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12334
Wisconsin

Door County: Cherries, Apples, Lighthouses & Lake Views

Get to know idyllic Door County, where you’ll discover centuries-old orchards, historic lighthouses, fascinating maritime museums and the unique geology of this unique peninsula.
Rating (5)
Program No. 12334RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,279
Wisconsin

Door County: Cherries, Apples, Lighthouses & Lake Views

Get to know idyllic Door County, where you’ll discover centuries-old orchards, historic lighthouses, fascinating maritime museums and the unique geology of this unique peninsula.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,279
Program No. 12334 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.

DATES & PRICES

No shuttle Roundtrip airport transfer
Accommodation Details

Excludes round-trip airport shuttle transfers to and from the program location.

Accommodation Details

Includes round-trip airport shuttle transfers to and from the program location.

Aug 8 - Aug 13, 2021
SOLD OUT
No transfer 1,399
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,549
Aug 22 - Aug 27, 2021
SOLD OUT
No transfer 1,279
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,429
Sep 12 - Sep 17, 2021
No transfer 1,279
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,429
Sep 19 - Sep 24, 2021
SOLD OUT
No transfer 1,279
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,429
Sep 26 - Oct 1, 2021
No transfer 1,279
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,429
Oct 3 - Oct 8, 2021
No transfer 1,279
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,429
Jun 26 - Jul 1, 2022
No transfer 1,379
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,529
Jul 10 - Jul 15, 2022
No transfer 1,379
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,529
Jul 17 - Jul 22, 2022
No transfer 1,379
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,529
Jul 24 - Jul 29, 2022
No transfer 1,379
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,529
Jul 31 - Aug 5, 2022
No transfer 1,479
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,629
Aug 7 - Aug 12, 2022
No transfer 1,479
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,629
Aug 14 - Aug 19, 2022
No transfer 1,479
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,629
Aug 21 - Aug 26, 2022
No transfer 1,349
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,499
Sep 11 - Sep 16, 2022
No transfer 1,349
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,499
Sep 25 - Sep 30, 2022
No transfer 1,379
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,529
Oct 2 - Oct 7, 2022
No transfer 1,379
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,529
Oct 9 - Oct 14, 2022
No transfer 1,379
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,529

DATES & PRICES

No shuttle Roundtrip airport transfer
Accommodation Details

Excludes round-trip airport shuttle transfers to and from the program location.

Accommodation Details

Includes round-trip airport shuttle transfers to and from the program location.

Aug 8 - Aug 13, 2021
SOLD OUT
No transfer 1,749
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,899
Aug 22 - Aug 27, 2021
SOLD OUT
No transfer 1,619
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,769
Sep 12 - Sep 17, 2021
SOLD OUT
No transfer 1,619
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,769
Sep 19 - Sep 24, 2021
SOLD OUT
No transfer 1,619
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,769
Sep 26 - Oct 1, 2021
SOLD OUT
No transfer 1,619
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,769
Oct 3 - Oct 8, 2021
No transfer 1,619
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,769
Jun 26 - Jul 1, 2022
No transfer 1,749
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,899
Jul 10 - Jul 15, 2022
No transfer 1,749
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,899
Jul 17 - Jul 22, 2022
No transfer 1,749
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,899
Jul 24 - Jul 29, 2022
No transfer 1,749
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,899
Jul 31 - Aug 5, 2022
No transfer 1,849
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,999
Aug 7 - Aug 12, 2022
No transfer 1,849
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,999
Aug 14 - Aug 19, 2022
No transfer 1,849
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,999
Aug 21 - Aug 26, 2022
No transfer 1,699
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,879
Sep 11 - Sep 16, 2022
No transfer 1,699
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,879
Sep 25 - Sep 30, 2022
No transfer 1,749
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,899
Oct 2 - Oct 7, 2022
No transfer 1,749
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,899
Oct 9 - Oct 14, 2022
No transfer 1,749
Roundtrip airport transfer 1,899

At a Glance

Discover Wisconsin’s famed Door County, a peninsula home to five state parks, 10 lighthouses and 300 miles of scenic Lake Michigan shoreline. Savor fresh lake breezes and be inspired by the steep bluffs and sandy beaches on either side of the peninsula. Learn about Door County history, art, geology and culture from local experts like an award-winning taxidermist, a watercolor artist, a lighthouse docent, naturalists and orchard owners. Visit state parks and fascinating museums that showcase the area’s rich maritime roots and unique history, and enjoy an authentic Door County fish boil with a resident storyteller.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to one mile, rocky terrain on field trips; climbing stairs.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Go inside and learn about the keepers of the beautifully restored Eagle Bluff Lighthouse.
  • Enjoy an excursion to Washington Island with lunch at a lavender farm.
  • Uncover the unique climate and geologic history of the peninsula by examining the Niagara Escarpment and hunting for fossils with a local naturalist.

