Saturday, July 2, 2016

Family Camping Trip to Peninsula State Park

Peninsula State Park is located in Door County in Fish Creek, Wisconsin along scenic State Highway 42. Known as a hotspot for paddle sports, boating, bicycling, and outdoor theatrical productions at the Northern Sky Theatre, Peninsula State Park is Wisconsin's most popular stop for car camping. The park gets extremely busy, and we planned to arrive on a Sunday and leave on Thursday before the busy weekend began.

Our Sunday evening campsite in the Nicolet Bay Campground offered waterfront access and nice cool breezes from Lake Michigan. We enjoyed sitting on the little stone beach along our campsite watching sail boats and paddlers drift by. This portion of the park appeared relatively busy for a Sunday night. We enjoyed bike rides around the campgrounds and along the Sunset Bike Trail, and of course a stop for our daughter to get a treat at the concession stand on the beach. Before we knew it, the time had come to move to the Tennison Bay Campground to meet up with family.

View from campsite at Nicolet Bay.

Feels good to relax and enjoy the cool breeze after a bike ride.

In camp day 2.

Our lakeside campsite.

Our daughter watched the clock until the time came for her cousins to arrive. Camping with cousins is always much more fun than camping alone with Mom and Dad. On Monday evening she enjoyed watching Doctor Doctor at the Northern Sky Theater. By the time we returned, her cousins had arrived and set up camp. They were planning to go see No Bones About It, so back to the theater our daughter went. Later in the week we saw When Butter Churns to Gold, and our daughter returned with her cousins to see Doctor Doctor for the second time, by now completely enamored with her theater going experiences.

Pretending to be part of the cast.

The Norther Sky Theater puts on professional productions. These productions provide a fun family theater experience and the value for the price can't be beat, particularly with the camper discount. If you camp at Peninsula State Park, go see the shows, you will have a great time.

We also enjoyed numerous bike rides. My favorite loop route is an easy 3 miles past a number of fun stops. I biked and walked this route numerous times during our stay, starting from the campground, then passing the playground and kayak launch at Tennison Bay. The next stop along the route is the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, operated by the Door County Historical Society. We opted for the lighthouse tour, offered on the half-hour, and our daughter in particular really enjoyed the stories of the life of the seven boys who grew up at the lighthouse. Four of the boys slept sideways (as opposed to head board to foot board) and she felt very surprised to learn I did the same with my 3 sisters when we were small enough to fit the bed that way.

My favorite walk / bike route.

Sunset at Tennison Bay kayak launch.

Some of our family at Eagle Bluff Lighthouse.

Our daughter entertaining herself while waiting for the lighthouse tour to begin.

Eagle Bluff Lighthouse.

The next stop along the route is Welker's Point. Windy weather makes this an awesome stop to view powerful waves. The loop then moves onto the boat launch at Nicolet Bay and then the beach. At the beach one can enjoy beach volleyball, take a swim, or enjoy a treat from the concession stand. A gift shop and store provide spending opportunities. One can relax watching the stand up paddle boards, kayaks, sail boats, yachts, and swimmers playing in the water for hours. We enjoyed several trips to the beach, the challenge being getting the kids to leave.

The waves at Welker's Point.

The Beach at Nicolet Bay.

Swimming with cousins.

Beach volley ball with cousins.

From the beach the route swings by the amphitheater and then back to the Tennison Bay Campground. In camp, plenty of racoons, squirrels, chipmonks, and crows hung out waiting for an opportunity to steal picnic leavings. As always, a clean camp provides the best defense.

Leaving time arrived all to soon. Time to say goodbye to family and head out for a quieter weekend in the type of wilderness setting we most prefer. If you looking for a fun place to car camp and socialize in Wisconsin with plenty of activities, I highly recommend Peninsula State Park.

A turkey near camp.

A visitor.

A view from our Nicolet Bay Campsite.

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