Community Spotlight: Ephraim
Is there a more picturesque village in America than Ephraim, Wisconsin? It would be hard to imagine there is.
Whether it’s the pristine white facade of nearly all the village buildings, the unfettered views along the waterfront, quirky historic buildings, or the stunning bluffs of Peninsula State Park across the harbor, Ephraim is candy for the eyes from every angle.
Oh, and the sunsets aren’t anything to sneeze at either.
A Historic Hamlet
Perhaps no Door County community is as grounded in its history as Ephraim. Here the Ephraim Historical Foundation has preserved the soul of the village, with a historic campus on the north end of the village featuring pioneer homes and the rustic Anderson Dock. At the end of the dock is the Hardy Gallery, famous for the grafitti’d siding where visitors have painted their names for generations.
You can also take part in guided walking tours to learn more about the historic churches, picturesque town hall, early settlers and the traditions of Ephraim. The village features 30 historical stops, 11 of which are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Did You Know?
Ephraim was Wisconsin’s last “dry” community. Until 2016 it was illegal to sell alcohol in the village, an ordinance rooted in Moravian culture.
In 2016 residents voted to allow the sale of beer and wine at restaurants only. Trixie's restaurant, which opened the year after the ordinance changed, has found success as a food and wine bar with a thoughtfully crafted wine list.
While other villages have taken great strides to open up the waterfront to the public in the last decade, the expansive public waterfront views have been a trademark of Ephraim forever. This allows everyone to soak in the vistas of Peninsula State Park, Horseshoe Island, and in summer, the sailboats moored in the harbor and kite-boarders catching the breeze. In winter the view is stunning in a new way, with steam often rising from the waters to create an otherworldly framing of the landscape.
Located in downtown Ephraim, with a private sundeck overlooking Eagle Harbor, Ephraim Shores Resort is the perfect family friendly resort for groups of all sizes. With its comfortable rooms, Ephraim Shores is the ideal place to kick back and relax after a day outside. If you want to cool off, you can jump in the indoor swimming pool or if your muscles are sore, relax in the whirlpool. At the end of the day, you can watch a beautiful sunset over Eagle Harbor right from the resort. Ephraim Shores has rooms in a variety of sizes to accommodate your group, from two to the entire family.
There is so much to offer visitors, from shopping to Door County winery tours, restaurants, or taking in the beautiful outdoors. The popularity of silent sports in Ephraim continues to grow as people get out and explore their surroundings whether in a kayak, on a bike or on foot.
Make Ephraim Shores your vacation headquarters as you discover all that Door County has to offer. From our many room types to our beautiful waterfront location, Ephraim Shores has everything your family needs for the perfect vacation.
From here a morning stroll might mean a stop for a breakfast burrito near the shore, or coffee at one of the village’s cozy, quaint coffee shops. Grab a cheap soup and sandwich, homemade pizza at Joe Jo’s Pizza, or a classic burger at Wilson’s (and of course, come back for ice cream!).
When evening comes take in the most famous of Door County traditions, a fish boil at Old Post Office Restaurant, where the meal is part sustenance, part story theater.
A few steps away from your room you can stop at South Shore Pier to rent pontoon boats, paddleboards and kayaks. If you’re staying in Ephraim and don’t get on the water, you really haven’t experienced Ephraim, and human-powered watercraft are the easiest way to see the harbor.
In a place as beautiful as Ephraim, it’s no surprise that artists and artisans flourish here. There are several galleries and art studios in Ephraim, including Fine Line Designs Gallery and Sculpture Garden, one of the premier galleries in the county. It’s not uncommon to find artists posting up throughout the village with easels and brushes to capture the many eye-catching scenes.
When it’s time to find gifts, you’re in luck again with a community thick with fine specialty boutiques, artisan shops, and folk art.
And if your idea of shopping includes doing a little work yourself, the village is now home to two DIY craft studios where you can take a date or the family to create your own signs, prints, and designs of all types.
Doorstep to Nature
Though quaint, Ephraim offers plenty for the adventuring sort.
The south end of the village is bordered by Peninsula State Park, quite possibly the state’s premier natural recreation spot.
Hike from a wide selection of trails of all difficulty levels, bike the leisurely Sunset Path or challenge yourself on the interior single-track trails, hang at Nicolet Beach, or just drive through and soak in the views from Sven’s Bluff and Eagle Bluff.
On the north end of the village is another pristine natural area called Anderson Pond.
Ephraimites take their traditions seriously, whether it’s the annual sailing regattas from the Ephraim Yacht Club, or the burning of the winter witch each June at Fyr Bal Festival (pronounced “Fear Ball”). Each Father’s Day weekend Ephraim celebrates summer with food, beverages, and fun in the village. When dusk arrives, bonfires light up the shore and fireworks light up the sky.
Just up the road between Ephraim and Fish Creek you’ll find the Skyway Drive-in Theatre, one of the last of its kind. It offers a double feature throughout the summer in a venue that will transport you to yesteryear.
Does Ephraim sound like your kind of getaway? It’s hard to imagine it couldn’t be, so start browsing lodging now before it’s filled up!
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