As we drove through Illinois towards Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago, we were encouraged to see the first signs of snow on the ground.
Just traces of white here and there, but we had just spent several days in Chicago with no snow, much to our disappointment, and we were concerned that our winter getaway in beautiful Door County was going to be a no-snow weekend.
We had nothing to worry about.
More and more snow appeared on the ground until, as we entered the long peninsula into Lake Michigan which comprises the scenic and quaint area known as Door County, there was probably about a foot of snow on the ground – with more predicted that night, much to our gleeful delight.
There are plenty of places to stay in Door County including hotels, resorts and even vacation rental homes, most of which are open in the winter and many of which offer reduced rates. The Open Hearth Lodge, where we made our home for several days, is a nice hotel in Sister Bay with a cozy fireplace in the lobby, comfortable rooms, an indoor, heated pool and Jacuzzi and a nice, free Continental breakfast every morning. It would be a great place for a family to stay when on vacation in the area.
More snow fell that night and most of the next day, transforming what is normally an idyllic scene of villages with interesting shops and beautiful resorts into a winter wonderland where snowshoes, skis and snowmobiles became the modes of transportation. Some residents might have been a little tired of snow this late in February but we were absolutely thrilled and could not get enough of it. Luckily, we had plenty of plans that involved experiencing snow in every fashion.
But first, breakfast.
The Door County Coffee and Tea Company was serene and quiet, muffled by the deep drifts of snow which surrounded it. We were welcomed with samples of their locally ground coffee which is made right on the premises and comes in an incredible variety of flavors, all of which you can order online. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I proceeded to inhale an order of freshly made, hot waffles topped with some of the locally grown tart cherries.
This area is justifiably famous for their tart cherries, which are fabulous. We came home with chocolate-covered cherries, cherry jam and cherry pie filling.
And should have bought more.
After breakfast, we headed to the Ridges Sanctuary, a private nature preserve where we were going to have our first snowshoeing experience. But let me back up so I can share with you our first real experience in deep snow. Luckily, Tom managed to catch me attempting to be graceful and pose for a picture in the snow.
Not so much.
Finally, after messing around in the snow, we were ready for our snowshoeing adventure. We absolutely loved the whole experience – the crisp, clean air; the gorgeous, unspoiled snow; sliding along on our snowshoes. Although one of us might possibly have forgotten about the fact that he was wearing snowshoes when he stepped off the trail to take a picture, stepped on his own snowshoe, and then plummeted to the ground with the camera buried in a snowdrift.
If only I had a picture of that.
The Ridges Sanctuary in Door County was a great place to learn to snowshoe for the very first time and it was just absolutely beautiful. We were the first people there so the snow was completely unspoiled, white and pristine. We found out the next day on our second snowshoeing trek that it was better and easier to use the newer, more modern snowshoes but these worked fine for our first experience.
We both had begun this adventure with mixed feelings about snowshoeing – we were excited yet nervous but we kept telling ourselves how hard can it be?
This is one of the few times I could answer that question with not very hard at all.
Full disclosure: Our getaway was provided by the Door County Visitor Bureau and various providers, but as always, I will share my honest opinion about any travel experiences I have.Pin It