Welcome to the “Cape Cod of the Midwest” and its stunning beaches and sublime national parks. Wisconsin’s Door County is the jewel of this — usually not so famous — part of America not too noted for its tourism.
We are here to prove you wrong! If you want to find out where to stay in Door County, feel free to read some of the answers in our guide below. Let’s dive in!
The 5 Best Places to Stay in Door County
Door County covers the whole area of the Door Peninsula, and the southern part of Green Bay is separated by the huge Lake Michigan.
As a group of very small (with the exception of Sturgeon Bay) cities and villages, it’s mostly famous for its beaches and natural scenery. Most of the places in our guide are about that, with the exception of Green Bay, which offers something different.
Our favorite areas include:
- Sister Bay: A versatile small village on the north of the Peninsula and probably the best choice for first-time visitors in Door County.
- Fish Creek: An even smaller village to the south of Sister Bay located at the entrance of the Peninsula State Park, which is its main attraction.
- Sturgeon Bay: The seat of the Door County area and the largest city on the peninsula, it has the most accommodation options and is particularly suitable for budget travelers.
- Green Bay: Both inside and outside of the Door Peninsula, it’s far from the natural beauties of the County, but it has the most to offer in terms of urban benefits and atmosphere.
Where to Stay in Door County: Best Areas & Hotels
Door County is the prime tourist location in Wisconsin, but the accommodation situation is not always great. The main problem is that the hotels and the motels are not evenly distributed along the Door Peninsula.
The main problem is the smaller village, which, ironically, is surrounded by the most stunning nature and the best beaches. We don’t recommend Sister Bay or Fish Creek to budget travelers.
They are small places with a reduced number of hotels and motels, and the ones that are there can be quite expensive. Also, the mid-range and the luxurious options are not perfect: you’re mainly paying for the location and not the accommodation.
On the other hand, if you prefer variety or something cheaper, stick to the larger places: Sturgeon Bay and Green Bay. They’re significantly larger (especially Green Bay) and offer much more in terms of variety and price ranges.
1. Best Area for First-Time Visitors: Sister Bay
If there’s a suitable place to start our Door County adventure, then that place is definitely called Sister Bay. Located on the northern side of the area, with a population of less than 1000 people, this small village is probably the best option for first-time visitors to this part of America.
Sister Bay Beach is one obvious reason. A relaxed and family-friendly place, surrounded by a restaurant and located near a park, it offers a myriad of ways to have fun and spend your day.
Nearby is the Sister Bay Marina, which is the unofficial center of the village. The Marina is connected to the largest park in Sister Bay, with a lot of benches and picnic areas, and is surrounded by restaurants.
While most of your time in the village will definitely be spent either on the beach or in the Marina, most of the people who come to Door County do that because of the stunning natural surroundings. Sister Bay is no exception to that.
Aside from the Marina Park, which is quite wonderful, there’s also the Sister Bay Dog Park and the Village of Sister Bay Sports Park. The first one will be a blast for your pet, and the second is great for sports lovers.
Lovers of culture and history will have a better time in Sturgeon Bay, the unofficial capital of Door County, but Sister Bay has a bunch of interesting things too.
The Corner of the Past Museum is all about the history of the village, and Holy Transfiguration Chapel and Woods is a beautiful Christian Orthodox church.
The restaurants in Sister Bay are great, but the accommodation options not so much. There are not many of them, and the variety is even smaller. For example, you won’t find anything higher than three stars.
Sister Bay Budget Hotels
- The Nordic Lodge is a two-star hotel located just out of Sister Bay, offering a relaxing trip, especially suitable for couples. It offers an indoor swimming pool, free Wi-Fi and parking, hot tubs, a continental breakfast, rooms with views of the woods, barbecue facilities, and a garden on the premises.
- Coachlite Inn is a three-star hotel located less than a mile from Sister Bay Beach. It offers free Wi-Fi and parking, a shared lounge for all guests to take their meals, a private bathroom in every room, and a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Like most of the hotels in the area, it’s especially good at servicing couples.
Sister Bay Mid-Range Hotels
- Country House Resort is a great two-star hotel that is a decent mid-range option. Offering both an outdoor pool and a tennis court, as well as a lot of chances for hiking, fishing, and cycling in the area. The hotel is particularly suitable for adults and couples.
- Open Hearth Lodge is another two-star hotel that is significantly better than a lot of other three-star options. It offers free Wi-Fi throughout the premises and free parking in front of the hotel, an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and facilities for disabled people.
Sister Bay Luxury Hotels
- Pheasant Park Resort is definitely the best and most luxurious hotel in the area around Sister Bay. With its three stars, it offers no less than two swimming pools on the premises, a fitness center, barbeque facilities, free Wi-Fi, free parking, and facilities for disabled guests.
2. Best Area to See Everything: Fish Creek
Going down from Sister Bay, you’ll reach Ephraim (after around four miles), and then Fish Creek (after nine miles). Both of them are small villages, but the second one is more suitable for visitors.
