What to Expect this Summer at the Chanticleer Guest House

Chnaticleer Guest house summer 2013

Summer is always an exciting season here at the Chanticleer. Not only do we get to meet and greet many new visitors, but we also look forward to seeing old friends returning for a chance to rest, relax, and enjoy the beauty of Door County.

There are so many festivals and events to take part in here over the summer months that sometimes we lose count! For example, the cherry harvest is in full swing during the middle of July. Why not visit the many farmers’ markets across the region and sample fresh cherries, cherry jam, and fresh-baked cherry pie? There are several markets to choose from, including the Sister Bay and Sturgeon Bay markets that open up on Saturdays from June to October. During your trip, don’t forget to sample some wine, or some of Wisconsin’s renowned cheeses. There’s also the all-you-can-eat Belgian waffle breakfast happening in Brussels on June 23rd if you like heartier fare.

Delicious food isn’t the only reason to visit Door County in the summer, though. There’s also the natural beauty of our waters, trails, and parks. For example, if you love hiking, then you’ll love taking part in National Trails Day on June 1st or the State Park Open House Day on June 2nd. If you’d like to learn more about our local heritage, you can also attend the Door County Lighthouse Festival, which runs from June 7th to July 9th.

On top of that, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate the arts, like the Birch Creek Concert Series in Egg Harbor. If you’re looking to see live performances of The Bard, Door County has those too – Door Shakespeare is running productions of both Macbeth and Love’s Labour’s Lost throughout July and August at the lovely Bjorklunden estate near Baileys Harbor.

These events don’t even scratch the surface of all the variety that’s available to enjoy in Door County over the summer. The best way to find out all we have to offer is to visit yourselves – we at the Chanticleer Guest House guarantee that we’ll provide everything you need to enjoy your stay in beauty and comfort.

The Baby Sheep Arrival at The Chanticleer Farm

Spring is here, and that means so many things in Door County. The weather is getting warmer and the grass is getting greener. One of the loveliest things about spring, though, is the fact that you’ll get to see lots of baby animals romping around with their mothers on all of the farms.

What better way to celebrate the new season than to see so much new life around you? We here at the Chanticleer have been getting ready to welcome those who want to experience what it’s like to see Door County in full bloom. In particular, we’d love our visitors to visit the welcome this year’s lambs.

Yes! We have sheep at the Chanticleer Guest House! Our lambing season starts on April 10th, just in time for the flowers to bloom. If you stay with us during the spring, you’ll not only get to see Door County at its springtime best, but you’ll also get to experience the pleasures of petting a beautiful young lamb’s wool.

During your stay, there are many other festivals and events you can attend to welcome the return of spring. For example, there’s the Festival of Blossoms, which is celebrated across the entire county from mid-April until June. You can tour our region from one end to the other and take in all of the gardens, woods, and orchards in full bloom.

If you’re up for a guided tour, there’s also the Spring Trolley Blossom Tour, which happens every Saturday morning in April and May, as well as a daily series of Segway eco-tours. During your trip, you’ll have the chance to see all of Door County’s beauty, from cherry orchards to lighthouses to the lakeside bluffs. If you prefer the water, we recommend attending the Sturgeon Bay Shipyard Tours on May 5th.

Whatever you decide to see, you’ll be guaranteed a pleasurable, relaxing stay at the Chanticleer Guest House. Our private cabins will provide you with the perfect setting to rest and rejuvenate after a busy day of farms, flowers, and local color. We look forward to welcoming you this spring!

Celebrate Christmas in Door County With Chanticleer

Christmas is just around the corner, and you know what that means – it’s the perfect time to get away and enjoy the holidays with your family in the peace and quiet of Door County. With winter just starting, you can enjoy a time of rest and relaxation in one of our cozy, beautiful suites.

In celebration of the season, the Chanticleer decorates every single room with garlands of fresh plants to give the entire inn a rustic touch. Each fireplace gets its own decoration, and each decoration is unique.

