in Door County
Visit a Museum & Travel to the Past
Door County’s history is filled with tales of agricultural abundance, ecological wonders, and Great Lakes adventure. But local history has also been defined by the people who have boldly uprooted their lives and moved to the peninsula and Washington Island over the years in search of the good life. Their stories live on in literature, art, cuisine, architecture, and cultural traditions, but they also persist at local museums and historical centers throughout the county.
Visit the Spring Guide for Trip Ideas & Inspiration.
Door County Museums
Looking to enrich your mind and your vacation? Door County’s museum and historical centers have you covered.
- Alexander Noble House: 10-room Greek Revival farmhouse from 1875 that has been beautifully preserved with period furniture and décor
- Corner of the Past/Old Anderson House Museum: tour 15 different galleries/exhibits featuring local historical artifacts
- Eagle Bluff Lighthouse: lighthouse museum offering tours, authentic period furnishings, and a look at navigational history
- Heritage Village at Big Creek: nine historic buildings that depict life in rural life in Door County during the late 1800s and early 1900s
- Washington Island Farm Museum: vintage barns and farm buildings, farm animals, a wagon ride, crafts, demonstrations, and more
- Door County Maritime Museum: located along Sturgeon Bay’s working waterfront, showcases the area’s rich maritime roots
- Door County Historical Museum: view restored 1920s fire trucks, a wildlife exhibit with 100+ species, and a historical videos
- Ephraim Historical Foundation: walking tours of Ephraim's gorgeous Moravian and Norwegian architecture and historic buildings
- Crossroads at Big Creek: 115-acre preserve offering experiential learning focused on science, history, and the environment
- Island Lavender at the Historic Island Dairy: a working lavender farm with a museum and gift shop selling lavender items and artisan goods
- Belgian Heritage Center: visit Southern Door to learn how our Belgian ancestors and their culture came to be an indelible part of local history
- Jacobsen Museum: a beautiful lakeside cabin property packed with amazing Door County artifacts, natural items, and historical objects
Top 5 Historic Landmarks
While not exactly museums, these historically significant sites are absolutely worth the visit (and a few photographs).
- Tornado Memorial Park: This park memorializes Door County's Peshtigo Fire of 1871, the largest and deadliest in our country’s history.
- Cana Island Lighthouse: Wind down a rustic road, through an old-growth forest, and across a causeway to see this iconic lighthouse.
- Sturgeon Bay Shipping Canal: The canal was built in 1882 to connect Lake Michigan to the Green Bay and changed the face of Great Lakes shipping. It's known for its iconic Sturgeon Bay Pierhead Light.
- Thordarson Boathouse: Built by an eccentric Chicago inventor in 1910, this remote boathouse at Rock Island State Park is now one of the most iconic places in the county.
- The Farm: This living museum of rural life features agricultural history, nature trails, animal viewing, pioneer buildings, and nature exhibits.