Rowleys Bay Resort & More Blog
Want to visit us in JUNE? Try one of our cottages! * Each cottage has a kitchen so you can prepare all your own meals or enjoy take-out in the comfort of your own space. * Throughout at least June, reservations are spaced with two-day gaps to allow for additional cleaning. * Three of our cottages are right on the water! * Cottage B hosts up to eight guests and has two bathrooms. * We supply all the linens, and there is a handy shopping list online for ideas of what else to bring. * Enjoy all the clean [...]
Happy Saturday! Today we're rounding out National Library Week by talking about more staff favorite BOOKS that are better than the movies. What did everyone think? How about you? Which books are better than the movies? We're on Instagram and Facebook. PS - Get your bingo cards in!
To celebrate National Library Week, we asked staff members to share their favorite books! Here we have a few recommendations in several categories, including favorite non-fiction books, favorite books to give as gifts, and favorite characters: Is there a book YOU love to give as a gift? How about a favorite character you just can't get enough of? A non-fiction book you think everyone should read? Share it with us! We're on Instagram and Facebook. PS - Get your bingo cards in!
Today is the 15th anniversary of the first YouTube video upload. Fifteen years! To help celebrate this technology during National Library Week, we're sharing videos YOU can watch on YouTube from our favorite local library service, the Door County Library system. Door County Library playlists: Lectures - learn about local spring herbs, tips for raising chickens and ducks in your backyard, literacy lessons, and more Door County Reads - covers author events from 2018 through 2020, including the most recent presentation by Leif Enger at Sturgeon Bay High School Children & Family Programs - Looking for something more wholesome for [...]
Happy Tuesday! It's National Library Week and to celebrate all things BOOKS the staff at Rowleys Bay Resort and Grandma's Swedish Bakery are sharing their favorite books for you to see. Today's theme is favorite books and series. See what we've picked: Share yours! What books and series are your absolute favs? We're on Instagram and Facebook. PS - Get your bingo cards in!
Happy Monday! That's the official word on what day it is, for those of us who are having a hard time keeping track anymore. In keeping with the spirit of Mondays and National Library Week, today we're talking about books we were forced to read but ended up liking, and some obscure finds that surprised us. Share yours! What books have you read that are super obscure must-reads or surprise hits? We're on Instagram and Facebook. PS - Get your bingo cards in!
From the American Library Association website: "The theme for National Library Week 2020, "Find your place at the library," was chosen some time ago, before any of us could imagine the emergence of a global pandemic that would force most libraries to temporarily close their physical spaces. But you can still find your place at the library because libraries are open for business online, providing the virtual services and digital content their communities need more than ever. You can access ebooks, movies, music, video games, virtual storytimes and activities, and so much more — all from the the comfort of [...]
Over the past thirty days I've spent a lot of time on Instagram. Normally, there wouldn't be anything remarkable about this - I've been posting daily for our super fun game of bingo - but the last month has been no normal month. While Door County is generally thought of as a destination, a place you have to physically visit in order to enjoy, the past few weeks have proven to me that we are a flexible lot, and if we are asked to bring Door County to you, we shall figure out how to deliver. Your favorite shops and [...]
On April 16th, 2018, Rowleys Bay got an unprecedented late spring blizzard. Up to 32" of snow fell in Door County! The next day there was a lot of cleaning up to do. Snow from the pool roof slid off and completely covered the windows and raised beds. I just did not even want to tackle this. There are other doors, right? It doesn't look like much until you see where the doorknob is in comparison to the snow. Yes, those are first floor windows! I couldn't even enjoy it [...]
Biking and hiking are two ways you can enjoy the hundreds of miles of trails and shoreline you'll find in northern Door County. Can you think of a third? We have an exciting idea for you: Segways! And not just any kind of Segways, offroad Segways. Rick's Off-Road Segway Adventures of Door County is by far the coolest way to explore the unique features that make up Door County's landscape. With beefy tires, these Segways will take you over sand and mud, grass and boardwalks, through wooded and beach paths, on concrete and gravel. You don't need to be a [...]
