15 Best Things to Do in Sturgeon Bay

15 Best Things to Do in Sturgeon Bay

Sturgeon Bay is a very beautiful city which is surrounded by a vast amount of nature located in Door County, Wisconsin.

The town is dedicated towards industries as well as tourism and the two parts of the city are divided by a waterway.

It is very common for visitors to come to the city and go on about exploring it due to the large number of activities it offers.

The city is not very big but it still has its own charm and includes plenty of things to do.

The following article will detail the most popular things that you should try in this small yet beautiful city in Wisconsin.

Door County Maritime Museum

Door County Maritime Museum
McGhiever, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Whenever a traveler arrives to his destination, every city has its part of historical and cultural impact to make on him.

Door County Maritime Museum is one such place in Sturgeon Bay that would make a great impact on you.

Established back in 1969, this museum has four galleries in total.

In addition to the galleries, the museum also has light houses, model ships, boats, shipwrecks, as well as ship constructing companies.

What makes it different from a normal museum is that the Maritime Museum has an indoor exhibition which includes water.

The museum also has a submarine periscope which can be used by the visitors to enjoy the view is nearby as well as have a look at the Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding.

The place is quite fun for all ages and offers very insightful details into the shipbuilding industry.

Whitefish Dunes State Park

Cave point at Whitefish Dunes State Park
Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.com

Originally established to protect and preserve the Dune ecosystem in the Door County area, Whitefish Dunes State Park is a beautiful place for taking walks near Lake Michigan.

The State Park is also great for enjoying leisure activities at Clark Lake.

You can watch the waterfalls, enjoy fishing, or stroll around the wetlands.

The park offers more than 14 miles of trail area which are spread throughout the sand dunes and forested area of the park.

The dunes cannot be climbed though, in order to protect the rare species of plants and animals in the park.

You can also enjoy various displays, ecology exhibitions, geology exhibitions, programs, and historical events that take place throughout the year in this park.

The Garden Door

Garden Door
Rebecca Anne / Shutterstock.com

A beautiful garden opened in 2005 in the University of Wisconsin Peninsular Agricultural Research Station, the garden door is located right off of Highway 42.

It was designed by the associates of the Door County Master Gardener’s Association.

The same people are responsible for maintaining it presently.

The garden houses a small fairie garden, a children’s play area, decorative grass with strangely grown bottle trees, a pond with koi fish, kaleidoscopes, a memorial tunnel, a pollinator garden, as well as seasonal and perineal natural beds.

In addition to the already mentioned areas, the garden also has a specific community garden which is the meeting point of the volunteers, and researchers.

This part of the garden is used to harvest crops in the summer season and also acts as a UW extension plant.

The garden is very picturesque and definitely a must visit place whether you’re traveling with friends, a loved one, or your children.

Third Avenue Playhouse

A very famous and premium quality professional theatre in Sturgeon Bay, Third Avenue Playhouse is a very important and inseparable part of art and cultural life of Sturgeon Bay.

The theatre was opened in the year 1950 as the “Donna Theater”.

Later on it was transformed into a performing arts center, in the year 1990.

The present play house area was moved to the current space in June of 2012.

It offers a very intimate artistic experience to the visitors and allows them to expose themselves to powerful stories.

The theatre is reputed with producing more than 50 professional plays, concerts, musical acts, short films, staged readings, as well as other events since its establishment.

The theatre is also famous due to the large number of educational opportunities about the history and culture of the city.

If you’re a lover of the fine arts, or are looking to experience an intense, emotional story, Third Avenue Playhouse is a must.

Heritage Village at the creek

Heritage Village at Big Creek is a place to head to if you are interested in learning about the history and development of the city.

This area is made up of nine buildings which are historically very important to the area.

In addition to the historical eminence, the place also offers various tours, demonstrations, a tool museum, as well as special events and live performances at various times throughout the year.

The village was established to enable the residents of the city to live a simple and organic life.

Established in the year 1991, the present village is managed by more than 350 volunteers from the Door County Historical Society.

Crossfit Armati

CrossFit Armati is one of the handful of premium CrossFit facilities in Wisconsin.

The facility has a large, clean, top-class collection of the best workout equipment as well as supportive coaches to help the fitness community grow.

The facility provides various programs out of which the strength and conditioning program is most famous.

The program is largely taken up by police academics, military special operations, martial art performers, and other athletes all around the world.

It is designed in a manner that ensures overall development of fit attitude in a participant.

You can also participate in this program and learn life improving skills such as combats, rescuing, survival, basic sports and ways to a healthy lifestyle.

Definitely be sure to check out CrossFit Armati if you’re feeling the urge to get your blood pumping.

Inn at Cedar Crossing

The Inn at Cedar Crossing is a very beautiful and nicely decorated inn which is located only a few minutes’ walk away from the major attractions of the city.

The inn has various rooms which are decorated using textiles and antique furniture that give the place a very rich vibe.

All the rooms in the inn have various amenities. The visitors also get to enjoy free parking, which is quite handy while staying in a city.

Delicious hot breakfast is served in the morning, and it also has its own bakery, library,  bar, a shared lounge, as well as a kitchen.

A restaurant is also open to the public daily, which serves great food for affordable prices.

Door County Fire Company

Opened in the year 1907, Door County Firehouse Company is a very famous, family friendly restaurant in Sturgeon Bay.

