Celebrate National Dog Month in Door County

Attention, all terriers, labs, doodles and corgis! August is National Dog Month, and Expedia has named Door County one of the most dog-friendly destinations in the U.S. At restaurants and cafes, and on hiking trails and beaches, there are plenty of dog-friendly accommodations and activities to plan a “pawsome” day with your human. 

During any meal of the day, canines can order, too

There’s plenty of outdoor seating for dogs and humans in the garden waterfront setting at Harbor Fish Market & Grille, 8080 Hwy 57 in Baileys Harbor. It offers a doggy menu with options for every meal of the day: Larry’s Rover Easy, a breakfast of two scrambled eggs and a cup of doggie kibble, for example; or Honey’s Yummy Steak, a six-ounce steak served with whipped potatoes and doggie kibble for dinner. The restaurant even has dessert covered: Tiffany’s Chilly Paws, a scoop of vanilla custard. 

Springer spaniel and pointer mix Coco enjoys a “dogurrito” at Fat Belly. Photo by Jessica Gatzow. 

To make a quicker stop for an order to go or lunch at a picnic table, try Fat Belly, 10621 N. Highland Road in Sister Bay, where the staff will prepare a small “dogurrito” filled with plain rice, chicken and peanut butter. 

Gills Rock Coffee has a dog park right behind the cafe. Photo by Jessica Gatzow. 

A dog park and coffee shop all in one

What’s a better combo than coffee and dogs? At Gills Rock Coffee, 12625 Hwy 42 in Ellison Bay, the cafe’s back door leads to a deck overlooking a fenced-in grass area that functions as a dog park. (You can also enter directly through a gate on the side of the fence.) There are a few chairs for humans, plus plenty of room for canine guests to catch some flying discs. As a bonus for people, the cafe serves its own exceptional, exclusive coffee blend made by Boom Coffee in Princeton, Wisconsin. 

Hikes for every energy level

As long as humans keep their canine friends on a leash and pick up after them, Door County Land Trust’s nature preserves welcome pets on hiking trails. The terrain is usually easy to moderate, with grass and mild hills or obstacles on short- to medium-length trails. 

For a lengthier, more challenging hike, the Eagle Trail at Peninsula State Park suits the agile and energetic dog. The two-mile loop starts on top of a bluff and winds down to the water, with views of the cliffside where you began. 

There’s also an opportunity for water-loving doggos. Take a three-quarter-mile walk from the parking lot at Whitefish Dunes State Park to access the swimming area that’s designated for pets. 

Just Paws is a new pet store in Egg Harbor’s Main Street Shops. Photo by Jessica Gatzow.

Pet supplies are always nearby 

The Main Street Shops, 7828 Hwy 42 in Egg Harbor, call themselves an “all-inclusive shopping center,” and now that refers to shopping for canines, too. 

Just Paws – a one-stop “boutique for dogs and owners alike” – opened this summer. This shop serves furry customers first and foremost by carrying food and treats, collars, walking accessories, stuffed animals and fun-shaped chew toys. And, dogs may accompany their humans inside this store.

Just Paws also features a clothing line for people called Puppy Love, a company that donates profits to dog-rescue groups and shelters. 

For the adventurous dog, travel by water 

What dog doesn’t want to bark to friends that he’s been to an island? In Door County, canines can. Both the Washington Island Ferry and Island Clipper ferry line allow leashed pets on their Washington Island-bound vessels. From there, you can even continue on to Rock Island. 

A trip to Cana Island involves a memorable journey because the island is accessible only by a natural causeway. If dogs and humans are up for a fun challenge and don’t mind getting wet, they can walk across the rocks when the water is shallow enough. Otherwise, dogs may join people on the ride through the water on a hay wagon. 

Once on Cana Island, canines are not allowed in the museum or up to the lighthouse, but there’s still plenty of green space to explore. 

Some restaurants such as Summer Kitchen welcome pets in their outdoor-seating areas. Photo by Jessica Gatzow.

Check out these establishments and outdoor spots with your pet:


Bearded Heart Coffee

Blue Horse Beach Cafe

Chef’s Hat

Door County Coffee and Tea

Door County Ice Cream Factory 

Fat Belly 

Gills Rock Coffee 

Grasse’s Grill 

Harbor Fish Market & Grille

Jackson Harbor Soup 

Julie’s Park Cafe

Mojo Rosa’s 

Not Licked Yet 

Shipwrecked Brew Pub

Sister Bay Bowl

Skip Stone Coffee Roasters 

Summer Kitchen 

The Garage at Husby’s 

Village Cafe

Villaggios Italian Steakhouse 

White Gull Inn Restaurant 

Wild Tomato 


Door County Land Trust nature preserves 

Kangaroo Lake State Natural Area (and most natural areas in the county)

Mink River Estuary

Newport State Park 

Pebble Beach

Peninsula State Park

Potawatomi State Park 

Rock Island State Park 

Whitefish Dunes State Park


Door County Dog Store

Gemma Lou’s 

Just Paws 

Do you have a dog-friendly business but don’t see it on one of these lists? Contact us to be added!