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Cana Island & Lighthouse

Cana Island is a small, serene landmass sitting just off the coast of the Door Peninsula, near Baileys Harbor. Visitors reach the island via haywagon ride over a sandy causeway or, when the water is low enough, by wading through on foot. On the eastern edge of the island sits one of the most-iconic and most-photographed lighthouses in Door County and Wisconsin at large—the idyllic Cana Island Lighthouse. While here, travelers can hike the 97-step staircase to see panoramic views of the lake and peninsula, tour the lighthouse and other buildings, explore the lake on a kayak tour, or simply wander the island and listen to the sounds of waves crashing against the stone foundations.

Lighthouse in the distance surrounded by trees on the lakefront

The shipwreck of the Australasia, sunk in 1896, and artifacts from the 1928 downing of the M.J. Bartelme can be found just off Cana Island's coast.

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Activities at Cana Island and Lighthouse include the haywagon rides, kayak tours, tours of lighthouse and other buildings, walks on the beach, picnics, and island exploration.

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Ambitious view seekers can climb the 97-step spiral staircase to top of the 89-foot lighthouse tower to take in sweeping views of Lake Michigan, the Door Peninsula, and nearby islands—just as the lightkeepers would have done each night.

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Now on National Register of Historic Places, the lighthouse was manned from 1870–1945 until automated. The Door County Maritime Museum took over upkeep in the 1970s in order to preserve this beautiful island and historic lighthouse.

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Travelers can visit the lighthouse most days May through October, and they can get special tours and experiences during the Lighthouse Festival, held most years in June and October.

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Closeup of watermelon chunks with minced basil

Basil & Watermelon Salad

This picnic-friendly watermelon and basil salad is the perfect light snack for a summer day spent on an island shore.

Red lighthouse on a rocky outcropping with a boat coming in.

Lighthouses of Door County

Lighthouses are one of Door County's coolest maritime attractions and have played a major role in regional culture and history.

Waves of Lake Michigan

Standing on the edge of Cana Island, looking eastward toward Michigan, hearing the waves roll in and crash against the stone beach.