As a matter of fact, due to its proximity to Peninsula State Park, Fish Creek is one of the most attractive places in the whole of Door County. Also, when you consider it paired with Ephraim, it offers a bunch of different accommodation options of all sizes and types.
As we already said, Peninsula Park is the most popular attraction in the area, and Fish Creek is its main entrance. Without overestimating its beauty, we have to point out that Peninsula State Park is one of the most unique places and a place of interest not only to lovers of nature but to other types of people as well.
First, there’s the park itself, with its hiking and biking trails, stunning scenery, and beautiful beaches. Nicolet Beach, for example, is a great place for swimming, relaxing, or sunbathing.
If you’re looking for scenic views, take the Eagle Trail until you reach Eagle Panorama, Eagle Tower, and Eagle Terrace. Then, there’s the cultural aspect of the park.
On its north-western side is the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, an interesting museum from 1963, and the building that houses it was built in the 19th century. But what’s more unusual is that there’s a theater between the pines called Northern Sky Theater with a great musical program.
But let’s not forget the village itself because Fish Creek is not only about Peninsula Park. There’s, once again, a great beach — called Sunset Beach — with a park adjacent to it.
The most important attraction and landmark, however, is the Alexander Noble House Museum, home to three generations of the famous inventor’s family. We already mentioned the positive hotel and motel situation, but the same holds for the food.
The restaurants in Fish Creek — like in all of Door County — are a given, with a lot of Travelers’ Choice selections. All of this, taken in totality, make Fish Creek one of the best places in the whole region.
Fish Creek Budget Hotels
- Julie’s Park Cafe & Motel is a very cheap two-star motel located very near Peninsula State Park. It offers rooms furnished with free Wi-Fi and private bathrooms, and there’s also a garden and free parking on the premises. The very nice restaurant is the cherry on top at Julie’s.
- Main Street Motel is another even cheaper two-star motel located around 500 meters from Fish Creek Beach. Aside from the cheap price and nice location, the accommodation doesn’t offer much, but it has free Wi-Fi, free parking, private bathrooms, and flat-screen TVs in every room.
Fish Creek Mid-Range Hotels
- Parkwood Lodge is a great two-star hotel that offers a lot more than a regular hotel of its rank. Located outside of Fish Creek, it has an indoor swimming pool and a tennis court and offers other interesting activities on its premises. It’s particularly suitable for couples.
- Eagle Harbor Inn is a genuine three-star hotel located in the nearby Ephraim. It offers an indoor swimming pool and a fitness center, barbeque facilities, a garden, and a communal sauna. It also has free Wi-Fi throughout the premises, free parking, and facilities for disabled people.
Fish Creek Luxury Hotels
- Homestead Suites – Fish Creek is a four-star hotel that’s definitely the best accommodation in and near Fish Creek. It has no less than two swimming pools, two hot tubs, a fitness center, free Wi-Fi and parking, and rooms furnished with all the amenities. Some of the rooms even have a fireplace and a sofa bed.
- Ephraim Shores Resort Ephraim Shores Resort is a three-star resort that has a lot to offer. Located on Ephraim’s beachfront, it also has a private beach area, an indoor swimming pool, a spa and wellness center, and a restaurant on the premises.
3. Most Budget-Friendly Area: Sturgeon Bay
As we head even further down south, along the Door Peninsula, and reach its ideal middle, you’ll encounter the seat of Door County — Sturgeon Bay, the official capital of the whole area.
With its almost 10,000 people, it’s by far the largest city in Door County, and because of that, it’s the area with the most accommodation options on the peninsula.
Like all the other cities on the peninsula, it’s surrounded by beautiful nature, a lot of parks and — of course — a lot of water. Let’s start with the natural landmarks. A few miles from the city you’ll find the most important attraction in the area, Cave Point County Park.
In close proximity to it is the Whitefish Dunes State Park, and both of them offer a lot of opportunities for hiking, strolling, and enjoying the greenery.
George K. Pinney County Park, on the other hand, is located a few miles to the west of Sturgeon Bay, on the opposite side of the two previous parks. Don’t be surprised to read that Sturgeon Bay is the prime location in Door County for lovers of history.
There are three museums in the city, but one of them stands out from the others. We are talking about the Door County Maritime Museum, located on the lively waterfront of the city.
Due to its size, Sturgeon Bay offers a more versatile palette of activities than the other cities and villages in Door County. The farms near the city are quite interesting and worth your time; so are the tasty and beautiful wineries and the charming gardens.
Again, because of its size, the accommodation and dining options are plentiful and varied. That’s why we also recommend Sturgeon Bay to all budget travelers.
Sturgeon Bay Budget Hotels
- Holiday Music Motel is a very cheap motel located in the center of Sturgeon Bay. Particularly suitable for couples, the place offers free Wi-Fi throughout the premises and free parking, rooms with air conditioning, private bathrooms, and flat-screen cable TV.
