Get a solitude adjustment
Escape traffic, smog and other urban irritations for these quaint and quirky getaways.
Door County, Wisconsin
Distance 245 miles
Travel time 4 hours
Don’t miss Snowmobiling in Potawatomi State Park
In warm weather, Door County is a destination for cherry picking, boating, and ducking in and out of cutesy shops, but it’s also a beautiful winter escape. The farther north you go on the peninsula, the snowier it’ll be, but Sturgeon Bay (closer to Chicago at a four-hour drive) is just as pretty.
Privately owned cabins remain the best lodging option in Door County, Sturgeon Bay included. To get exactly what you’re looking for, check out VRBO.com, where you can find an idyllic log cabin called Sunrise Shores (vrbo.com/87504; $120/night). The owners prep for your arrival by stocking the place with a bottle of wine, brochures on area attractions and a woodpile to get the fireplace roaring. The adorable, country art–filled cabin sits on six-and-a-half acres. Pretend you’re the only people on earth while playing board games, cooking, watching movies, reading…all the things you neglect to do back home. If you get cabin fever, Potawatomi State Park (www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/parks/specific/potawatomi/) lies just northwest of Sunrise Shores and is a great spot to cross-country ski, sled or snowmobile. You’ll have to bring your own sled, but you can rent skis or snowshoes at DC Bikes (20 N Third Ave, 877-322-4537) and snowmobiles at Door County Cycle (4216 Hwy 57 North, 920-743-7686). Fines are steep for snowmobiling off designated trails, so no off-roading for you, Knievel. Check out weather conditions and print out maps on the county website (doorcounty.com/weather).
If you’re planning on cooking at the cabin, hit up the Jewel-like Pick ’n Save (1847 Egg Harbor Rd, 920-743-8830) or the hippie-ish The Healthy Way (218 S Madison Ave, 920-746-4103, thehealthywaystore.com), which carries granola, some organic produce, tofu, cheese and locally raised grass-fed beef. Not a kitchen hound? Try Sage Restaurant & Wine Bar (136 N Third Ave, 920-746-1100) for a good bottle of vino, housemade pâté and braised lamb shank. It may not replace your favorite big-city restaurant, but it’s an oasis in a land of taffy shops and earthy clothing boutiques.