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As the only entryway in to the peninsula, Southern Door County is the first thing visitors see as they arrive. The area includes seven towns and townships, and two of the most popular are Brussels and Forestville.
With thousands of acres of preserved wilderness at The Ridges Sanctuary, Toft Point, and Kangaroo Lake Preserve, Baileys Harbor puts you at the door of a natural wonderland. Enjoy spectacular fishing, beautiful quiet beaches, and three iconic lighthouses.
History comes alive in Gills Rock, where commercial fishermen still head out to the waters of Lake Michigan all year, and the Door County Maritime Museum tells Door County’s origin story. It’s all done with a view here because the village cradles Hedgehog Harbor, with its pristine bluffs and sunset views.
Rowleys Bay, a community within the town Liberty Grove, sits on the edge of the Mink River Estuary, one of Wisconsin’s most diverse and important wildlife habitats. This makes Rowleys Bay a phenomenal location for hiking, kayaking, fishing, and birding, which may be why Fodor’s named it one of the "500 places to see before they disappear" in 2009.
Historic charm and the natural beauty of a strategic shipping corridor meet a blue-collar ethic in Sturgeon Bay, Door County’s world-renowned shipbuilding hub. From thousand-foot lakers to small bass-fishing boats, this community’s heritage is all about boats and water.
Egg Harbor has been named one of the best small towns in America and for good reason. A sparkling new marina and beach stand out on the waterfront while specialty shopping dots a main street lined with blooms. Here you’ll find local artisan produce, breads, and cheeses around every corner and parks and golf courses that frame the harbor’s natural beauty.
Washington Island is your destination for adventure in Door County. It starts with a five-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 and eating hosted by the 600 one-of-a-kind residents who call the island home.
Sister Bay has been a dining destination ever since a local character put a goat on a roof 50 years ago, but an influx of new chefs and restaurants has made Northern Door’s largest village the place for food and drink.
Located between Sturgeon Bay and Egg Harbor, the small community of Carlsville is home to a remarkable number of hallmark Door County products. From coffee to wine and spirits, you’ll find some of Door County’s most famous exports at the same intersection.
No community embodies and values its heritage like Ephraim. Embedded in the harbor with a panoramic view of Peninsula State Park’s Eagle Bluff and Horseshoe Island, Ephraim has preserved its Norwegian and Moravian roots by making them a part of its modern life.
Fish Creek, WI is a hub for shopping and recreation in Northern Door County. With amazing galleries, clothiers, and gift shops, Fish Creek is the county’s most walkable shopping center and is also a short walk away from the entrance of beautiful Peninsula State Park.
Situated along the Lake Michigan shoreline, this quaint community offers a variety of fun and exciting activities and is a quick drive to some of the county’s most iconic natural treasures. Relax on sandy beaches or get photos of rocky shoreline cliffs. Hike peaceful trails and bike quiet back roads.
A tranquil respite between Egg Harbor and Fish Creek, the tiny community of Juddville has charm worth a stop. One of the county’s original roadside farm stands welcomes you to the south, and in the center you’ll find a tasty Italian restaurant, a writer’s retreat, and one of the area’s most-respected art galleries.
For decades the tiny village of Ellison Bay, which is in the town of Liberty Grove, has attracted artists, writers, and dreamers whose influence you’ll witness strolling Main Street today. Quirky public art, galleries where the artist answers the door, and eclectic shops showcasing foreign culture all call Ellison Bay home.
Door County is a big, bold, vibrant region with more than 19 distinct communities, each with its own style and flavor. Check out these handpicked experiences to get feel for the kinds of things you can see, do, taste, feel, and experience during your time here.
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Southern Door County
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