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Brussels, Wisconsin

Architecture, Traditional Food, & Beautiful Countryside

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Small white chapel

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.

Belgian waffles.

Brussels Restaurants

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.

A pink flowering tree in front of a building.

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.

Trailhead for Ahnapee State Trail

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

This year, Friday, October 8 marks the 150th anniversary of the Peshtigo Fire that took place in Door County, one of the most destructive fires in US history.

The Ice Age Trail in Door County

The nearly 1,200-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail is the crown jewel of Wisconsin hiking. Hiking the IAT an absolutely iconic, bucket-list-level Wisconsin experience, and one that you can have while visiting Door County.
A group of snowshoers coming out of the woods.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is the perfect way to explore the great outdoors of Door County in the wintertime. All you need are some solid snow boots, and local equipment lenders can provide the rest.
A small white stone chapel.

Belgian Chapels

Visit one of Door County, WI's famous roadside chapels. The chapels of Northeast Wisconsin represent an old-world religious tradition that dates to the 1870s.
A dirt road running through the trees from the air.

Native American Historical Sites

The history of Paleo-Indians and Native Americans in Door County can be found in countless places. Take a deeper dive into the history of the region's early inhabitants.

Community Spotlight: Southern Door County

Visit one of Door County, WI's famous roadside chapels. The chapels of Northeast Wisconsin represent an old-world religious tradition that dates to the 1870s.

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.

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