Visiting Door County? Make a Stop on Washington Island

These are the three must-see things on Washington Island.

If you’re visiting the peninsula, a short sojourn to Washington Island — the small piece of land off the tip of famed Door County — should be on your itinerary. The small five-by-six mile island is only home to about 700 people year round, but it has a wealth of historic sites and retreats. The best seasons to visit are summer and fall. 

Only accessible by ferry or other boat, to get there you have to pass through “Death’s Door,” the treacherous strait between Door peninsula and the island. There is a lot to see and do on the island, but if you only have a couple hours, here are your can’t-miss spots. 

1. The Ferry Trip

While packing onto a car ferry with 20 other vehicles and their people can be claustrophobic at first, it is well worth it. The sights of open water and fresh Lake Michigan air on your journey to the island spark an unexpected nostalgia for the maritime history of Lake Michigan.

If that feeling is something you want to keep chasing, check out one of the many lighthouses around the neighboring area or on the island.

2. Stavkirke

The Stavkirke church looks as if it could be from of a photo album picturing a European vacation . Modeled after ancient scandinavian churches, it is a monument to the ancestry and heritage of Washington Island. The unique architecture and relevance to the history of the island makes Stavkirke unmissable.

3. Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm

Find rich, purple fields just around the corner from Stavkirke and enjoy the aroma of fresh lavender being grown. Pluck your own lavender, or bring your camera and don’t miss the many opportunities for photos of you and your loved ones at Island Lavender Company. The gift shop, unfortunately not painted purple, has plenty of lavender style goodies for you to take home or enjoy on the spot.

More Information

Washington Island Ferry

215 WI-42, Ellison Bay


1763 Townline Road, Washington Island

Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm

1350 Airport Road, Washington Island