WASHINGTON ISLAND FERRY LINE
We have to start your list of Island Activities with the Ferry because this is the exciting beginning of your journey to the Islands (now including Rock Island)... taking you on a scenic journey through time as you glide past the Islands on your way to Washington Island. This is the only ferry that can bring your car with you and is also the way the majority of Islanders travel to the Island year-round. For Ferry Times & Rates from the Ferry Line or give them a call 920.847.2546 or toll free 1.800.223.2094
ARTS, MUSIC & THEATER
The Island's influence on artists, musicians & actors alike is apparent when you stop in to enjoy there work. Not only in the local talent is this evident but many off-Island visitors find themselves caught up in the art of expression from the annual musicians, "Under the Big Top" performance during the month of August to Island Players performances on the stage at the TPAC and the displayed works of artisians at "Art-in-the-Park", held every July at the Art & Nature Center (visit our "Calendar of Events").
Sunday afternoons during the summer, the Islanders play mainland teams in the Door County Baseball League. Good old-fashioned baseball with hot dogs, brats, ice cream & soda (visit our "Calendar of Events"). The Little League, sponsored by the Lions Club, play teams from the County on Friday evenings.
BIKING & E-BIKING
Over 100 miles of paved roads provide scenic biking pleasure on the Island. Bike rentals are available at Island Rides Bicycle Rentals offering a ride for every age for the past 15+ years including the furry friends. Create awesome island memories with one of our Bicycles, Retro E-Bikes, Surreys, Pet or kid trailers. (Downtown area) Click on "Island Rides Bicycle Rentals" for more details.
Washington Island is a major birding flyway. All levels of birders are welcome to enjoy the incredible variety of species in their natural habitats. Opportunities to learn more about birding or other wildlife on the Island is available through the Art & Nature Center. The Annual Birding Festival takes place during the spring of each year and is sponsored by the Art & Nature Center.
BOATING & FISHING
Protected harbors offer boaters and fishermen choices of marinas and docking facilities at Kap’s Marina and Shipyard Island Marina (see Services under "Shops"). Public boat ramps are available at Jackson Harbor and also across from the Island Welcome Center in Detroit Harbor. Excellent fishing spots are located in the waters around Washington Island; annual Bass, Walleye and Salmon Derby/Tournaments for those interested in a challenge!(visit our "Calendar of Events").
Our Captains know the waters well. If the fish are out there your bound to be taking one or more home. Call the Dor Cros office 920.847.2126 for more details.
Enjoy golf amid a landscape of mature maples, evergreens, grasslands, and a glistening pond. Two ways to go about it and the Deer Run Golf Course offers both. The challenging, nine-hole, regulation course offers demanding greens, elevated tees, and many doglegs or the 18-hole Adventure Island Miniature Golf, featuring a waterfall of native Island boulders and other natural obstacles.
Visit some of the most beautiful, unique & undisturbed places to hike in Door County and don't forget a visit to Rock Island State Park.
Washington Island has some of the best inland waters on the Great Lakes for kayaking. Annual Canoe & Kayak Event (call Washington Island Chamber of Commerce for more info 920-847-2179).
Over 100 miles of paved roads provide scenic riding pleasure on the Island. Annie's Island Mopeds are available to rent at the Island Clipper dock.
Some of the most unique shopping you will experience in all of Door County. From the Red Cup Coffee shop's collection of Island crafted pottery, jewelery & art. Stop and visit the grass roofed shops of Den Norske Grenda and don't forget your camera for a picture of the "Scandinavian Lawnmowers".
Enjoy swimming the pristine, clear, cool waters our protect harbors have to offer. SchoolHouse Beach with it's swimming raft and unusual rock beach make it one of our most popular beach stops and Jackson Harbor Ridges with it's shallow sand bottom warms up to bath water rather quickly. For another option the Island Recreation Center features a 32′ x 60′ indoor swimming pool and whirlpool. So no matter the time of the year remember to pack your bathing suit for your Island visit.