TOMORROW is the last day for bingo so be sure to send your card to bingo @ rowleysbayresort.com to be entered! Don't worry - we'll leave submissions open for a week or two so you have time to complete your card and send it in. Know someone who hasn't had a chance to play? Have them print a card and fill it out! Get started here. We won't leave you hanging. We'll start a new game, to be determined. 😉 The land northeast across Rowleys Bay is part of Newport State Park, one of five state parks in Door County [...]
Whether it's at our indoor pool or at Sand Bay Beach around the corner, we know that our guests love to visit and go swimming. Are you missing the roar of the waves, the sun on your face, the sand in your...everywhere? Us too! Take a virtual tour of Door County beaches, courtesy of Destination Door County and YouTube. This isn't even it. There are MORE. Do you know how many beaches there are in Door County? CTAs, you should know this. The answer may surprise you! Today's BINGO phrase is SWIMMING! Mark over it with 4/14 (or X if [...]
Yesterday was a FREE SPACE for BINGO so hopefully you have a winning page! Be sure to submit it for a chance to win cool prizes. Instructions here. If you've ever been to Door County, or even if you've just heard about it at some point, you probably know we have a thing with cherries. Cherries everywhere! We put them in everything, we put them ON everything, and we even let you come snatch them right off the trees. In fact, we encourage it! Cherry Picking Scene, Door County, Wisconsin. Photo hanging in Grandma's Swedish Bakery. Click to enlarge [...]
Yesterday I went for a drive around northern Door County to see what I could see. It was a beautiful sunny day, reaching 50 degrees! A clear contrast to this cloudy morning with a chance of snow. Since many businesses are closed completely and others have altered their business model, it was tricky finding Easter decorations to photograph, but I did come across a few bunnies and eggs and pastel delights! "The truck" at the corner of Highway 42 and Garrett Bay Road in Ellison Bay. Mural on the building facing William Caxton Ltd Books, Ellison Bay. [...]
Door County is taking social distancing seriously, with heartfelt messages that we love you and miss you can't can't wait to see you again!! ...later. Thank you to everyone still out there making the world go 'round. This beautiful morning I went out for a drive, and it was as empty as I've seen without snow on the ground. Not photoshopped. Legit empty roads in Sister Bay. Restaurants and recreation facilities and boutiques and spa services and coffee shops and the library are all doing what they can, shutting down when they need to, offering contact-less [...]
While most ferry companies are perfunctory, the service that connects the Door County Peninsula to Washington Island is more than just that. The Washington Island Ferry Line is a dedicated community service that runs every single day of the year (unless weather says no). Logo borrowed from Washington Island Ferry Line website. They ferry tourists, of course, but they also keep the residents, businesses, schools, clinics, and other resources on the island going. You'll hear their jolly jingle on the radio, and see their maps and schedules in all the card racks. They've made their necessary service a delight to [...]
One awesome thing you can still do to get your blood flowing, clear your mind, and get some fresh air, AND appropriately social distance at the same time, is to ride a bike. In Door County, we have ALL the bike riding room available. Now is the perfect time to check your gear and get limber, so you're all set when travel season starts again! Find trail and road maps: Cycling Routes from Destination Door County Door County Silent Sports Cycling Maps from Nor Door Sports Northern Door County road map from WI DOT Upcoming events: Door County Century, September [...]
The Mink River Estuary is a short river that feeds into Lake Michigan just north of Rowleys Bay and southwest of Newport State Park. Even living up here, though we hear a lot about it, it wasn't until I (Kimberly) did research for this blog post, that I realized how special and important it really is. An aerial of the resort and Rowleys Bay, with the Mink River Estuary visible in the top left. Used with permission, courtesy of and many thanks to Mark Dexter. The Door County Adventure Center, stationed right in front of the resort, does [...]
Pilot Island is a small island between the northern tip of the Door County peninsula and Washington Island. The lighthouse on the island was built in 1858 and staffed until 1962. If you think the property is looking a little...icky, you're right. A protected bird species, the cormorant, has taken over the area. Between the cormorants and pelicans, there's a lot of guano on the grounds (read: bird poop), and it's reached critical mass. (And yup, it smells as bad as it looks like it might.) Learn more about the history of Pilot Island and the lighthouse: Door County Maritime [...]
