Beaches in Door County:
Kick Up Some Sand, Soak Up Some Fun
Where Land Meets Water
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.
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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 Beach: Nestled in Peninsula State Park, this beach is complete with a playground, paddle sport rentals, sand volleyball courts, and concessions.
- 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 in Door County
Some beaches in the county have their own special draw, bringing locals and tourists to their shores for a wide array of reasons.
- Sand Bay Town Park, Liberty Grove: On the lake side of Liberty Grove, Sand Bay is far enough from any communities to ensure crowds won’t overflow this sand beach.
- Rock Island State Park: Many describe the beach on the southern shore of Rock Island as the most beautiful in the county, but the two ferry rides it takes to get there will definitely keep the masses away.
- Ridges Beach, Baileys Harbor: This small sand beach on the north side of Baileys Harbor is just far enough from the town to keep things quiet while offering the Ridges Sanctuary just across the road.
- Frank Murphy Park, Egg Harbor: With a wide sand beach, boat launch and pier for fishing or swimming, playgrounds and volleyball courts, Frank Murphy Park also plays host to the Door County Triathlon every July.
- Lakeside Park, Jacksonport: In the heart of Jacksonport, Lakeside Park could perhaps be called “Door County’s year-round beach" because it hosts the Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day every year.
- 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 of this landscape.
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. Before heading to the beach, consider repacking food and other items to help reduce the trash you need to dispose of during your outing.
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. While they may be art to some, they can impact the view for others, and often where one stack is built, many others will follow. Stacking rocks also disturbs small wildlife habitats and can cause erosion.
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. Though they may look tame, animals including birds can be easily disturbed by a human’s presence, causing them to use unnecessary energy or even potentially abandon their young.
Schoolhouse Beach: Secret of Stone Beaches
While most people prefer to dig their toes in the sand, 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 smooth, warm 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 the stones with a hefty fine attached to it.
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.