Guide to what to do in Sturgeon Bay, including the best Sturgeon Bay activities and attractions
Situated in Door County, Sturgeon Bay is one of the hidden gems you should visit as you travel Wisconsin.
There are various fun things to do in Sturgeon Bay, whether you want to stroll around the promenade and enjoy the maritime charms in the area or prefer outdoor activities like fishing or kayaking.
As the largest city in the Door Peninsula, there are numerous things to see in Sturgeon Bay.
The city is home to three historic lighthouses, making it a great spot to learn about the area’s history with some good spots for photographs.
Sturgeon Bay also hosts the Fire & Ice Festival annually, which makes it one of the best destinations to visit in Wisconsin during winter.
Not sure what to do in Sturgeon Bay for your next visit? Check out my guide below!
Psssst…!!?? You can’t get enough of Wisconsin? Have a look at my other posts:
This blog is supported by you, dear reader. If you purchase through a link, I earn a small commission. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Top resources to travel Wisconsin
✎ Plan the ultimate Wisconsin road trip (no backtracking!) with the Perfect Wisconsin Road Trip itinerary – Buy now for less than 12$
✈ Find the best hotel deals in Wisconsin with Trivago
➳ Book vacation rentals in Wisconsin with VRBO
✔ Book tours in Wisconsin with Viator
☘ Get the best discounted outdoor gear (outlet) at REI.com
$ Get Wisconsin hiking guides and maps at REI.com
✎ Never leave without travel insurance. I get mine at SafetyWing. It is easy to set up, cheap, and reliable.
Overview: Top 3 Things to do in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
- Wander around the Cave Point County Park
- Visit Door County Maritime Museum
- Go kayaking or paddleboarding at the Door Peninsula
1. Visit Door County Maritime Museum
Door County is rich in maritime history, so visiting the Door County Maritime Museum is a must when traveling to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
The Door County Maritime Museum offers you an opportunity to delve into the fascinating maritime history of the region, making it one of the best Sturgeon Bay attractions to visit in the city.
Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for an interesting and educational experience in Door County, you should add the museum to your list of things to do in Sturgeon Bay, WI!
For the best experience, buy a ticket for all three best spots of the Door County Maritime Museum, which includes Sturgeon Bay Museum, Cana Island Lighthouse, and Death’s Door Maritime Museum.
All locations are only a short drive away from one and the other, which makes it perfect for full-day activities in Sturgeon Bay!
Book the best vacation rentals in Sturgeon Bay
2. Explore the Door County Lighthouses
Traveling to Sturgeon Bay isn’t complete without exploring the lighthouses around the city and nearby.
The city is home to six lighthouses of Wisconsin, and you can visit them all when traveling around the city.
Apart from the Cana Island Lighthouse, Sturgeon Bay is also home to some other historic lighthouses, including the iconic North Pierhead Light with its red-painted structure.
However, the latter remains active to aid the navigation around the Sturgeon Bay ship canal, and no visitors are allowed to enter the area.
But you can still stroll around the pier to find the best spot to capture one of the best attractions in Sturgeon Bay!
Some lighthouses are also open to the public, with some providing guided tours that you can sign up to learn more about the city’s history.
Not too far from Cana Island Lighthouse, you can also go to the Baileys Harbor Range Lights.
Book the best tours in Sturgeon Bay
3. Go on a fishing adventure
Fishing is one of the popular Sturgeon Bay activities and for good reasons!
Sturgeon Bay and the surrounding waters of Lake Michigan and Green Bay are home to a wide variety of fish species.
The region is best known for smallmouth bass, but you can also find other species like walleye or salmon here.
The good news is that the fishing charter industry in the city is thriving, so you can still add fishing to fun things to do in Sturgeon Bay, even if you’re new to the activity.
During the excursion, you’ll be accompanied by a knowledgeable guide who will help you locate and catch fish to make the activity appealing to everyone!
Buy the best Wisconsin road trip itinerary
4. Wander around the Cave Point County Park
Cave Point County Park is my personal favorite for things to do in Sturgeon Bay, as the scenic view of the rugged limestone cliffs along the Lake Michigan shoreline is like no other.
