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Schoolhouse Beach from the air.

Beaches in Door County

Kick Up Some Sand, Soak Up Some Fun

With nearly 300 miles of shoreline, Door County is renowned for some of the most beautiful beaches in Wisconsin and the Midwest at large. From wide-open sand dunes and rare limestone shores to action-packed water sports and serene rolling waves, there’s a beach in Door County for you.

Discover the Beaches of Door County

On the western shoreline, you can find what are called "ice shoves." Because Green Bay completely freezes over with ice 2–3-feet thick, the surface continuously expands forcing large pieces of frozen ice up and onto shore. Some years, the combination of expanding ice and wind has seen shoves more than 10 feet high. These slow-forming structures have even crept onto shore far enough to cause damage to 
shoreline structures.

Nicolet Bay Beach 

Nicolet Beach is nestled within the picturesque Peninsula State Park and beckons visitors with its stunning 944 feet of sandy shoreline. This Door County beach destination offers pristine natural beauty with an array of convenient amenities, including restrooms and picnic facilities, a snack bar, a camp store, bike and boat rentals, and a charming playground for the little ones. 

Ridges Beach

Ridges Beach is a delightful gem within Ridges County Park in Baileys Harbor. Families flock here for the shallow waters, perfect for little ones to splash around and play. For those seeking adventure, Ridges Beach is a go-to spot for kiteboarders, where the wind and waves provide the perfect stage for exhilarating kiteboarding sessions. A stroll from downtown Baileys Harbor leads you to this coastal retreat, conveniently located near charming restaurants and The Ridges Sanctuary, beckoning explorers to immerse themselves in the great outdoors. With ample parking, picnic areas, benches, and restrooms, it's the perfect place to spend a day

Sister Bay Beach

Sister Bay's magnificent public beach is a waterfront paradise. This expansive waterside park boasts an impressive 1,900 linear feet of continuous waterfront, inviting visitors to revel in its 600 feet of soft sand beach. The park's allure knows no bounds, from the "Best Playground in Door County" and a charming gazebo to barbecues and picnic tables set against the backdrop of large grassy areas. Adventurers can explore the tranquil waters adjacent to the marina on kayak and paddleboard rentals. If relaxation is your goal, bask in the beauty of the swim pier, swim raft, and kayak launch, perfectly complemented by the beach's performance pavilion, offering an excellent vantage point for witnessing breathtaking sunsets. 

Sister Bay Beach

Newport State Park Beach

Tucked away in the northern expanse of Newport State Park, the breathtaking Newport Beach beckons with 11 miles of untouched Lake Michigan water access. Those willing to explore can find charming shorelines and sandy areas perfect for sunbathing and picnicking. Determined explorers who follow the weaving trails through the woods are rewarded with hidden sandy enclaves that adorn the sparkling waters. Newport Beach's allure extends well into the evening, offering a spectacle of its own. While most gather on the bay side to witness the sunset, Newport Beach presents a captivating sight as the moon rises over Lake Michigan.

Ephraim Beach 

Eagle Harbor and the bluffs of Peninsula State Park are iconic landscapes in Door County, and Ephraim Beach is at the center of it all. With its soft sandy shores and inviting waters, this 175-foot sandy haven offers an alluring getaway for locals and visitors alike. Its untouched charm and seclusion make for a private island-like getaway. You can bring your water equipment and snacks to fully savor the beach's natural beauty and peaceful ambiance. Free parking and convenient bike racks make for easy beach access, with charming downtown Ephraim a stone's throw away, offering an array of delicious dining options to complement the beach experience.

Ephraim Beach

Schoolhouse Beach

Forget about sandy shores; instead, be prepared to walk on smooth limestone rocks that caress your feet with each step at Schoolhouse Beach. Located on Wisconsin's enchanting Washington Island, this is one of only five beaches of its kind worldwide. Its charm lies in its peculiar landscape, with glacier-polished rocks scattered across the shoreline, each a geological treasure waiting to be admired and found along the Niagara Escarpment. While swimming in the clear waters and sunbathing are popular pastimes, visitors often find delight in building cairns and whimsical sculptures with the smooth stones or attempting to skip them across the water's surface. However, souvenir hunters, beware! The allure of these unique rocks has led to a conservation effort, and removing them now incurs a steep fine. Schoolhouse Beach is an ideal destination whether you're seeking a sand-free swimming experience, a place to capture breathtaking photos, or an opportunity to immerse yourself in natural wonders.

Sand Bay Beach

Sand Bay Beach on the tranquil lakeside of Liberty Grove is within the scenic Sand Bay Town Park. As you approach the beach, a long wooden boardwalk leads you through the lush grass, guiding you to a wooden viewing platform that reveals the gentle curve of the sandy shoreline. The versatile and relatively low-traffic waterfront promises an idyllic escape for all beachgoers, whether you seek energetic warm-weather activities or a peaceful summer read under the sun. A sprawling grassy area is adorned with playground equipment, grills, and picnic tables, providing the perfect space for kids to play. The shallow, sandy-bottomed water invites you to swim or paddle. But the allure of Sand Bay Beach doesn't end with the daylight; it's also renowned as a prime spot for stargazing and meteor shower sightings after the sun sets. 

