Door County Visitor Bureau– Southern Door

Door County Wisconsin

Door County Visitor Bureau - Southern Door

Local Communities

Southern Door

Southern Door

Just past the stress line, and through the main “Door” of Door County, you’ll find the quaint communities of Southern Door.  Stay and play year-round in Southern Door County where you’ll enjoy a vast array of outdoor activities and events.  Hike and bike the Ahnapee Trail or canoe and kayak the Ahnapee River.  Cast a line in the waters of Green Bay for some of the best catches in the Midwest.  With 8 county parks, a state park, miles of trails and public beaches, filling your family’s memory bank has never been easier.  Explore and enjoy the endless array of natural beauty that makes Southern Door the “hidden treasure” of rural and unaltered vistas that Door County is known for.

Local Communities – The doors of Door County

  • Southern Door

    Southern Door County retains a rural, small-town charm that lets visitors know they are leaving their urban stress behind them. Rolling fields are dotted with distinctive red brick Belgian farmhouses. The Brussels and Namur communities host the country’s largest concentration of Belgians, earning Southern Door a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The bayside shoreline features some of the best spring and summer smallmouth bass fishing in the Midwest and superb ice fishing in the winter.

  • Sturgeon Bay

    Sturgeon Bay, named Wisconsin’s friendliest small town, is the county seat and the only city on the peninsula. Settled in 1835, its economy originally was based on lumbering. That changed, however, when the canal linking Green Bay and Lake Michigan opened to shipping in 1881.

  • Carlsville

    Clustered along Highway 42 halfway between Sturgeon Bay and Egg Harbor, the tiny community of Carlsville has been small in size but big in spirit throughout the past century and a half. When Door County was being settled, it was unusual for a community to develop inland, away from the lake or the bay, but that’s just what this unincorporated community did.

  • Jacksonport

    In 1869, Jacksonport became the last of Door County’s communities to be formally organized. Settled in 1848 as a lumber town, the community was named after Andrew Jackson, a logger and prominent business owner in the community.

  • Baileys Harbor

    Concerned for his passengers and cargo, Bailey kept watch for a place in which to ride out the storm. Late that night he found a quiet cove where he could drop anchor until the storm passed and his journey could be resumed.In October 1848, a cargo ship loaded with lumber and carrying several passengers left Racine, bound for Detroit. That evening the ship, commanded by Capt. Justin Bailey, encountered a violent storm. Buffeted by high winds and heavy rain, the ship pitched and rolled in the angry Lake Michigan waters.

  • Egg Harbor

    There are several conflicting stories about how Egg Harbor got its name. One of the favorites, however, has to do with an incident that allegedly occurred in 1825, 28 years before the village was founded and 36 years before it gained official status.

  • Fish Creek

    Door County’s first community, Sturgeon Bay, was settled by Increase Claflin in 1835. Nine years later, following a frightening confrontation between his son-in-law and local Indians, Claflin moved his family north to Fish Creek.

  • Ephraim

    In the spring of 1853, 40 Norwegian Moravians, led by the Rev. Andrew Iverson, settled the area around Eagle Harbor. The hardy pioneers named their community Ephraim, a biblical term that means fruitful.

  • Sister Bay

    Sister Bay, Door County’s largest community north of Sturgeon Bay, was settled in 1857 by Norwegian immigrants. Originally two communities, Big Sister Bay and Little Sister Bay, the Village of Sister Bay was formally created in 1912. From 1859 until 1912 both communities were governed by the Town of Liberty Grove.

  • Washington Island

    Washington Island welcomes you to Door County’s only year-round island community and the largest of Door County’s thirty-four named islands with over 35 beautiful square miles and over 100 miles of roads to explore and enjoy.

  • Ellison Bay / Rowleys Bay / Gills Rock

    Northern Door County hosts an abundance of wonder, artistic gusto and the most breathtaking scenery around. The “Top of the Thumb” is highlighted by the communities of Ellison Bay, Rowleys Bay and Gills Rock. These three communities share much in terms of charm but each offers sights and activities that distinguish it from the others.