America's Largest Belgian Settlement
Brussels is a historic farming community founded in 1858 by four Belgian immigrant families. The town and nearby communities are still full of Belgian history and heritage, which is visible in historic roadside chapels, one-room schoolhouses, unique red brick homes, the Belgian Kermiss festival, and traditional food and drink.
Although destroyed in the devastating Peshtigo Fire of 1871, the town was rebuilt, this time with brick and stone materials instead of wood, and much of this architecture survives to this day.
While Southern Door itself does not have many food stops, nearby Sturgeon Bay does. Check out the culinary variety of pubs, bars, bistros, diners, and home-style cafes that are open all year round in the area surrounding Brussels.
Book Lodging in Brussels
Brussels and Southern Door have a number of lodging options to choose from, including lodges, resorts, cottages, motels, campgrounds, and vacation rentals. There is also housing to suit visitors’ needs for just about any size group.
Things to Do in Brussels
Stay in Southern Door and find beautiful farm country, quaint roadside chapels, county parks, the Peninsula Belgian American Club, and a Belgian Heritage Center.
Visit one of the county’s oldest cheese factories, cast a line for some of the best fishing in the region, bring your sled and snowmobile come winter, or explore some of the first ATV trails in Door County.
Deeper Dive: Brussels
The Peshtigo Fire of 1871: Its Story & Legacy
The Ice Age Trail in Door County
Native American Historical Sites
Community Spotlight: Southern Door County
5 Must-Dos in Brussels
1. Cast a line
The waters of Southern Door draw hordes of anglers looking for the big one!
2. Get cheesy
Visit Renard’s Cheese Factory, the county’s oldest, for a look at how our state's favorite food is made. Get there early for the squeakiest curds.
3. Learn about America’s largest Belgian settlement
Get the history of the region and Belgians in America at the Belgian Heritage Center.
4. Visit Tornado Park
The Peshtigo Fire is overshadowed by the Great Chicago Fire that happened the same day, but the Peshtigo Fire claimed far more lives, including 60 at this location when a tornado of fire leapt over the bay to Door County.
5. Stop at a Belgian chapel
These are the tiniest churches you’ll ever find, but their quiet and understated beuaty is a must-see. Several roadside chapels can be found along the roads of the Brussels area.