A Last Summer Hurrah in a Lake Cottage in Door County, Wisconsin

By: Shelley Seale
Scenic Cana Island Lighthouse, Door County, Wisconsin, aerial flyby. JamesBrey / Getty Images

Nothing says summertime living like the water. And in the Midwest, lake time is the quintessential summer getaway.

From boating and fishing to lakeside vacation rentals and coastal activities, there’s just something special about summering at the lake. Something so very Americana about it.


In the Midwest United States, Wisconsin is the place to do the lake. With some 15,000 lakes, the state also has dozens of postcard-perfect towns dotting those bodies of water, along with a vibrant food and beverage scene, arts culture, and the most idyllic summer weather.

If you’re thinking about the last summer vacay before the winter blahs set in, check out Door County in the upper peninsula of Wisconsin. With 300 miles of shoreline, you can watch a sunrise and a sunset over the water without leaving the county. See thousands of acres of orchards, explore art galleries, devour cherry pie, sip on local wines and brews, splash in the lake or paddle along the bluffs, stroll through five state parks, visit 19 unique communities and tour 11 historic lighthouses.

One of those communities is the charming town of Sturgeon Bay. This shipbuilding hub is all about boats and water — so there’s no better place to have a late-summer getaway than the Cottages at Centerpointe Marina. I was lucky enough to make one of the three-story, two-bedroom cottages my home for three nights in the early part of the summer, and they really have it all. Beautiful, relaxing, comfortable, all the amenities you need…and did I mention the peace and beauty of being lakeside?

The “man behind the dream” of the cottages and marina is Peter Moede. Growing up in Wisconsin, Peter used to spend many summers in Door County with his grandparents who were avid boaters. After he married and had a family of his own, he was once again drawn to the waters of Door County. He and his wife have been bringing their 12 children “up north” for the past 22 years.

In 2004, Peter teamed up with a business partner to create The Shipyard, a unique waterfront community in the heart of Sturgeon Bay and CenterPointe Marina. Taking its place on the water’s edge where Peterson Builders once made its mark in the shipping world, they built The Marina Cottages.

What was created from this dream is a retreat where time can seem to stand still and where you begin to redefine family and friendship in ultimate comfort. The uniquely designed 1,600-square-foot homes were created in the classic coastal style with a contemporary twist. It is here where you can find your moment of peace as you sip coffee with a view of the morning sunrise from your balcony. In the evening take in a breath of relaxation with a glass of wine as you watch a beautiful sunset over the marina waters (my favorite activity!)