Dog Friendly Door County, Wisconsin


Peninsula State Park, Dog Friendly Door County
Peninsula State Park, Dog Friendly Door County

Door County is one the most dog-friendly getaways in the Midwest.  This northern Wisconsin escape, located along the shores of Lake Michigan, is well known for its scenic views, cute small shops and unique restaurants.  With a large number of dog-accommodating hotels, restaurants and parks, it’s really the perfect place to escape with your four-legged best friend for the weekend. Located less than 4 hours from Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago, you don’t have to travel too far with your dog to get there either. Use our guide below to plan your own perfect dog-friendly weekend in Door County. 

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What to do in Door County with your Dog


Hike at Peninsula State Park

Peninsula State Park, Door County Wisconsin
Peninsula State Park, Door County Wisconsin

Peninsula State Park is our favorite state park that we have visited in Wisconsin.  The mix of bluffs, shoreline and hiking/biking trails makes it the perfect place to spend the day with your dog.  

Our favorite hiking trail is the Eagle Trail (2.0 loop) with its beautiful shoreline and impressive bluff views.  However, be mindful that this trail has many uneven rocks.  It is technically challenging and steep in many spots but very pretty. 

Our second favorite hike, that we do almost every visit to Door County, is a combination of the Nicolet Bay Trail, the Skyline Trail and the Hemlock Trail.  This loop is about 5.0 miles in total by starting and ending at the amphitheater parking lot.  See this Peninsula State Park Map to map it out.  When we do this hike early in the morning, around 7am, we typically do not see anyone else.  We love the seclusion of this trail through the woods of Peninsula State Park.  And our pup loves it too! 

Tip: Peninsula State Park is the most popular park in Door County and can get very busy at times. We recommend visiting in the early morning or later afternoon to avoid the crowds.  If you want to camp here, make your reservations 6+ months in advance.  

Peninsula State Park

Looking for great hiking boots?  Here are links to the ones we’ve used for 6+ years and highly recommend: Men’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots & Women’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots


Dog Beach/Hike at Whitefish Dunes State Park

Whitefish Dunes State Park Dog Beach
Whitefish Dunes State Park Dog Beach

This park provides contrast to Peninsula State Park with its impressive sand dunes. For dogs that love sand, this Wisconsin State Park is heaven.  They have a dog friendly beach here where your dog can run around and swim in the clear northern Lake Michigan water.  

Whitefish Dunes State Park

Cave Point County Park, Door County Wisconsin
Cave Point County Park, Door County Wisconsin

Bonus: Visit Cave Point County Park. From Whitefish Dunes State Park, you can hike or drive to the very close, picturesque Cave Point County Park.  


Hike Potawatomi State Park

Potawatomi State Park, Door County Wisconsin
Potawatomi State Park, Door County Wisconsin

Potawatomi State Park is located on the southern side of Door County on the shores of Sturgeon Bay.   This park feels like a hidden gem in comparison to Peninsula State Park as it has the beauty without the crowds.  Our favorite trail here is the Tower Trail as it offers a good amount of variety with shoreline, limestone cliff and forest views. 

Potawatomi State Park


Hike at Newport State Park

Newport State Park Dog Friendly Beach
Newport State Park Dog Friendly Beach

This park is located on the northern tip of Door County.  It is the most rugged park of all the Door County State Parks.  The trails here are peaceful and feel untouched. The dog beach was our pup’s favorite spot at this park. 

Tip: Beware of the mosquitoes here! They were viscous during our late June visit.  

Newport State Park


Skyway Drive-in Movie Theater 

A drive-in movie is a fun and nostalgic experience for the whole family, including your dog.  The theater typically plays two featured films, back to back, for one price.

Skyway Drive-In


Watch Sunset in Ephraim, Fish Creek or Sister Bay

Ephraim Sunset, Door County Wisconsin
Ephraim Sunset, Door County Wisconsin

The sunsets in Door County are breathtaking over Lake Michigan.  Make sure to take in the views from the bayside of the Door County Peninsula.  Our picture above is from a sunset in Ephraim.  


