Gills Rock, located on the tip of the Door Peninsula, is a small town that's big in commercial fishing and water sports. The destination offers abundant opportunities for having fun on land, too. It's a great place for a summer vacation, but be sure to make plans to come soon.
What's to do? A good thing to do, especially on the first visit to Gills Rock, is to take a sighting cruise. Shoreline Charters offers scenic tours by boat. From the spacious passenger vessel, you can observe tall cliffs, caves, islands, lighthouses, shipwrecks and coastal villages.
Many people who visit Door County talk about Cana Island Lighthouse. But when you stay in Gills Rock and take a sightseeing cruise, you get a rare opportunity to see Plum and Pilot Islands and their lighthouses.
The tours are narrated, and be sure to bring your camera as the captain tries to get as close as possible to lighthouses and natural sites.
You may have heard about the shipwrecks in the waters surrounding Door County. You can take a look for yourself by participating in a Scuba Charter to Shipwrecks on the Dive Diva. These dive charters are available from the Shoreline Resort Marina. The depth of the wrecks varies from about 20 feet to 110 feet.
Also through Shoreline Charters, you can go charter fishing for salmon and trout.
Back on shore, a fun thing to do with the kids on a rainy day is visit the Door County Maritime Museum in Gills Rock. It's affiliated with the Sturgeon Bay site, but has a totally different collection.
From Gills Rock, you can also take advantage of the nearby ferry service and spend a day on Washington Island. Or head south to Ellison Bay to hike and explore Newport State Park.
What to buy: There are nautical-inspired gifts to buy. Charlene's Gallery Ten is a Gills Rock-based gallery selling art in vast media on two levels. A gallery café has indoor and outdoor seating and tempting sweets as well as a beverage menu.
Where to eat: The Shoreline Restaurant is a Gills Rock favorite. And there are many other nearby places to eat in Ellison Bay. Find out more at www.DoorCountyNavigator.com.
Historical highlights: Gills Rock is actually within the town of Liberty Grove and formerly known as Hedgehog Harbor, according to available research. The area was reportedly named for Elias Gill, a local 19th century landowner. Gills Rock has a strong history and tradition of commercial fishing, which lives on today.
Where to stay: Many places afford peaceful views of the water. Choose from Anchors Aweigh Inn, Harbor House Inn, Shoreline Village, The Shoreline Resort or Terra Cottages. Learn more about each property and many others at www.DoorCountyNavigator.com.