The Door County Festival of Nature is your opportunity to learn more about the wildflowers, geology, birds and insects of our peninsula. During field trips and hands-on programs, guides will walk you through some of the most pristine and unique natural areas in the county. Many of these areas are not typically open to the public and can only be accessed during this special event, taking place from May 23 -25, 2013. Conservation organizations in Door County will share ways in which they are working to preserve our rich natural heritage for the future. Along the way, you’ll have an opportunity to share your love of the natural world with other conservation-minded participants from all over the Midwest.
Spring is a great time to experience the natural wonder of Door County. Migrating warblers and other songbirds return to the peninsula and shorebirds gather on our lakes and bays. Wildflowers are opening out into the spring sunshine. Come join us!
Highlights of the Door County Festival of Nature
- Canoe & Kayak Trips – Paddle the Peninsula!
- Birding Hotspots
- Wildflower Outings
- Photography Workshops
- NEW! Nature Trivia Night
- NEW! Local Land & Lake Picnic featuring organic and locally sourced foods
- Early morning birdwatching trips to local hotspots for waterfowl, warblers and more
- Geology of the Door Peninsula
- An old-fashioned Barn Dance / Social to wrap up the weekend's activities
Register for Festival of Nature Events
Online registration is the fastest and easiest way to register for the Festival. You get up-to-date information on trips that are fully booked and reserve trips immediately. You can pay by credit card or print your registration form and mail it to The Ridges Sanctuary with payment by check or debit/credit card.
Visit von Stiehl While in Door County
Add one other item to your spring must-see list while on the Peninsula: von Stiehl. While there isn't much wildlife at the winery, but we do have Ladies of the Vine, our wine club that you automatically become a member of when you purchase one case of wine per year. Come and take a tour of our beautiful facility in the charming waterfront town of Algoma!
Spring in Door County wine country is filled with blossoming orchards and vineyards regenerating after a long winter. With these buds and blossoms comes the excitement of a new crop and every farmer and vintner's hope for a bountiful harvest.
On the weekend of May 17-19, the Door County Wine Trail Weekend will take place. Celebrate the spring by indulging in a wide array of individual events at seven local wineries including orchard and vineyard tours, cheese and chocolate pairings, live music and salsa dancing. Take part in a barrel tasting seminar or dinner show.
Maximize your wine trail weekend experience by picking up a wine trail brochure including our new passport program. Visit all seven wineries, collect a stamp at each and receive a limited edition wine trail logo embossed glass, while supplies last.
Door County Wine Trail Weekend Events
At von Stiehl: Barrel Tasting Saturday morning starting at 10:00 am
We will host a special Wine Futures and One-Of-A-Kind Barrel Tasting in conjunction with the Door County Wine Trail Weekend. Dave, one of our winemakers, will be on hand to pull samples from the barrels in our cellars for you to taste, forecast, and purchase at a discounted price. Be one of the first to try the Zinfandel, Brunello, and our estate barrel-aged Marechal Foch, an estate wine made entirely from grapes grown in our own Stony Creek vineyard. Enjoy the barrel tasting in von Stiehl’s 150 year old limestone tunnels starting at 10 a.m. Saturday May 18. $6 per person.
Murder Mystery Dinner Show at Door Peninsula Winery: Saturday night 7 - 10 p.m.
Styled like a winemaker dinner, Door Peninsula Winery welcomes the Dinner Detectives to Door County. Enjoy a four course dinner paired with select Door Peninsula wines while you solve a Murder Mystery. A truly unique tasting experience intermingled with the excitement & suspense of dinner theater. This event promises to be memorable - great wine, great food and great entertainment. Cost is $75 per person (plus tip) and will take place at Bistro 42, attached to the winery. Dinner starts promptly at 7 p.m. with mystery solved by 10 p.m. Follow this link to make your reservations. Reservations will be taken on a first come, first serve basis. Menu will be posted as it is finalized and paired with wines.
See the full event list on the Door County Wine Trail website.
Next month is when spring really begins in Door County. And how do we know this? Because the cherry blossoms appear - at last! All over the countryside and along the roadways, cherry blossoms leave their thin carpeting of white and pink petals. The trees become like giant cotton candy puffs and we remember what a warm breeze feels like on our faces.