Happy Monday! Today, just like every Monday, and every day of the week to be honest, I (Kimberly) am standing at my desk with a fresh cup of coffee. When we brew it at the resort and when I brew it at home, we go for the good stuff, and it's from our friends over at Door County Coffee & Tea Company. For me, it all started in 1996 when I moved to Sturgeon Bay. Door County Coffee was a relatively new business back then, and boy was it a delicious introduction to real coffee. Gotta get off those gas [...]
One day in the summer of 2017, I (Kimberly) was walking through the parking lot of the resort when I thought I saw something tiny scurry under a car. I took a peek, and found this little guy. It was the teeniest tiniest little snapping turtle that I ever did see! He was not amused. Instead of letting him cross the frying-pan hot parking lot, I took him back to the water. We don't often see turtles right around the resort, but there's an area between The Wagon Trail Campground and the resort that is swampy and prime turtle crossing. [...]
If you've visited the resort and Grandma's Swedish Bakery, you've probably noticed the giant orange painted horse head sitting on the counter by the microwave. It isn't a reference to the Godfather, but actually a popular symbol of Swedish culture named after the city of Dalarna in central Sweden, and they're called Dala horses. This one shown above is one of the most popular styles: the red orange carving with a specific decorative design, made at a factory in Nusnäs, Sweden. This is no obscure souvenir. These hand-carved items are taken seriously. Discover how they're made with a virtual tour [...]
When you visit Rowleys Bay Resort and Grandma's Swedish Bakery, one thing you'll notice is, of course, the Swedish flags. A Swedish flag in Grandmas Swedish Bakery, with Swedish folk art in the background. Just like the American flag, the Swedish flag has a meaningful history. Estimated to have been in use in recognizable form since the mid-14th Century, it wasn't actually officially approved until about 100 years ago. Hand-painted ship with Swedish flag, on a dresser in Cottage E The cross on the flag is a representation of a Christian cross. The color blue symbolizes [...]
Rowleys Bay is on what's known as the "quiet side" of the northern Door County peninsula. What do we mean by quiet? Well...it's quiet. Communities and businesses built up along the Green Bay side on Highway 42 have turned the western shorefront into a remarkable hotspot (spots? hot strip?) of visual and performing arts, amazing food and drinks, shopping galore, and lots of other unique things to see. Here on the eastern front, we have our remarkable landmarks too, they're just a bit more subdued. The way the Niagra Escarpment carved out the lakes and land left the east side [...]
It's April 1st, also known as April Fools Day. Today is the day Kimberly would normally be playing tricks on our readers: promoting our new Listerine-flavored cinnamon roll frosting, playing two truths and a lie with Sasquatch, or teaching chess to seagulls (you know how that ends). But given current events (hashtag "given current events") we thought some of that kind of thing may not go over too well. We don't need something to be grumpy about. We need a reason to smile and laugh and come no more than 6 feet from each other. So who better to talk [...]
Not just any petting zoo, THE Farm has been around for...well, at least long enough to take this photo of my (Kimberly) mom's 1970s snapshot held over their existing sign in 2018! What will you find at The Farm? It's more than just a petting zoo, although I have to admit snuggling with baby animals is still my favorite part. There are dozens of buildings and learning opportunities to peek through, peaceful wooded trails, and a fun gift and snack shop. You can pack a lunch and hang out all day. Open 9am-5pm in the summer, it's multi-generation [...]
Giant checkers! Yes, along with the train display it's the top most oohed and aahed and "I played these when I was little" attraction in our lobby! You probably knew there were chess competitions and Rubik's Cube competitions. Did you know there are checkers competitions? In many parts of the world the game is called Draughts, so the World Draughts Federation is in charge of their rules and contests. Not to be confused with draughts, another of our favorite things to ooh and ahh about. The biggest argument in checkers stems from simple rules relating to forced jumps and how [...]
