6 Healthful Reasons to Visit Door County, WI

Active & Adventurous - Outdoors

Cherries, Cool Weather, & Outdoor Therapy

Door_County_shoreline_from_cliff_300A Google search of “healthy vacation” returns destination spas and weight loss camps, plus tips for making any trip less egregious to the waistline and arteries. Here’s another idea, a healthful destination wrapped up in a surprising little package: Door County, Wisconsin.

The county lies on a peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan, for a landscape of birch forests, fields, orchards, villages, rocky shorelines, and beaches. Though a rural retreat, Door County is well equipped to welcome tourists. In fact, tourism is its largest industry, yet there are no shades of tacky souvenir shops with mass-produced T-shirts and short-lived souvenirs.

Weather. While most of the country stews in summer, staying inside to avoid the heat, people in places like Door County keep their sweaters handy. Not only are they farther north than most of the country, the water that surrounds them cools the air even more: Door County averages temps five degrees or more cooler than Green Bay, only about an hour south.

kayakPhysical activities. The benefits of exercise have been touted plenty, so there’s no need to belabor that point. What’s great about a place like Door County, though, is that the exercise poses as fun—there are miles of safe, beautiful and not-too-strenuous biking and hiking trails throughout the peninsula, over lively sand dunes, through energetic marshlands, along scenic coastlines and in serene forests. The peninsula boasts two dozen parks with recreation galore. Not only is there plenty of opportunity to breathe a little more deeply, the weather is cooler, too!

Outdoor therapy. Not only is exercise healthful, outdoor exercise is even better! Studies have shown that exercising outdoors is more beneficial physically and mentally than exercising indoors. Doctors are even prescribing outdoor outings to their patients, for ailments from diabetes to attention deficit disorder. Even countryside views can reduce recovery time from surgery or illness! And if your “disability” is stress (which leads to more dramatic physical ailments), time in nature can ease your soul and body—slowing your heart rate and blood pressure.

biking_300The clean air of the countryside, away from the fumes and fuss of the city, make the outdoor therapy even more healthful.

Cherries. You may find other locations with good weather and lots of outdoor activities, but you won’t find such a place with a bountiful supply of this tasty natural superfood! Door County is the heart of Wisconsin’s cherry country, the third largest producer of cherries. More importantly, the county produces tart Montmorency cherries, which are especially full of health benefits. These cherries are bursting with antioxidants that help fight cancer and heart disease. They can relieve arthritis pain, alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms, and combat gout. Tart cherries contain melatonin, which attacks free radicals and can help reduce the affects of aging on the brain.

Although the peak of fresh cherry season in Door County is mid-July through mid-August, you can find Montmorency cherries throughout the county all year long, in retailers and restaurants.

Cookery_whitefish_and_Potosi_beerNo fast food! Except for a handful of exceptions in Sturgeon Bay at the door to Door County, the only large city on the peninsula, there are no fast food places for a quick, fat-laden meal. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee healthy dining. Recommended restaurants for great food with fresh vegetables and other local products are The Cookery in Fish Creek, Bistro 42 in Carlsville, The Bistro Bar and Grille in Egg Harbor, and Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza and Grille.

Local wine & beer. If we’re talking about what’s good for us, we mustn’t overlook the health benefits of wine! This rural county is well situated for agriculture, and seven wineries have sprouted along the Door County Wine Trail. The county also has a local brewery: Shipwrecked Brewery & Restaurant. Door County even has a new distillery, if that is your relaxing beverage of choice.

Shipwrecked_300Reasonable prices. No destination spa or big city prices here! B&Bs are available for those looking for luxury, but other options are available, too, including plenty of camping at Peninsula State Park & elsewhere throughout the peninsula.

If you’re ready for a little indoor time, Door County is also known for quality outdoor concerts and theatre, renowned artists and galleries, and plenty of shopping. These are relaxing ways to end a great day—just what the therapist ordered!

For a healthful vacation that the entire family can enjoy, pick Door County, WI.

 
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