Saving Money and Shopping Locally in Door County, Wisconsin
Here’s another fabulous guest post submitted by Julie Ravely, the girlfriend who introduced us to The Plaid Squirrel in Fond du Lac. Julie recently joined up with her sister and grand nieces for a mini family reunion in Door County, Wisconsin.
Having recently retired, I need to be more cost-conscious, so my recent road trip gave me a chance to see how well I could “Do the Door” on a budget. A spur of the moment kind of trip, I found an affordable place that had little efficiency kitchens: Parkwood Lodge in Fish Creek.
The suite was in need of a little refreshing, but the convenience of a fridge, four burner stove, wood fireplace, small dining area and patio doors that opened up on a kids play area, indoor pool and outdoor grilling area more than made up for any dated look. Best of all, I could cook some of our meals.
Door County offers great specialty markets with an eye for visitors, as well as larger grocery stores. Here are some ideas for dining locally, saving money, and seeing why Wisconsin’s peninsula is a foodie’s paradise.
Wonderful delights await at the Fish Creek Market, an easy find on Main Street in the town of Fish Creek. Fresh, high quality meats and produce are too tempting in this foodie’s paradise. I leave the store with goodies and a six-pack of Capitol Brewery’s excellent Island Wheat beer, brewed from wheat grown on Washington Island. Dinner will be good.
Seaquist Orchards Farm Market
A drive north on Hwy 42 will take you to Seaquist Orchards Farm Market, where you can snack your way down the aisles. Many of the items include Seaquist’s own label and are uniquely theirs. And there is a certain comfort knowing that these items directly benefit a grower who certainly has been impacted by a poor growing season.
Beautiful red cherry jams and jellies are evidence of last year’s more abundant crop. Buying Seaquist’s own label seems the right thing to do, so I cast the budget aside and indulge in many jars that will remind me of Door County.
Gill’s Rock is a must for smoked fish; a regional tradition and an affordable indulgence. Directly supporting a Door County food purveyor, the experience itself justifies the expense. If you park in the lot at the edge of the water (near the Shoreline Restaurant) on a windy day, the waves may crash over your car in quite the spectacular fashion.
Schopf’s Dairy Farm
Located on County Road I at the north end of Sturgeon Bay, this working dairy farm has a cute little assortment of farm animals that can be fed their special pellets for a few quarters. Schopf’s features a display that brief explains dairy farming, with a plaster cow and an actual milking device that kids can attach, complete with suction. Schopf’s makes delicious ice cream daily. Remember, calories don’t count while on vacation.