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  1. #1
    CycleJohn
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    Some more help with Door County

    Based on several postings/recommendations from a different sub-forum, I have decided to go to Door County for 4 days of cycling. Can anyone help with suggestions for a base of operations - village and inn. My wife willingly tolerates 6 hours of peddling or paddling in a day; BUT, in exchange for the potential discomfort, she expects some degree of luxury accomodation and quality dining.

    If you think we should change our base of operations while we are there, please feel free to make that recommendation. If you know of any funky places, that also would be OK.

    As we drive up the Lake Michigan shore, are there any other stops, biking or sightseeing, we should make.

    If it helps any, last year we made a leisurely drive to North Hero Island in Vermont, stayed at the North Hero Inn, and did three days of 40+ mile circles. The North Hero Inn was great for us. We had a room overlooking Lake Champlain. There was a bar so that we could get beers after our rides. Dinner was an easy walk from our rooms.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    Is this through the week or over a weekend? There's no way in heck I'd want to cycle through Door County on a weekend, at least not the west side. The east side is a lot less congested. Washington Island is also easy to ride as relatively few cars take the ferry. Pretty flat though.

    As for stops on the way up, depending on whether or not you're a history, lake, war or submarine buff, I'd stop in Manitowoc at the Maritime Museum. Actually, have you considered taking the ferry from Ludington, MI to Manitowoc, WI? Beats the heck out of driving through Chicago and would be something different, if not round trip, maybe just on the way there or on the way back.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kpumpy's Avatar
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    My vote would be for the Inn at Cedar Crossing in Sturgeon Bay (I happen to have a house about a mile from there). Fantastic starting point to head out along Highway B toward Egg Harbor, which hugs the coast for a good 16 miles and is about as great a ride as you'll find anywhere. I've done the back and forth several times. The restaurant serves great food -- and there are others within walking distance that are equally as good -- as well as bars -- and D.C. Bikes is a block down the street.

    Jacksonport and Bailey's Harbor are awesome as well. Did a century ride this summer that went through both and Cave Point Park. Awesome places. Fish Creek and Ephraim are nice but can get a little crowded in July and August.

    I've been to where you've been as well as all over Vermont. Great state. Came close to choosing it for a getaway spot, chose Door County instead because the real estate's so cheap.

  4. #4
    CycleJohn
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    Reply to Shemp

    Thanks for your quick response.

    Based on your comments, it will definitely be a weekday visit. The ferry idea is great! I like Vermont because we get there with no urban traffic hassles. If we can avoid Nothern Indiana and Chicago, I'll be thrilled.

    The Maritime Museum could keep me entertained for a day. My wife's attention span could be somewhere closer to an hour including snacks. I actually was wondering about scenic peddling or river paddling possibilities.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    CycleJohn
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    Reply to Kpumpy

    Yours is the second recommendation for Sturgeon Bay. Jacksonport wasn't even on my radar screen. Probably for the same reason that they are very crowded, I have heard the most about Ephraim and Fish Creek. Are any of these particularly well centered for different bike trips?

    Two years ago we biked Central Vermont as part of a tour; which is why we went back last year on our own. My wife likes Vermont enough that she was talking about a vacation place there; Door sounds like it will be a good replacement - and also something new.

    I'm going to check out the Inn at Cedar Crossing; Thanks

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpumpy
    My vote would be for the Inn at Cedar Crossing in Sturgeon Bay (I happen to have a house about a mile from there). Fantastic starting point to head out along Highway B toward Egg Harbor, which hugs the coast for a good 16 miles and is about as great a ride as you'll find anywhere. I've done the back and forth several times. The restaurant serves great food -- and there are others within walking distance that are equally as good -- as well as bars -- and D.C. Bikes is a block down the street.

    Jacksonport and Bailey's Harbor are awesome as well. Did a century ride this summer that went through both and Cave Point Park. Awesome places. Fish Creek and Ephraim are nice but can get a little crowded in July and August.
    +1 on the Inn at Cedar Crossing.

    I'm doing a 100k on the Door this weekend and intentionally avoiding the western shore. It's beastly in summer. Should be okay midweek though. Cave Point Park, Whitefish Dunes, Jacksonport and Bailey's Harbor, all on the east (Lake Michigan) side, are all great any time.

    I also recommend ferrying to avoid Chicago traffic, but I'd take the fast one from Muskegon to Milwaukee rather than te Ludington-Manitowoc one.

