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.
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.
Washington Island Lodging
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
Backpacking & Hike-In Camping
Virtual Experience: Rock Island
Community Spotlight: Washington Island
The Full-County Driving Tour
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
Washington Island Lavender FestivalJoin islanders as they celebrate the lavender blossoming and the beginning of lavender-harvest season.
Death’s Door BBQThe 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.
Washington Island Music Festival
Classical music from various nations and styles is celebrated in this annual festival that promotes performance, education, and community arts.