Skip to content

Washington Island, Wisconsin

Today’s Weather

65 °F

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

View Average Monthly Temperatures

Trek to Wisconsin's Island Getaway

Washington Island is your destination for adventure in Door County. It all starts with a 5-mile ferry ride across the once-treacherous waters of Death’s Door, where Green Bay and Lake Michigan meet. Once ashore, embark on a tour of one-of-a-kind shopping, eating, music and art, remote parks, island festivals, and outdoor fun hosted by the 600 residents who call the island home.

People at a picnic table

Washington Island Restaurants

As you might expect on an island, fish is a staple on menus here, whether it’s boiled, fried, broiled, or grilled. But fish isn't all you'll find. From family-owned taverns to casual grills, cafes, coffee shops, a market, and even a drive-in restaurant, it's all fresh and there's something for everyone.

Two people biking on a road

Washington Island Lodging

Washington Island offers lodging of all kinds. Rustic visitors can find primitive hike-in campsites on Rock Island or private campgrounds, while there are plenty of family-friendly hotels, motels, and cozy cottages available.
Stavkirke building among trees and flowers

Things to Do on Washington Island

After hopping the car ferry to the island, you can bike, drive, or Segway around 40+ miles of island backroads, check out historic museums, explore the stone-covered Schoolhouse Beach, get transported to medieval Norway at the Stavkirke church, visit lavender farms, or hop a second ferry and experience remote Rock Island State Park.

Deeper Dive: Washington Island

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.

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.
Building and sailboat in the distance from the lakefront.

Virtual Experience: Rock Island

Explore Rock Island 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.

Community Spotlight: Washington Island

With 100 miles of roads connecting every corner of Washington Island, it is a favorite among bicyclists, ATVs, motorcycles, and those just looking to get away.

The Full-County Driving Tour

If the doldrums of winter have you dreaming of packing a bag, hitting the open road, and chasing big-time adventure, Door County should be on your road-trip bucket list.

7 Must-Dos on Washington Island

1. Cross Death's Door by boat

Well, to get here you sort of have to, but in this case the reward is in the journey. Most people take the car ferry, but you can also drive your own boat across the famous strait or rent one on the mainland.

2. Picnic on the beach

Washington Island's parks, trails, and beaches are known for their peaceful, secluded locations and stunning waterfront views. Grab lunch or snacks in town, bring a blanket, and take in the view.

(New in 2022: Don't forget to buy your Parks Pass to access Washington Island parks!)

3. Find unique artistic and cultural opportunities

From the Trueblood Performing Arts Center and the Sievers School of Fiber Arts to the Jacobsen Museum and Jackson Harbor Maritime Museum, Washington Island has an arts and culture scene all its own.

4. Eat the local way

Eat a lawyer, chase it with a shot of bitters, and follow that with a beer made from wheat harvested right here on Washington Island.

5. Trek to Rock Island

We promise: it's well worth it. While there, visit Thordarson Boathouse, a majestic relic of 1920s opulence now open to the public, Wisconsin's oldest lighthouse, and the 5-mile trail that traces the island shoreline.

6. See a lavender farm in person

Experience the pleasant aroma and vibrant purples and greens of a real lavender farm, where you can frolick in the fields, take stunning photographs, buy artisan lavender products, and have a true island experience.

7. Get & stay outdoors

Bike, hike, ride, golf, paddle, sail, or run: however you like to explore the great outdoors, you can do it on Washington Island. Rent any equipment you need on the mainland or bring your own.

Washington Island Annual Events

A woman in a lavender field
July

Washington Island Lavender Festival

Join islanders as they celebrate the lavender blossoming and the beginning of lavender-harvest season.
Closeup of brats on a grill
August

Death’s Door BBQ

The island's premier food event, the Death's Door BBQ features arts & crafts for sale, music, food and drinks, and plenty of BBQ chicken, pork, beef, and classic sides.
An orchestra performing
August

Washington Island Music Festival

Classical music from various nations and styles is celebrated in this annual festival that promotes performance, education, and community arts.

Closeup of apples
October

Fall Fun Fest and Cider Pressing Party

Favorite fall activities such as games, rides, food and drinks, and cider-making are at the forefront at this party at the Farm Museum

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.

Newsletter

Sign up for the monthly newsletter to get trip ideas, event announcements, and special offers.