Where to eat in Door County with your Dog


Wild Tomato Pizza

Sister Bay and Fish Creek Wild Tomato Locations
Sister Bay and Fish Creek Wild Tomato Locations

This place is home to some of our favorite pizza.  We make sure to get it every time we are in Door County and have eaten at both locations (Fish Creek and Sister Bay).  The Veggie Pizza and Cherry Walnut Salad are our favorite menu items. 

Wild Tomato Pizza


Harbor Fish Market & Grille

Harbor Fish Market & Grille Dog Menu
Harbor Fish Market & Grille Dog Menu

This place takes dog friendly to the next level–they have their own dog menu!  We loved our brunch here and our dog did too.  We have also gone to a lobster boil here which was a bit pricey but certainly a fun and unique experience.   

Harbor Fish Market & Grille


Not Licked Yet Frozen Custard

Puppy Cone at Not Licked Yet Frozen Custard
Puppy Cone at Not Licked Yet Frozen Custard

You can get a free puppy cone here for your dog with any purchase. There are tons of unique custard Sundae options making this a fun experience not only your pup but you as well.    

Not Licked Yet Frozen Custard


Waterfront Mary’s Bar & Grill

This is located very close to Potawatomi State Park and is located right on the shores of Sturgeon Bay.  The food is simple bar food but the atmosphere is really why you go here.  We enjoyed eating lunch outside on the water after hiking at Potawatomi State Park.  

Waterfront Mary’s Bar & Grill


Where to stay in Door County with your Dog


O’Malley’s Inn in Ephraim 

Hiking Trails behind O’Malley’s Inn

We have stayed at this simple motel-style inn several times.  The location of this inn is perfect, right off of Hwy 42 and less than 5 minutes from the north entrance to Peninsula State Park.  The rooms here have very pretty views overlooking a wooded area.  These woods behind the inn also have about 2.0 miles worth of hiking trails which we enjoyed walking with our pup.   

O’Malley’s Inn


Beachfront Inn in Baileys Harbor

This motel is located right on the shoreline of Lake Michigan.  This location is within walking distance of the Harbor Fish Market & Grille as well as several other restaurants in downtown Bailey’s Harbor.  We have not stayed here but have had several friends and their pups enjoy stays here. 

Beachfront Inn


Country House Resort in Sister Bay

This resort is located on a private shoreline in Sister Bay.  Here, your pup will be greeted with a dog welcome basket.  There are also plenty of amenities here for your use as well . With your stay, complimentary use of kayaks, rowboats and bikes is included.  There is also a nice nature trail located on the property of this private resort.  We have never stayed here but our parents have and loved it.  

Tip: Book this resort as far in advance as possible.  Since this resort offers more of an experience with all of its amenities, this accommodation books much further out than our other recommendations. We have never stayed here because we never plan our trips to Door County far enough in advance.   

Country House Resort


Run Away Lodge at Valmy

This motel is simple but a great place to stay if you are passing through.  It has a full efficiency kitchen (with an oven/stovetop and full size fridge).  There is also a firepit and all sorts of yard games you can use in the backyard area.  We found this to be the perfect place to cook a meal and have a low key evening filled with yard games and a fire.  

Run Away Lodge at Valmy

Use the Door County Website to find other dog friendly accommodations! 


We hope this guide helps you plan your Dog-Friendly Trip to Door County.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

4 Comments

  1. Chrissy
    January 27, 2021

    If you bring your dog to Door County, you need to know one very important fact. There are NO EMERGENCY VET CLINICS in Door County. If your pet gets sick or injured, more than likely, you will be heading to Green Bay Or Appleton.

    Reply
    1. Always Have A Trip Planned
      February 4, 2021

      Great point Chrissy! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Door County Scotland Yard B & B
    February 13, 2021

    It would be great to include a link to all dog friendly lodging and activities!

    Reply
    1. Always Have A Trip Planned
      February 14, 2021

      Hi! Thanks for your comment. The blog post is based on our experiences & we have a link to the Door County website for additional options.

      Reply

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