The story of the operations of this restaurant is quite unique.

When the restaurant originally started, it was operating from a fully functional firehouse.

Later the restaurant was renovated and completely modified after the firemen moved from the firehouse.

It stayed abandoned for more than 7 years and started operating again after 2017.

At present the restaurant operates in two locations.

The dining room and the bar are located in the old garage while the banquet facility is allocated in what originally were firehouse offices and the town hall.

This restaurant offers a variety of American classics as

Exploring the lighthouses and the Lighthouse festival

Cana island light House
Randy Kostichka / Shutterstock.com

The city of Sturgeon Bay is filled with a number of light houses.

These light houses are not only massive structures, but also play a major role in defining the history of the city.

The major lighthouses of the city are only three in number.

Cana Island Light House is the most iconic and picturesque lighthouse in the entire Door County region.

The light house was established in 1869 and was operational for many years, though now it is merely a beautiful tourist spot.

Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal North Pier-head Light House is another famous lighthouse in the city that surely cannot be missed.

Red in color, the lighthouse is operated by the U.S. coast guard.

Old Bailey’s Harbor Lighthouse is famous for its strangely shaped light room and is aptly known as the ‘Birdcage Lighthouse’.

It was established in 1852 and served only for a short duration toll 1869.

For all the people who are fascinated about light houses, Door County Lighthouse Festival is the perfect event for them.

This event is organized in the summer month of June.

The event is held annually and is a celebration to provide some insight behind the establishment and the journeys of the famous lighthouses in the city.

In addition to the lighthouses, the festival also takes the visitors to various islands on which these lighthouses are secured.

Since some of them are not generally open to public access, this festival is the only way you can get closer look.

Enjoy Fishing

Fishing boats in Sturgeon Bay
Earl D. Walker / Shutterstock.com

One of the most common ways to enjoy vacationing in Sturgeon Bay is to go fishing.

The city offers the best fishing opportunities to the visitors in some nearby areas.

In addition to the natural opportunities, there are a large number of service providers who take care of all your requirements and make your fishing excursion a memorable one.

The city also hosts a number of fishing tournaments around the year, offering prizes for winners.

Participating in this fishing tournament will not only help you to earn some prices but also make you familiar with locals and their fishing traditions.

The most famous fishing tournament is the Open Bass Tournament which is organized in the month of May and is definitely worth checking out if fishing is your thing.

Tour in the City

Kayaking in Sturgeon Bay
SGN Photo / Shutterstock.com

If you are an adventurous person and enjoy activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, Sturgeon Bay is a perfect place for you.

The most famous service provider Bay Shore Outfitters will provide you some of the best opportunities and equipment for enjoying kayaking and feeling the adrenaline rush in your body.

Another way you can enjoy the beauty of the city is by taking the DC Adventure Centre zip line.

The zip line allows you to enjoy the views of the nearby areas.

If you feel a bit lazy and or not in the mood to walk or do any physical activity, you should consider taking Segway The Door tour.

A tour of the city that covers many of the major attractions which have already been mentioned, plus more!

The Farm

Established in 1965, Tthe Farm is a great place to visit with family, especially the kids.

This attraction is a prototype of rural and agricultural life in America.

The Farm offers various enjoyable activities that allow you to be in close connection with nature and its bounties.

You can bottle feed goat calves or milk the grown-up goats, cows and other animals.

You can also learn the basics of gardening and learn to field crops and using the farm tools.

A few walking trails can also be found, which are covered with greenery on either side of the path.

The Farmis quite great for spending time with yourself, or making memories to last a lifetime with your family.

Potawatomi State Park

Potawatomi State Park
Gottography / Shutterstock.com

Potawatomi State Park is a beautiful park in Door County, covering almost 1200 acres of land.

The park has a very beautiful landscape which can take away all the negativity and sadness.

The diversity allows you to be able to  spend the entire day there and still stay invested in the various activities.

Perfect for enjoying walking, picnics, fishing and like activities, this park is just too good to not be visited.

Door Peninsula Winery

Door Peninsula Winery is one of the most famous wineries in the area.

It is just perfect for spending some time indoors while enjoying the best quality wines with friends and family.

The winery has a very wide collection of wines, gins, vodkas, brandies, and whiskies, some of them have also won awards for their exotic taste.

The winery also offers wine tasting events. In addition to its wine collection, the place also offers a lot of delicious snacks such as fudges, jellies, etc.

The winery also has its own distillery.

A great combination of exotic drinks at affordable prices, Door Peninsula Winery is a great place to be at; especially if you need a night away from the kids.

Shopping at Sturgeon Bay

The third Avenue district
Royalbroil, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to shopping in Sturgeon Bay, there are a number of options available.

The Third Avenue District is a place loaded with specialty shops, museums and art galleries that sell artistic items at affordable prices.

If you are looking for something unique and custom-made, head to the Greater West side.

You can also check out the Bay Farmer’s Market and buy fresh and organic farm items, vegetables, and fruits.

A large number of vendors present in the market allow you to have a variety of choices and help you choose the best products for any occasion.

Sturgeon Bay is a very sound and scenic city in Door County.

The city has a lot of things to offer so that your getaway to the city is peaceful and fruitful.

Be sure to push yourself outside your comfort zone to truly enjoy the great adventures which are available.