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Showing posts with label island. Show all posts
Showing posts with label island. Show all posts

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Exploring the Charms of Washington Island in Door County, Wisconsin


Nestled within the picturesque Door County in Wisconsin, Washington Island stands as a hidden gem, offering a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors. With its pristine beaches, majestic sand dunes, rich history, and delightful dining options, this enchanting island is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and food lovers alike

Ferry Ride to Washington Island

Begin your adventure by taking a scenic ferry ride from Northport Pier to Washington Island. The ferry journey itself is an experience to cherish, as you soak in breathtaking views of the crystal-clear waters and the surrounding natural beauty.

Schoolhouse Beach: A Natural Wonder

Upon arriving at Washington Island, make your way to Schoolhouse Beach, a truly unique attraction that will leave you in awe. As one of only five smooth limestone beaches in the world, this beach is a natural wonder. The absence of traditional sand gives the beach its distinctive appeal, with millions of smooth, rounded limestone rocks covering the shore. Take a leisurely stroll, enjoy a picnic, or simply bask in the tranquility of this extraordinary spot.

Sand Dunes Park: A Playground of Nature

Nature enthusiasts will find solace in the breathtaking beauty of Sand Dunes Park. Explore the network of hiking trails that wind through the towering sand dunes, providing panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the island's rugged landscape. Keep an eye out for the diverse bird species that call this park home, making it a birdwatcher's paradise. Don't forget to bring your camera to capture the awe-inspiring vistas.

Washington Island Stavkirke: A Glimpse into History

For a taste of history and culture, make sure to visit the Washington Island Stavkirke. This beautiful replica of a Norwegian Stave Church pays homage to the island's Scandinavian heritage. Marvel at the intricate woodwork and craftsmanship as you explore the church's interior. Guided tours are available, offering insights into the history and significance of this architectural gem.

Percy Johnson Park: A picturesque Park

Percy Johnson Park is a charming recreational area located on the east side of Washington Island in Wisconsin. Situated along the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan, the park offers a delightful sand beach where visitors can relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the surrounding natural scenery.

Small Outdoor Dining Delights:

After a day of exploration, treat your taste buds to the island's delightful dining scene. Washington Island boasts a variety of small, outdoor dining establishments that offer a charming and relaxed atmosphere.

Little Lake: A small lake on an Island

Little Lake is a serene and enchanting natural oasis nestled on Washington Island in Wisconsin. This picturesque body of water, often referred to as "Little Lake," offers visitors a peaceful retreat amidst the island's scenic beauty.

Washington Island in Door County, Wisconsin, is a destination that truly captivates the heart and soul. From the unique beauty of Schoolhouse Beach and the enchanting sand dunes of Sand Dunes Park to the rich history of the Washington Island Stavkirke, this island offers a diverse range of experiences. Embarking on a ferry ride to reach the island only adds to the allure of this extraordinary place. To top it all off, the island's charming outdoor dining options provide the perfect end to a day of exploration. Plan your visit to Washington Island and prepare to be enchanted by its natural wonders, cultural treasures, and culinary delights.

Enjoy Your Visit!



Friday, July 23, 2021

Discovering the Beauty of Hollow Rock Island and Beach in Minnesota

Located along the north shore of lake superior is a beautiful place where wild flowers bloom along a rocky shoreline and an unique island sits just off the beach.

Hollow Rock beach is located in Grand Portage, Minnesota just behind the Hollow Rock Resort.

The place gets it's name from the Island/Rock formation that sits just off the beach.

Quaint cabins are scattered throughout  the wildflower covered grounds of the resort. The place is very peaceful. I could see myself staying here for a week or so! 😊

Reserve Cabins here

You do not have to stay at the resort to access the beach. The rocky stretch, which offers an amazing view of this little island, is open to the public. 


7422 E Highway 61
Grand Portage, Minnesota 55605

Happy Travels! 

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Unveiling the Best Activities in Anna Maria Island, Florida: A Comprehensive Guide

Anna Maria Island is one of my top three picks for best places to visit in Florida. Just in case you are curious; Naples and the Keys are the other two places. My favorite thing about the Anna Maria is that no matter where you stay, it feels like you actually live there. All of the hotels/resorts are nestled in neighborhoods among palm trees, colorful foliage, and private homes.

The Island is about an hour’s drive south of Tampa and is 7 1/2 miles long and less than a mile wide. It is divided into three sections; Anna Maria (Northern end), Holmes Beach (Middle section), and Bradenton Beach (Southern end).