Island Rides Bicycle Rentals: (Downtown Area) Touring the Island the old-fashioned way...foot & pedal. Ride along majestic tree lined roadways & shorelines. Located on the Dor Cros Inn property close to the ferry dock. If your not bringing your car over on the ferry & have a bike reservation with us catch our Shuttle to our door (daily or multiple day discount, delv to Island lodging for fee - MC/VISA accepted). Click on Island Rides Bicycle Rentals for more info.
Annie’s Island Moped Rentals: ( Ferry Dock Area) Open daily beginning May 22 10:30am. Visit www.anniesislandmopeds.com
Bread & Water: (Uptown Area) Mon. - Sat. 8am - 4pm Breakfast, Lunch, Baked Goods & Kayak Guided Tours. Call 920-847-2126 for more info
Deer Run Golf Course: (Downtown Area) After a round of golf relax and enjoy the view from the outdoor deck or clubhouse, serving lunch and refreshments. Gas and pull carts, rental clubs, pro/gift shop and motel adjoin. MC, V, DV accepted. Main & Michigan Roads. Call 920-847-2126 for more details.
Recreation Center: (Downtown Area) Patio tables and lounge chairs surround the indoor swimming pool area for a relaxing day poolside with large glass windows looking out over the garden area. The swimming area has basketball hoops, kickboards & toys for the whole family to enjoy. Relax your tired muscles in the 12 person hot tub. Working of some tension in the weight room is an excellent choice. Friday nights are "Teen Night" till 10:30pm. Daily Fees: Seniors: $ 8 (10 day pass $70) Adults (20-61): $9.00 (10 day pass $80) Youth: $ 6 (10 day pass $50) Families: $18.00 (10 day pass $170). 7:30-12 & 2:30-8:30 Sun. 2:30-8:30. Call 920.847.2226 for more info & up to date pricing and/or hours or Visit their Website
BEACHES, HIKING PLACES & PARKS
Gislason Beach: Visit our newest restored beach with fresh sand and sea grasses to hold it all in place. Great for families with young kids due to the shallow waters. Located directly across from the Red Barn Park.
Heritage Nature Trail: This self guided trail contains the varying trees & plant life you will discover as you explore Washington Island. Open daily & year round
Jackson Harbor Ridges: While strolling the shoreline view the beauty of Rock Island to the north and witness the magnificent birds on their long migration trail. The water's edge with it's sandy bottom is a shallow protected harbor warming up nicely for a great summer dipping spot. Open daily & year round. Bathroom facility & picnic area available
After looking for herons at Little Lake and visiting the Jacobsen Museum, stop by the nearby Peoples Park to have your lunch on one of the picnic tables while admiring the scenic overlook of Green Bay & some of the best Sunsets Door County has to offer.
Percy Johnson County Park
Enjoy this scenic beach area with a view of Hog Island while enjoying a picnic in the only Door County Park on the Island. Ample picnic tables and grills are available. Bathroom facility available. Open daily & year-round
Red Barn Park/Gislason Public Beach
Alcohol-free park includes playground, picnic area, grills, volleyball, trails, benches on the beach. The Red Barn Coffeehouse offers summer events: Thurs. 7:00 pm – Family Storytime; Fri. 7:30 pm – Live Entertainment! Local & visiting artists perform country, jazz, gospel, original music and perform theatrical events.
Rock Island State Park: Visit the island that only allows foot traffic. Tour the first lighthouse built on the great lakes back in the 1840’s. Explore the many scenic nature trails and beautiful shoreline. Let the Rock Island Ferry wisk you back to simpler times. Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend. Special Trip for Lighthouse Walk Tour every mid May. For questions, contact the Rock Island State Park Office at 920.847.2235. Ferry Schedule
School House Beach: Enjoy this unique rock beach. It has been said that there are only 5 beaches like this in the world. So unique there is a fine for rocks accidentally falling into your pocket. Picnic area provides picnic tables & fire rings. Bathroom facility available. Open daily & year-round
Sand Dunes Beach: Discover the beautiful dunes of Washington Island. Open daily & year round. Bathroom facility available
ARTS, MUSIC & THEATER
Art & Nature Center: Located in an schoolhouse this building is dedicated to displaying the talented work of island artists. The nature center is where you will discover the inner workings of a live bee colony while learning about the many other live creatures to be found on the island. Naturalist leads hikes and summer art classes for kids are offered. Open mid-June through mid-Sept. 10:30 - 4:30 Sun. 11:30-4:30 After Labor Day 11:00 - 3:00 For more info: 920.847-2025 or 920.847.2657 website: Visit their website
Red Barn Coffeehouse: (Red Barn park) The Red Barn Coffeehouse is one of the original stages for island entertainment. Enjoy seasonal island entertainment from talented island musicians to actors performing their favorite roles. The Red Barn Coffeehouse offers summer events: Thurs. 7:00 pm – Family Storytime; Fri. 7:30 pm – Live Entertainment! Schedule of all events can be found in our office or listed in “The Observer”, Washington Island’s only newspaper. Great picnic area with swings, etc. & bathroom facility.
