Newport State Park, Wisconsin
Location: Lake Michigan
Ease of Getting There: 6/10
Ease of Staying There: 6/10
Ease of Eating There: 7/10
Near the tip of Door Peninsula, you’ll find 30 miles of hiking trails with hike-in campsites at Newport State Park. Treat yourself to a getaway near Wisconsin's only formally designated wilderness park. You’ll have no trouble exploring the beauty of Lake Michigan with 11 miles of shoreline.
Nature enthusiasts of all skill levels will rejoice with the availability of eight trails of varying lengths for hiking and biking. As one of the darkest spots in the state, casual stargazers and astronomers alike will find an abundance of constellations in the night sky. In fact, Newport State Park is designated as a Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association. This means it’s a prime spot to take in astronomical events like Venus & Jupiter close in the evening sky on November 23; Venus & Saturn close in the evening sky on December 10; and the peak of the Geminid meteor shower on December 13-14, 2019. Plus, Newport State Park offers five miles of trails for exploring while snowshoeing during the winter months.
Gills Rock and Northport are two nearby towns where you can venture for more Wisconsin charm. Visit Death’s Door Maritime Museum to tour a shipwreck and scuba diving exhibit and learn about the area’s dangerous water passage known as Death’s Door. Sit back and relax on a one-of-a-kind Shoreline Scenic Cruise. Let knowledgeable captains show you Great Lakes lighthouses, cliffs, caves, shipwreck locations, and waterfront estates while sharing local history and nautical folklore.
If your waterside stay has you craving seafood, Charlie’s Smokehouse has provided locals and visitors with smoked fish for over 85 years. For something fresh, try the Wickman House for a meal inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms and gardens. Become one with nature by backpack camping at Newport State Park during your stay. If you’re not a camper, there are a few guest houses, inns and motels to choose from near the Newport State Park. For other lodging options, the Ellison Bay area offers additional accommodations for your trip.
Newport State Park can be found right off of State Highway 42. From Milwaukee, it is 200 miles away, about three and a half hours by car. For travelers from afar, the Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is two hours away (up the peninsula, so you’re in for a gorgeous drive).