Baileys Harbor, WI: Lodging, Dining, Attractions & More

Baileys Harbor is a popular destination in Door County, Wisconsin. This page will help you learn more about:

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Cana Island Lighthouse, consisiting of a yellow brick keeper's dwelling and a white tower. Superimposed text says, "Cana Island Lighthouse."

Cana Island Lighthouse

Discover the Cana Island Lighthouse in Door County. Learn about its construction, unique features, and stunning views of Lake Michigan.
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All Posts About Baileys Harbor

Cana Island Lighthouse, consisiting of a yellow brick keeper's dwelling and a white tower. Superimposed text says, "Cana Island Lighthouse."

Cana Island Lighthouse

Discover the Cana Island Lighthouse in Door County. Learn about its construction, unique features, and stunning views of Lake Michigan.
Read More
Collage with the Cana Island Lighthouse, cherry orchard, and a sunrise over Lake Michigan. Superimposed text says: "Baileys Harbor, WI."

General Information About Baileys Harbor

“Baileys Harbor” can refer to a body of water, a town, or an unincorporated village, all in Door County, Wisconsin.

Body of Water

“Baileys Harbor” refers first of all to a body of water. Baileys Harbor is an arm of Lake Michigan on the Door Peninsula, north of Sturgeon Bay.

The Harbor of Baileys Harbor was at one time an important port on Lake Michigan. It was a safe refuge for mariners, and it was a major port for fishing and the shipping of stone and lumber.

Because of the importance of the harbor, several lighthouses have been built to help ships navigate into it from Lake Michigan, including the Old Baileys Harbor “Bird Cage” Lighthouse, the Cana Island Lighthouse, and the Baileys Harbor range lights.

Eventually, the importance of Baileys Harbor subsided when the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal was completed.

The Harbor of Baileys Harbor, an arm of Lake Michigan. Via Google Maps.

Town of Baileys Harbor

There is also a town in Door County called “Baileys Harbor.” It is named after the body of water.

While the Village of Baileys Harbor is located within the Town of Baileys Harbor, these are distinct entities.

This language might be a little confusing to people because “village” and “town” might be interchangeable. But, these mean different things under Wisconsin State Law.

Towns in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has 1,253 towns. The legal definition of a town in the State of Wisconsin is different than the common definition of town that many people use. Many people think of towns as having an urban or suburban pattern of settlement. However, according to Wisconsin State Law, any land that is not covered by a municipality like a city or a village is part of a town.

Towns in Wisconsin have historically had a rural character. However, this is not always the case. Some towns have experienced much growth and have suburban and even urban settlement patterns.

Town populations can range from 40 residents to over 22,000 residents.

Towns are general-purpose units of local government that perform and provide various kinds of municipal functions and services.

Towns in the State of Wisconsin include Baileys Harbor, Sevastopol, and Clay Banks.

Village of Baileys Harbor

In addition to the Town of Baileys Harbor, there is also an unincoporated Village of Baileys Harbor.

It is located at an elevation of 686 feet (209 meters) above sea level. The latitude and longitude of Baileys Harbor are 45.067° N and 87.104° W, and its GPS coordinates are 45.067, -87.104.

Map of the Village of Baileys Harbor. Via Google Maps.

Villages in Wisconsin

The State of Wisconsin has many villages. There are two different types of villages: incorporated villages and unincorporated villages.

Unincorporated villages are designated for the sake of convenience, but they do not have any formal status under Wisconsin State Law. Baileys Harbor is an example of an unincoporated village.

On the other hand, incorporated villages have the status of incorporated settlements under Wisconsin State Law. They can have either the president-village board or the village board-village manager structure of local government. Ephraim is an incorporated village.

The vast majority of villages in the state of Wisconsin utilize the president-village board structure. Under the president-village board structure of local government, both the president and the village board are elected by the public. Under the village board-village manager structure, the village board is publicly elected, and the village board appoints the village manager.

There are 411 incorporated villages in the State of Wisconsin. These include villages like Sister Bay, Forestville, and Ashwaubenon.

Industries in Baileys Harbor

Baileys Harbor is a popular tourist destination and its main industries include hospitality, tourism, and retail. The town has a variety of shops, restaurants, and accommodations, catering to visitors who come to explore Door County and its many attractions.

Geographical Features of Baileys Harbor

Baileys Harbor is located in Door County, Wisconsin, which is known for its rolling hills, pristine lakes, and scenic countryside. The town is surrounded by forests and farms, offering a peaceful and serene setting for visitors. Baileys Harbor is also located near several parks, including Ridges Sanctuary, which offers hiking trails and picnic areas, and Baileys Harbor Beach, which provides access to Lake Michigan.

History of Baileys Harbor

The town of Baileys Harbor was founded in the late 1800s and was named after Captain Justice Bailey, a captain of a Great Lakes schooner. Early settlers in the area were primarily fishermen, and the town grew as a center for the fishing and shipping industries. In the 20th century, Baileys Harbor became a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors with its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities.

Why People Love to Visit Baileys Harbor

People love to visit Baileys Harbor because of its stunning natural beauty and its many attractions. The town is home to several parks, including Baileys Harbor Beach, which provides access to Lake Michigan and offers a beautiful setting for swimming, sunbathing, and other beach activities. The Cana Island Lighthouse is another popular attraction, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and a glimpse into the history of lighthouse keeping. The Ridges Sanctuary is also a must-visit, offering hiking trails and picnic areas that allow visitors to explore the natural beauty of Door County.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape in the countryside, a fun and active vacation, or a combination of both, Baileys Harbor has something to offer. Come visit and experience the beauty and charm of this historic town for yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Baileys Harbor known for?

Baileys Harbor is known for its access to the beautiful waters of Lake Michigan. It has also become a focal point of the Door County food scene. Popular attractions in Baileys Harbor include the Ridges Sanctuary and the Cana Island Lighthouse.

How did Baileys Harbor get its name?

Baileys Harbor is named after Captain Justice Bailey, a schooner captain of the Great Lakes.

What county is Baileys Harbor in?

Baileys Harbor is in Door County, Wisconsin.