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A Trip Along 42: Juddville & Fish Creek

Have you taken a long, scenic drive along Highway 42 through Door County yet? Well, get prepared for your next getaway right in the heart of Juddville and Fish Creek! If you’re a fan of summer outdoor activities, foodie hotspots, Door County history, and theatre then … oh boy, do we have plans for you! Let’s dive into these stops you must make along your way on Highway 42 through Door County. 

Must-Try Foodie Hotspots

Photo Credit: Julie’s Park Cafe

We can’t talk about your trip along 42 without diving deep into Julie’s Park Cafe! Julie’s is your quintessential Door County cafe that serves a delicious breakfast and lunch, and provides the most Wisconsin family-friendly atmosphere possible! Right by the entrance to Peninsula State Park sits this cafe, Along with its motel rooms - 8 of which are pet friendly... And yes, the cafe is pet-friendly too!

When visiting, be sure to grab your breakfast and sit outside! Not only are there gorgeous views peeking into the park, but we can’t forget to mention that the food is absolutely phenomenal. Specifically, the French Toast variety is one you have to try, and here are the options: Cherry Stuffed French Toast, Apple Bacon Stuffed French Toast, Cinnamon Bun French Toast, and Praline French Toast! Not a French Toast fan? No worries! Julie’s has plenty of other delicious options from breakfast omelets or sandwiches all the way to salads and different sandwiches and burgers! 

Experience the “Theatre in the Garden

Photo Credit: Destination Door County

One-stop you have to add to your itinerary for your trip along 42 is the Peninsula Players Theater! Peninsula Players opened their doors in 1935, moved to their current property in 1937, and since have been putting on shows for the past 87 years! This year, they will open on June 14th and have four shows in the summer and one in autumn. Although the shows aren’t always “family-friendly”, this year at Peninsula Players they have announced that they are great shows for those 8 and up! 

This unique experience is one that you can only find in Door County and we have some specific recommendations for your first theater experience here. First, stop into the beer garden and grab your preferred drink of choice and then sit back and relax as you enjoy the view of the waters of Green Bay as the sun begins to set. 

After that? Simply enjoy the show at the theatre in the garden! If you’re wanting to, bring your own food to enjoy before the event begins (but, please no alcohol as it is a Wisconsin state law!). The seats alone are an experience unlike anything else. You’ll feel like you are sitting inside of a giant gazebo with the open air around you!

Rain or shine, this is a true Door County gem location that you need to plan your trip around. Learn more about the top talent that comes in from all over the country as well as when shows are for season 87 by clicking here!

Outdoor Fun for Everyone

Photo Credit: Visit Fish Creek

We all know that with summer comes some of the greatest outdoor activities all throughout Wisconsin. In Juddville and Fish Creek, you can expect to find a little bit of it all! There are dozens of miles of hiking trails throughout the area. One outdoor adventure you will want to add to your list is the Door County Land Trust. This local non-profit organization is supported by more than 2,800 people who love Door County! The land trust works with conservation partners, scientists, and researchers to find the highest land protection priorities. Learn about each preserve that is a part of the trust and get a map for your trip before heading out here!

Some local parks right in that area include Fish Creek Park, Sunset Beach Park, and Clark Park (located right down by the Marina). Each park provides a bit of a different take on what you can do in the town. If you’re wanting to just take a break and sit back while watching the boats in the harbor, check out Clark Park. If you’re wanting to catch a gorgeous Door County sunset, be sure to make your evening stop at Sunset Beach Park. And if you’re wanting to make a hiking trip out of it, Fish Creek Park is a 27-acre park with walking trails through woods and small ponds!

The best part about these outdoor activities? They are all free! These options make visiting along Highway 42 affordable, fun, and something that you will never forget!

See Galleries, Museums, and More

Photo Credit: Door County Master Gardens

Other family fun activities that are also free along 42 include checking out local galleries and museums, visiting local Door County festivals, and seeing the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal and Coast Guard Station! 

Fish Creek is considered the ‘art hub’ of Door County and it’s for good reason! The entire area is home to many museums, historical societies, and art galleries. For example, The Door County Garden Door is a must-see while on your next trip. The garden includes a fairy garden, kaleidoscope, pond, children's area, and so much more! It truly is a great family-friendly place to make a stop for the day. Please note, no pets are allowed in The Garden Door, or on the grounds of the Peninsular Agricultural Research Station.

Another piece that fits in well is the Historic Self-Guided Walking Tour through Sturgeon Bay. You can see beautiful neighborhoods and shops that have and continue to make this area so special today. Along the walk, you are able to see historic homes, and exceptional architecture, and find more history hidden along the way! There are also walking tours offered in Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, and Ephraim that make for a lot of history and fun exercise! 

While you may spend a few dollars at a local festival, we can definitely say it's worth it! There are countless numbers of parades, festivals, and parties that take place all throughout Door County all year long and most don’t have an entry fee! Learn more about events taking place all throughout Door County all year long here. 

Are you ready to plan your next trip along scenic Highway 42 through Fish Creek and Juddville? Whether you’re craving some delicious bites to eat, gearing up to watch a show at the theatre, or you’re ready to dive into the deep history of Door County, this route will take you through it all. What are you looking most forward to doing on Highway 42? Let us know in the comments below!

And if you’re looking for more inspiration for your next trip, listen to ‘Fun Along 42: From Juddville to Fish Creek’ now on The Cabin Podcast:


Kortnee Hass: Social Media Coordinator for Discover Mediaworks. A Wisconsin ‘now & forever’ transplant with a soft spot for squeaky cheese curds, craft breweries, and all things Wisconsin tourism.

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