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Washington Island

Stavkirke Church Washington Island Door County Wisconsin

Washington Island

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

Experience the Blissful Peace

One 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

Winding Road to Northport Pier Gills Rock, Wisconsin. This might be one of the most photographed roadways in Door County.

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.

Car Ferry to Washington Island

Washington Island car ferry all loaded for our short trip across Lake Michigan.

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, Wisconsin

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 en route 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.

Plum Island Boathouse and quarters above is one of the islands with a lighthouse 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 the center of the 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

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

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

International Harvester Scout

Along the Lake Michigan shoreline, there are commercial fishing boats and pleasure boats docked.

Along the Washington Island, Wisconsin Lake Michigan shoreline there are commercial fishing boats and pleasure boats docked.

The Seediver below is a commercial fishing boat that is docked in Washington Island.

Seediver Commercial Fishing Boat

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

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

Washington Island Fishing Boat From Water

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.

Washington Island Jackson Harbor

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

Additional Post: 11 Must-See Lighthouses in Door County, Wisconsin

Swallow Inside a Fishing Shop

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!

Additional Door County, Wisconsin Places to Visit & See:

Toft Point Baileys Harbor Door County Wisconsin 11 Must See Instagramable Lighthouse in Door County, Wisconsin
Cave Point County Park Door County, Wisconsin Anderson Dock Ephraim, Wisconsin
 Chicago Fire Boat in Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin at Night Sherwood Point Lighthouse & Frozen Ice Formations Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Door County


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