However, we also pay attention to the most important part of decorating for the holidays: the Christmas tree. We choose tall trees that extend to the rafters of each room and festoon them with ornaments of red, silver, and gold to make them look as festive and welcoming as possible.

The Christmas celebrations extend all the way across the county, in fact. From concerts to festivals, Door County will help you celebrate Christmas with your family in style. For example, you can visit the Merry-Time Festival of Trees at the Door County Maritime Museum until December 11th.

The festival is a wonderful way to introduce your family to the delights of the region and to learn more about the Door County Community. You can even take part in a raffle to win your own uniquely decorated Christmas tree to take home with you!

You can also take part in decorating a gingerbread house at other local establishments – what better way to spend time with your family than working together to create something delicious?

Christmas is a time of sharing and togetherness as we buy gifts for each other and appreciate each other’s company. What better way to do that than spend the holiday in comfort with your friends at the Chanticleer Guest House?

Thanksgiving in Door County

Thanksgiving is wonderful in Door County. Forget frantically trying to buy the latest gadgets during a Black Friday sale – why would you want to have all that stress when there are so many other lovely things to do at this time of the year?

With the changing of the seasons and the cool nip of frost in the air, it’s the perfect time to settle down with family, curl up in front of a fire, and celebrate love and togetherness with a fine meal. If you’re looking to take a holiday and celebrate Thanksgiving with your family in Door County, the Chanticleer Guest House is the perfect place to do so. Our comfortable and cozy suites will give you just the touch of home that you’re looking for when you’re away.

There are plenty of other things you can do here during Thanksgiving besides having a feast. Why not consider attending the Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 22nd, which is only a short drive away in Jacksonport?  Even better, you can enjoy the fresh air on one of Door County’s many hiking trails and work up an appetite ahead of Thanksgiving dinner.

While you’re in town, you can spend the days before and after the holiday sampling Door County’s fine local food, including its artisanal cheeses and plentiful local wines. You may enjoy it so much that you won’t want to leave! If you want to inquire about other local attractions or activities, let us know – we’ll be happy to help you make the most of your stay.

Thanksgiving is a time of thoughtfulness and caring for others. With our comfortable suites – which we’re already decorating for the holidays! – Chanticleer Guest House will give you the perfect backdrop to relax, connect, and spend time with the people you love.

Christmas at the B&B in Door County

B&B door county

Before you know it, “‘tis the season” will be here. We love the holiday season when we deck out the Chanticleer in full holiday décor. It all starts in early November, when we begin setting up and decorating our Christmas trees. Each suite, cabin, and common area gets its own Christmas tree.

After Thanksgiving, I hand-make fresh evergreen garlands and install them above each fireplace. Accented with hydrangea flowers, pine cones, boxwood branches, and rosehips, the garland really makes the suites and cabins feel homey! We try to decorate each suite differently, using different types of evergreens for each.

If you are looking for a quiet time to see Door County, the holiday season is perfect. You can enjoy your visit without having to worry about traffic, crowds, or dinner reservations! Sturgeon Bay has its city-wide celebration, “Christmas by the Bay,” from Friday November 16th to Sunday November 18th. There are other activities planned throughout the county all the way up through Christmas, like the “Holly Days” in late November in Egg Harbor.

If you like music, you’re bound to enjoy the annual Christmas concert of the Peninsula Singers, a lovely choir in Door County. They’ll be hosting two concerts, in fact – one in Sturgeon Bay on December 8th, and a second in Sister Bay on the 9th. Don’t forget that with autumn just behind us, you can also enjoy delicious specialties like hot apple cider and other late-harvest goodies.

However, it just wouldn’t be winter without spending a little time outdoors, and there are plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy the snow. Door County offers a variety of winter activities, like skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding, not to mention sleigh rides, sledding, and ice fishing. With so many things to choose from, you may not even want to leave!

The best part is that the Chanticleer bed and breakfast is open throughout the holidays, along with many other businesses in Sturgeon Bay. Treat yourself and spend the holiday season with us!

