Nestled around Eagle Harbor along the shores of northwestern Door County, the charming village of Ephraim is home to one of the Midwest’s most serene waterfronts. Adjacent to Peninsula State Park, with easy access to the gorgeous waters of Eagle Harbor and Green Bay, this quaint village is truly special.
Among the oldest of Door County's original villages, a Norwegian Moravian reverend founded Ephraim in the mid-19th century. The area's history is one of the most well-preserved in both the county and the state and a central reason why the village remains popular in modern times.
Though its legacy and community spirit are the primary draw, there's even more to love beyond the picturesque setting and carefully maintained historical sites.
Whether you're here as a visitor or a part- or full-time resident, the top attractions in Ephraim are for locals and tourists alike.
Ephraim's commitment to preserving its distinctive structures is a hallmark of the village. The entire village, stretching from just beyond the western edge of Eagle Harbor to its northeasternmost border with Sister Bay, is a historic district. However, Ephraim's most treasured attractions hug the coastline between the famed Anderson's Dock and the Ephraim Firehouse Marina.
The Ephraim Historical Foundation
Since its inception in 1949, the Ephraim Historical Foundation has championed the mission to protect and promote the rich cultural history of Ephraim. The foundation operates across five historic sites—Anderson Store Museum, Anderson Barn Museum, Iverson House Museum, Pioneer Schoolhouse Museum, and Svalhus Research Library. Each invites visitors to step back in time and immerse themselves in local history.
Those wanting to delve deeper can do so through tram or kayak tours and guided walks available from June to October. These tours offer unique and detailed journeys through Ephraim's past. The foundation also hosts special events catering to various age groups and oversees a vast archival collection that includes documents, photographs, and artifacts with insight into Ephraim's and Door County's rich past.
The epicenter of Ephraim's cultural heritage, the Anderson Dock is a canvas bearing the signatures and creativity of visitors from all walks of life. Encouraging individuals to leave a tasteful mark — albeit without the use of carving tools or spray paint — the dock stands as a living testament to the thriving community and the historical significance of the Anderson family. Within its vicinity, you can find the iconic Anderson Homestead, Gas Station Gallery, Ice House, and the Anderson Warehouse, which is now home to the Francis Hardy Gallery.
Ephraim Firehouse Museum
Located on the historical Moravia Point, or more accurately, built into the side of it, the Ephraim Firehouse Museum honors the brave souls who have served the community since the 1930s. It houses an extensive collection of firefighting memorabilia, including Ephraim Volunteer Fire Department's original 1934 Ford pumper, as well as contributions from around the world. The centerpiece of the museum is the history and evolution of firefighting in Door County and a tribute to Assistant Fire Chief Bill Weborg, a heroic figure in the firefighting community.
Fun and inviting festivals
Beyond honoring its historic lineage, Ephraim is also skilled at celebrating the here and now. Playing host to three of Door County's most cherished events, locals or tourists should plan their itineraries accordingly to ensure they can enjoy Ephraim's rich culture and harmonious community spirit.
Evenings in Ephraim
Discover the charm of Evenings in Ephraim every Monday night from June to August, where the north end of the village transforms into a vibrant marketplace reverberating with the spirit of community and creativity. Dubbed Bondemarked, Norwegian for "farmers market," the area brims with various goods from local vendors and artisans. Following your shopping experience, the Harborside Park gazebo comes alive with the sounds of tunes from local talent.
Fyr Bal Festival
Embrace the seasonal transition from spring to summer at the iconic Fyr Bal Festival, held annually every June along the picturesque shores of Eagle Harbor. The festival celebrates Ephraim's Scandinavian heritage with a day-long schedule of music, dance, food, crafts, and artistry that provide a little something for every member of the family to enjoy. The Fyr Bal Festival is capped off just after sunset with Scandinavian dancers and singers, the lighting of a traditional summer-welcoming bonfire, and a magnificent fireworks display over Eagle Harbor.
Christmas in the Village
Each December, Ephraim transforms into an enchanting winter wonderland offering a range of festive holiday cheer for all ages at its Christmas in the Village celebration. The day features horse-drawn wagon rides, crafting sessions, and an abundance of holiday-themed food. Of course, it wouldn't be a Christmas village without the opportunity for kids to await Santa's grand arrival at the Village Hall with his elves and reindeer in tow. At dusk, Harborside Park is the sight for Ephraim's grand tree lighting ceremony.
More attractions to explore
Ephraim never ceases to impress with its array of experiences.
The Hardy Gallery
In Ephraim, the heartbeat of art and community resonates most clearly at the Hardy Gallery. Established in 1962 to honor the memory of Francis Howe Hardy, the gallery is a beacon of cultural enrichment, both inside and out. Situated on the historic Anderson Dock and housed in the graffiti-strewn Anderson Warehouse—its exterior a nod to when sailors etched the names of their docked ships on the original warehouse's walls, a practice still encouraged for visitors today—the gallery welcomes visitors into a world of creativity, showcasing the works of seasoned and emerging artists within the rustic wooden warehouse. With such a simple yet majestic setting, The Hardy Gallery never wavers from its "art is the reason" mantra, promoting it through its dynamic educational programs catering to art enthusiasts of all ages.
The Old Post Office Restaurant
The Old Post Office Restaurant is a step back in time—a place that echoes the rich history of Ephraim and stands as a testament to the region's vibrant past. With its origins tracing back to Peter Peterson's original, early-1900s era General Store, the restaurant offers a cozy retreat to indulge in daily meals and iconic Door County fish boils.
Eagle Tower and Peninsula State Park Golf Course
Although the official entrance to Peninsula State Park is a few miles south in neighboring Fish Creek, those in Ephraim enjoy direct access to two of the park's favorite attractions—Eagle Tower and the Peninsula State Park Golf Course.
Overlooking Ephraim's Eagle Harbor, Eagle Tower is a 60-foot-tall structure offering panoramic views of the park, the harbor, the bay of Green Bay, and surrounding islands. Visitors can climb the tower's 100 steps or take a scenic route across an 850-foot accessible canopy walk.
Local and visiting golfers will appreciate the lush fairways and well-manicured greens on the 18-hole Peninsula State Park Golf Course. A less than three-minute drive from the heart of Ephraim, the beautiful course also includes a 6-hole short course and a clubhouse with a restaurant and pro shop.
Discover the best of Ephraim with a trusted partner
Are you interested in discovering even more top attractions in Ephraim? Or is the time right for you to explore the best of Door County real estate? Contact Diane Taillon
and the team at Arbor Crowne Properties today to start your home-buying journey. Allow Diane and her team's knowledge and expertise to help you navigate the Ephraim luxury real estate market.