20 Best Things To Do Near Ellison Bay, WI [2024]

Wondering how you’ll spend time during your vacation to Ellison Bay in Door County, Wisconsin? Here are the best things to do in and around this secluded Door County destination.

The curvy road in Door County, Wisconsin, with a semi-transparent blue overlay and text in black reading, "Ellison Bay, Wisconsin Things To Do HelloDoorCounty.com"
Image adapted from an original by Royalbroil, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Ellison Bay Community Park Beach

grid of beach scenes with the superimposed text: Ellison Bay Community Park Beach

Few things say “vacation” more than going to the beach. Ellison Bay has you covered!

Ellison Bay has a beach right in the village. It is a shallow, sandy beach in a full-service park with a picnic area, grills, gazebo, playground, and restrooms. A non-motorized boat launch is also available.

Check out our comprehensive post about the Ellison Bay Community Park Beach to learn more!

Address: 11953 Highway 42, Ellison Bay, WI 54210
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Sand Bay Town Park Beach

Another beach in the vicinity of Ellison Bay is at Sand Bay Town Park. The locals are going to kill us for telling you about this one.

Sand Bay Town Park of the Town of Liberty Grove is a hidden gem of Door County. On the Lake Michigan side of the peninsula, the waters here are especially inviting for a swim on the hottest days of the year. This has a sand beach, swings, picnic area with grills, restrooms, and a non-motorized boat launch for those who would like to ply Lake Michigan’s waters by kayak.

Address: 11154 N Sand Bay Lane, Sister Bay, WI 54234
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These are only two of Door County’s many beaches. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Amazing Door County Beaches in order to find the right beach for your visit to Fish Creek.

Drive the Curvy Road

Just beyond Ellison Bay, Wisconsin State Highway 42 proceeds through 15 curves. The road was designed to encourage drivers to participate and take in the natural surroundings. Interestingly enough, the road itself has become a focal point of attention, attracting many photographers.

Visit a Restaurant

Here are a couple restaurants near Ellison Bay.

Wickman House

One of Door County’s most remote restaurants is also one of its best. The Wickman House has limited the breadth of its menu in order to maximize its depth. The ingredients of each menu item have been carefully selected and sourced for agricultural sustainability, and the flavors are crafted for complex yet appealing savor.

The setting of the Wickman House is as enticing as its menu. Located at a rambling old inn and offering outdoor seating, this restaurant exudes the timeless otherworldliness of Ellison Bay.

While the Wickman House is as far as one can get from major urban hubs in the Lower 48, it has received attention from food writers in some of the nation’s largest cities. The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Wall Street Journal have all written praises of this Ellison Bay restaurant.

Address: 11976 Mink River Rd, Ellison Bay, WI 54210
Phone: 920-854-3305
Website
Map

Hügel Haus

The Hügel Haus calls itself Door County’s “wurst bar,” as a self-deprecating nod to the German fare they offer.

Attached to the Hillside Inn, Hügel Haus is unassuming on the outside but has a unique interior. It’s worth coming in to see it!

Patrons enjoy the German food and also the ample beer selection.

Address: 11934 WI-42, Ellison Bay, WI 54210
Phone: 920-633-4080
Website
Map

If neither of these restaurants seem like they will suit your wishes, check out our article on the best restaurants near Ellison Bay, Wisconsin for some more ideas.

Powerboating or Sailboating

Boating is a popular activity in Ellison Bay. There is a public boat ramp and a private marina in Ellison Bay.

Paddling

If you prefer plying the waters under your own power, Ellison Bay is a great place to do this as well. Many waterside resorts lend paddling equipment for free.

Newport State Park

Newport State Park is my favorite of the Wisconsin State Parks in Door county, and it is right in the vicinity of Ellison Bay. Newport offers more of a wilderness experience than the other state parks. People will not crowd you here, but the stars crowd the night sky. Gorgeous hikes, stunning shoreline, and pack-in camping round out the experience at Newport State Park.

Our post on Everything You Need to Know About Door County State Parks has lots of information about Peninsula State Park and the other state parks in Door County.

Ellison Bluff County Park / State Natural Area

This 174-acre park with 7,000 feet of shoreline, sits 100 feet above Lake Michigan. Outstanding views are available from the hiking trails. Amenities include a picnic area and restrooms. This County Park has also been named a State Natural Area.

Ellison Bluff County Park is one of the many examples of Door County’s excellent parks and preserves, even beyond the 5 state parks. Our article on all of Door County’s parks and preserves is your guide to these portals to natural beauty.

