Welcome to Door County, Wisconsin
Just the Facts:
Door County Q&A
Where in the world is Door County?
Door County is a region in “the left thumb” of Wisconsin, USA—the small land mass projecting into the water from the east-central side of the state. The county is about a 2.5-hour drive northeast from Milwaukee and a 4.5-hour drive north from Chicago or east from Minneapolis.
How do I visit an entire county?
How do I get around Door County?
What’s a peninsula?
What’s the landscape like?
No, you won’t be climbing any mountains or exploring any deserts here, but our beaches, islands, lakes, forests, woods, meadows, and nature preserves are sure to satisfy your longings to connect with nature. DC boasts five state and 19 county parks, and a lack of light pollution has earned Newport State Park an International Dark Sky Place designation.
What’s the weather like?
Can I bring my kids? My dog?
Absolutely—Door County is a top destination for family trips, and dogs are welcome in many local businesses and public spaces. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a restaurant or attraction that doesn’t cater to kids, but do your research on dog-friendly trips before bringing your pet with you to an establishment.
Explore Door County Communities
One of the best ways to get to know Door County is to explore the vibrant towns, villages, and communities that comprise it. Some people choose a single community and stay for their entire trip, and others travel between communities to get a fuller sense of place.
Quiz: Find Your Travel Style
The Results Are In...
Door County’s People, Places, & Things
Get to know the region on a deeper level by exploring its history, natural landscape, and most iconic sites.
A (Very) Brief Overview of Local Maritime History
Door County is defined by its proximity to Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes. These waterways are why many nomadic settlers would camp here, and they’re how the earliest permanent settlers got around and sustained life. Residents have worked as fishermen, mariners, and shipbuilders, and others worked as loggers and farmers, relying on ships to transport their wares. In the 20th century, local shipyards produced up to five ships a day to keep up with the military’s demand for large boats and other sea vessels.
History Quick Links
A Quick Foray into the Nature of Door County
From a 93-foot sand dune and the jagged walls of Cave Point to the lavender fields of Washington Island, Door County is a lesser-known treasure trove of ecological wonders. Nature and its endless splendors are woven into daily life, as evidenced by passionate locals who operate nature-based businesses, artists constantly inspired by the landscape, and those who’ve chosen to make their homes among our forests, lakes, and wide-open spaces.
Nature Quick Links
A Tiny Taste of Iconic Door County
If you want to look into the heart of any culture, start with its cuisine. The menus, recipe books, and dinner tables of Door County are likely to contain cherries, lakefish, meat, cheese, and Scandinavian and Western-European dishes. But visitors can also look to the roadside Belgian chapels, British-Victorian homes, Swedish-influenced Stavkirke and Björklunden chapels, Viking-inspired Thordarson boathouse, and other architecture to get a feel for the people who settled Door County and made it what it is today.
Culture Quick Links
The 7 Must-Instagrams of Door County
- The ‘I was here’ exterior of the Hardy Center
- Goats grazing on a Swedish restaurant’s roof
- A fish boil at one of many local eateries
- The twists and turns of Highway 42
- Some gloriously ruddy limestone walls at Cave Point
- Impossibly smooth stones on Schoolhouse Beach
- A heart-quickening view from a Death’s Door-crossing ferry