- Motel 57 is another cheap motel, but this time, located on the southern outskirts of the city. Aside from the free Wi-Fi and parking, it offers private bathrooms in every room (with a shower) and flat-screen TV with cable channels. Selected rooms also have a kitchenette with all the amenities.
Sturgeon Bay Mid-Range Hotels
- Best Western Maritime Inn is a decent three-star hotel, part of the famous and very reliable Best Western chain of hotels. It offers an indoor pool, free Wi-Fi and parking, free American breakfast every morning, rooms with cable TV, and private bathrooms with a hairdryer.
- AmericInn by Wyndham Sturgeon Bay is a great three-star hotel with an indoor pool located to the north-south of Sturgeon Bay. It offers free Wi-Fi, free parking, and rooms equipped with cable TV. It also includes facilities for disabled people and a nice breakfast.
Sturgeon Bay Luxury Hotels
- The Lodge at Leathem Smith is a four-star hotel, and we can safely say that it’s one of the best ones in the wider area. It has a seasonal outdoor pool, a shared lounge and patio, a restaurant and bar on the premises, and very tasty breakfast every morning.
- Westwood Shores Waterfront Resort is a perfect three-star hotel that offers a lot more than its star count. Aside from the two swimming pools on the premises of the hotel (one indoor and the other outdoor), it has a gym, facilities for disabled guests, and a great location on the beachfront.
4. Most Urban Area: Green Bay
We are finishing this guide with Green Bay, a city that’s both inside and outside of Door County. If we want to be completely precise, Green Bay is located at the mouth of Fox River and lies halfway inside of the Door Peninsula.
It’s by far the largest city on our guide, with a population of almost 110,000 people.
We recommend Green Bay for all people who are stubborn city dwellers and who want to visit Door County by car without staying in any of its cities and villages for more than a couple of hours.
As Green Bay is the third largest city in Wisconsin (after Milwaukee and Madison), the restaurants and the accommodation options are also affluent. Whatever you are looking for — a budget, mid-range, or luxury option — you’ll probably find somewhere near downtown Green Bay.
There are a lot of things you can do here, much more than in the other places in our guide. The most important landmark in the city is definitely Lambeau Field, the home stadium of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.
Even without a game on the schedule, the place is worth visiting on its own.
Then, there are the usual things you’ll find in every big city: a lot of museums, some lively and interesting amusement parks, a zoo and botanical garden for nature lovers, a theater, a park, a bunch of interesting shops, restaurants, wineries, and breweries.
We are stashing all these things just to give you an idea of what Green Bay has to offer. Unlike the other places on our guide, which are mostly about beautiful beaches, lush forests, and stunning natural scenery, Green Bay is completely urbane.
If you are looking for hiking, biking, swimming, and the vistas of the American Upper Midwest, then Green Bay is not the right place for you.
Green Bay Budget Hotels
- Quality Inn & Suites Downtown is a great two-star pet-friendly hotel located in the center of the city. It offers — amongst other things — an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center on the premises, free Wi-Fi, and free parking. Close to many restaurants and pubs, it also serves a great breakfast.
- Quality Inn Stadium Area is another great two-star hotel located not very far from the center of Green Bay. Again, it offers an indoor swimming pool, a business center, a free full breakfast every morning, free parking and Wi-Fi, and facilities for disabled guests.
Green Bay Mid-Range Hotels
- Hampton Inn Green Bay Downtown is a very good three-star hotel that’s particularly suitable for couples. It offers a fitness center on the premises and rooms furnished with flat-screen TVs, a desk, and tea and coffee machines. It also has free Wi-Fi and parking and facilities for disabled people.
- Hotel J Green Bay is another great and not very expensive three-star hotel. This one offers an indoor swimming pool, rooms with flat-screen TVs and a sitting area, free airport shuttle, free Wi-Fi and parking, facilities for disabled guests, and very good breakfast.
Green Bay Luxury Hotels
- Hyatt Regency Green Bay is not only the best hotel in Green Bay but also probably the best accommodation option in our whole guide. A four-star hotel with an indoor pool and part of the famous Hyatt chain of hotels, it offers room service, a restaurant, and a bar on the premises amongst other premium amenities.
- Lodge Kohler is another great four-star hotel with all the amenities you can think of. Starting from an outdoor pool and a gym, it also boasts a spa and wellness center, a restaurant, and a bar on its premises. There’s professional room service, as well as a free airport shuttle.
Book Your Trip to Door County Today!
There are other places where you can stay in Door County, but these four are our personal favorites. To further emphasize our choices, let’s do a quick summary of their distinctive quality.
|🏆Best for First-Time Visitors||Sister Bay|
|✅ Best Area to See Everything||Fish Creek|
|💲 Most Budget-Friendly Area||Sturgeon Bay|
|🏢 Best for Urban Experience||Green Bay|
So, with so much to see and do, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience all that Door County has to offer!