Address: Ellison Bluff Rd, Ellison Bay, WI 54210
Hiking Trail Map
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Door Bluff Headlands County Park

This 252-acre park, with 600 feet of shoreline, is Door County’s largest county park. However, it is also the least developed. No facilities exist here except for an access road and undeveloped hiking trails. Because of the lack of development, naturalists will love to explore this park.

Door Bluff Headlands County Park is one of the many examples of Door County’s excellent parks and preserves, even beyond the 5 state parks. Our article on all of Door County’s parks and preserves is your guide to these portals to natural beauty.

Address: 12900 Door Bluff Park Rd, Ellison Bay, WI 54210
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Visit Washington Island

Once you are to Ellison Bay, you are almost to Washington Island. Make it a day trip and take the ferry across Death’s Door Passage to this magical place.

View a Lighthouse

Door County has 11 lighthouses. While Ellison Bay doesn’t have a lighthouse, several are within easy drives of this village.

The two closest lighthouses to Ellison Bay are the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse in Peninsula State Park and the Cana Island Lighthouse across the peninsula near Baileys Harbor

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Door County Lighthouses for details on how to visit these and other lighthouses in the area.

Attend a Fish Boil

Boiled fish? It’s a Door County tradition you should try! Several establishments near Ellison Bay offer fish boils.

Our post on Everything You Need to Know about Door County Fish Boil will tell you more about this tradition and all of the boils available in the Door County area.

Watch a Sunset

sunset over the bay of Green Bay in Door County, Wisconsin.
Via Hello Door County

Ellison Bay is a wonderful place to catch a sunset. Ellison Bay Community Park, right in the heart of Ellison Bay, is a great place to watch one. Check out our post on Door County’s parks and preserves to find out more about great places in the Ellison Bay area to catch a sunset over the bay of Green Bay. This activity is a great example that you don’t need to spend a lot of money for fun in Door County.

Camping

Several public and private campgrounds lie around Ellison Bay. Check out our ultimate guide to camping in Door County to learn more about camping opportunities around Sister Bay.

Visit a Distillery

Given its remote location and the presence of so many fermentable crops, Door County has always had a distilling tradition, even during Prohibition years. That tradition continues with the Door County Distillery and Hatch Distillery.

Both the Hatch Distillery and the Door County Distillery are directly on the way to Ellison Bay, only a few miles away.

Cherry Picking

collage of a cherry orchard, upclose shot of cherries, and buckets of cherries in the back of a pickup truck. Overlayed text says: "Door County Cherry Picking."
Via Hello Door County.

Door County is known as “Cherryland USA.” Take part in this All-American activity, usually sometime from mid-June through early August.

Check out our ultimate guide to Door County cherry picking to learn more!

Fishing

Ellison Bay is a great place to go fishing. Fishermen frequently land perch, pike, walleye, and salmon.

Golfing

Peninsula State Park has one of the most scenic golf courses in the state of Wisconsin. Tee times for this golf course are highly sought after.

The clubhouse has a restaurant and pro shop.

Catch a Free Concert

The village of Sister Bay, just south of Ellison Bay, hosts weekly concerts at the stage at Waterfront Park, held at 6:00 PM on Wednesdays from mid-June through mid-August.

Cave Point County Park

Large rock at Cave Point County Park in Door County, Wisconsin.
Cave Point County Park. Via Hello Door County.

Door County is legendary for having 5 state parks, but one of the peninsula’s favorite state parks is a county park by the name of Cave Point. Here, Door County’s Niagara Escarpment comes right up to Lake Michigan. The lake’s powerful waves have carved caves and rock formations in the dolomitic rock.

Cave Point is a bit of a drive away from Ellison Bay. But Cave Point County Park is worth the 25 mile trip for the amazing experience it provides.

It is a great place for photography, kayaking, hiking, and more. This is definitely a “must-do” activity for any visit to Door County.

To learn more about this incredible park, make sure to check out our comprehensive post on Cave Point County Park.

Cave Point County Park is the best example that Door County has far more opportunity to experience natural beauty than just state parks. Check out our post detailing all Door County’s parks, preserves, and access points. As of last count, there are 136 of them!

More Roundups of Things To Do

Check out our other roundups of things to do in the area:

About the author
Mark Stoneman
Hi! My name is Mark! I have been a resident of Door County for almost ten years now, and I'm glad to help you say "Hello" to Door County. I believe that travel helps to change lives, and because of that, I want to help you improve your life through travel.