Sievers School of Fiber Arts
Sievers School of Fiber Arts on Jackson Harbor Road has received national recognition for the week-long and weekend classes it offers for adults, May through October. Dormitory facilities are also available for students. The staff consists of professional teachers/fiber artists, offering a large variety of classes to an annual student enrollment of 500-plus. Original fiber art works are sold along with quality knitting and weaving yarns, fiber art books and supplies. Visit their website
Trueblood Performing Arts Center (TPAC): This newly constructed theater is home to many Island entertainers. Enjoy year-round island entertainment from talented island musicians to actors performing their favorite roles. Schedule of events can be found in our office or listed in “The Observer”, Washington Island’s only newspaper. Visit their Website
Local Establishments & Live Summer Music: The Island business owners work very hard to bring the best mix of summer musicians to the Island for your enjoyment free of charge (see "Historic Pubs" below or visit our "Calendar of Events").
OTHER MUST SEES
Jackson Harbor Maritime Museum: Discover the early Maritime days of Washington Island. From commercial fishing to the every day operations of the ferry line service since the early 1900’s. Plenty of artifacts to see on the exterior. Interior opening daily beginning Memorial weekend through Columbus Day weekend 10am - 4pm. Bathroom facility & picnic area available
Jacobsen Museum: 1920’s Scandinavian log cabin housing artifacts from the Pottawatomie Indians living on the island as early as the 1600’s. Many items donated by islanders from the 1920’s to the present. Plenty of artifacts to see on the exterior. Interior opening daily beginning Memorial weekend through Columbus Day weekend 10am - 4pm. Bathroom facility & picnic area available
Mountain Lookout Tower: Climb the wooden structure for an awesome view of the island and the many islands to the north. Don't forget your camera. Open daily year-round 8am - 10pm. Picnic area & bathroom facility
Norse Horse Park
Visit our farm that features Scandinavian Heritage Animals. We will introduce you to Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish horses; Finnish and Icelandic sheep; Icelandic chickens; Swedish ducks and a rare herd of Swedish Russ horses. Possible Programs by appt. only. Visit their website
Stavkirke Church: A beautiful wooden structure built in the 1990’s to replicate the Scandinavian churches found in Europe around the 1400’s. Walk the birding trail to observe Island nature. Open daily 9am - 8pm Open year-round
Washington Island Farm Museum: 1850’s log cabin & out buildings to give you an idea how life was lived on the island during the “good ole days”. Family events where the family gets involved every Wednesday during the summer: Home-made Ice Cream, Corn Husk Doll Making, & Adobe Oven Baking, etc. Horse drawn wagon rides Wednesdays 11-2 & Farmer's Market on Thursdays 3-6pm. Plenty of artifacts to see on the exterior. Interior open daily beginning Memorial weekend through mid-October. Home of the October "Fall Fun Fest & Cider Party". Bathroom facility & picnic area available
Island Airport: Great spot for a little plane watching or fly-in & we'll pick you up if your staying with us. Stop in for the ever popular Annual "Fly-in-Fishboil", third Saturday in July. Over 250 planes visit the Island from vintage planes to the newest bird in the sky (visit our "Calendar of Events").