General Notes

An airport transfer is available at an added cost.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Ed Fenendael
A native of Wisconsin, Ed began his art career over 30 years ago. He works in several media, but his main focus is watercolor and watercolor/ink. Ed's paintings can be found in Washington D.C., at Atelier Galerie in Giverny, France; at Morning Mist Studio (his private gallery) in Door County, in numerous corporate and private collections throughout the world; and the Miller Art Museum's permanent collection. He has studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, the University of Wisconsin and graduated from Marquette University. He teaches watercolor and offers workshops in the United States and abroad.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Ed Fenendael
Ed Fenendael View biography
A native of Wisconsin, Ed began his art career over 30 years ago. He works in several media, but his main focus is watercolor and watercolor/ink. Ed's paintings can be found in Washington D.C., at Atelier Galerie in Giverny, France; at Morning Mist Studio (his private gallery) in Door County, in numerous corporate and private collections throughout the world; and the Miller Art Museum's permanent collection. He has studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, the University of Wisconsin and graduated from Marquette University. He teaches watercolor and offers workshops in the United States and abroad.
Profile Image of Terrie Cooper
Terrie Cooper View biography
After 15 years of working in nature centers throughout the state, Terrie Cooper returned to her home in Ellison Bay to work as associate director of the Door County Land Trust. With a master's in environmental education and natural resources management from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a bachelor’s in secondary education, biology and conservation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she is a naturalist and educator.
Profile Image of Len Villano
Len Villano View biography
Photographer Len Villano built his first darkroom in his parent's bathroom at the age of seven (much to the chagrin of his three sisters). And while he’s trained as an architect and is an environmentally-conscious musician, photography is still the primary method Len uses to interact with the world around him. When he’s not waiting for the perfect light, Len serves as the photography director for the Peninsula Pulse.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
On the Road to Death's Door
by M. J. Williams
Emily and Stan Remington's maiden voyage in their newly inherited RV takes a lethal turn when a body fall off the top of their vehicle. The retired couple find themselves at the center of a murder investigation involving a politician, a corporate executive, and a hippie priest. The rookie RVers inevitably butt heads with the local sheriff as their investigation takes them from a backwoods cabin in Wisconsin's scenic Door County to the Bishop's Chancery in Madison to an abandoned island in the infamous Death's Door Straits.
My Kind of County: Door County, Wisconsin
by John Fraser Hart
The shores of Door County, Wisconsin have long served as an idyllic retreat for Midwestern families. The region's scenic beauty is augmented by a rich history that reflects the classic American experience and John Fraser Hart now pays homage to the "Cape Cod of the Midwest" in this engaging chronicle. A renowned scholar and a summer home owner in Door County for over fifty years, Hart possesses intimate knowledge of the physical geography and cultural history of the region. With his incisive geographer's eye, he charts the gorgeously sprawling landscape that draws more than two million visitors annually, including the limestone bluffs along Green Bay that loom as high as 200 feet. He also explores Door County's agricultural heritage -- including the famous cherry orchards -- was well as the difference between the Green Bay and Lake Michigan sides of the peninsula, and the quiet interior region. The book then turns to the cultural aspects of the region, examining diverse topics such as the history of the first ethnic European settlers, the tourist economy, and the settlements' primarily Belgian architecture. Detailed maps and vibrant photographs complement Hart's engaging prose, making "My Kind of County" the perfect gift for day trippers, summer residents, and geographers alike.
Door County Tales
by Gayle Soucek
Befitting its role as Wisconsin's thumb, Door County has its own unique pulse. It is the idyllic paradise "north of the tension line," that sends many unsuspecting tourists spiraling into an addiction that lands them in a summer home. It is also the "Door of the Dead," which some historians blame for more shipwrecks than any other body of fresh water in the world. The variety of nature's splendors and terrors is matched by the cast of characters that has risen up among them. In "Door County Tales," these characters are given free rein, which seems only proper in a place where one might walk out of a restaurant and see goats grazing on the roof.
Door County Visitors Guide
by Door County Chamber of Commerce
Published annually, this visitors guide is your key to everything happening in Door County. Order online at www.doorcounty.com or call toll-free 1-800-527-3529. You'll find recommendations for restaurants and activities throughout the peninsula.
Guarding Door County: Lighthouses and Life-Saving Stations
by Stacy Thomas
Jutting out of Wisconsin into the blue waters of Lake Michigan, the scenic peninsula of Door County is endowed with the longest coastline of any county in the nation. Since the mid-1800s, the region has boasted a strong maritime industry, dependent on the constant vigilance and efforts of U.S. Coast Guard units. The county has been home to as many as 12 historic light stations, as well as three life-saving stations. Beginning with Pottawatomie Light in 1837 and Sturgeon Bay Canal Life-Saving Station in 1886, keepers and surfmen survived both boredom and peril to ensure safe navigation and commerce, while rescuing those in distress. Through archival photographs, stories of shipwrecks, rescues, service, and pride spring to life. Rare rescue images of the Otter, a schooner which wrecked in 1895, are especially noteworthy.
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Rowleys Bay, WI
D
Rowleys Bay Resort