Oh pecan roll...how I do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Ok, scratch that. We'll be here all day. When I (Kimberly) moved back to Door County and started working at Rowleys Bay Resort, I wondered to myself, "Who on Earth can eat half a pound of pecan roll?!" But then I quickly learned that I have absolutely no problem putting down half a pound (or more) of pecan roll. From our famous "pecan roll wedding!" A beautiful bride and groom used these as their wedding cake. Photos used with permission, copyright © Tandem Photography Speaking [...]
Cardamom Coffee Cake from Grandma's Swedish Bakery What is cardamom? If you're unfamiliar with cooking and baking spices, you may never have heard of it, but it's around more than you probably realize. If you've ever enjoyed a chai tea latte, you've had cardamom. Cardamom is a spice used often in Indian cooking and in baking in Scandinavian countries. It's used much the same way cinnamon is used, as you can see in the braided Cardamom Coffee Cake shown above, with sugar and generously sprinkled. It's "dry" in the same way powdered cinnamon is dry, and a lot goes a [...]
Lighthouses! There are so. Many. Lighthouses. There are MORE lighthouses in Door County than I've visited and we could talk about them all for months. You know the popular one - Cana Island. And you know about the picturesque one on the canal in Sturgeon Bay. But you may not know about a few others, that you can only get to by boat. Last year I (Kimberly) was able to visit four during the Door County Lighthouse Festival. Click on any of these to see a larger image: Front and rear range lights on Plum Island; rear range light [...]
Rowleys Bay Resort has been repurposing since before it was Pinterest-cool, and the fireplace in our lobby is no exception. The stone for the fireplace came from the foundation of the old barn on site. The flue came from a ship called the SS Mercury, the first vessel ever to be constructed to be used on the Great Lakes as a tanker. And we have it in our lobby. As a flue. How cool is that anyway?? A big old ship scuttle hatch. It's pretty neat. If you have ever been to our resort you'll notice the rest of the [...]
Bald Eagle on ZZ When I (Kimberly) was little, I remember Bald Eagle sightings being a big deal. Anytime my dad spotted one on a road trip, he was sure to point it out. Talk about eagle eyes...most of the time I couldn't even find it. When I moved back to Door County in 2016, I started seeing them everywhere. The one shown here nearly kamikazed into the side of my truck after flying off a road kill raccoon as I passed by. The state and county have taken note of this comeback too. The DNR hosted a contest [...]
Speaking of how cameras can't do beautiful sunrises justice, this isn't just a photo of a black piece of paper. Or a dark room. I didn't forget to remove my lens cap. This is a photo taken of the clear night sky in the middle of July, and what you're not seeing, is the Milky Way. Many guests to the area are absolutely astounded that you can see more than the basic constellations without a telescope on a clear night, much less the mesmerizing shimmer of our galaxy. Those who hail from large metro areas especially have never seen the [...]
Sunrise over Gills Rock Door County is known for it's amazing sunsets. What you might not realize, because in the summer they come so early, is that you can also see quite amazing sunrises. Photos of an icy sunrise over Rowleys Bay, February 23, 2020. Click to see larger photos: The photos never do justice. By July 1st, the sun is already several degrees in the sky by 05:50 am, so you have to be quite an early riser to catch one, but whether you're watching from the pub patio, your balcony, or the fishing dock, they're [...]
There's not much to write about crocuses, other than we dearly love their emergence each spring. Best say it with pictures: Today's BINGO phrase is CROCUS(ES). If you have that on your bingo card, write 3/22 over the top of it to mark it off. Need a card? Get your card and the rules here. Getting close to a BINGO? If you get BINGO on your card you can send in a photo for a chance to win fun prizes! Submission details coming soon. Follow us on our blog, Facebook, and Instagram. Find these pins on Pinterest.
Totes m'goats! What is it about goats that we all love? Is it their soft fur? Their earnest bleats? The way they side-eye you in that reverse cross-eyed fashion before bounding off to do something funny? Yes. All of the above. Goats are like the cats of the farm animals. They're just goofy loveable creatures, and up in Sister Bay especially, there are plenty of opportunities to love on goats. The Door County Creamery is a cafe in Sister Bay where you can get goat cheese, soap, and gelato, plus other delicious sandwiches and souvenirs. You can also sign up [...]
