Door County: Cherries, Apples, Lighthouses and 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 (4.96)
Program No. 12334RJ
6 days
Starts at
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
Getting There
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Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Rowleys Bay, WI
Rowleys Bay Resort

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 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 resort’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.

History Walk, Watercolor Artist, Local Life, Fish Boil
Rowleys Bay, WI
Rowleys Bay Resort

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

Breakfast: In our reserved section of the resort’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 resort 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: Resort 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.

Local Geology, Fossil Hunt, Lighthouse, Orchard Memories
Rowleys Bay, WI
Rowleys Bay Resort

Activity note: Walking for approx. ½ hour; park trails.

Breakfast: At the resort.

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: Resort buffet.

Evening: We will then get to meet some local orchard owners who own a 100 year old farm, orchard and market. They will share stories of working the orchard, German POW and migrant pickers and show us some cherry picking tools.

Washington Island
Rowleys Bay, WI
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 motorcoach.

Breakfast: Resort 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 and then pick up our local expert for the day 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.

Lunch: At a local island restaurant.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our island exploration including stops at the Stave church, Schoolhouse Beach and a lavender farm. 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.

Fruit Orchard, County Museum, Maritime Museum, Performance
Rowleys Bay, WI
Rowleys Bay Resort

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

Breakfast: Resort 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’ll take a trip 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: Resort 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.

Program Concludes
Rowleys Bay, WI

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

Breakfast: Resort buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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