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:30 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and pick up your welcome packet containing your name tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check-in.

Dinner: In our reserved section of the hotel’s restaurant, we will have a buffet including freshly baked bread, a salad bar, soups, hot entrees, and dessert, plus coffee, tea (hot/iced), soda, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Unless specified otherwise, transportation will be provided primarily by motorcoach, which will require going up/down a few steps when getting on/off. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, engaging in available activities on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may be changed due to local conditions/circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest of the day ahead.

DAY
2
History Walk, Watercolor Artist, Local Life, Fish Boil
Rowleys Bay, WI
B,L,D
Rowleys Bay Resort

Activity note: Walking about 1 mile; approx. ½ hour on grass and paved road.

Breakfast: In our reserved section of the hotel’s restaurant, we will enjoy a plentiful buffet offering rotating choices such as eggs, breakfast meats, hot cereals, pastries, yogurt, and fruit, plus coffee (regular/decaf), tea, juices, water.

Morning: After meeting the owner of the resort, we’ll go for a walk along the water and down to the bay. As we walk, we’ll learn the 30 plus year of the resort and the area, and discuss the Mink River Estuary and Newport State Park. What once was a run down fishing camp has been re-imagined as a vintage resort along the water. Savor the fresh lake breezes before returning to the resort. By now most of us will have noticed how incredibly beautiful Door Country is and we will have an opportunity to learn more about the amazing artwork by a local watercolor artist. Our artist will share his love of watercolors with us as he explains his process and gives a quick demonstration; then it will be our turn to give it a try. Don't think, just do! You'll be surprised with the results and you'll have a great memento to take home.

Lunch: In the hotel restaurant, we will have a special plated meal exclusively for Road Scholar with a choice of sandwich salad, fresh fruit and dessert, plus coffee (regular/decaf), iced tea, milk, soda, water.

Afternoon: We will then be joined by an award-winning taxidermist to learn about the surprising art of taxidermy. See examples of fish, mammals and birds. Don’t shy away from this surprise hit presentation! A visit to Door County wouldn’t be complete without a fish boil. We’ll join the resident story teller at the fire pit to learn about the fish boil and the colorful characters who figure in its history, all with spectacular Newport State Park as the backdrop. Be prepared for the spectacular “boil over.”

Dinner: Hotel restaurant buffet, featuring the traditional entrées and sides of an authentic fish boil, plus dessert. If you're not a fan of fish there will be lots of other delicious choices.

Evening: We’ll have local entertainment, Door County style.

DAY
3
Local Geology, Fossil Hunt, Lighthouse,
Rowleys Bay, WI
B,L,D
Rowleys Bay Resort

Activity note: Walking for approx. ½ hour; park trails. Steps up into coach.

Breakfast: Hotel restaurant buffet.

Morning: We’ll be joined by a local naturalist to learn about the formation of the Niagara Escarpment and the unique geologic features of the peninsula. The Niagara Escarpment is most famous as the cliff over which the Niagara River flows, creating Niagara Falls, but runs from near Rochester, NY to northwest of Chicago. Then after boarding the motorcoach, we will set out for our field trip to northern Door County with our naturalist. At Ellison Bluff County Park, we will hunt for fossils along a rocky beach and see the Niagara Escarpment in person. The peninsula is on a tilt so there are steep bluffs on the Green Bay side and sandy beaches on the Lake Michigan side. We’ll take a quick walk through the park on a trail to look for seasonal wildflowers before boarding the coach for our next stop.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Fish Creek, we will have a plated meal with a choice of sandwich, side and slice of pie, plus choice of soft drink, iced tea, coffee, milk or water.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll ride to Peninsula State Park for a docent-led visit to Eagle Bluff Lighthouse where we’ll visit the living quarters of the lighthouse keepers and their families and hear stories of shipwrecks and the life “keeping the light.” This beautifully restored lighthouse sits atop a bluff above the Bay of Green Bay. We’ll then return to the resort at the end of our field trip.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant buffet.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Ferry Crossing to Washington Island, Lavender Farm
Rowleys Bay, WI
B,L,D
Rowleys Bay Resort

