Door County

The first white man to set foot on what today is Door County was a young and bold French explorer named Jean Nicolet who came ashore on Rock Island in August of 1634. Nicolet, sponsored by Governor Champlain of New France (today, Quebec), was in search of an all-water route across North America to Asia. Instead they found a land rich in natural resources such as trees, game, fish and fur-bearing animals.

Door County is unique in that it offers visitors a rare mix of activities in the midst of some of the most breathtaking natural beauty in the world. It’s the only county in America to offer 300 miles of picturesque shoreline, 5 scenic state parks, 10 historic lighthouses, 11 challenging golf courses and a renowned performing and visual arts culture, all within a 30-minute driving radius. In addition, visitors enjoy exploring charming specialty shops, delicious cuisine at a wide variety of area restaurants and one-of-a-kind activities.

Temperatures in Door County are tempered by the waters of Lake Michigan which surround the narrow peninsula. In general, winters are milder and summers cooler and less humid than inland destinations. Warm summer days still mean sweaters or sweatshirts for evening strolls along the beach or around the campfire. Door County culture is richly steeped in the arts and history. Explore some of our more than 80 renowned galleries, museums or acclaimed theatrical/musical venues. Take in some of our 10 lighthouses or numerous other historical sights. You can even enrich your vacation by taking mini-courses in literature, the humanities or arts.

When in the northern part of the Door Peninsula, be sure to visit the Door County Maritime Museum at Gills Rock. The newly remodeled facility features the fishing tug Hope built in 1930 by Sturgeon Bay Boat Works (currently Palmer Johnson). Visitors can board the boat and view its last fishing trip in 1992. Along with the Hope is the remake of a net shed complete with fishing boxes, a net reel, and other traditional fishing supplies. The Museum also features new exhibits on shipwrecks and lifesaving including a lyle gun used to rescue mariners from shipwrecks. The Ted Berch model collection of 20 Great Lakes vessels including the Edmund Fitzgerald is also located in the lifesaving area. The Museum at Gills Rock also houses an area devoted to marine engines including those built at Kahlenberg Brothers of Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Other exhibit areas include ice fishing and navigation.

Explore Door County

Door County Visitor Bureau

1015 Green Bay Road, PO Box 406 • Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235-0406
Phone: (920) 743-4456 Email: [email protected] Fax: (920) 743-7873

Visit Website
North Northeast Southeast South Central West Central