  7. #7
    nm+
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    Do you have the WIDOT maps?
    If you don't: http://www.dot.state.wi.us/travel/bi...countymaps.htm
    Breaking bike parts for more than 20 years
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  8. #8
    CycleJohn
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    Thanks to nm+

    nm+ Thanks for the lead on the Wisconsin Biking maps. There are two for Door County, I was able to print them both out. Interestingly, the southern Door County map came out on a very readible scale; but, the northern part was a little too crammed for my 50+ vision. I will have to figure out a way to blow it up before I try to reprint a more readible version.

    EXCELLENT piece of info,
    Thanks

  9. #9
    nm+
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    If you have enough time, WIDOT will send you full sized bike maps of Wisconsin.
    Wisconsin is the best state to ride in, great scenery, courtious drivers, a DOT that actually cares about you, and very friendly police (toward cyclists).
    I just crossed the border into IL and regret it already. . . .
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  10. #10
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    Door County doesn't REALLY begin till you get to Sister Bay. :-) You've to to make it to Gills' Rock, though. Not counting Washington Island, it's the "real" Door County (not, as of yet, infected with putt-putt golf and waterslides. Get some smoked fish at Wieborg's and do the fish boil at the Viking in Ellison Bay. When I die, I want my ashes sprinkled in Garrett Bay. Further south, the Penninsula State Park has some nice recreational riding. Get some ice cream at Wilsons. By the way -- the West Side may be more crowded (weekends) but it's WAY more senic.

  11. #11
    Peddler Seamless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhetoric
    the "real" Door County (not, as of yet, infected with putt-putt golf and waterslides.
    Should that come to pass, there will be no charm left.

    Get some smoked fish at Wieborg's and do the fish boil at the Viking in Ellison Bay.
    Might as well just drink boiling kerosene seasoned with oil of fish scale. Ug. (Refrigerate the soup and fill your water bottle for the next morning ride's quaff.)
    Its popularity demonstrates there are those who find the boils a gastronomic delight; on a cool night at least the atmosphere (visual, not inhalant aspect) is pleasant if you're upwind.

    Get some ice cream at Wilsons.
    Definitely do not pass Wilsons. A great way to stretch, cool down, banish hunger for a few hours, enjoy the view and relax on the porch after the lunch crowd has gone.
    `,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,
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  12. #12
    CycleJohn
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    Thanks to all

    I just wanted to thank all of you for your input into this decision process. Just so that you know, how much you have contributed:
    1. We wll be taking the ferry across Lake Michigan so as to avoid the Chicago urban sprawl.
    2. We are going to arrive on Monday and leave Friday so as to avoid cycling within the weekend traffic along the western shore.
    3. We are going the week after Labor Day, supposedly an excellent time for cycling.
    4. We got mixed advice on north vs south; Sturgeon Bay ultimately seemed like a big town, so we are targeting toward Ephraim with Gill's Rock as a serious contender. We went with these because they seem less touristy. (and yes I know Ephaim is dry...hmmmm.)
    5. Wilson's is on the "must go" list.

    If you want to give any further input on the "best place to stay", speak or write now. I think my wife is leaning toward the Edgewater Inn.

    Everyone we have spoken too has said that we will love the cycling; and that one trip to Door County will not be enough to really enjoy all the good routes. This is the first cycling vacation that I can remember where finding a place to stay was more challenging than finding the perfect bike routes. We are really looking forward to this. Thanks again.

  13. #13
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    Ephraim may be dry, but I am pretty sure Sister Bay is not and it's only a couple miles away. If you are concerned about "touristyness", Gills Rock is a better pick than Ephraim, which is in the primary tourism corridor (Egg Harbor to Sister Bay), but despite it's touristyness, Ephraim is the prettiest town on the penninsula. I've always camped at Newport or Peninsula State Parks or stayed in Sturgeon Bay, but I am pretty sure Gill's Rock has very few lodging options, having both driven and biked through Gills Rock, I can attest to it's tinyness.

    BTW, I had a blast on my 100k loop last Saturday - the penninsula is still as beautiful after a seven year absence. Tough it's mostly gently rolling terrain, climbing the Niagara Escarpment (same one that the famous falls fall over in NY/ONT) is a workout that begs for a granny gear, at least after 90k.

  14. #14
    AMD
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    You may also want to check out the Door County Century ride folks for route ideas. We have done this century ride a couple of times and found it to be well-organized and a great tour. The website is www.doorcountycentury.com. It's the Sunday after Labor day weekend. Enjoy your vacation here!

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