Cherry harvest has arrived in Door County, Wisconsin– the summer destination for pick-your-own fruits and a great cherry getaway. The cherry harvest is a bit later than usual this year, so it’s not too late to head to thecountry to pick up a few buckets of delicious Montmorency Cherries.
Door County is a veritable “cherry bomb” – with dishes and activities throughout the region focusing on the county’s main crop (Door County is expected to produce about 8.5 million pounds of cherries this year). Spring rains and low winds have created good conditions for 2011, and U-Pick operations should remain open through the middle of August.
What’s so good about cherries—besides their sweet-tart taste? Scientific research reveals that tart cherries have high levels of disease-fighting antioxidants. Emerging evidence indicates that cherry consumption may ease the pain of arthritis and gout, as well as reduce risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Cherries also contain melatonin, which has been found to help regulate the body’s natural sleep patterns, aid with jet lag, prevent memory loss and delay the aging process.
For a Cherry Getaway—weekend or longer--check out the following cherry-themed activities:
Start the day with Door County’s Cherry Stuffed French Toast at the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek. The fresh egg bread layered with Wisconsin cream cheese and Door County tart cherries, topped with genuine maple syrup was named “America’s Best Breakfast” by Good Morning America (www.whitegullinn.com).
Visit more than a dozen orchards and farmers markets around the county where visitors can pick fresh cherries off the trees or fill a shopping basket with dried cherries, jams, jellies, pies and turnovers. Go to www.doorcounty.com for market locations, store information and a special orchards map.
Follow Door County’s wine trail—sip, swirl, and sniff your way up the coast to enjoy local cherry wines. Visit www.doorcountywinetrail.com to download a map, get tour times and find out where to taste. If beer is more your style, don’t miss the Door County Cherry Wheat beer at Shipwrecked Brew Pub in Egg Harbor (www.shipwreckedmicrobrew.com).
Don’t miss “Bing! The Cherry Musical” the American Folklore Theatre’s newest summer show. Fun for the entire family, “Bing!” celebrates Door County’s summer season as it follows a family’s journey on their cherry orchard. Arrive early and participate in the cherry pit spit contest hosted by Lautenbach's Orchard Country Winery & Market. www.folkloretheatre.com.
Located just 40 miles northeast of Green Bay, Wisconsin, the 70-mile long peninsula of Door County is situated perfectly between the waters of Green Bay (to the west) and Lake Michigan (to the east) giving visitors a variety of experiences on two distinctive coasts with charming towns in between. Door County features 300 miles of shoreline, 34 islands, 11 lighthouses, 5 state parks and 19 county parks. It is known for its natural beauty, artistic offerings and outdoor recreation opportunities.
Information and photos courtesy of Jon Jarosh, Door County Visitor Bureau firstname.lastname@example.org 920-227-2156