Lake Michigan, Wisconsin
Credit: Cory Eastman / Getty Images

Just north of Green Bay, Door County is a refuge of lakeside state parks and sandy beaches. Its main city, Sturgeon Bay, is a historic waterfront town with lively food and music scenes. A number of wineries in the region, from Red Oak to Stone's Throw, barrel Rieslings and sweet cherry wines. But the area's essential destination is Cave Point, a series of hollowed-out rock formations on the shore of Lake Michigan. They're accessible only by water, so take a kayak along the jagged coast until you reach the outcroppings lining the cliff walls, then venture into the shallow caves and let out a primal wail.

In the evening, catch the sunset over the bay, then grab a beer in the Nautical Inn's spacious garden. "It's a different world," says Dawn Estes, the inn's owner. "The vineyards, the caves, the beaches – it's just beautiful."

Stay: Little Sister Resort at Pebble Beach, a group of cottages in a small Green Bay cove. [From $158 a night;]

Do: Door County Kayak Tours in Cave Point. [half-day with rental/$55;]