Backroads Journal

A Door County Anniversary

A defining moment, maybe?  A memory to tuck into the back of your mind to brighten those common everyday times, probably!  A perfect evening of a perfect day watching the sun disappear into the waters of Green Bay from Sunset Park with my favorite person by my side, definitely! 
You might think I’m being overly sentimental, and just maybe I am.  Nancy and I were enjoying our 40th Anniversary trip to Door County, Wisconsin, where we had planned a couple of days to just enjoy being together. 

The day of our anniversary began with a creative, country inn breakfast at the White Lace Inn in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.  Now, before I go any farther, you have to understand the little joke we have shared over the years about this inn.  Years ago, we sent some friends to stay at the White Lace Inn, which we had read about but had only driven by, with the description of it as the big white inn up on the hill.  Our friends had a great time at the inn, but told us later that it wasn’t white at all, but pink and it really wasn’t up on a hill.  Now that confounded us, but driving by the next time through Sturgeon Bay confirmed the fact that it was not the inn that we had both pictured in our minds.  For years we wondered where the inn was that we both had imagined to be the White Lace.  It wasn’t until probably ten years later, driving through Eureka Springs, Arkansas, that we happened to see a big, white house sitting up on a hill.  We both looked at each other and said, “That’s it!”  For some reason we had remembered the big white house on the hill from an earlier trip to Eureka Springs and had mentally placed the tag of White Lace Inn on it.  Different inn, different town, but we had finally solved the long running dilemma and on this trip to Door County we had decided to book a night at the White Lace to experience it for ourselves.  It was everything we had expected!

After a tasty breakfast at the inn, we drove north up the Door County peninsula stopping at our favorite gallery, the Edgewood Orchard Gallery, just off Highway 42, south of Fish Creek at the Peninsula Players Road.  Edgewood Orchard Gallery is just a great place to spend some time and a lot of money, if you are in the buying mood.  We go to be uplifted and to enjoy the artwork and setting.  Since our last visit, the owners have opened a sculpture path in the woods next to their gallery compound. 

A few more stops along the way, including antique browsing and buying cherry preserves at an orchard store, put us into Fish Creek for a late lunch on the patio of the Gibraltar Grill, more shops and on to the White Gull Inn, our favorite, for a Champagne toast and Wisconsin cheese before the famous Fish Boil.  We always schedule one night to include the fish boil, even though one of us, and that wouldn’t be me, doesn’t care for fish!  Our family doesn’t quite understand, but it’s the boiled potatoes swimming in butter that accompany the fish and the Door County cherry pie ala mode that Nancy goes for.  We actually were surprised this year when our waitress only charged us for a vegetarian meal for Nancy.  We had never asked if that was an option!

Our anniversary came to a close with a sunset and twilight carriage ride in Ephraim that was included in the White Gull Inn’s Romance Package and a final stroll down to Sunset Park after dark for some star gazing. 

Our second day on the peninsula was spent relaxing, making the rounds of several of our favorite shops and galleries, having lunch at Wilson’s, the ultimate ice cream parlor, strolling the docks, trying to photograph seabirds and watching the spectacle at Sunset Park before returning to the White Gull for their Candlelight Dinner. 

This trip was special, as all of our trips to Door County are, but this one was filled with memories of 40 years ago, wondering how the time passed so quickly and celebrating all the blessings we have shared.

Leaving Door County, we picked up some deli sandwiches at the Fish Creek Market to enjoy at one of the roadside parks along the way and headed up the backroads to Bayfield, Wisconsin and the Apostle Islands for some wandering along the edge of Lake Superior with my sister and her husband.  We’ll take you along as we bring you that article and others to come.

For more information about experiencing Door County, Wisconsin, go to for a comprehensive guide to the peninsula.
Go to to see the art selection and learn about the Edgewood Orchard Gallery.  Also, check out the Gibraltar Grill,, and Wilson’s,
As always, we recommend the White Gull Inn.  Go to
Enjoy a romantic stay at the White Lace Inn.  Find it at