Setting: Sturgeon Bay, population 9,500, is the largest cityin Door County. It lies between Lake Michigan on the east and GreenBay (the bay) on the west. Sturgeon Bay is 47 miles northeast ofGreen Bay (the city), 160 miles north of Milwaukee, and 250 milesnorth of Chicago.
Attractions: The lake and the bay. Miles of shoreline withcraggy limestone inlets and sandy beaches. Rustic charm andfriendly neighbors. Fine dining at The Inn at Cedar Crossing andSage. Restaurants in nearby towns such as Fish Creek and EggHarbor, which offer innovative cuisine using local ingredients.
Drawbacks: January temperatures average in the teens. Julyhighs average in the upper 70s, but can climb into the 90s for daysat a stretch. Big-city amenities require a trip to Green Bay(population 101,000) or Milwaukee.
Housing: Shipping executives built impressive Victorianswith wraparound porches. Other options include 1950s-era tracthouses, modern shore homes, and condos. Apartments mostly clusterin complexes. Monthly rentals range from $300 to $800 for aone-bedroom apartment, including most utilities, to $650 to $695for a single-family home. Inland homes sell for $140,000 onaverage. The median price for shorefront homes is $375,000.
Your Next-door Neighbors: Mike Sherman, former head coach ofthe Green Bay Packers, has a home here. Sculptors StephanieTrenchard and Jeremy Popelka and furniture maker Michael Doerr liveand create here. Artist Charles Peterson lives in nearby Ephraim.Most residents work for the medical center, the school district,the shipbuilding industry, or a tourism business.
How You'd Spend Your Free Time: Walking the lakeshore.Exploring one of Door County's 10 lighthouses. Hiking, biking,snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing at Potawatomi State Park.Hanging out at Kick Coffee, a bright downtown institution. Hunting,fishing, and boating.
(published May 2006)