Friday, July 3, 2009
Do you have a place where you can escape and time just seems to slow down to a crawl? I do and that place is Ephraim in Door County, Wisconsin. I’ve been visiting Door County since the early 1980s and have always loved the beauty of Eagle Harbor, Lake Michigan, and all of the state parks that are found in Door County.
Ephraim, however, is the true gem of the peninsula. This historic Moravian town was founded in 1853 by the Reverend Andreas Iverson and has many historic buildings dating back to the 1800s that are still being used today. Ephraim is nestled alongside Eagle Harbor and offers gorgeous views of the bluffs of Peninsula State Park, Horseshoe Island, and the harbor itself. White clapboard houses and church steeples are clustered along the hill that runs through the village.
Ephraim offers an abundance of activities for families. The entrance to Peninsula State Park is on the south end of town. The park lies between Ephraim and Fish Creek with plenty of camp sites, bike trails, hiking trails, golfing, swimming, and boating. One of our favorite park activities is climbing the observation tower that rises high over the waters of Green Bay and offers a spectacular view of Ephraim and the outlying islands. A challenging hiking trail lies just below the tower and takes you along the base of the bluffs. The American Folklore Theater puts on nightly musicals in the outdoor amphitheater. Nicolet Beach is excellent for swimming and picnics. It also links you to bike trails within the park.
Ephraim Beach is one of our favorite beaches. It is also on the south side of town right on Highway 42. The water is very shallow and the beach is clean and sandy. The parking lot is small so arrive early or come later in the afternoon once the crowds have left. While in Ephraim, be sure to take in one of the spectacular sunsets. The end of Anderson Dock is a great place to watch the sunset and go fishing off of the dock.
Luckily, my parents happen to live in Ephraim so my family and I always have a lovely place to stay on our visits. If the Boock hotel is full, you can easily find accommodation at one of the many bed & breakfasts or hotels.
Ephraim is full of shops and restaurants. Our favorites are Wilson’s Restaurant, Leroy’s Coffeehouse, JoJos Pizza and Gelato, Good Eggs for breakfast wraps, and the Second Story Restaurant for carryout perch. Note that Ephraim is a dry town (no alcohol served), but you can bring along your own bottle of wine for dinner if you’d like.
For more information on Ephraim, go to http://www.wistravel.com/cities_in_wisconsin/ephraim_wisconsin/ .