A fun way to celebrate spring in Door County is via a trolley tour. The tours are run by Door County Trolley Inc. They pick you up in Sturgeon Bay around 9:30 a.m. and take you up the peninsula to the adorable community of Fish Creek, exploring orchards of blossoms and large expanses of wildflower fields along the way. There will be many great photo opportunities, so don't forget your camera!
While in Fish Creek, you will enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride! Lunch and two wine tastings are also included in the tour.
The tours take place on Saturdays and Sundays throughout April and May. Cost is $60. Visit the Door County Trolley website to purchase tickets.
von Stiehl's Cherry Wines
We have a wide selection of wines created from the very cherries these blossoms hail! After your tour, stop by von Stiehl in Algoma to taste some of our Door County cherry wines. Here are some of our most popular:
- Cherry Blush Wine: A smooth and appealing semi-dry white blushed with Montmorency cherries.
- Cherry Kirsche: This fortified wine is the perfect marriage of brandy spirits and cherry wine.
- Cherry Kirsche Oak-Aged: This fortified wine is the perfect marriage of brandy spirits and cherry wine, aged in American Oak for an extra smooth finish.
You can buy any of our wines from our website if you can't make it to our winery.
The Door County Trolley is a quaint and fun way to take a scenic tour of the Sturgeon Bay area. Right now, they are offering a special holiday tour called Winter Wonderland. Trolley guests tour and taste at a Door County winery (possibly the Orchard Country Winery, but speak with the Door County Trolley Tours for details), followed by a cozy sleigh ride through picturesque winter landscapes. Finish off the tour with a fireside lunch at the romantic English Inn. The Winter Wonderland tour is $60 plus tax, which includes your trolley ride, lunch and sleigh ride. The tour usually lasts 5 hours.
The Door County Trolley will pick you up at your Sturgeon Bay lodging between 9:30 and 10 a.m. or at Door County Coffee and Tea at 10 a.m. Call 920-868-1100 to reserve.
- Saturday - December 29, & 31 (Monday)
- Saturday - January 5, 12, 19, & 26
- Saturday - February 2, 9, 16, & 23
- Saturday - March 2, 9, 16, 23, & 30
A Trip Advisor Review of the tour (from 1/9/10):
"The Winter Wonderland Trolley Tour was a blast. A.J.(our trolley guide) was fantastic!!! He had us laughing from the moment we stepped foot on the trolley and by the time we left him we were much more educated to historic Door County. We visited two different wineries, Simon Creek and Orchard. Both were very nice. The lunch at the Gull in was good but could have been better...........(the only thing that I would say could see improvement) The sleigh ride was neat and for a normally slow day in January my wife and I found ourselves also having a lot of fun. I would highly recommend this if you are looking for something to do in Door County during the winter months."
We may not be on the tour, but we hope to see you in nearby Algoma for a tasting at our Wisconsin winery!
Ever since Pirates of the Caribbean was released in 2003, with a kohl-eyed Johnny Deep playing the swarthy Jack Sparrow, there's been a resurgence of interest in all things pirate.
This holiday season, take your family or your loved one for a fun and educational trip to the Sturgeon Bay Maritime Museum for the exhibit "Pirates - Ship to Shore." The exhibit explores the life and times of the buccaneers that roamed the east coast of North America and the Caribbean Sea during the golden age of piracy. Visit the costume room to play pirate dress-up; explore the old port village of Nassau and walk the decks of the pirate ship Fortune. The bold can ready Fortune's guns to fire. Take in fine art inspired by these scalawags by renowned artist Don Maitz, housed in the village's small fort. You can even check out some genuine sunken treasure found in the assayer's office. Maties, don't miss it!
Visit the Maritime Museum this Winter
Exhibit curator Jon Paul Van Harpen provides an exhibit that the museum promises is better than the predecessor. "Pirates - Ship to Shore" closes January 31, 2012 after more than a seven month run! The exhibit includes an eye-popping backdrop that will take you back some 300 years to a seafront port in the Caribbean. The museum is always a great place to spend a cold, grey winter day - even more so if it makes you feel like you're in the Caribbean!
