10 Things to Do in Door County in August

10 Things to Do in Door County in August

The ultimate guide to things to do in Door County in August this summer.

I often dream of Wisconsin as my next stop in the Midwest when summer is near.

I thought it was just for the scenic hiking trails and the lighthouses until I spent summer enjoying the things to do in Door County in August.

Dubbed the “Cape Cod of the Midwest,” Door County reveals traces of European influence and the rich heritage of Native Americans.

In August, sprawling state parks, lakeside villages, traditional fairs, and art galleries make visitors cherish the region’s diverse culture and heritage.

From a romantic sunset cruise to cherry picking, I experienced a well-spent and adventurous vacation.

What to see in Door County and the things to do in Door County? I’ll be your sunny days’ tour guide as I show you the exciting events lined up for you in August.

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Top Things to Do in Door County in August

1. Attend the Door County Fair three Ferris wheels at sunset

Started in 1871, Door County Fair gives timeless fun for families and people of all ages.

From thrilling rides to a satisfying gastronomical escapade, it’s an event where you’ll never run out of fun things to do in Door County.

Usually held the first weekend of August at John Miles County Park, my best memories at the Door County Fair are the Midway Magic and the motorcycle races.

The exhilarating carnival rides and the racers’ breathtaking flip-over at high speeds are thrilling moments you wouldn’t want to miss.

After a long day of exciting activities, I capped off the night by watching live performances of local and regional bands.

The foodies craving traditional fair foods such as funnel cakes, mini donuts, BBQs, and more will also have a fantastic time at this event. 

Daily passes are $12, and season passes are $30.

For an ultimate Door County Fair experience, avail of “Sweet Cherry of a Deal” admission, which includes all the Grandstand events, live band shows, and Midway attractions.

2. Explore Peninsula State Park group of people kayaking in door county

A best-kept secret in the Midwest, the Peninsula State Park is a little slice of paradise in Door County.

It boasts over 460 campsites, an 18-hole golf course, a lighthouse, and eight miles of Door County coastline.

For breathtaking views of the bay, I hiked the challenging and fun Eagle Trail, about 2.5 miles long, where 150-foot cliffs, springs, and forested terraces will amaze you. 

Then, I stretched my legs at the nearby Nicolet Beach, one of the frequently visited beaches in Door County.

On warmer days like August, you can take advantage of fishing, biking, swimming, picnics, or even a kayak tour.

3. Enjoy a Sunset Cruise on Green Bay a boat cruising on the sea during a sunset

A romantic sunset cruise along the serene waters of Green Bay is one of the best Door County things to do in summer

I love sunsets, and this experience was something I didn’t want to miss. While taking breathtaking coastal views from the boat, I was serenaded by the live music onboard.

Door County Boats offers a Sunset Live Music Cruise with live band performances daily, from 4 pm to 7 pm. You can also book with scenic Door County sunset tour.

But if you’re looking for other sunset tours in Door County, Sail Sturgeon Bay offers a sunset cruise along the scenic Potawatomi State Park.

Depending on which tour you choose, you’ll see different lighthouses, shipyards, and tugboats, making it one of the many fun and romantic things to do in Sturgeon Bay.

4. Visit the Door County Maritime Museum a large brick building with a sign on the front of it and trees on the wallSource: Wikimedia Commons

With its rich maritime history, the Door County Maritime Museum features interactive exhibits and historic vessels. 

Established in 1969, it gave me a glimpse into Door County’s glorious heritage and maritime roots.

I loved the museum’s lighthouse tours and fascinating shipwreck displays, which tell the story of Door County’s nautical past.

One of the must-see museum highlights is the 1960s restored tugboat, the John Purves. The galleries also feature brave ship captains and even lonely lighthouse keepers.

The Door County Maritime Museum is open daily, 10 am to 4 pm from January to April and 10 am to 5 pm from May to December.

5. Attend the Washington Island Music Festival

conductor dramatically poised to begin conducting an orchestra with baton raised

A two-week festival set in a picturesque island location, the Washington Island Music Festival is jam-packed with live classical music performances. 

