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Gills Rock, Wisconsin

Northern Door County's Historic Fishing Village

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A boat docked in a marina.

Last Stop Before Peninsula's End

History comes alive in Gills Rock, where commercial fishermen still head out to the waters of Lake Michigan year-round, and the Door County Maritime Museum tells Door County’s origin stories. It’s all done with a view here because the village cradles Hedgehog Harbor, with its pristine bluffs and sunset views.

This tiny village, which is an unincorporated community in Liberty Grove, packs plenty to explore, from adventurous wilderness parks packed with hiking and biking opportunities to historic offshore shipwrecks waiting to be explored by divers.

The exterior of Shoreline Restaurant.

Gills Rock Restaurants

This small town packs authentic eating experiences. Dining with a stunning sunset view, smoked fish fresh off the boat, and homemade jams and pies from a farmstand make it worth the drive to the country. The Gills Rock restaurant list is a short one, but a delicious one.

Aerial view of a pier and buildings along the water

Lodging in Gills Rock

Gills Rock is home to several quaint motels, rustic cottages, a water-view resort, and both modern and charming rental homes.

A couple sitting around their campsite

Things to Do in Gills Rock

A photographer’s paradise with rustic fishing piers and boats, gorgeous sunsets, rustic back roads made for postcards, and two sprawling shoreline parks, Gills Rock packs much to do in a tiny town. 

Hike in secluded wilderness that will make you forget you’re in one of the Midwest’s most popular destinations, or bike through some of the most beautiful canopies in the region. In Gills Rock, you’ll find activities that change your state of mind.

Deeper Dive: Gills Rock

Community Spotlight: Gills Rock

Gills Rock, Door County is home to the southern shores of Porte des Mortes, or “Death’s Door,” and all the fishing and boating history that comes with it.
Boat driving above a shipwreck taken from the air

Virtual Experiences: Shipwrecks

Explore the Shipwrecks of Door County remotely with our Virtual Experiences, designed to give you a taste of what it's like to be at some of our most iconic locations.

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.

Door County’s Maritime Historical Sites

Living and working on Lake Michigan has long been a part of the Door County identity, and relics of the region's maritime roots can still be seen today at these nautically inspired attractions.

Ode to the Washington Island Ferries

The Washington Island ferries are many things: places of community connections, access points to adventure, efficient ways to travel between the Door Peninsula and Washington Island, and experiences in and of themselves.

7 Must-Dos in Gills Rock

A road winding through the fall trees.

1. Get your “winding road” photo

The winding road at the tip of the peninsula might be one of the most-photographed sites in Wisconsin. Drive up and get your version.

Fishing nets laid out on the ground.

2. Go on a maritime Americana photoshoot

Speaking of photos, this small village is full of photo ops that scream Americana. Quirky roadside displays, historic schoolhouses, the rustic fishing piers, jaw-dropping countryside, and spell-binding sunsets could keep a photo buff busy all day.

The sun setting over a sailboat on the lake.

3. Catch the sunrise at Death’s Door

Head to the end of the road at the Washington Island Ferry dock to catch the sun as it rises over spooky waters. This is also a great spot for watching the Northern Lights when they come out to play.

A look at the lake through the trees

4. Visit Newport State Park

This park features tranquil hiking trails, off-road biking, kayaking, backcountry camping, and a sand beach. Newport State Park is the state’s only formally designated wilderness park.

A woman walking up stone steps with her young daughter

5. Hike at Door Bluff Headlands

Free from crowds, this park is a secret favorite of Northern Door locals who love its rocky shore.

People kayaking on the lake

6. Kayak the bay

It’s not always easy, but your paddle will scarcely be interrupted in this tranquil bay.

People on a historical tour

7. Check out our maritime history

If you're on the brink of Death’s Door, you’ve got to check out the Door County Maritime Museum’s northern location. Learn the history of the fishing and shipping industry and find shipwreck markers on sublimely canopied shoreline roads.

Discover Door County

Trip Planner

Explore local businesses, activities, and events and add them to your custom trip itinerary.

Door County Events

Find Door County events for every kind of trip, including festivals, performances, and kids’ events.


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