Let’s Pack a Picnic!

Picnics are having a moment. Now is a great time to take your mealtime out of doors because it’s easier than ever to get takeout – thanks to the increased availability and ease of ordering – and Door County has seemingly endless options for places where you can perch to chow down. Plus, keeping your distance from others outside of your household is easy, and you can still feel like you’re doing some socializing. Here are some tips to inspire your picnics this season.

Photo by Aleah Kidd.

The Grub

Call ahead for curbside and carryout from any of your favorite Door County restaurants, or stop by a grab-and-go market for ready-made, picnic-perfect meals. Stop at Waseda Farm Market to find snackable goods, plus salads and sandwiches from Heirloom Cafe. Healthy Way Market, Madison Avenue Market and Greens N Grains stock premade lunch and dinner items (and have good wine and beer options, too!). Or, you can get made-to-order sandwiches from McEvoy’s Culinaria, Fish Creek Market’s deli and Baileys 57 BP

A to-go sandwich from McEvoy’s Culinaria in Sister Bay. Photo by Aleah Kidd.

Not trying to make a meal of it? Create a simple snacking session with a variety of goodies from Top Shelf Gourmet or a cheese board from Door County Creamery, Renard’s Cheese or Door Artisan Cheese Company. The many orchard markets are also great places to stock up on snacks and fruit when they’re in season, including Wood Orchard Market, Seaquist Orchards, Hyline Orchard Market and Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Farm Market. Or, go the extra mile to plan your picnic around visiting a local farmers’ market to stock up before your outing. 

Cheeseboard using cheese and goodies from Door Artisan Cheese in Egg Harbor. Photo by Aleah Kidd.

The Packing List

Outside of your food and drink choices, don’t forget the picnic essentials:

• A blanket that’s large enough to comfortably spread out on, or a fun tablecloth if you are using a picnic table

• Sun protection such as hats, umbrellas or sunscreen 

• Bug spray

• Garbage bags to pack up dirty dishes and remove your trash and recyclables

• Optional: cushions to sit on or picnic chairs that sit low to the ground

• Extra credit: a portable Bluetooth speaker for mood-setting music

Places to Picnic 

For bird watchers and animal lovers, take a trip to the trails at Open Door Bird Sanctuary ($8 per adult, $5 for youth, kids four and younger are free) and The Ridges Sanctuary ($5 for daily pass), where you can also find wildlife education and guided hikes. For more hiking off the beaten path, explore the fields at Waseda Farm, which has five miles of trails; or look into the 14 Door County Land Trust preserves, which all have public hiking trails and space for pausing to picnic.

Waseda Farms picnic area. Photo by Maddy Schierl.

If you’ve spent time only in the state parks, it’s time to explore county and town parks, which are smaller but just as beautiful. Some suggestions include Anclam Beach or Ridges Park in Baileys Harbor, Sister Bay’s Waterfront Park, or Sunset Park in Fish Creek. Sit on the stone steps along the shore at Egg Harbor’s newly expanded beach, or spread out at Murphy Park. Head to Sturgeon Bay and Southern Door for more wide-open spaces and shoreline, such as at Sunset Park in Sturgeon Bay and Robert LaSalle Park in Clay Banks. And you’ll find a variety of places in Northern Door: Sand Bay Town Park, Hotz Memorial Town Park, Port des Morts Park, Isle View Park, Wills Park and Marina, and Garrett Bay Park are all wonderful places to relax, picnic and soak in the view. 

Robert Lasalle Park. Photo from Door County Parks website.