Free & Fun:
Embrace the Simpler Life
Fun Doesn’t Have to Cost a Thing
A Door County vacation doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, many of the county’s best activities are free and open to everyone. Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer or you enjoy the finer things, you’re sure to find some fantastic ideas for exploring the county on a budget.
Top 7 Free Things to Do in Door County
Door County has just about everything you could want to see, taste, or experience, including a host of activities that don’t cost a dime (or cost only a few dimes) to enjoy. Check out these seven experiences you can get for free in Door County and on Washington Island.
- Spend Time Outdoors: Dozens of miles of hiking trails are maintained by local conservation groups and are free to access. The Door County Land Trust, the Nature Conservancy, and local parks offer the best of nature at no cost. County and local town parks, including many of the county’s best beaches, are open to and free for the public.
- Hear Some Live Music: Check out both local and international musicians playing free concerts in local parks five nights a week in the summer. Many local bars and taverns offer live music with no cover charge.
- Check Out Galleries and Museums: Learn a little bit of local and state history at many of the museums and historical societies and art galleries throughout the county, many of which are free and open to the public. Visit the Door County Garden, take the Sturgeon Bay Historic Walking Tour, or the try the walking tours offered in Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, or Ephraim.
- Experience Door County Festivals: Sure, the beer might cost a few bucks, but countless festivals, parades, and parties take place throughout the year, and many don’t charge an entry fee. Witness the county’s quirks, its parades and charades, the pop-ups shops, and the festival flavor that wafts through the air.
- Conquer Mountain Park Tower: Climb the 184 steps to the top of the wooden lookout tower on Washington Island and see Door County from above the treetops. If the climb doesn't take your breath away, the view certainly will.
- See the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal and Coast Guard Station: A stroll along Sturgeon Bay’s waterfront and canal is a tour of local maritime history in itself; be sure to bring your camera! The lighthouse and breakwater pier are some of the most photographed subjects in the county.
- Give Geocaching a Try: If you have a GPS, you already have an adventure in your hand. Many caches are hidden throughout Door County and contain interesting prizes. Go online, type in your location, and let the adventure unfold.
Get Your Parks & Rec On
Parks have always been a source of inexpensive fun. With 300 miles of shoreline, we've got quite the source. Stop at Anclam Park in Baileys Harbor on a windy day to watch the kite boarders or Ellison Bay Bluff Park to gaze at stunning views from the deck.
Dig Your Toes into Our Sand
Our 53 public beaches make Door County a favorite summer-vacation destination! Enjoy lakeside sunrises, swimming in the midday heat, bayside sunsets, and moonlit bonfires on our shores.
Look Out from a Lookout Tower
Door County's lookout towers and viewing spots—all located several stories off the ground—offer visitors (who dare to climb hundreds of stairs) gorgeous panoramic views and a brand new perspective on the county.