Watch: A Taste of Rusticity & Tranquility
America’s Largest Belgian
Settlement is Steeped in Heritage
Architecture, Traditional Food, and Beautiful Countryside in Brussels
Brussels and its surrounding communities are full of history and rich Belgian heritage, which is visible in historic chapels, one-room schoolhouses, and unique red brick homes.
This resilient farming community in Southern Door was founded in 1858 by four Belgian immigrant families, and that Belgian heritage remains evident throughout the countryside today. The nation’s largest Belgian settlement, it was destroyed by the devastating Peshtigo Fire in 1871. The settlers rebuilt, this time with brick and stone instead of wood, and their architecture still dots the landscape of Brussels.
Some residents can still speak Walloon, the language of the original settlers, and many celebrate the Belgian Kermiss festival each September with traditional Belgian food and drink. Learn more at SouthernDoorCounty.com.
Restaurants in Brussels
Check out the culinary variety of pubs, bars, bistros, diners, and home-style cafes that are open all year round in the area surrounding Brussels. If you enjoy outside seating, live music, Friday fish-boils, and beautiful waterfront or marina views, then you’ll find what you’re looking for here.
Things to Do in Brussels
Drive off the beaten track to find classic brick Belgian farmhouses, roadside chapels, and beautiful farm country. For more historical fun, visit the Peninsula Belgian American Club, Tornado Park, and the Belgian Heritage Center. Southern Door is even home to Claflin County Park and Claflin Rock, named after the county’s very first settler from 1835. Visit one of the county’s oldest cheese factories, cast a line for some of the best fishing in the region, or bring your sled and snowmobile come winter. Southern Door is also home to the first ATV trails in Door County allowing many different ways to explore the area. To watch a video on what Southern Door has to offer click here.View Activities
Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until blended. Grease waffle griddle with lard. Bake in hot...
BLOG: Door County's Architectural Riches
love old buildings. I've had to because I've always lived in them - my husband and I have even fixed up two old houses so far...
Did you know?
In 1994, the area was recognized by by the National Register of Historic Places for its rich Belgian history.
1. Cast a line. The waters of Southern Door draw hordes of anglers looking for the big one!
2. Get cheesy with a visit to Renard’s Cheese Factory, the county’s oldest. Get there early for the squeakiest curds.
4. Visit Tornado Park. The Peshtigo Fire is overshadowed by the Great Chicago Fire that happened the same day, but the Peshtigo Fire claimed far more lives, including 60 at this location when a tornado of fire leapt over the bay to Door County.
5. Stop inside the tiniest churches you’ll ever find. Several roadside chapels can be found along the roads of the Brussels area.