This year we're celebrating 20 years of displaying an amazing diorama of Door County landmarks in our lobby! The looped N gauge train display shows several familiar features of the area, all in miniature, carefully crafted by local brothers Bill and Bob Appel. (Click on each image to zoom in for a closer look.) In the photos here you can see two of our most famous tall buildings, Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park and Cana Island Lighthouse. From the article posted next to the display, it sounds like the guys had a blast designing the tiny landscapes. [...]
Sergei found a toad. "I feel like a Disney princess!" Frogs! It's not a complete day out in nature if you're not chasing a frog or a turtle or a grasshopper, and up here, we have plenty of frogs and toads. Wisconsin is home to 12 species of frogs, and up here in Door County you can find most of them. Learn what each of these and other common amphibians look like, so you can identify them when you're up in the summer. Aren't they all so cute! After heavy summer storms, you'll often see these little guys [...]
Grape Shot shipwreck Did you know Door County is home to over 275 known shipwrecks? Some of them are in such shallow water you can see them from the surface. The Door County Maritime Museum has an interactive display on shipwrecks and lots of great resources for shipwreck enthusiasts. The shipwreck shown to the left is from the schooner Grape Shot that was driven aground off the coast of Plum Island in November 1867. The current wreckage can easily be seen from a boat, and the wreckage shown is only about 8 feet underwater. Learn how you can explore [...]
Did you get BINGO? Scroll down for submission details. Then get another card and play again! Stuck at home? Need something to do? Still loonnngggging for the days you can bust out of the house and visit us in gorgeous northern Door County? While those plans may be slightly postponed, there's no reason you can't still get your Door County fix. We are here to serve. Starting tomorrow, join us each day online for a rousing game of Rowleys Bay Bingo! Get your card here: Rowleys Bay Bingo cards Simply click "generate card" to have a unique bingo card generated. [...]
Published 3/12/20, updated 6/2/2020 1629 Thank you for being a part of keeping this area safe for the future of tourism! Rowleys Bay Resort is accepting guests! Please use our online reservation system to book or call the desk at 920-854-2385. Please also note our lobby and resort are closed to visitors (ie, people just peeking around). Please call or email us us for information on having Grandma's Swedish Bakery goodies shipped/pickup, or order online. We're happy to help you get your pecan roll and skorpa fix! 920-854-2385 open 9-5 daily, or frontdesk @rowleysbayresort.com Reservations are now once again subject [...]
Where else can you say you went to a film fest for Valentine's Day, without it costing a bajillion dollars? Why Door County of course! Buy your tickets online in advance, and for just $15 enjoy your Friday evening and Saturday afternoon with freelance filmographers from all over the world. Plus a few added treats from amazing local vendors. None of that boring stuff - snuggle up with your sweetheart and watch art come alive. Who knows? Maybe one of the films will go viral, and then you can say you saw it first! We're a proud sponsor! Staying the [...]
3/16/2020 update: Trails in Northern Door County are CLOSED. (All trails CLOSED as of this time.) See maps and info here. There's an app for that.
It's here! The 33rd Annual Fish Creek Winterfest! Starting at 10 AM on Saturday, February 1st, enjoy winter in Northern Door County done right. Get your schedule of events here. The fun doesn't end on Sunday. Once you've had your fill of the snow, head north to Ellison Bay for what has been referred to as "a phenomenal" brunch at Hugel Haus and the locals' favorite parade of the year, the Groundhog Day Parade starting at 2 PM! Stick around afterward and head to the Mink River Basin for FREE "groundhog" stew to warm you up in advance of the [...]
From the Sister Bay events page: Sister Bay celebrates New Year’s Eve with a shopping extravaganza throughout the village, ice skating and a bonfire at the Sports Complex, dining specials, and an early evening fireworks show at the Sports Complex. The fm 106.9 The Lodge Cherry Drop portion of the evening starts at 10:30pm with The Lodge playing some the biggest tunes of all time from Cherry ground zero at The Garage. As we countdown to midnight, we drop the giant sparkling cherry to welcome the new year! Get the 2019-2020 party details here. Click to see what you missed [...]