Activity note: Walking about 2 miles total throughout the day; combination of paved walkways, woodchip paths, lawn, uneven ground. Ferry crossing takes about 1/2 hour each way. Driving for short distances at a time aboard coach. Steps up into coach.

Breakfast: Hotel restaurant buffet.

Morning: We’ll board our motorcoach for a short trip north to where the main part of the peninsula ends, at Northport Ferry Dock. We will board the Washington Island Ferry for a 30-minute crossing to the island to explore the island, its history and culture. Washington Island sits about 7 miles north off the tip of the Door County Peninsula. A long time home to native peoples due to the abundant fish and fresh water, the island was settled by Icelandic and other Scandinavian immigrants in the late 1800s. Today there are about 800 residents who live year-round on the island and well as thousands who visit. Everything must be transported over by ferry including food, furniture and even livestock. You never know what you'll see while waiting for the ferry. Our first stop is at the replica medieval Norwegian stave church (Stavkirke) built to honor the Scandinavian heritage of the islanders. Take some time to view the charming weathered exterior and dragons overlooking the roofs and then go inside to see the remarkable stave construction. Our next stop is just down the road at the lavender farm. Depending on the time of year, we may see plants newly planted, the beautiful purple haze of plants in bloom, or plants being harvested for oil to be used in a multitude of products. It is a lovely place to visit at any time of the year and we will learn more about cultivating lavender, the dream of the owners to create the farm, and be able to walk among the plants and sample a variety of products created from the oil.

Lunch: Plated lunch at a local island restaurant.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our island exploration with a stop at Schoolhouse Beach. This rocky shore of super smooth rocks is a popular place for residents and visitors alike. You might try skipping a rock over the water, but please don't take the rocks - they are protected by law. After our day-long field trip, we’ll head back to the ferry for another 30-minute crossing to the mainland.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant buffet.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Orchard, Historical & Maritime Museums, Local Entertainment
Rowleys Bay, WI
B,L,D
Rowleys Bay Resort

Activity note: Walking in and around museums; about 2 hours of standing and walking. Steps up into coach.

Breakfast: Hotel restaurant buffet.

Morning: We’ll start the day with a ride to Seaquist Orchards to see the family operation typical of orchards in Door County. At one of the area’s largest cherry and apple orchards, we will ride on the coach through the test orchard and learn more about the fruit industry. At the end, enjoy a cup of apple cider and explore the farm market with local products. Our next field trip will bring us to the Door County Historical Museum, voted “Best Small Museum in the Midwest” by the Chicago Tribune. Educational displays portray Door County’s unique history including early settlers, orchards, industries, and more. The spectacular "Seasons of Life" wildlife diorama by a nationally renowned taxidermist features over 100 native species. The Pioneer Fire Station showcases three beautifully restored fire trucks including a rare 1920 Oldsmobile. We will also meet a taxidermist at the museum and learn how the exhibit was created, from the bird and animal mounts to the painted mural and the realistic rocks and leaves. The amount of detail is truly amazing.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Sturgeon Bay, located along the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal, we will have a soup and salad buffet with lemonade, iced tea or water included; other beverages available for purchase. If we’re lucky we’ll see the Michigan Street steel bridge open for a sailboat to pass through.

Afternoon: Located along Sturgeon Bay’s busy waterfront, the Door County Maritime Museum showcases the area’s rich maritime roots. Hard-working fishermen, brave ship captains, skilled craftsmen, bold inventors and lonely lighthouse keepers are just some of the personalities you’ll discover in the galleries of the museum. A museum staff member will lead us around the museum and its exhibits before allowing time for independent exploration. We’ll then return to the resort.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant buffet. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: Some local musicians will join us at the resort for some casual entertainment to close out our final evening together. Afterwards, be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Rowleys Bay, WI
B

Activity note: Check-out is by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel restaurant buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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