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Ellison Bay, Wisconsin

A Haven for Artists, Nature Lovers, & Explorers

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65 °F

From orchards and farms to some of the Wisconsin’s best birding, Door County is a nature-lover’s dream in fall.

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People enjoying the beach, water and pier.

Art & Nature Collide in Ellison Bay

For decades the tiny village of Ellison Bay, which is in the town of Liberty Grove, has attracted artists, writers, and dreamers whose influence you’ll witness strolling Main Street today. Quirky public art, galleries where the artist answers the door, and eclectic shops showcasing foreign culture all call Ellison Bay home.

This hamlet is also home to craft cocktails and classic diners, revered storekeepers, old-school supper clubs, and some of the most stunning views in the county.

A person pouring a bottle of wine into a glass.

Restaurants in Ellison Bay

Ellison Bay is a tiny town with a stunningly diverse restaurant scene. Find a hearty diner-style breakfast, a veteran fish boil master, hip upscale dining, and old-school supper-club fare. You can even hone your skills at a cooking school here.

Signs for different attractions.

Ellison Bay Lodging

Lodging in Ellison Bay includes charming old hotels on the water, beautiful rental homes on the bluff or on the water, roadside inns, and wooded cottages. Ellison Bay is the destination for those who want to get away from it all, yet still be a short, beautiful drive from the action.

A group of people kayaking

Things to Do in Ellison Bay

Take a class on the beautiful grounds of The Clearing Folk School, Jens Jensen’s folk school north of town. Shop for unique gifts and art in Ellison Bay’s galleries, take a class at the cooking school, or simply explore two county parks that offer some of the most awe-inspiring, secluded vistas in the county.

Splendor & Solitude at County Parks

One of the area’s best-kept secrets for escaping crowds and finding peace in nature is heading to these 19 county parks spread throughout the peninsula and Washington Island.

Backpacking & Hike-In Camping

Backpacking is an experience like no other. Door County has two options for multi-day hikes or backpacking adventures, including for beginner backpackers.

Arts & Culture

With more than 80 galleries, tons of artists' studios, DIY crafts workshops, and an array of museums and performance venues, there's no shortage of ways to immerse yourself in the Door County arts and culture scene.

Community Spotlight: Ellison Bay

Quirky public art, galleries, and potters dot this outdoor lovers paradise at the tip of the Door Peninsula.
Aerial view of a boat on the water

Boating, Sailing, & Paddling

Learn about boat rentals, kayak rentals, and canoe rentals in Door County as well as options for boating, sailing, and kayaking around the peninsula and islands.

Friends Groups of Door County State Parks

Here’s how Door County’s six hyperlocal, non-profit Friends Groups help protect and preserve our beloved state and county parks and how you can help support their efforts.

5 Must-Dos in Ellison Bay

1. Ellison Bluff Overlook

This overlook in Ellison Bluff County Park will awe you as you embark to the edge of the Niagara Escarpment for a view from hundreds of feet above the water.

2. Meet the dreamers

The famed writer Norb Blei escaped to Ellison Bay from Chicago in 1972 and found no shortage of like-minded creatives to call neighbors. Blei is gone, but the creative juices remain strong among the potters, painters, clothiers, writers, and collectors of Ellison Bay.

3. Find a story

Pull up a stool, catch a boil over, or hang in a shop for more than a few minutes in Ellison Bay and you’re likely to catch a taste of local lore and flavor.

4. Take a beach to yourself

The beaches of the northern tip of Door County don’t get the publicity that others do, but that may just be why they’re so great. Sand Bay, Europe Bay, and Europe Lake are all favorite getaways for locals avoiding the crowds.

5. Hit up Newport State Park

Hike in Wisconsin’s only designated wilderness park and enjoy the solitude, backcountry campsites, forested trails, stunning water views, and sand dunes.

Ellison Bay Annual Events

People watching a parade with people on horse-back carrying flags.
February

Ellison Bay Groundhog Day Parade

Ellison Bay's Annual Groundhog Day Parade is the social event of the season in Door County. Held each year on February 2nd at 4pm downtown.
A man painting at the marina
May

Ellison Bay Spring Arts Crawl

Local artists and art schools show off their creations at the Ellison Bay Spring Art Crawl, including paintings, sculptures and pottery, furniture, and clothing.
A live band performing
June

Uncork Summer

The annual beer, wine, and music festival at the Wickman House kicks off the summer season in northern Door County with local eats and drinks.
People watching a live band perform
July

Antique Tractor Show and Arts and Crafts Fair

A tractor parade, hayrides, art shows, folk and bluegrass music, and local cuisine are on tap at the Antique Tractor Show and Arts and Crafts Fair that takes place in July

Discover Door County

Leave No Trace 7 Principles

Learn the ins, outs, and importance of protecting and caring for our wild, natural lands and how you can help preserve them.

Business Directory

Check out our comprehensive Business Directory to find great spots for dining, shopping, playing, and exploring.

Video Galleries

Check out our video series to get a first-hand, experiential feel of what it’s like to be in this incredible place.