Egg Harbor Beach

Egg Harbor Beach epitomizes a calm and convenient sunny day oasis within a protected harbor. Located near the charming Village of Egg Harbor with easy access to downtown, visitors can bask in the sun along 500 feet of waterfront before taking a refreshing dip in the serene harbor waters. As the sun sets, the beach becomes a canvas for brilliantly colored sunsets, providing a breathtaking backdrop to end the day on a high note. Kayak rentals and a nearby hand boat launch invite exploration on the gentle waters. The beach has meticulously designed amenities, including restrooms, expanded parking, a grassy area, a playground, an accessible, paved pathway leading to the sandy shores, and ADA accessibility to the water's edge, ensuring an enjoyable experience for all.  

Whitefish Dunes Beach

Whitefish Dunes Beach is a captivating oasis near Sturgeon Bay on the glistening shores of Lake Michigan within Whitefish Dunes State Park. This long, sandy beach is a paradise for beachgoers. While swimming in the refreshing waters is a highlight, visitors can also revel in the park's scenic trails, boardwalk, nature center, and picnic areas, ensuring a day filled with adventure and relaxation. Accessibility is a priority at Whitefish Dunes State Park, with facilities designed to accommodate all visitors. The sand swim beach boasts three access points, with one being ADA accessible and the other two accessible via stairs leading to the shore. Furry friends are not left out either, as dogs have their designated beach area to make a splash in the lake. 

Family Fun Beaches

If you’re taking the whole family out for a day in the sun, some beaches might suit your needs better than others. Many of these sand beaches offer paddle board and kayak rentals, nearby playgrounds, and bathrooms.

Nicolet Bay Beach 

Nestled in Peninsula State Park, this beach has a playground, paddle sport rentals, sand volleyball courts, and concessions.

Otumba Park Beach

This waterfront park in Sturgeon Bay offers a Mobi-mat that reaches from the pavement to the water, so people with walkers and wheelchairs can easily access the sandy beach and waterline.

Waterfront Park, Sister Bay

Situated right in downtown Sister Bay, the nearby pavilion frequently offers live music and is just steps from local dining and shopping options

Egg Harbor Beach

The newly-renovated and expanded beach is just a short walk from downtown Egg Harbor.

Whitefish Dunes State Park

Find plenty of room for the whole family on this mile-long sand beach that is often called one of the best beaches in Wisconsin.

Fish Creek Beach

In 2017, the town purchased a property that will add another 75 feet to this popular beach destination in the heart of Fish Creek.

Lesser-Known Beaches

Some beaches in the county have their own special draw, bringing locals and tourists to their shores for solitude and scenic views.

Sand Bay Town Park in Liberty Grove 

This beach is far enough from any towns to ensure a mostly empty sand beach.

Rock Island State Park

Described by many as the most beautiful in the county, but the two ferry rides it takes to get there will definitely keep the masses away.

Rock Island Beach

Waterfront Ridges Beach in Baileys Harbor

A small sand beach just far enough from the town to keep things quiet while offering the Ridges Sanctuary just across the road.

Frank Murphy Park, Egg Harbor

The newly-renovated and expanded beach is just a short walk from downtown Egg Harbor.

Whitefish Dunes State Park

A wide sand beach, boat launch, fishing pier, playground, and volleyball court make give this park extra appeal.

Lakeside Park in Jacksonport

Could perhaps be called “Door County’s year-round beach" because it hosts the Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day every year.

Lakeside Park in Jacksonport

Sturgeon Bay Canal

Dip your toes in the waters of Sturgeon Bay’s historic shipping canal.

Leave No Trace: Beach Basics

Stick to the Trails

Stick to designated trails and walkways to access beach areas. Though sand itself is a durable surface, walking on sand dunes damages the plants that hold them together and causes erosion.

Trash Your Trash

When visiting Door County’s beaches always remember to pack out what you pack in. Trash, even food scraps, can take a long time to decompose and is detrimental to wildlife health.

Leave It as You Find It

There is a lot to discover in and around the waters of our beaches. Always leave natural objects including rocks, driftwood, or vegetation for other visitors to enjoy. Be considerate of other visitors and refrain from creating rock stacks.

Sand Dunes Park on Washington Island

Keep Wildlife Wild

There are lots of different wildlife species including waterfowl, spring peepers, painted turtles and more, that call Door County’s beaches their home. Always give wildlife plenty of space and never follow, approach, or feed them.

Schoolhouse Beach from the air.

Washington Island's Schoolhouse Beach

Schoolhouse Beach on the northern reaches of Washington Island is one of just a few smooth limestone beaches in the world. Historic glaciers battered the stones on the beach into the smooth, flat surfaces they are today. Although the stones are mesmerizing, be sure to leave them at the beach. After years of visitors taking the stones as souvenirs, the town imposed a law against taking them—with a hefty fine attached.
A kayak on the beach in Baileys Harbor.

Beaches of Door County

Still not sure which beach is right for you? Check out our Beaches of Door County video series to learn more and help you choose where to spend a summer day soaking in the sun and playing in the water.

Discover Door County

Destination Guide

Order your free copy of the Official Door County Destination Guide and start planning your trip.


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