Pirates Love Wine and So Should You!
Captain Jack Sparrow was never far from a bottle of rum or wine - and indeed, we recommend the same for you! A visit to the museum is even better with a stop at Wisconsin's finest winery. We are about 20 minutes outside of Sturgeon Bay in Algoma. Come in before your trip to the museum for a tasting (always free) or on your way home to pick up some Wisconsin wine to serve with dinner.
Don't you love when someone gives you a gift basket? Those themed items - like wine and cheese, desserts, coffees and teas or even bath products - make the gift seem well-rounded. Here at von Stiehl, we think gift baskets are great for the holidays and we are having an event to celebrate. Christmas is coming and the von Stiehl elves want to help you put the most popular gift under the tree.
Build Your Own Holiday Basket
On Saturday December 1st from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., join us for a fun afternoon of wine drinking and gift making. Bring a basket and items to put inside, or use some of ours! This event is meant to be affordable for everyone, so the cost is $5/basket for supplies. Plus, every attendee receives a complementary glass of wine! If you want to bring items from the dollar store to stuff your basket, go for it! On the other hand, if you'd like to use red caviar and Godiva chocolate, that's fine too. We will have a selection of retail items, like dried fruit mixes, wine, hard cheeses, breads, crackers and preserves to purchase for stuffing baskets.
We’ll help you assemble and arrange the perfect gift baskets for friends and relatives. No need to RSVP, just stop by our Algoma winery for some wine and fun! We will have all the supplies that give that extra-special touch to professional baskets: ribbons and cellophane wrapping, decorative stuffing and more.
Hope to see you there!
Halloween is next week and that means there's no denying it: the holiday season is upon us. To help you get into the spirit of things, spend a fun day shopping and entertaining the kids at Christmas By the Bay in Sturgeon Bay, WI. Christmas by the Bay takes place the weekend of Friday, Nov 16th.
Kick off to the holiday season with the annual tree-lighting ceremony in downtown Sturgeon Bay on Friday evening. Entertainer Randi Fay will provide the music.
On Saturday morning, find a nice spot to watch the Santa parade at 10 a.m. After the parade, your family might enjoy special children’s activities and hay wagon rides. Lastly, don’t miss photos and brunch with Santa on Sunday morning, Nov. 18th.
Shops will be decked out for the season with holiday gifts galore and special extended hours. Don't leave your shopping to the last minute this year!
Discover unique treasures in Sturgeon Bay's charming specialty shops. Three distinct shopping districts offer a variety of home accents, fine art, holiday-themed gifts and decorative selections. There will be specials and deals all over town!
We would also suggest you consider one of our Christmas Wines as a gift for your friends and family. Our Christmas Blush is a smooth, semi-dry white wine blushed with Door County cherries, giving it a warm pink color. This vivacious wine can be enjoyed throughout the year.
Our Christmas Wine is slightly sweeter than the Dry Cherry. This semi-sweet wine made with Door County Montmorency cherries has a deep, rich cherry taste with a smooth lingering finish. Enjoy with sweet foods and delicate cheeses. Try making a reduction with this wine or add as part of a sauce recipe.
The Sister Bay Fall Fest in Door County
This favorite Door County festival features a host of fun events in Sister Bay, WI. Fall Fest 2012 celebrates 67 years of amusing and convivial entertainment.
Roots of the Fall Festival
What began as a celebration and reward for workers from the tourism industry after a busy Door County summer season has evolved into one of the largest weekend celebrations on the peninsula! One of the Fall Fest’s oldest traditions is the Ping-Pong Ball Shoot. An impressive 10,000 Ping-Pong balls are released on Sunday afternoon, with a one in ten chance of winning a prize from a participating Sister Bay business!
Events at the Fall Fest 2012
A parade, arts & crafts fair, food booths, live entertainment, and children’s activities make Sister Bay the place to be for the weekend of October 15-17.
This is Door County, so you have to have a fish boil. A signature dish in this region, so it's not-to-be-missed!
Expect games and entertainers for the kids. For the adults, last year's event had a mechanical bull and bungee jumping. You can expect live music and more exciting activities for the Fall Festival 2012! This year's schedule will be available at the beginning of October on the Sister Bay Advancement Association website.
