Gallery is currently showing The Nature of Jewelry, featuring work from 29 artists from the U.S., Canada, Ireland, and Japan. Stroll through the beautiful gardens on your way in. You might even be tempted to sign up for a class while you're there! 4. Gallery Hop. Take a drive and stop in at a few of the Peninsula's finest galleries. Head north to beautiful (and less crowded) Ellison bay and check out the amazing leather designs of Mary Ellen Sisulak's Turtle Ridge Gallery, and the iconic pottery work at Clay Bay Pottery. If you're in the vicinity of Ephraim, don't miss Fine Line Designs Gallery, Blue Dolphin House, or the Hardy Gallery, which is located on historic Anderson Dock on the waters of Green Bay. If you're headed further south, stops at Edgewood Orchard Galleries and Woodwalk Gallery, both housed in beautiful old barns, are a must. 5. Stargaze. There's art, and then there's art: as in the constellations, the Milky Way, the moon and everything in between. Our favorite spot for stargazing was always on the Ephraim dock, or up at the top of German Road where the sky just seemed to be a little bit closer than it was anywhere else. Find a quiet, dark spot away from the fireworks and the towns, lie back on the hood of your car, and dream.  Go ahead.  It's the Fourth of July. What did you discover over the Fourth in Door County? Let me know on my Facebook page!