Exploring Ephraim, Wisconsin




Door County


On my recent trip, I chose to stay in Ephraim, a small village of around 300 people on the west side of the peninsula. I wanted to explore the small towns that were north, south and east of Ephraim, so I found it was a great central location to base myself from. It has some great lodging and hotel options, as well as restaurants, shops and galleries. You can stay in town and walk to shops, galleries and restaurants. They have a number of festivals and events throughout the year including Monday Night Concerts in Harborside Park during the summer months. It was settled in 1853 by Norwegian Moravians on the shores of Eagle Harbor. My recommendations include:

The Water Street Inn: This is a lovely place to stay along the water in Ephraim. Originally built in 1896, it has recently been remodeled. It has a pool and firepit for evening socializing after sunset along the water. They also have complimentary kayaks and bikes for your use. The rooms are nicely appointed and very comfortable. Open May through October. 9944 Water St.

I also like the Hillside Inn of Door County at 9980 Water St. This is a charming B&B with five upscale rooms and two remodeled cottages.  

Another good option is the Eagle Harbor Inn at 9914 Water St. This is a charming B&B that features nine rooms including breakfast and three suites that feature their own kitchens.

Near the Inn is Leroy’s Water Street Coffee at 9922 Water St. This is a really fun, casual spot for coffee, tea, pie and more. Next door, and also at 9922 Water St., is the Ephraim Clayworks. This is a working studio and gallery located in an 1890’s log cabin featuring attractive functional stoneware and decorative porcelain works by local potter Ryan Pederson.

Trixies9996 Pioneer Lane in downtown Ephraim. Owned by the same group as the well-known Wickman House restaurant in Ellison Bay, this is a small, upscale farm-to-table restaurant with amazing food. Make sure to book early as it is small and has few seats. The chefs are farmers-turned-chefs. The menu features items that are a fusion of Midwestern flavors alongside Asian, Israeli and Greek dishes. I had a wonderful meal and will definitely go back when I am back in the area again.

Old Post Office: This is a popular waterfront restaurant, known for their breakfasts and their evening fish boils with fresh whitefish caught daily. It is housed in Ephraim’s old post office from the early 1900’s. Open from May through October. 10040 Water St.

Chef’s Hat is a fun spot for breakfast. It serves traditional American entrees in a quaint cottage featuring an outdoor patio with lake views. I loved the Belgian waffle with fresh berries. 3063 Church St.

Make sure to stop in at Ephraim Coffee Lab where they roast their beans onsite in this small spot. 3055 Church St.  

Wilson’s Ice Cream Parlor: A trip to Door County would not be complete without a visit to Wilson’s Ice Cream Parlor. This is a vintage soda fountain serving ice cream, house-brewed root beer and burgers since 1906. The lines can be long so be patient. 999 Water St. South.  

Other spots to check out include Good Eggs for breakfast at 9820 Brookside Ln. With six locations, Door County Confectionery is known for great chocolates and fudge. 9842 Water St.

Water St. Gallery: This is a gallery featuring paintings and prints by local Door County artists. 9930 Water St.  

Lardiere Gallery: This is a gallery with wonderful quality, colorful abstract paintings by the gallery owner Geoffrey Lardiere. They also feature jewelry, travel cases and scarves.

Make sure to stop in at The Hardy Gallery, a center for the arts, that features local and regional artists and educational programs plus special events and exhibits. It is located on the Anderson Dock in the harbor.

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