Door County, Wisconsin is located on the Door Peninsula, which sits right between Green Bay and Lake Michigan. The county has a long shoreline on both bodies of water and a number of activities available both on the water and on land. There are lighthouses, interesting islands, plentiful beaches, hiking trails and historical sites.
1. Door County Maritime Museum
The Door County Maritime Museum is a museum with three locations on Wisconsin’s waterfront. The museum’s exhibits shed light on the rich maritime heritage in the area, including the lives of lighthouse keepers, ship captains, fishermen, and more. You will see a variety of different boats, maritime equipment, personal effects, and models of ships and boats. There is also a restored 149-foot tugboat dating from 1919, which you can explore by guided tour. The museum’s exhibits are spread across locations in Sturgeon Bay, the Cana Island Lighthouse, and Ellison Bay. Each branch is family-friendly and often hosts special events for visitors.
120 N. Madison Avenue, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235, Phone: 920-743-5958
2. Cana Island Lighthouse
The Cana Island Lighthouse is a 19th century lighthouse in Baileys Harbor. The lighthouse is currently used as an active light and is open to touring along with the nearby keeper’s quarters. The lighthouse has quite a unique appearance, with a tall white tower topped with a black lantern. It was built with cream-colored brick from Milwaukee and at the time of construction was Door County’s tallest building. Walking to the top of the lighthouse is a great experience, if you can handle the 97 winding stairs. Staff at the lighthouse are available to provide some introductory information about the lighthouse and its history. The lake often rises above the path to the light, so be aware that at times you have to walk through water to get there.
8800 E. Cana Island Road, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202, Phone: 920-743-5958
3. Cave Point County Park
5360 Schauer Road, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235, Phone: 920-746-9959
Cave Point County Park is a public park characterized by hiking trails, limestone bluffs, and underwater caves along the banks of Lake Michigan. The caves have been carved out by the sea battering the stone walls over the course of many years. At times, there are impressive sprays of water from the waves slamming against the rocks. Kayaking to see the caves is a popular activity during calmer sea conditions. There are also several miles of hiking trails throughout the park. Even though the area is most popular during the warm summer months, there are also winter activities like sleigh rides, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and the impressive sight of ice waves.
4. Whitefish Dunes State Park
Whitefish Dunes State Park is a day-use park on the Door Peninsula’s eastern shore. The park contains the most significant sand dunes on Lake Michigan’s eastern shore. The land the park is on was once home to eight different Native American villages, and the remains of these prehistoric settlements can be seen throughout the park. The park is popular for the wide range of recreational activities available here. In the summer you can hike, boat, canoe, fish, and swim. During the wintertime, snowshoeing and skiing are popular activities. The park also has a nature center, where you can learn about the area’s geology, ecology, and cultural history with programs available for both kids and adults.
5. Lautenbach’s Orchard Country
9197 WI-42, Fish Creek, WI 54212, Phone: 920-868-3479
Lautenbach’s Orchard, Country Winery and Market is a longtime favorite gourmet food shop among locals and tourists alike. The on-site winery produces a range of different fruit wines as well as traditional grape wines that are all made in house and can be tasted by visitors. They also sell other gourmet food items, such as jams, specialty candies, and dips. In addition to shopping for special treats, the tasting bar offers six wine samples to each visitor as well as several different specialty foods to try. There are also guided tours of the winery offered seasonally. These walking tours take approximately an hour and include a private tasting and tours of the vineyards, orchards, and production area.
6. Peninsula State Park
Peninsula State Park is a popular park along the shoreline of Green Bay. The park has a variety of amenities and activities, making it an easy one-stop vacation destination. Visitors will find several campgrounds, an amphitheater in the summer, an 18-hole golf course, beaches, a network of trails that can be used for skiing, hiking and biking, a lighthouse, and more. The park is open year-round, but some things may be closed in the off-season. Highlights include visiting the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse and the museum in the former keeper’s house, learning about nature at the White Cedar Nature Center, boating out to Horseshoe Island, and biking the park’s Sunset Bike Trail.
9462 Shore Road, Fish Creek, WI 54212, Phone: 920-868-3258
7. Segway the Door Tours
3903 WI-42, Fish Creek, WI 54212, Phone: 920-376-0256
Segway the Door Tours is a company offering guided Segway tours of the Door County, Green Bay, and Fox Valley areas. Their most popular tours are the premier 2-hour experiences, of which they have several available. They also offer a half-day tour of Washington Island that includes a ferry ride across and lunch. Whether you choose to cruise up and down the beautiful hills of Peninsula State Park, explore the Sturgeon Bay Lighthouse and the Coast Guard Station, ride through country roads with views of Ellison bluffs, or a range of other options, the entire family is sure to have an enjoyable time.
8. Washington Island Ferry Line
The Washington Island Ferry line is a car and passenger ferry that connects the Door Peninsula to Washington Island. The island sits just off the tip of the peninsula and is a popular tourist destination. You can board the ferry and ride across either on foot or in a car. Combo tickets with the Cherry Train are available if you plan to do both experiences. From Washington Island you can take a second ferry further on to reach Rock Island State Park, but that boat is passenger-only. The ferry tickets are sold on a first-come first-served basis, so it’s recommended to be there a bit earlier than the ferry time you’d like to get tickets for.
264 Lobdell Point Road, Washington, WI 54246, Phone: 920-847-2546
9. Door County Adventure Rafting
4150 Maple Street, Fish Creek, WI 54212, Phone: 920-559-6106
Door County Adventure Rafting is a high-speed tour boat company that offers chartered raft and boat cruises along Lake Michigan’s shores. Several tour options are available, including the Lakeside Shipwreck Tour, the Bayside Tour, and the Death’s Door Tour. The boat tours will allow you to experience the small islets of Door County up close and personal. You will also get to enjoy the solitude and isolation of several deserted beaches. Possible sights include Peninsula State Park, the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, Horseshoe Island, the Hanover shipwreck, and Eagle Cave. All along the way, the tour guide will teach you all about the islands’ history and the ships that have sunk in the area.
10. Door County Brewing
Door County Brewing Company is a family-owned and operated craft brewhouse that creates unique beers using as many local products as possible in their production process. The beers are mostly influenced by American, French, and Belgian brewing styles, although other styles of beer are sometimes available. You can visit their taproom and music hall, where you can taste their products and see for yourself. There is a whole calendar of live music and other entertainment events scheduled at the taproom and beer garden. As far as food goes, there are cheese boards and pretzels available on the menu as well as food trucks parked outside in the warmer months.
8099 WI-57, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202, Phone: 920-839-1515