6 of the Best Door County Lighthouses You Must See

Since the 1800s, lighthouses in Door County safely guided sailors as they made their way through the vast lakes. Although most of the beacons have long since retired, they still stand as symbols of strength and protection along Door County’s shores. A visit to this peninsula is nearly incomplete without seeing the Door County lighthouses! As you plan your vacation, be sure to make time for a visit to these picturesque local treasures. 

Discover Door County, an area that is one of the most beautiful and unique places in the United States. Learn about the area’s best attractions in our free Vacation Guide! It’s filled to the brim with excellent recommendations for things to do during your Door County getaway that you won’t want to miss!

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How Many Lighthouses Are in Door County?

Door County has over 300 miles of shoreline. Therefore, before the use of GPSs, lighthouses were necessary to navigate ships into harbors safely. Door County has 11 breathtaking, historic lighthouses located throughout the county. It’s hard to find time to see them all, so here are our picks for the must-see Door County lighthouses!  

The Top 6 Must-See Door County Lighthouses

1. Baileys Harbor Range Lights

Baileys HarborRange Lights

Only a 13-minute drive from the Ashbrooke Hotel. 

No trip to Baileys Harbor is complete without experiencing the iconic Baileys Harbor Range Lights. Built in 1869 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, the Baileys Harbor Range Lights are lighthouses known as the Upper Range Light and Lower Range Light. They are arranged in a range light configuration to keep ships off the treacherous reefs and shallows at the entrance to Baileys Harbor. 

2. Old Baileys Harbor LighthouseOld Baileys Harbor Lighthouse

Only a 19-minute drive from the Ashbrooke Hotel.  

Many visitors and locals know this historical treasure as the “Birdcage Lighthouse.” It earned its name from the lantern room’s strange birdcage-like design. The lighthouse was erected on an island near Baileys Harbor in 1852. Although the lighthouse is privately owned and cannot be visited by the public, many boat tours sail by to catch a glimpse of its unique structure. 

3. Cana Island Lighthouse

Door County Lighthouses

Only a 28-minute drive from the Ashbrooke Hotel.  

You’ll find the Cana Island Lighthouse on the north end of Baileys Harbor off narrow and rustic Cana Island Road. This lighthouse serves as the peninsula’s most iconic and photographed lighthouse. It was established in 1869 and became automated in 1944. Today, it’s recognized as a part of the Door County Maritime Museum and is open for tours. You may even choose to climb the 97-step spiral staircase to the lighthouse’s gallery deck. There, you’ll gaze at stunning views of Lake Michigan!

4. Sturgeon Bay Canal North Pierhead Light Sturgeon Bay Canal North Pierhead Light

Only a 28-minute drive from the Ashbrooke Hotel.  

This impressive bright red, eye-catching structure is nearly impossible to miss from both land and sea. Its brilliant color has made it a sight to behold since its construction in 1882. Today, the Sturgeon Bay Canal North Pierhead Light sits on the fully operational U.S. Coast Guard Station on Lake Michigan. Visitors are not permitted into the tower, but you are more than welcome to explore the lower-level break wall. 

5. Sherwood Point Lighthouse

sherwood point lighthouse

Only a 40-minute drive from the Ashbrooke Hotel.  

The Sherwood Point Lighthouse is the last human-operated lighthouse on the Great Lakes. It was established in 1883 and automated in 1983. It is open to the public during the Lighthouse Walk, held the second weekend annually in June. The rest of the year, the Sherwood Point Lighthouse is operated as a rest-and-recuperation area for active members of the U.S. military on a rental basis. Also, it is part of the National Register of Historic Places. 

6. Plum Island Rear Range LighthousePlum Island Rear Range Lighthouse

Only a 41-minute drive from the Ashbrooke Hotel. 

The gap between the peninsula’s tip and Washington Island earned the name “Death’s Door” due to its dangerous waters. To help save lives, the Plum Island Lighthouse was erected in 1896. Visitors traveling aboard the Washington Island Ferry will see the range light tower, keeper’s dwelling, and fog signal building. The front range light can only be seen by boats approaching Death’s Door from Lake Michigan. 

Door County Lighthouse Tour 

For a more in-depth and informational experience, we highly recommend joining a Door County Lighthouse Tour or attending the Door County Lighthouse Festival. You will be able to see the area’s most treasured lighthouse, including those usually restricted to visitors. Knowledgeable guides will be available to answer your questions and share everything they know about these historic landmarks. You see additional Door County lighthouses, like the Pilot Island LighthouseChambers Island Lighthouse, or Eagle Bluff Lighthouse in Peninsula State Park. 

Stay Near the Best Door County Lighthouses at The Ashbrooke HotelFull view Getaway Room 

Bid farewell to the typical hotel experience and say hello to The Ashbrooke Hotel! Our romantic, adults-only hotel provides everything you need for a relaxing and memorable getaway. From cozy rooms and suites to luxury amenities, you’ll feel like royalty as soon as you walk through the door until the moment you check out.  

Our Getaway Room is the perfect choice to relax and recharge. These lovely rooms feature a king-sized bed, an in-room two-person hot tub, and plush micro-fiber terry cloth robes for your use during your stay. Also, you’ll enjoy free WiFi access, a 55″ TV with HBO, a wet bar, refrigerator, and microwave when you stay in the Getaway Room.  

Check our availability and stay at The Ashbrooke Hotel. We can’t wait to welcome you soon! 

Follow the Light to the Ashbrooke Hotel