Anna Maria (North End of Island)

The north end is my favorite part of the island and where we usually spend most of our time. The homes are gorgeous and the beaches are less crowded. Unless you are staying in the area, it is hard to use the beaches due to lack of parking.


Bean Point

Bean Point is the best beach on the island. It is at the northern tip of the island. There is a massive area of white sand and the sunsets are amazing. It is a public beach, but mainly used by people staying in the area.

 Limited parking is along North Shore Drive. Park completely off the road (no tires touching the road) and between the designated signs.  Last time we were there, it was limited to about six spots along the whole road. It will basically be in someone’s yard. There are access points along the road with signs indicating beach access. It will be between houses. Be prepared for a long walk through sand to get to the water.


Starts around 825 N Shore Dr Anna Maria, FL 34216 and runs west

100 Pine Avenue access

 It is usually more crowded by people staying locally and basically has no parking either.

Bayfront Park

Bayfront Park has a nice beach area and the water is calmer. A good size public parking area is available. 


316 N Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL 34216


Bayview Plaza

We loved the clothing boutiques and ice cream shop and it is withing walking distance of where we usually stay. 


101 S Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL 34216

Pine Avenue

Tons of colorful boutiques and specialty shops are along Pine Avenue. Most have parking in front. 

Where to Eat

The Donut Experiment

The Donut Experiment is a donut shop where you pick your topping to make a designer donut. We were told they are amazing, but unfortunately, it was so crowded that we couldn’t even get in the door. People were sitting around outside eating them and they did look good! Maybe next time. Lol


210c Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216

Rod and Reel Pier

Enjoy one of the most amazing views on the island while eating local seafood at The Rod and Real Pier.


875 N Shore Dr, Anna Maria, FL 34216

Sandbar Restaurant

 The Sandbar Restaurant is another great place with local seafood but with beach front dining and a perfect sunset view.


100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216

Lodging (Reasonably Priced)

Sunrise Garden Resort

The Sunrise Garden Resort is surrounded by lush tropical landscape in a quiet residential area, It is the perfect place to enjoy the laid-back feel of Anna Maria Island. See my review post here.


512 Spring Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216

Anna Maria Motel & Resort Apartments

This place is all about the location. Walk across the road and you are at Bean Point beach access. We have only stayed here once, but it was clean and has a nice pool.


808 N Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL 34216

Other Fun Things to do 

Movies in the Park

Movies  at the Bayfront Park on Wednesday nights a 6:30 pm.  Check here to see what’s playing. 


316 N Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL 34216

 Holmes Beach (Middle section)

This is where the main access to the island is located. It is super crowded and is very time consuming to drive through this area.


Anna Maria Public Beach  &  Manatee Beach Park

Both are public and have parking. As I said, they are very crowded during the day.


Anna Maria
102 39th St, Holmes Beach, FL 34217

Manatee Beach
4000 State Road 64 and Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, FL 34217


Sun and Surf Beach Shop

They have the cutest clothes and unique gifts. We also love all the birds in the cages lining the front of the store.


5418 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217

Where to eat

We usually stop at the Publix Super Market and get food to cook at the cottage. It is the only grocery store on the island.


3900 E Bay Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217

Where to stay

We have never stayed in this area. It is so busy that the north and south ends are better options.

Bradenton Beach (Southern end)


Coquina Beach

Coquina Beach is a nice public beach with plenty of parking.


 1438 Gulf Dr S, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217

 Shopping & Where to Eat

 Bridge Street

Historic Bridge Street is the spot that used to be the only access to the island. An old wooden bridge was where the pier is located now. You will find a good selection of unique places to shop and eat.


Bridge streets meets Gulf Drive around 111 Gulf Dr S, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217


Tropic Isle Beach Resort

Beautifully landscaped, clean, reasonably priced and only a road between it and the beach.


101 22nd St N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217

Other Fun Things to Do on the Island

Charter a trip to Egmont Key, rent kayaks or jet skis, get a massage on the beach, or take a sunset cruise

Kayak rentals - https://happypaddler.com/rentals-kayak-paddleboard-longboat-key-anna-maria-bradenton/

Eggmont Key, Dolphin tours, and sunset cruises - https://www.amidolphintours.com/tours

Ways to Get Around the Island

The free Anna Maria Island trolley, Renting a golf cart, or a bike

Shelling on Anna Maria Island

Anna maria is not great for shelling. Occasional shells can be found on the beaches, but they are small. 

Day Trips off the Island

Sarasota Jungle Gardens

About a 30-minute drive 

3701 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34234

Fort De Soto Park

About an hour drive

 3500 Pinellas Bayway S, St. Petersburg, FL 33715

Sunken Gardens

About an hour drive

 1825 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704

Happy Travels!