Door County In Winter!
Enjoy the Winter Scenery, Cross-Country Ski, Snuggle by a Fire!
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|Off-season Door County: save money, find parking, meet the artists
By Donna Marie Pocius
Special to DoorCountyNavigator.com
Beat the crowds when you head to the Door Peninsula over the next few months. Now through April 30 is what the locals here call the off-season.
What does that mean to you? Well, inns and hotels are making special offers or have discounted their overnight packages. Boutiques are clearing out their merchandise with great sales, and you can get a great table at a restaurant on Saturday night.
For example, Westwood Shores and Bridgeport Waterfront Resort, both in Sturgeon Bay, have Romance packages, Groovin' Sisterhood weekend packages for girlfriends (April 25 to 27) and other offers. Village Green Lodge, Ephraim, promotes Door County Trolley Winter Wonderland weekends through March 29 and Pamper Yourself and Someone you Love weekends until May 1.
In Sister Bay, the Country House Resort has Getaway to Romance packages good to May 1. Check out the rates at the Shallows Resort, Egg Harbor, as well.
In Fish Creek, AppleCreek Resort has a number of ideas like its "Romantic Weekend Package" (available through March). It offers up a two-night stay for two, complimentary bottle of Door County Romance Wine and discounts at the Cookery or Greenwood Supper Club restaurants. See the details at their website.
Learn more about saving during the off-season by visiting the hotel and B&B Web sites right from this newsletter or by going to www.DoorCountyNavigator.com .
And don't get so comfortable in your hotel room that you neglect to get out and shop the boutiques and galleries. On Deck, an apparel store for men and women, is open in Fish Creek, Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay. The winter clearance--with savings up to 50 percent off on great brands-has started.
Another place open year-round is Wilkins & Olander, a store for women in Sturgeon Bay (open daily) and Fish Creek. Country Lady/Country Squire is a lovely boutique in the Liberty Square shopping mall in Egg Harbor (open winter Fridays and Saturdays). Meet Brigitte Sonne, the helpful and fashion savvy owner, and check out the current sale on quality ladies coats and apparel, which are suitable for work as well as fun.
Another advantage of coming to the Door Peninsula during the off-season is that the line to buy flavored olive oil and balsamic vinegar at Curt's Spice & Oilerie does not wind around his charming and intriguing Fish Creek store. And Curt Campbell, the owner, shares wonderful advice on how to cook with the oils.
And, by the way, many artists live adjacent to their galleries. So keep your eyes peeled for "open" flags blowing above the snow banks. For example, after you cross country ski at Newport State Park (check www.wiparks.net for conditions at Door County state parks) browse the antiques and folk art at Newport House Gallery, Ellison Bay. As the gallery's owner and woodcarver Carol Lango put it, "If we want to open our shop, we just hang our flag."
Warm up to the Art of Music Winter concert series
By Donna Marie Pocius
Special to DoorCountyNavigator.com
Live acoustic music concerts are being held on select Fridays through May 2 at a unique venue, the Ladder House, 38 S. Third Ave. Sturgeon Bay
The series brings to the Door Peninsula national singers and songwriters performing music of all genres: folk, blues, jazz, Celtic, country and rock. The shows are being produced by the Art of Music National Tours and Dragonfly Agency and are sponsored by Door County Memorial Hospital/Ministry Health Care and the Ladder House.
The diverse line-up features on Feb. 15 Ember Swift, a performing artist who hails from Canada. Together with Lyndell Montgomery, he has brought politically charged music to stages across Canada, the U.S. and Australia.
Then, on March 14, musicians Bill Camplin, Dorothy Scott and friends pay tribute, through their diverse musical repertoires, to Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Nina Samone and Jeff Buckley.
On April 11, Joe Price's electrifying sound will be heard in the Ladder House's upper-level music room. He is reportedly a "blues musician who really speaks the blues yet seems truly happy with his life."
The series comes to a close May 2 when Karen Savoca and Pete Heitzman take the stage. The duo has the power to sound like a full band, reviewers have raved.
The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m., and the $10 ticket price includes a free drink ticket and seating at tables in a non-smoking and candlelit environment. A music menu is available prior to the concerts.
"The acoustics of the music room are wonderful," said Terry Lundahl, executive director of Dragonfly Agency. "And people will hear national touring artists, each with vast repertoires."
People may make an advance reservation by calling 920-493-5979.
A Special Place: Whitefish Dunes State Park
What's it about: Whitefish Dunes State Park is one of five Door County state parks. At this time of year, find about nine miles of trails for cross country skiing. Also, snowshoeing and hiking is available on the Black Trail or on the beach.
In the summer and fall, about 14 miles of trails are open for hiking. They include the Red Trail, which runs near Lake Michigan. Don't miss the park's diverse Yellow Trail (this writer's favorite). While on this 4.2-mile trail in the summer and fall, you walk through a hardwood forest, cross meadows, smell a pine plantation and go past a creek.
"We have a lot of open vistas. You can pull away and see a site," explains Carolyn Rock, the park's naturalist.
Why it's special: The park's diversity, helpful staff and conveniences (shelter building, indoor rest rooms, available parking) make it truly special. The cross country ski trails offer up challenge with small hills and turns. In the summer, the beach, which stretches far and wide along Lake Michigan, is a perfect place for people watching, writing and reading.
Quick facts: Whitefish Dunes State Park is located at 3275 Clark Lake Rd. (Cty. WD), just south of Jacksonport. To learn more, call 920-823-2400 or visit www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/parks.
- Donna Marie Pocius