You have before you the winners of this year’s "Best of Door County" contest.

Every year since 2003, Door County Magazine has held this popular feature, with new categories each time around. Voters are asked to offer responses to each “Best of” query. The questions are open-ended with no suggestions, so there’s no way to predict the winners.

It’s a wonderful snapshot of the quality we know and expect here—a picture taken by community members and visitors who know and love the county.

This year, like always, some categories had clear favorites.

But one stood out for the exact opposite reason.

The "Best Door County Experience" category drew an astonishing 49 different responses.

With the plethora of attractions, locations and experiences nominated, the winners of that category are clearly deserving, standing out from the rest. But the variety of submitted answers in that category drew our attention to an important Door County concept: It’s hard to pinpoint one main attraction on this well-known peninsula.

That’s an interesting notion, making it challenging for marketing departments around the peninsula. We are, indeed, well-known. But not for one particular thing. Where do you even start?

Door County is not a one-trick pony. We are not the "World-famous home of (fill in the blank)" with festivals and attractions built around a theme. We love our theaters, artisans, fish boils, cherry blossoms, restaurants and businesses. We adore our music, festivals, ferries, sunsets, water sports and scenery.

We are all of these things.

But since it is a contest, the magazine had to declare winners. There were first, second and third places and two honorable mentions in that specific category. Well-deserved, indeed, among a fine crowd of great experiences.

Other categories had a variety of responses (There are a lot of great places to take a swim along our shores. And there are a lot of great new businesses, for instance.) Some categories were a little less diverse, but with equally passionate votes.

If nothing else, it affirms our affection for this county.

It is a hard job, to pick the best from the best. We thank everyone who took time to participate, and look forward to next season’s offerings where we, no doubt, will continue to marvel at what we have outside our back door.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s enjoy The Best of Door County, 2013.

- Door County Magazine staff

BEST OF 2013 WINNERS

BEST DOOR COUNTY EXPERIENCE FOR GUESTS

1st – Peninsula Players

2nd – Peninsula State Park

3rd – DC Trolley Tours

Honorable mention: Fish Boils, lighthouse tours

BEST PLACE TO WATCH A SUNRISE

1st – Baileys Harbor

2nd – Tie: Cave Point and Jacksonport

Honorable mention: Whitefish Dunes

BEST BAKERY

1st – Pink Bakery

2nd – MacReady Artisan Bread Company

3rd – Scaturo’s

Honorable mention: FlourGirl Patissier

BEST PLACE TO SWIM

1st – Egg Harbor Beach

2nd – Nicolet Beach

3rd – Sister Bay Beach

Honorable mention: Whitefish Dunes, Door County YMCA

BEST PLACE TO ENJOY A BOTTLE OF WINE

1st – Simon Creek

2nd – Carrington Pub & Grill (Landmark)

3rd – The Cookery

Honorable mention: Orchard Country, Stone’s Throw

BEST DOOR COUNTY POTTERY

1st – Clay Bay Pottery

2nd – Tie: Hands On and

TR Pottery in Fish Creek

Honorable Mention: Potters Wheel Gallery, Off The Wheel, Ephraim Clayworks and Ellison Bay Potter

BEST SITE FOR A WEDDING

1st – Landmark Resort

2nd – Gordon Lodge

3rd – Tie: Alpine Resort, Stone Harbor, Horseshoe Bay Golf Course

BEST NEW ATTRACTION OR BUSINESS

1st – Chop, Sister Bay

2nd – MacReady Artisan Bread Company

3rd – Tie: Arroyo, Cupcake Heaven, Edith M. Becker

BEST PLACE TO KAYAK

1st – Tie: Cave Point and Rowley’s Bay/Mink River Estuary

3rd – Peninsula State Park

Honorable mention: Eagle Harbor

BEST BANQUET FACILITY

1st – Landmark

2nd – Gordon Lodge

3rd – Stone Harbor

Honorable mention: Alexander’s, Log Den

BEST PLACE TO ATTEND AN OUTDOOR CONCERT

1st – Peg Egan Center (Egg Harbor)

2nd – Harborview Park (Egg Harbor)

3rd – Sister Bay Park

Honorable mention: Birch Creek

BEST DOOR COUNTY PHOTOGRAPHER

1st – Len Villano

2nd – Tina Gohr

3rd – Tie: Luke and Heather Frykman, Kelly Avenson

BEST PLACE FOR HOT STONE MASSAGE

1st – Spa at Sacred Grounds

2nd – Lavender Spa

3rd – Tie: Spa Verde, Saguaro

BEST PLACE TO MEET FOR LUNCH

(non-franchise)

1st – Carrington Pub & Grill

2nd –Tie: Fred & Fuzzies, Julies Park Café

Honorable mention: The Cookery, White Gull Inn

BEST CHERRY BLOSSOMS

1st – Seaquist Orchard

2nd – Orchard County (Lautenbachs)

3rd – Drive along Cty Rd E traveling east from Egg Harbor

Honorable mention: Shartner’s Orchard, Wood Orchard, Brussels Hill, Anywhere in Door

BEST GREENHOUSE OR GARDEN CENTER

1st – Sunny Point Garden

2nd – Jerry’s (Sister Bay)

3rd – Bonnie Brooke Gardens, Sturgeon Bay

Honorable mention: Briggsville Garden

BEST PLACE TO TAKE A DATE

1st – Carrington Pub and Grill

2nd – Peninsula Players

3rd – Tie: Alexander’s, Donny’s Glidden Lodge

Honorable mention: Skyway Drive-in, White Gull Inn

BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE WATCH

1st – Fish Creek

2nd – Egg Harbor

3rd – Sister Bay

BEST LOCATION TO SEE FALL COLOR

1st – Peninsula State Park

2nd – Winding road to North Port

3rd – Communities of Egg Harbor, Ephraim and Washington Island

BEST AUTO SERVICE CENTER

1st – Tie: Kevin’s Automotive (Sturgeon Bay), Young Automotive

(Sturgeon Bay)

3rd – Jim Olson

Honorable mention: Sister Bay Automotive