In the late winter and early spring, Northern Door County is quiet...but not closed! Whether you're up to enjoy snowshoeing or cross country skiing at one of our nearby parks, or just getting away from home for a few days, Rowleys Bay Resort has lodging available for your mini getaway. This January 1st through April 30th, stay with us for two nights, and the third night is free! Our Woodside and Lakeside rooms each have two queen beds, comfortable sitting areas, 24 channels of cable channels, and high-speed wifi for your relaxation and winter sports recuperation. Starting at just $74 [...]
One of the fabulous things about all the communities that are close in Door County is it's Christmas every weekend! This Saturday, head down to Baileys Harbor for the Holiday Fair by Door County North Rotary Club. From 10 AM to 2 PM at the Town Hall, enjoy gift shopping from over twenty local vendors, lunch and treats from local eateries. The fun doesn't stop there. Starting at 10 AM just next door is a full day of other holiday events, including cider at the library, wreath making at Ridges, and cookie decorating at Knit Whit's. Bundle up for the [...]
Now that Thanksgiving feasts are dwindling, naps are being enjoyed, and shopping is gearing up, it's time to think about Santa! via GIPHY Capture the Spirit in Sister Bay with photos with Santa and his reindeer, a special holiday lighting event, and storytime and crafts at the library, all starting at 3:00 PM on Friday, November 29th. On Saturday there's cookie decorating at the fire hall, and all weekend long there's a special holiday arts fair with lunch available for purchase. Visit the website for more details, and enjoy the weekend! While the kids are entertained, think [...]
Walmart and Amazon and Target all have the same stuff, so this year make it a post-Thanksgiving weekend in quiet Northern Door County, where plenty of unique shops are open for Small Business Saturday. Enjoy world-class food and serene scenes, avoid the traffic jams and long lines. Book a short weekend at Rowleys Bay Resort and you'll find its just a short drive to walking trails, water-front parks, and clusters of delightful small businesses and delicious eateries. Here are just a few shops and restaurants open the weekend after Thanksgiving: Gills Rock Stoneware, Ellison Bay Pottery Studios, and Lynn's Pottery [...]
As Thanksgiving approaches, there's still a lot to do in Northern Door County! This weekend, join the Ellison Bay Service Club at their Annual Tree Lighting & Caroling, taking place this Sunday, November 24th. Travel to the Mink River Basin in Ellison Bay, then cross the street to the Bayview Marina entrance to join in an evening of candlelit song, inspiration, fellowship, and fun. Afterwards, enjoy a community chili dinner back at the Basin. The rest of the weekend, enjoy a crisp walk at Newport State Park, a fresh cup of coffee and treat at Brew or Kick Ash, and [...]
When is the best time for Door County fall leaf peeping? No one loves the vague but honest answer, "it changes every year." However, with the Travel Wisconsin Fall Color Report you can get the most topical updates and do your best to align your fall road trip with Mother Nature's golden tint. This interactive map helps you discover current autumn color status, as well as predict when fall splendor will be at its peak, a weather forecast to help you plan what to pack, and a list of selfie stations so you and your tribe can capture the perfect [...]
As Door County has become more popular throughout the fall, we've continued to see guests visit us in large groups through late October. With weather and leaf colors like ours, who can blame them! Rowleys Bay Resort, Grandma's Swedish Bakery, Rowleys Bay Restaurant, and Rowley's Pub are all still hiring for the fall 2019 season! Part-time positions include: Bakery Sales Bartender Dishwasher Buffet Prep Cook Server Host Front Desk Descriptions of these positions and more can be found on our Job Opportunities page. Send in your resume and give us a call to start the process. Not only will you [...]
Welcome to Rowleys Bay Resort's shiny NEW website! We'll be using this space to post articles and info about the resort. Be sure to also find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest so you can stay on top of all our new info. See you again soon!