Door County
Door County Cooking, Cuisine and Culinary Arts
Get to know the culinary traditions of Door County, where you’ll enjoy cooking lessons, speak with chefs, visit a family-run orchard and savor the local specialty — a fish boil!
Rating (5)
Program No. 13680RJ
6 days
Starts at
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Getting There
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Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Rowleys Bay, WI
Rowleys Bay Resort

Activity note: Check-in available from 3:30 p.m. You are welcome to arrive as early as you like, but accommodations will not be available before the noted time.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the lobby 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 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.

Wisconsin Artisan Cheese, Door County Fish Boil
Rowleys Bay, WI
Rowleys Bay Resort

Activity note: While at farm, we will walk over uneven ground and lawn.

Breakfast: In our reserved section of the hotel 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: This morning we will delve into dairy science with a visit to a dairy farm, but this farm is special as the herd is made up of several breeds of dairy goats. With the farmer to lead us, we will meet "the girls", see the milking parlor, and taste several varieties of cheese from fresh chevre to more aged cheese. Then we will travel to the Door County Creamery to see the cheese making operation. Did you know that Wisconsin is the only state to have Master Cheesemaker certification program?

Lunch: Plated lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: A visit to Door County wouldn’t be complete without a fish boil. Back at the resort, grab a seat by the fire pit and listen to the resident storyteller recount tales of the fish boil and the colorful characters who figure in its history, all with spectacular Newport State Park as the backdrop. Be prepared with your camera 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 will meet a noted local nature photographer, see a selection of his favorite images, and learn how he captures the beauty of Door County.

Commercial Fishing, Fish Tasting, Bakery Demonstration
Rowleys Bay, WI
Rowleys Bay Resort

Activity note: About 20 steps down/up to see the smokehouse operation.

Breakfast: Hotel restaurant buffet.

Morning: This morning we will travel 12 miles north (20 minutes) to the end of the peninsula to the Northport Ferry Dock and the small community of Gills Rock. If we are lucky, we will see the Washington Island Ferry loading cars and passengers in preparation for the crossing through La Porte de Morts (Death's Door). With images of the lake in our minds, we will stop at the Door County Maritime Museum and hear from a local expert about the commercial fishing industry that was/is so important to the peninsula. On our own we can explore the other displays about the lifesaving service and shipwrecks. A few minutes ride or walk away is Charlie's Smokehouse, known for their smoked whitefish spread. With the owner's son, we will walk down to the smokehouse, discuss the process of smoking fish, and finally get to try the smoked fish for ourselves. What a nice appetizer before lunch!

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Gills Rock, we will have a plated meal with a choice of a half sandwich and cup of soup, plus coffee, soda, lemonade, iced tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Back at the resort, we will meet the owner of the resort in the lobby next to the fieldstone fireplace and then we will go for a mile walk (30 minutes) down to the bay and along a road through the property. As we walk, we will learn the 30 plus year history 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. Back inside, the owner will take us into the bakery for a look behind the scenes and how they make their famous half pound cinnamon and caramel pecan rolls. We might even get a sample of skorpa. Not sure what that is? We will know before we leave.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant buffet.

Evening: We will meet 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, show some cherry picking tools, and have some locally produced cherry products available for purchase.

Hands-On Cooking, Free Afternoon and Evening
Rowleys Bay, WI
Rowleys Bay Resort

Breakfast: Hotel restaurant buffet.

Morning: This morning we will travel 5 miles (15 minutes) across the peninsula to the community of Ellison Bay and the Savory Spoon Cooking School. Chef and owner Janice Thomas will be awaiting our arrival for a hands-on cooking adventure. Working in small teams, we will create a five-course lunch from seasonal ingredients. Chef Thomas will explain the recipes, ingredients and techniques; we will receive all the recipes. She will also be on hand to answer questions and provide encouragement. We are all in this together. The Savory Spoon occupies the former village school house, built in 1879. This historic building was carefully restored in 2005 reclaiming itself as a local landmark. The former two-room school is now a state of the art cooking school.

Lunch: In the blink of an eye, our work space is transformed from kitchen to casual dining as we raise our glasses to toast each other and our culinary prowess. Our five-course meal also includes iced tea, water; wine will be available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free time. There are lots of options in Door County. Stay at the resort and rent a kayak or join a Segway tour. Visit an artists' studio or gallery and look for original art. Buy a ticket for the ferry to Washington Island. Information on special events and options will be provided.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Evening: At leisure.

Pottery Demonstration, Cherry and Apple Orchard
Rowleys Bay, WI
Rowleys Bay Resort

Breakfast: Hotel restaurant buffet.

Morning: This morning we will travel 5 miles (15 minutes) across the peninsula to Ellison Bay. We have learned so much about food that now we might want to learn how it can be displayed beautifully on a table. With this in mind, we will visit Ellison Bay Pottery and meet potter John Dietrick and his wife Diane McNeil and learn more about functional pottery. We will split into two groups, John will demonstrate making a goblet at the wheel while Diane talks about their work in the gallery. On our way back to the resort we will stop at Seaquist Orchards and Farm Market. This family-owned business has been a landmark in Door County for more than 25 years. On the mini coach with one of the family, we will take a trip through the experimental orchard across the road and discuss the cherry and apple growing industry. Then we will venture inside the market for a sample of apple cider and a chance to taste dozens of locally produced products.

Lunch: At the hotel restaurant (normally closed for lunch), we will have a plated meal with choice of sandwich, potato salad, fresh fruit, and dessert, plus coffee (regular/decaf), tea (hot/iced), soda, milk, water.

Afternoon: Back at the resort, we will meet another local resident, living and working in Door County.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant buffet, featuring prime rib. 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: Hotel restaurant 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!