B&B Door County Autumn Splendor

Autumn would be our favorite season…if only it didn’t lead into winter! All kidding aside, there are few places in Wisconsin more beautiful than Door County during autumn. The colors of the leaves – vivid shades of orange, red, purple and yellow – are spectacular this year.

Autumn at Chanticleer Guest House

Autumn at Chanticleer Guest House

Flocks of migrating geese are a common sight now, as are flocks of robins and bluebirds preparing for their journey south. Here at the Chanticleer Guest House, we have decorated for autumn. Bryon had a bumper crop of pumpkins, which he placed around the inn, along with corn stalks and Indian corn. The gardens are full of late-blooming asters, butterfly bushes, and the last shrub rose blossoms of the year.

Why not grab a hot mug of apple cider and go for a walk on the trails? Door County’s apple harvest is in full swing. The orchards around us are loaded with apples and there are several varieties to choose from. Our favorite is still the Honeycrisp, but Gala, Cortland, and Red Delicious apples are all wonderful choices for the season. Make sure to plan a trip up to Door County soon, since the apples and colorful leaves will not last long.

Apples aren’t the only wonderful thing about Door County in autumn, as the region is full of artisanal cheesemakers. When you visit us, why not attend some cheese tastings in the area and learn more about where Wisconsin’s reputation for making the best cheese in the country comes from?

Of course, the best thing to pair with our wonderful local cheeses is some wine, and there are several nearby wineries to choose from. Whether you want to try some of our amazing Merlots, Rieslings, or even cherry wine – cherries being a specialty crop around here – Door County’s wineries will not disappoint. Once you’ve tasted and sipped to your heart’s content, you can return to the comforts of the Chanticleer – we’ll give you a restful and relaxing experience that will provide the perfect finish to your trip.

10 Reasons to Visit Door County

Although there are innumerable reasons to visit Door County, here are our 10 favorite reasons to visit the peninsula…

Natural Beauty.  From farm fields, to orchards, to shoreline and woodlands, we think the natural beauty of Door County is the main reason to visit.

The Arts.  With such a small population, Door County is blessed with such a wonderful variety of performing arts.  Third Avenue Playhouse, in Sturgeon Bay, and Peninsula Players and American Folklore Theater, both in Fish Creek, are among our favorites.

300 miles of Shoreline.  The most of any county in the United States!  You don’t have to travel far to enjoy the shores of Lake Michigan and Green Bay.

Galleries Galore.  Whether you are into ceramics, glass, pottery, painting or fiber arts, Door County has an artist’s gallery for everyone.

Delicious Dining.  From fine dining, fish boils or a burger and beer…if you like to eat, Door County is the place for you.

For the Birds.  Very few places in Wisconsin have more variety of birds to watch.  Summer residents include sandhill cranes, bluebirds, grosbeaks, wrens, hawks, orioles, just name a few.  We even have white pelicans as a summer resident!  Fall and spring migration bring swans and other waterfowl.  Make sure to bring your bird guide and binoculars. 

Cherry and Apple Picking.  Commercial orchards have been established in Door County since the early 1900’s.  They still exist.  However, smaller orchards allow visitors to pick their own cherries and apples. 

Shop ‘til you Drop.  There’s no shortage of shops, stores and boutiques on the peninsula.  Each town in Door County has their own quaint shopping district and what better way to spend a rainy afternoon.

Wine tasting.  There are several excellent wineries in Door County.  All offer wine tasting and several provide guided tours, which show the wine making process up close.  From California style wines to Door County fruit wines, you’ll enjoy sampling and taking a couple of bottles home.

Out on the Water.  Kayaking or canoeing give visitors an intimate view of the shoreline.  If you are not that adventurous, rent a sail boat charter, fishing charter or enjoy the relative luxury of the Harbor Lady dinner cruise ship. 

Whatever you enjoy doing, we know you will have a terrific time visiting Door County!