One of the main events, the parade through downtown will take place on Bay Shore Drive at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Also on Saturday, the Kiwanis Pancake breakfast takes place in the morning, and a dog show benefiting the Humane Society will take place on Saturday as well.
Sister Bay Classic Car Show
Taking place on Friday, Saturday & Sunday on W. Mill Road, the Classic Car Show is fun for collectors and observers alike! Display your car, truck, hot rod, muscle car, or classic car and help the Lions Club with their fundraiser. Visit the Sister Bay Car Show website to register your vehicle or view photos of past Car Shows. Register before October 10 and SAVE $5!
Fall Festival Ping Pong Ball Shoot
On Sunday, the big event is the Ping-Pong Ball Shoot. This must-see annual tradition features 10,000 ping pong balls launched into the crowd via airgun. There is a 1 in 10 chance of winning prizes offered by local businesses.
The Essential Detour: Wisconsin's Oldest Winery
Stop at von Stiehl winery on the drive to/from Door County. Right now we are featuring our fall wines, in particular, our Oktoberfest, a blend of Vignoles, Gewurztraminer and Riesling grapes. Come by the tasting room to have a sip!
Each June, the Door County Lighthouse Festival brings folks into lighthouses that are normally closed to the public. It's a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the past and present of Wisconsin lighthouses, which have been and continue to be so important to mariners on Lake Michigan.
The Door County Annual Lighthouse Festival runs June 8-10, 2012. 11 tours are offered during the weekend:
- Trolley Lighthouse Tour: a six hour trolley tour to 5 Door County Lighthouses.
- Evening Ghost Tour: a haunting experience.
- Baileys Harbor Lighthouse & Shipwreck: a 2-hour narrated cruise.
- Island Clipper Cruise: a 6-hour voyage through Death's Door Strait.
- Naturalist-Narrated Tour: a 6.5-hour fascinating look at lighthouses and nature.
- Keeper's Kin Tour: a cruise featuring desserts and tales from relatives of lighthouse keepers.
- Chambers Island Tour: cruise to Chambers Island and climb to the top of the lighthouse.
- Death's Door Tour: learn about the most history-rich straits on the Great Lakes.
- Plum Island Tour: a rare chance to tour Plum Island.
- Sturgeon Bay Area Lighthouse Lunch: lunch aboard the Harbor Lady while enjoying views of the Sherwood Point Lighthouse and Bay Shipyard.
- Sturgeon Bay Area Fireboat Cruise: 90-minute cruise aboard the retired City of Chicago fireboat Fred A. Busse.
Spend the weekend of June 8-10 on the Door Peninsula and learn about the beacons of light that have guided so many Lake Michigan mariners.
We invite you to visit our Algoma Wisconsin winery, just south of the Door Peninsula, on your way up. Toast Wisconsin lighthouses with glasses of von Stiehl Wisconsin wine; Lakeshore Mist would be an appropriate choice.
Find more information at Door County Lighthouse Festival.
Learn more about von Stiehl at Wisconsin Winery.
Memorial Day Weekend in Door County means the Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Fair. It's a great excuse to experience springtime on the Door Peninsula. This art fair is part of Door County's Festival of Blossoms, meaning it's a lovely time to visit.
The fun runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27. 2012 is the 13th annual Fine Art Fair, and it looks like this year's event will be bigger and better than ever.
The Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Fair features original art work from close to 90 Wisconsin and Midwest artists. There will be sculpture, painting, jewelry, photography, fiber, and ceramics. Most of the artists will be on hand to discuss what they do and how they do it. All is for sale.
In addition to art, there will be music. Randy Peterson, Dan Ognavic, and TC Hatter are scheduled to take the stage several times throughout the weekend.
This is a child-friendly festival, with many activities designed to spark creativity in children.
Spend Memorial Day Weekend on the Door Peninsula. Drop by our Algoma, Wisconsin Winery on your way north. Taste some wine and buy a bottle or two of your favorites to enjoy over the weekend.
Happy Memorial Day!
Additional information is available at Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Fair.
Try a bottle of Lakeshore Mist over Memorial Day Weekend.