Some people like to discover secret or hidden places and sights in the towns they visit on vacation. Sister Bay has some unique “secret spots” whose locations are not even familiar to some of the locals. When our staff members were asked to share ideas about some of their favorite hidden treasures in Sister Bay, they all had interesting recommendations. The first hidden place is north on Bay Shore Drive at Al Johnson’s Restaurant. You’ll find a pond and a small Scandinavian cottage building located behind the parking lot. Al Johnson and his wife had some authentic Norwegian style buildings built on there in the early 60’s. There used to be a Maypole on the property as well that was decorated for the “Syttende Mai” (Norwegian Constitution Day) celebration on the 17th of May. Townsfolk here would dress in native costumes and perform a folk dance. Visitors today are discouraged from walking around the pond and building area but you can take pictures from a short distance. Next, journey a little further north on Bay Shore Drive. On the east side of the road, just north of the Shell gas station there is a sign indicating the backyard location of a small chapel that the homeowner of the property designed and built there himself. It is called Transfiguration Orthodox Christian Chapel of Door County ( and is open to the public with hours posted on the sign near the street. Just follow the path to the back and you’ll see the chapel which looks like a silo structure. When you enter through the wooden doors, you’ll be greeted by the strong scent of incense. As you stand in the center of the octagonal space, you’ll note the bright light streaming through the clerestory windows at the top. Please remember that this is a place of worship, so respect and reverence is expected. The gentleman who built the chapel is an Orthodox Christian and could not find a church of that denomination here, so he built his own chapel. Services are conducted there at various time throughout the year. On Hill Road at the north end of town, there is a small farm (Madsengard) just past the crest of the road, where an old silo is painted with the Danish Flag. Local historians say tha silo was used as a guard tower for army guards to oversee German prisoners of war who were sent to Door County to pick cherries in orchards. After the war was over, many of those German prisoners came back here with their families to see the beautiful place where they were held captive. Then just a short distance further east on Hill Road is a home where the owners have planted over 14,000 daffodils. The huge array of yellow and white flowers is like a grand spring carpet to the front door of the home. If you’d like to find these secret places during the time you stay at Birchwood Lodge, we’ll point you in the direction. Take the time to find these interesting secret places off the beaten path, just a short drive from Birchwood Lodge. Reservations can be made at 866-854-7195, or online at