Wisconsin February 19, 2019
Avoid The Crowds And Find Some Hidden Gems At These 8 Wisconsin Beach Towns In Winter
It’s easy to understand the appeal of Wisconsin’s many small towns along the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. This is especially true when we’re stuck here in the throes of the coldest, snowiest part of winter and dreaming of sunny days. But these little beach towns are actually awesome places to visit in the off-season. Less busy and still chock full of things to do, places to eat and fun to discover, these towns are perfect places to get an off-season bargain and have a great time without paying a premium and being pushed out by crowds of folks.
The shore of Lake Superior is hauntingly beautiful in the winter. Spend time at the SS Meteor Maritime Museum or head to Superior Municipal Forest, the third largest in the country, for winter hiking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Anchor Bar is one of the best dives in the state and is much less busy in winter. Hunker down at Hungry Pagan or Earth Rider Brewery or spend the day checking out all the art galleries.
Known as the most accessible shoreline in the summer, it's still pretty gorgeous in winter. This is an artsy little town, so you can check out galleries or even make your own art in town. This spot is definitely a bit sleepy in the winter, but it's a perfect spot for a cozy weekend getaway. Head over to Peninsula State Park for some gorgeous walks on the beach and if the lake is frozen, take advantage of the views out on the lake looking back.
There's an awesome winter park and ski hill here that also has tubing. The motto here is "The Good Life on a Great Lake" and they're not kidding. There are two wineries in town and Parallel 44 even has a winter wine festival. There are antique shops, specialty shops and even three different cheese shops. Settle in for the perfect meal at Alaska Supper Club. It's the perfect winter waterside retreat.
Stay at Old Rittenhouse Inn with a gorgeous view out over the lake at quiet season prices. Visit the flamingo-themed Maggie's or have some pastries at Cafe Coco. Take the novel ice drive out to Madeline Island or see if the caves have frozen. Bring your warm boots and plan to spend time in the great outdoors, snowmobiling, hiking and more.
5. Egg Harbor
Stay at Door County Lighthouse Inn Bed and Breakfast for a totally awesome and unique experience and a cozy time by the fire. Hop on one of Door County Trolley's awesome tours to see a ton of the peninsula or sample some of the local brews and wines.
6. Port Washington
Check out dinner and a show at Memories Ballroom or spend time at the winter market. Learn all about the area's history, on shore and off, at the Port Exploreum or check out the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fine Arts. Shop at Allan Edmonds and then fill up on fresh bakery at Daily Bakery. There's so much to see, do and eat here.
7. Two Rivers
Two Rivers is a quaint and historic little fishing town that's home to the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, Washington House Museum and Visitor Center, which is home of the ice cream sundae. Nearby Manitowoc is home to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum and the Rahr West Art Museum. Machut's Supper Club is perfect for a quintessential Wisconsin dinner.
8. Sister Bay
Head to Peninsula State park or Newport State Park and enjoy a quiet stroll in some of the most gorgeous public lands in Wisconsin. Sister Bay was voted the best Wisconsin small town dining, so you'll not run out of delicious options. Make sure you plan for at least one meal at Al Johnson's, sample the cheese at Door County Creamery and sample all the ciders at Island Orchard.
What are your favorite winter activities in these destinations known for their summer fun? Let us know in the comments.
If you’re looking for more winter fun in Door County,
check out this perfect weekend itinerary.