Settled in 1848 as a lumber town, Jacksonport became the 14th and last of Door County's communities to be formally organized in 1869, though tourism didn't really hit Jacksonport until the 1920s. Today, Jacksonport has retained the peace and charm of such small communities. With an old-fashioned sense of time and place, the “Quiet Side” offers a relaxing escape.
While you're here, enjoy the outdoors year-round! Picnic and swim at Lakeside Park right in town, visit Cave Point Park to see picturesque shoreline cliffs and explore the vast rocky beach, or get a park sticker and spend a day hiking the 14 miles of trails in Whitefish Dunes State Park, home to the largest sand dunes in Wisconsin and over a mile of beautiful sand beach. Appease the animal lover in your family with a visit to Plum Loco Animal Farm, or go horseback riding at Kurtz Corral.
SHOP & DINE
Find groceries and gas at Welsing's Foodland at Valmy just 7 miles south of Jacksonport, or shop right in town at Bley's Grocery. For Certified Organic farm-raised Black Angus and Hereford beef, Yorkshire-Hampshire cross pigs and chickens take lovely Logerquist Road just north of Jacksonport and visit Waseda Farms Market, open year-round. Mid-June through October take advantage of the local harvest at Jacksonport's weekly Farmers Market, Tuesdays 9am-1pm at Lakeside Park.
Taste and tour at Simon Creek Winery, but don't spoil your appetite, the Jacksonport Area restaurants are here to serve!
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
While it has been fondly called “the Quiet Side,” and, with its dunes and parks, trails and beaches, there is no question that it is also “the Scenic Side.” Jacksonport's Lakeside Park & Erskine Rest Area, are transformed into a carnival midway, an open air market, a main street parade, and more during annual and weekly events.
Now in its 41st year, Maifest is Jacksonport's largest festival and includes a juried Art Fair, featuring artists from around the Midwest. Concession stands serve beverages, brats & hot dogs and a Corn Roast. The Women's Club Stand features cherry kolaches, funnel cake, pie, ice cream, and other desserts. The kids will enjoy the Maifest Midway at Lakeside Park featuring Inflatable activities and Pony Rides. Live music will permeate the air from the Performance Tent each day. The Annual Maifest Parade takes place on Hwy 57 through Jacksonport at 10:30am on Saturday. On Sunday, participate in a 10K or 2 Mile Fun Run, but make sure to be back at the Ballpark for the Frontier Farmers Horse Pull. The 2013 Maifest will be held at on May 25th & 26th from 9am–5pm.
Mid-June through October take advantage of the local harvest at Jacksonport's weekly Farmers Market. Local growers and crafters gather Tuesdays from 9am–1pm at Lakeside Park. Locals and visitors alike enjoy this laid back gathering to buy weekly fresh, locally produced items and catch up on the latest news. The Jacksonport Farmer's Market highlights local growers and art/craft booths with the emphasis on Farm products and all hand crafted local items. Whether you come for the wide selection of bakery, organic beef, plants, hand crafted gifts, fresh produce, seasonal fruit or your weekly bouquet of fresh flowers we know you’ll enjoy the friendly faces and all that our Jacksonport Farmer’s Market has to offer.
After the fireworks are over in Door County, visit Jacksonport for Art on the Scenic Side, a phenomenal Fine Art Fair featuring unique, handmade pieces from a variety of new and returning artists. Concessions and live music keep the party going, and proceeds from the event help support many community projects. Art on the Scenic Side will be on July 6th & 7th in 2013, 9am–4pm. Also on Sunday, July 7th, the 32nd Annual Dairy Breakfast will be held on a working dairy farm where visitors may enjoy an all-you-can eat breakfast, tour the grounds and enjoy hayrides, entertainment, a petting zoo and more at this Sevastopol FFA Alumni Association sponsored event.
A special Door County treat, the Annual Cherry Fest occurs each August and is sponsored by the Jacksonport Historical Society. Visit the Historical Review Booth for local education. Jacksonport Family memorabilia will be on display and the Society's Jacksonport Through the Generations book series will be available. The restored Root Cellar in the Erskine Rest Area will be open for viewing, and four historical vehicles will be on display throughout the park. Take a cruise down Park Road on horse drawn wagon rides, enjoy live music while you taste Door County cherry products, let the kids participate in a Penny Hunt on the beach, and check out the Juried Arts & Crafts Fair. This year's Cherry Fest will be August 3rd from 9am–4pm.
Jacksonport also offers an Easter Egg Hunt in Lakeside Park, and proudly presents Door County's only Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, but perhaps the most famous of Jacksonport's “off-season” events is the New Year's Day Polar Bear Plunge. Every January 1st since 1986, dedicated members of the Jacksonport Polar Bear Club gather on the public beach at Lakeside Park and wait for high noon before surging en masse into the icy shallows of Lake Michigan. The Jacksonport Polar Bear Club Swim is the largest gathering of Polar Bears in Wisconsin on New Year’s Day. Think you can dare to ‘Bear’ it? See the calendar of events on page # for more dates & details.