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With nearly 300 miles of shoreline, Door County is renowned for some of the most beautiful beaches in the area. From wide-open sand dunes to rare limestone shores, and action-packed water sports to serene rolling waves, there’s a beach for you.
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 paddleboard 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 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.
While every public beach has its own group of regulars, there are a few that stay quiet even in the heat of the summer.
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.
Some beaches in the county have their own special draw, bringing locals and tourists to their shores for a wide array of reasons.
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.
Sturgeon Bay Canal: Dip your toes in the waters of Sturgeon Bay’s historic shipping canal.
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. The stones provide the perfect backdrop for crystal-clear water that is best visited when a north wind blows warm surface water in from the deep, protected harbor.
Historic glaciers battered the stones on the beach into the smooth, flat surfaces they are today. The naturally-formed stones are only replicated a few places in the world including the Philippines, New Zealand and England.
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.
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