Door County Tour
Door County Tour
Drive Dates: Thursday, October 14 and Saturday, October 16
Total Drive Distance: 263 miles
Estimated total tour duration: 8 hours
The Door County Tour route will head straight north for a few miles, then east, to skirt around the city of Sheboygan. Once reaching the Lake Michigan shoreline, we’ll turn left to follow it northward on very scenic but mostly flat, straight back roads. We’ll pass Kohler-owned Whistling Straights Golf Course, looking as if it were transplanted from the Scottish Moors. Golfers may want to consider coming back to play a round on this spectacular course.
After following the shoreline for a few miles, we’ll pass through downtown Manitowoc, having a current population of about 34,000. Manitowoc reportedly means “dwelling of the Great Spirit,” in the Ojibwe language. French fur traders arrived here in 1673 and founded a trading post two years later. Since 1847, Manitowoc has been known as a shipbuilding city. During WWII, it produced many landing craft, tankers, and submarines. To celebrate this shipbuilding tradition, Manitowoc is home to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, which we’ll pass by on our way. Manitowoc is also home to Manitowoc Corporation which produces large construction cranes used all over the world.
A few miles after departing Manitowoc, we’ll arrive in the town of Two Rivers, at the confluence of the East Twin River and the West Twin River. To some, Two Rivers is the birthplace of the ice cream sundae, although that claim is disputed by a couple of other U.S. cities. Heading north from Two Rivers, our drive will mostly follow the Lake Michigan shoreline to Door County. Although most roads are relatively straight, we’ll take advantage of the relatively few twisty roads that exist in northeast Wisconsin as we approach Sturgeon Bay, and beyond as we proceed up the Door peninsula.
Door County is a popular destination for visitors from late Spring to late Fall, with its quaint villages that dot the shoreline on either side of the peninsula. Door County, Wisconsin’s “thumb” which extends northeasterly into Lake Michigan, is often referred to as the “Cape Cod” of the Midwest.
After crossing the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal (which, to most visitors, signifies that they “have officially arrived” in Door County), we’ll mostly follow twisty back roads along the Lake Michigan shoreline up the peninsula, before crossing the peninsula to the Green Bay side for our lunch stop at The Old Post Office Restaurant in the village of Ephraim.
The Old Post Office Restaurant is our host for a traditional Door County fish boil. A fish boil, which is as much theater as meal preparation, has its origin going back to the early Scandinavians who settled Door County. We’ll arrive in time to watch the dramatic “boil over” which removes fish oil from the kettle along with the potential for a “fishy” taste.
Our tour officially ends after lunch. For those who wish to return to The American Club together, tour leaders will depart shortly after lunch to drive back to the resort. The return to Kohler will be a 2-hour drive on main roads, including Interstate I-43.