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Washington Island

Washington Island

Washington Island is about 7 miles northeast off the tip of Door County, Wisconsin.  The island can be reach by crossing by Death’s Door in Lake Michigan’s waters by ferry from Ellison Bay at the Northport Pier.

Experience the Blissful Peace

Outdoor Weekends in Washington Island, Wisconsin

Once thing I really enjoy about Washington Island is that there doesn’t seem to be the hustle & bustle of the city. It is peaceful!

Winding Road to Gills Rock, Wisconsin in Winter

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You know you are on the right track and will arrive at the Northport Pier when you get to the famous curvy road. This road has been photographed in all seasons by tourist and photographers alike.

Northport pier ferry is what you will find at the end of the curvy road.  Where you can hop aboard the ferry. No reservations are needed.  Although, expect a wait during busy times.  The ferry will hold freight, automobiles, motorcycles, bikes and passengers.   It departs daily for a fee.

Washington Island Ferry Passing Us on Another Ferry:

Click on the arrow in center of picture to start video clip.

Just wanted to note that there is a second ferry that is called the Island Clipper, this one is only a passenger ferry.  The Island Clipper is a tour boat that leaves from Gills Rock, Wisconsin but not the car ferry I speak of above.

Washington Island is the largest island in a group of islands that includes Plum, Detroit, Hog, Pilot, and Rock Island. You can see some of the lighthouses on the islands when enroute on the 30 minute ferry ride to Washington Island.

Plum Island Lighthouse Pano - Plum Island Lighthouse is located in Lake Michigan waters off the shores of the Door County Peninsula in Wisconsin.

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Plum Island Lighthouse above is one of the lighthouses that you can see from the ferry.  Not as close as this, but you can see it.  This picture was taken from another boat trip my husband and I took.


The Gills Rock Ferry Docking Video:

Click on the arrow in center of picture to start video clip.

There are plenty of free things to do on the island. Visit schoolhouse beach, Jacobsen Museum, Washington Island Farm Museum and Jackson Harbor Maritime Museum.

Schoolhouse Beach Washington Island

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We only took the ferry over for the day but having a car afforded us the ability to cover a lot of ground. We stopped in and browsed a few of the shops that dot the island and also to view the lavender farm on the island.  It was still pretty early in the season, so no blooms yet.

Jack's Service

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It was nice seeing some of the old history that the island held.  This service station is out of business.

International Harvester Scout

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Along the Lake Michigan shoreline there are commercial fishing boats.
The Seediver below is a commercial fishing boat that is docked in Washington Island.

Seediver Commercial Fishing Boat

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If you are looking for an additional adventure, The Rock Island Ferry departs from Washington Island and travels to Rock Island.  Read about Rock Island HERE.  You will have to have a vehicle or take a taxi from the ferry dock to the Rock Island dock.  It is not in walking distance.


For this trip we also visited the Stavkirke Church Chapel (Read my post HERE).  I loved the old architecture it was modeled after.


Stavkirke Church Washington Island

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I enjoyed bumming around the harbor areas like Jackson Harbor. The commercial fishing boats that go out and catch whitefish for the famous whitefish boils.

Washington Island Fishing Boat From Water

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They were fun to watch docking and unloading. I walked past the boats on the dock to poke my head inside and see all the fishing equipment.


Inside one of the fishing shops I found a bunch of swallows. They fly in and out because all the doors are open.


Coffee Cup Featuring Lighthouses of the Door County Peninsula 

Door County Coffee Cup - Featuring Lighthouses



Swallow Inside a Fishing Shop

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The day went all too quickly. I wish I could have had time to see more. I told my husband we needed to rent a vacation home here for a few days next summer. I’d enjoy exploring Washington Island a little more.

Until Next Time friends. Take Care!

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