Held in mid-August, the festival showcases a series of concerts by talented musicians and is led by co-directors Stefanie Jacob, Scott Tisdel, and Teresa Drews. 

If you’re looking for what to do in Door County in July and August, the Washington Island Music Festival is perfect for you.

It typically runs between July and August in an intimate and scenic setting on Washington Island at the Trueblood Performing Arts Center (TPAC). 

This year, I plan to catch Strauss’ four last songs, Schubert Quintet performance, and a children’s concert featuring “The Washington Town Musicians” at one of the much-awaited Door County events.

6. Go Cherry Picking at a Local Orchard a close up of hands picking a cherry from a tree with leaves in the background

Dotting along the scenic landscape are local orchards bearing sweet cherries. On a typical summer day, I often strolled past bountiful cherry trees for the freshest tart red fruit in Door County.

Between late July and mid-August, cherry-picking is one of the fun outdoor activities in Door County. It’s when the cherries are ripe and ready for picking.

Local orchards like Lautenbach’s Orchard also offer artisan goods, arts and crafts, and family activities, and don’t forget to try their homemade cherry products.

You may also sample wines and hard ciders made from homegrown fruits.

After cherry-picking, check into one of the resorts in Door County and day spas in Wisconsin for the weekend.

7. Explore the Art Galleries and Studios woman standing in front of paintings in a museum

With a vibrant art scene, Door County provides a safe space for local artists to showcase their creativity, and visitors can admire them in its numerous art galleries and studios.

My favorite Door County art gallery is the Frykman Studio Gallery. Inside, you’ll find a stunning nature photography exhibit alongside magnificent stoneware pottery by Steve Jorgenson. 

I recommend stopping by the Peninsula School of Art or checking out local galleries like Edgewood Orchard Galleries for unique pieces and exhibitions. 

At Woodwalk Gallery, you may purchase art made by 90 featured artists. They also host private events in Door County for weddings and other special occasions.

8. Relax on the Beaches of Whitefish Dunes State Park wooden boardwalk leading to sandy beach on cloudy day

If you’re a beach lover like me, you don’t want to miss the sandy shores of Whitefish Dunes State Park. 

Last summer, I enjoyed lounging on the rugged but picturesque Lake Michigan shore with a mile of sand beach worth exploring.

Known for having the tallest dunes, Whitefish Dunes State Park is one of the incredible places to visit in Wisconsin in summer.

Enjoy the clear waters and sandy beaches, with facilities like picnic areas, restrooms, and hiking trails, including the Brachiopod trail.

Whitefish Dunes State Park is only available for day use, and camping is not allowed. If you want to extend your stay, you can book nearby romantic cabins in Wisconsin.

9. Attend Marina Fest

View from the back of a crowd of people appreciating some kind of spectacle off to the side with some spectators sitting on the shoulders of others and many people raising their arms in enjoyment and celebration on a bright clear day

Happening on a Labor Day weekend, the Sister Bay Marina Fest is overflowing with art, street food, and musical performances.

Last year, I visited the stunning Sister Bay marina, and to my surprise, the Marina Fest was happening right then and there.

Fortunately, I was hungry enough and curious simultaneously, so I took the opportunity to line up at the many food stalls in the area.

Sister Bay Marina Fest is typically held during the last week of August. 

Event highlights include a classic wooden boat show, an arts and crafts fair, a farmers market, and a book sale. The night is capped off with a fantastic fireworks display.

10. Take a Kayaking Tour of Cave Point

Person sitting in a red kayak in a large calm body of water with hills visible in the distance all under a bright blue sky with wispy clouds at dawn

Next to Whitefish Dunes State Park, Cave Point is studded with towering limestone cliffs. 

I went there last summer to try the kayak adventure, and it was truly breathtaking. I was in awe of the stunning karst landscape of the Niagara Escarpment on Lake Michigan.

Join the Peninsula Kayak Company on a memorable kayak trip along the pristine coastline of Lake Michigan, Cave Point County Park, and Whitefish Dunes State Park. 

Door County’s rock band stretches from Wisconsin to the stunning Niagara Falls. 

Door County Kayak Tours also offers a safe and unforgettable experience paddling through the clear..

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