You walk amongst verdant cherry trees speckled with tiny orbs of sweet and tart red fruit. With a pail secured around your hips, you add to your bounty as you pluck the fresh cherries from the branches. The light breeze rustles the leaves on this warm summer day.
Living in the city doesn’t offer these serene experiences, and you’re grateful for this break. Once your cherry pail is full, you head back towards your car, wondering what delicious treats you’ll make. After a short drive from the cherry orchard, you walk into your cozy Door County vacation rental: your home for the next week. You set the cherries on the counter, have a hot shower, and fall into bed. Sounds like a dream, right?
Cherry picking is one of many great family-friendly excursions while staying at a Door County vacation home! Here is everything you need to know about getting up close and personal with the local cherry orchards!
When is Cherry Picking Season in Door County?
Photo Credit: shutterstock.com/Damian Lugowski
Cherries in Door County are ripe and ready for picking between late July and mid-August, which also happens to be one of the most beautiful times to visit Wisconsin.
During the summer months, you’ll find both vacationers and locals enjoying the sunshine, Lake Michigan’s waters, and all the freshest produce and food that Door County offers.
The fruity fun doesn’t end at cherry picking. Travelers can also take part in the Cherry Fest in Jacksonport in early August. Look out for cherry pit spitting contests as well! Summer is also rich with karaoke nights, open mic events, movies in the park, and even cornhole tournaments at local restaurants.
Another Door County favorite: stop by a local restaurant for a classic Door County fish boil, and then finish it off with a piece of warm, fresh cherry pie for dessert!
But back to cherries: Where will you pick them? Keep reading for the best cherry-picking destinations in Door County!
The Best Places to Cherry Pick in Door County
Photo Credit: shutterstock.com/Fotokostic
1. Choice Orchards
- Address: 4594 County HH, Sturgeon Bay, WI
- Notable feature: Choice Orchards boasts a 10-acre evergreen tree maze as well as an orchard museum that recounts the rich history of the Door County cherry.
Choice Orchards is the perfect place to bring your family to pick sweet and tart cherries. This orchard also has a great playground for kids and a ten-acre pine tree maze, which is fun and challenging for the whole family. On your way out, you’ll definitely want to stop at their farmer’s market. They sell ripe, fresh produce, cherry products, sweet jams, irresistible snacks, honey, and tangy pickled veggies.
Choice Orchards also has pre-picked cherries, both fresh and frozen.
2. Barnard Farms
- Address: 5807 State Highway 42, Sturgeon Bay, WI
- Notable feature: Barnard Farms is a bee-friendly orchard and doesn’t use broad-spectrum pesticides. It also plants bee-friendly plants, like buckwheat and clover, to keep the bees happy and healthy.
Barnard Farms is committed to sustainable and healthy growing practices for all of its fruits. Visitors and locals love Barnard Farms not only for their fresh cherries but for their plethora of other fruits as well! Across all seasons, Barnard Farms grows sweet, antioxidant-rich blueberries, sweet and sour currants, delicate raspberries, and perfect jewel-like strawberries.
Don’t forget their apples, plums, pears, and peaches too. If you’re visiting Door County just outside of the cherry season, check out the Barnard Farms’ website to see what’s in season and ready for you to pick or buy from their farm market.
3. Lautenbach’s Orchard Country and Wine Market
- Address: 9197 State Highway 42, Fish Creek, WI
- Notable feature: Head back to the tasting room, where you can choose from 50 wines and hard ciders, all made from fruits grown in the Lautenbach Orchard.
Photo Credit: shutterstock.com/Nitr
Lautenbach’s Orchard is a family-owned business that has been operating in Door County since 1955. Here you can enjoy pick-your-own tart cherries and apples each summer. Located in Fish Creek, Lautenbach’s isn’t your run-of-the-mill orchard.
With a fresh bakery, outdoor games, and wine tasting, it’s a total paradise for lovers of nature’s beauty. Lautenbach’s offers reasonably priced tastings and flights of their homemade reds, whites, and fruit wines.
Want something a little more summery? Try a delicious hard cider or a slushy — fruity and refreshing! Finally, Lautenbach’s always has a fun event going on, so check out their events page before your trip to Door County.
4. Soren’s Valhalla Orchards
- Address: 2412 Idlewild Road Sturgeon Bay, WI
- Notable feature: This orchard is founded on sustainable practices, education, safety, and preservation of heritage fruit in Door County.
Soren’s Valhalla Orchards is run by a young couple and their kids, passionate about growing great-tasting, healthy food.
With their love for farming and dedication to community education, they also hope to get young people involved, teaching them about growing safe, high-quality, and sustainable food. Soren’s specializes in apples, cherries, and strawberries.
While you can only pick your own sweet cherries and strawberries, you can buy apples, sweet and tart cherries, as well as strawberries at their fresh market.
5. Kielar Akers Orchard
- Address: S648 State Highway 42 Sturgeon Bay, WI
- Notable feature: This orchard has been family owned and operated since 1927!
Photo Credit: shutterstock.com/KatyaPulina
Kielar Akers Orchard grows tart Montmorency Cherries, which are perfect for making scrumptious homemade pies, jams, and jellies. Outside of this wonderful opportunity for pick-your-own cherries, Kielar Akers Orchard also has a roadside farmer’s market that sells tart cherries, apples, and pears when they are in season. Cherry picking is a lovely way to create a new family tradition while on vacation.
Get everyone out into the orchard to have a fun-filled and delicious day of teamwork amongst the shady, fruit-laden limbs of the cherry trees. When you get home to your rental, get the whole family involved as you pit, chop, and cook these fresh cherries into a delicious treat.
More Cherry-Picking Spots
Delight in Cherry-Picking Galore in Door County
You’ll feel warm and fuzzy inside driving back home to your Moonsail vacation home rental, excited to munch on fresh cherries and spark up the grill for some burgers.
We tend to forget about life’s more wholesome experiences when we’re in the thick of life’s hustle-bustle. Cherry picking in Door County is a fabulous reminder that you can enjoy beautiful experiences with your family with nothing but the gifts of the earth.