Recommended Restaurants in Door County

Most guests, of the Chanticleer, ask for dinner recommendations.  They often inquire, “Name the best restaurant in Door County”.  Our answer to that question, “it depends”.  We have two favorite restaurants, and both are excellent.  We enjoy them both so much, we promote them through our dinner packages. 

Donny’s Glidden Lodge Restaurant, in Sturgeon Bay, is a terrific restaurant if you enjoy steaks and seafood.  Located literally on the shore of Lake Michigan, it would be difficult to find a restaurant with a better water view.  Located in an old stone lodge, built in the 1930’s, you can see Lake Michigan from every table in the house.  Serving juicy steaks, fish and the best lobster in Door County, you’d have a hard time not finding something to satisfy your appetite. 

Donny’s also has a stone patio, where you can enjoy a drink before dinner.  Simply take a seat on the patio and Mary will come out and take your drink order.  When your table is ready, she’ll come out and let you know.  With wonderful food, terrific service and a beautiful view, Donny’s is one of the best places, for dinner, in Door County!

The Inn at Kristofer’s, located in Sister Bay, is our favorite fine dining restaurant.  The food is terrific and they offer a spectacular sunset view, looking out over the Sister Bay marina.  My absolute favorite dish isn’t even a dish. It’s a starter!  The Brie with Warm Brandied Fruit is so delicious; I have a hard time sharing it with Bryon.  New this year is an outside dining area, which is a welcome treat, since there are very few restaurants, in Door County, who offer outside dining.  They also offer cooking classes in the winter months.  Contact them quickly, since space is limited and the classes are very popular!

If wonderfully fresh food, paired with a terrific wine selection and a spectacular sunset view is what you’re looking for, then The Inn at Kristofer’s is the restaurant for you.  Please check out their website at www.innatkristofers.com 

There are a lot of excellent restaurants on the peninsula, but for a consistently wonderful dining experience, we highly recommend Donny’s Glidden Lodge Restaurant and The Inn at Kristofer’s!

The Migration of Door County Bluebirds

We remember our first trip to Door County, in the spring of 1993.  Our purpose for that trip was to come up and visit friends, and stop for lunch in Sturgeon Bay.  As we were driving, we saw a flash of blue beside the highway.  A bluebird had flown up from the ditch and perched himself on a wooden fence post.  We were so excited to actually see a bluebird!  Bryon is originally from Chilton, WI and I grew up in Brooklyn, WI.  I had never seen a bluebird, and Bryon had only witnessed one as a child.  That spring day in 1993 would be the beginning of our passion with bluebirds.

After purchasing the property that would eventually become The Chanticleer Guest House, we set out to bring more bluebirds to our little patch of Door County.  We installed 3 bluebird houses and waited for our little blue friends to arrive in flocks.  They didn’t.  Well, not right away.  We were too late in setting our bird houses and they had already found suitable nests.  While nesting, bluebirds are quite scarce, and in reality, we really were too busy renovating our farmhouse to be searching for bluebirds.  Summer came and went and all of a sudden, we noticed bluebirds on our sheep fence posts and in our bird bath.  We were ecstatic!  The bluebird parents had fledged their chicks and were busy flying down from our fence posts, plucking bugs to feed their hungry offspring.

That first autumn the flocks of bluebirds came in groups of 10 to 20 birds.  They would hang out, searching for food and then all of a sudden, vanished.  Without warning, they all had flown south.  We were so excited to have been able to witness not only a single bluebird that spring, but flocks of them migrating to warmer climates!  When, and how many, would return that next spring?

18 years later, and after countless batches of bluebirds popping out of our bluebird houses, we are still excited when we see those beautiful little birds.  While still not as common as robins, we seem to notice more and more pairs coming back to Chanticleer in the spring.  Our winter ritual of cleaning out bluebird houses has surprised us with some bluebirds staying until December, using our nest boxes as a cozy home.  We know spring is here when we hear the unmistakable melody of the bluebird’s song, floating over our barren sheep pastures in March.

For all you avid bird watchers, we would love to have you come in early spring to witness the spring migration of our Door County bluebirds.