STABLE & TRAIL RIDES
Field Wood Farm & Trail Rides: Enjoy the scenic beauty of the island as you meander through the woodsy trails upon an Icelandic horse and Pony Rides for the little ones. Memorial weekend through October. We try to accommodate those with Special Needs. Stop in or by appt. Check in early if you’re only here for the day. Weather can affect availability. Late May-mid Oct. 920-847-2490. firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRANSPORTATION & TOURS
Bread & Water Kayak Tours & Rentals:
Kayak Tour: A Journey of Discovery Exploring the Waterline
Paddle Detroit Harbor, Jackson Harbor, Little Lake, Island Crossings to Rock and Detroit Islands, Eco-tours
- Experienced Guide Service
Call for kayak tour which includes instruction plus kayak, paddle and life jacket fitting
Tours are dependent upon weather. For more info 920.847.2400
Island Rides Bicycle Rentals: Beginning Memorial weekend stop in at Island Rides Bicycle rentals for a truly enjoyable Door County Island experience. Touring Washington Island the old-fashioned way… foot & pedal as you ride along our majestic tree lined roadways, golden wheat fields & miles of scenic shorelines. We are located in the ferry dock area. 2-4 hr. min.& daily or multiple day discount. MC/V/Discover accepted.920.847.2126 Website: Island Rides
Island Shuttle LLC:Narrated sightseeing tours plus Island transportation. Off Island trips by reservation. Come see us at the Ferry Dock or we’ll pick you up at your place of choice. Service for Islanders and visitors! 920.535.0617
Washington Island Cherry Train: Hop a board the Island's open air tram for as you experience some of the great sites of Washington Island. Your guide will take you on a 90 minute narrated tour past Island sites and through Island history. Begins second Monday in May. Visit their Website
Island Adventures Company: (Ferry Dock Area) Kayak & Boat Tours. Kayak, SUP, UTV & Fishing Kayak Rentals 9-5 (call first: 920-847-4563) Closed Mondays. Book online: Visit their Website
Island Clipper and Viking Train Tour: The Island Clipper, a 65′ all aluminum, 149 passenger cruiser leaves Gills Rock daily for Washington Island. The Viking Tour Train meets the Island Clipper from Gills Rock, providing a 90 minute tram tour of Washington Island. Stops include: “Uptown” at Den Norske Grenda, Schoolhouse Beach, Ostrich Farm and the Farm Museum. Tour tickets may be purchased at Gills Rock. MC/V accepted. Gills Rock Ferry Dock 920.854.2972 Visit their Website
Segway The Door Tours: A Segway Tour! Unique, fun and easy. Northern Door: Peninsula State Park, Baileys Harbor Lighthouse, Ellison Bay Bluff and Washington Island. Southern Door: Sturgeon Bay Canal/Lighthouse and historic tour. Tours from 40 minutes to 5 hours. Call ahead 920.376.0256 Special $ if you are staying at the Dor Cros. Website: Segway the Door
Shoreline Scenic Cruises: Shoreline Scenic Cruises offers narrated sightseeing cruises along Washington Island’s beautiful coastline and to the lighthouses on Plum Island and Pilot Island and the shipwrecks there. Cruises are also available along the cliffs on the west side of the Island and up to scenic Washington Harbor, site of the shipwreck Louisiana and Schoolhouse Beach. Cruises depart from Detroit Harbor, reservations needed. 920.421.0922. Visit their Website
HISTORIC ISLAND PUBS
The Granary: Visiting this unique drinking establishment with it’s many antiques and beautiful custom wood work may be on your list of things to do. An 1860’s granary brought over from Sanders, Wisconsin in the late 1990’s and rebuilt in it’s present location adjacent to KK Fiske’s Restaurant. This is also the home of one of the ingredients from Death's Door Spirits. The wheat for this tasty item has been grown on Washington Island by The Granary and is now being used in spirits like "Death's Door" vodka. Also host to live music during the summer every Friday & Saturday 9:30pm - ? (free of charge) Fall Music: Fri. & Sat. of Harvest Fest Weekend (second weekend in Sept.) & Fri. & Sat. Columbus Day weekend.
The Bitter’s Pub: Famous as one of the oldest legal running pubs in the United States. Stop in for a visit to find out how the original owner, Tom Nelsen legally operated through the prohibition period of the 1920’s and even earned themselves a spot in the Guiness Book of World Records in the process. You may also have the pleasure of sitting next to one of their ghostly visitors. Host to live music during the summer.