Door County, Wisconsin, is sometimes called the Cape Cod of the Midwest, but it is smaller, less crowded, and less expensive. The Door is a popular vacation destination, with some two million visitors annually (compared to a permanent population of about 28,000) who mostly come during summer and early fall. Many of those vacationers travel from Chicagoland, which is just a four-hour drive away along the western shore of Lake Michigan.
The Moon travel guide to Door County is highly recommended. First-time visitors will get all the vital information they need to make the most of their time. For returning vacationers, the guide will remind them of all the sights and places they missed during past visits that they’ll want to catch next time.
Similar to a Frommer’s or a Fodor’s—neither of which offers a guide to Door County—Moon’s travel guide provides good, standard coverage of Door County and hits all the highlights of the area. The reader will get reliable, basic advice on sights, activities and recreation, food, lodging, getting around, and entertainment. The book is on target in emphasizing the county and state parks, which are truly outstanding, as well as the area’s iconic fish boils. The guide also gives a good serving of relevant history and culture.
The glossy opening section provides a great overview of what to do and where to go. The closing part in back covers history, culture, climate, and geography. The back section also has the essentials of travel, information and services, and practical resources. The crescent moon logos for recommended sights, activities, dining, and lodging are very helpful. This handy guide, written by Wisconsin native Thomas Huhti, also includes maps and photographs.
Door County is charming and certainly merits a travel guide, but the Moon Door County travel guide is padded with extra sections on Milwaukee and the stretch north of Milwaukee to the Bottom of the Door and Green Bay. While the including the Bottom of the Door is worthwhile, the rest is mostly not useful unless visitors from Chicago want to stop off for a day in Milwaukee for a little sightseeing. It would have been nice if the guide covered a bit more of the (admittedly small) interior of Door County, along with a bit more on fruit picking, arts, and wineries. But these are minor quibbles in an overall truly handy guidebook.
February 2014, Avalon Travel
$14.99, paperback, 200 pages
—Reviewed by Stephen Isaacs