Getting To Washington Island Is Part Of The Fun

Door County’s best kept secret lies 5 miles off the tip of the peninsula...and getting here is part of the fun!


Since 1940, Washington Island has relied on the dedicated service of the Washington Island Ferry for safe, year-round ferry-service. Breaking through the ice in the winter, a slow cruise through the night on a Friday Night Boat, or basking in the sun on the top deck on a glorious summer day, this approx. 30 minute ride will transport you “North of the Tension Line” in many ways.

The treasure lies across what is known as Portes des Mortes, or Death’s Door, a passage where the waters of Lake Michigan and Green Bay meet.

Legend has it, Death’s Door was named for it’s treacherous waters by the French for all the close calls, catastrophes and steep bluffs and shoals. One well-known tale is of a group of Indians who were resting near the bluff when strong waves washed them in the water. As they attempted to climb to safety, they were attacked with tomahawks from an enemy tribe. Storytellers have their own version of these myths which continue to fascinate us to this day.



Once you get here, it’s up to you what to do. There is an abundance of natural beauty, cultural and historical sites, beaches, restaurants, and more. Take a tour, bring your bikes or car, and enjoy … you are now “North of the Tension Line!”