On top of that, there are numerous activities you can do around the park, which makes it a perfect place to visit for travelers of all kinds!
You can follow the Cave Point County Park hiking trail, one of the best hikes in Door County, and that will lead you to the Whitefish Bay Dunes State Park.
As one of the best state parks in Wisconsin, exploring the Whitefish Dunes State Park is one of the best things to do Sturgeon Bay has to offer outdoor enthusiasts.
In the summer, you can immerse yourself in the lush forest while enjoying the impressive view from the Lake Michigan shoreline.
If you’re looking for things to do in Door County in winter, Cave Point County Park also offers winter activities like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing!
Book the best vacation cabins in Door County
5. Shop local in Sturgeon Bay Downtown
Not sure what to do in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin? Shopping is probably one of the most relaxing things to do in Door County, and Sturgeon Bay has a great spot for it!
Third Avenue District in Sturgeon Bay downtown is the best place for shopping, as you can find various specialty shops in the area.
While there, you can also visit some art museums and galleries to add to your Sturgeon Bay activities and make the most of your visit to the city.
For those who love arts and crafts, don’t miss checking out Jefferson Street to find some unique shops that sell creative local products!
Book the best sightseeing tours in Door County
6. Attend one of the annual Sturgeon Bay events
Sturgeon Bay is also home to various annual events that you can visit when you’re there.
Depending on what time of the year you visit Door County, the event calendar offers numerous fun things to do in Sturgeon Bay!
Plan a trip to Sturgeon Bay to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, one of the most popular Sturgeon Bay events.
As an added bonus, you’ll be able to enjoy the Street Art Project and admire art around the streets of Sturgeon Bay downtown.
You can also add attending the parade and watching live entertainment to your Sturgeon Bay things to do!
If you travel around the wintertime, the Fire & Ice Festival is one of the top things to do in Sturgeon Bay during winter.
You can enjoy various ice and snow sculptures while doing some winter activities around the town!
While you’re in town, be sure to stay at one of the top Sturgeon Bay resorts!
Buy the ultimate Wisconsin itinerary
7. Go kayaking or paddleboarding at the Door Peninsula
Sturgeon Bay is one of the best lake towns in Wisconsin, so you’ll find plenty of water sports available to enjoy.
In fact, outdoor activities like kayaking or paddleboarding are some of the best things to do in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
Even if you’re new to the activities, you can book a lesson with trained guides before doing it on your own!
Sturgeon Bay offers access to a network of waterways, where you can explore the stunning surroundings up close while kayaking and paddleboarding.
Places like Egg Harbor Beach and Rowleys Bay Resort offer these outdoor activities for things to do near Sturgeon Bay, as you can easily book various water activities here to make the most of your stay in the city!
Of course, you can also take a break from the water sports and just enjoy relaxing on some of the best beaches in Door County.
Book the best vacation rentals in Sturgeon Bay
8. Join the Ghost Tour of Door County
If you’re looking for some unique things to do in Sturgeon Bay at night, you can challenge yourself by signing up for one of the evening Door County Trolley Tours: the Ghost Tour of Door County.
Children above 5 years old are allowed to join this ghost tour, as the guide will share some ghost stories about haunted lighthouses and sunken ships around Sturgeon Bay.
While touring around the city, you’ll hear some urban legends about some mysterious things that happen around the peninsula!
Book the best tours in Sturgeon Bay
Looking for things to do in Sturgeon Bay, Door County? The city has its charms, offering various activities for visitors of all kinds!
The city is heaven for history buffs, but its beautiful natural landscapes also offer endless outdoor activities to explore for more adventurous travelers.
No matter which one you are, it’s worth considering Sturgeon Bay as your next stop for your Wisconsin vacation!
FAQs About the Best Things to do in Sturgeon Bay, WI
Is Sturgeon Bay worth visiting?
Sturgeon Bay is one of the most beautiful and popular spots in Door County, and it is definitely worth visiting and exploring.
What is Sturgeon Bay famous for?
The city is a very well-known shipbuilding hub. As a coastal city with a rich maritime history, the city remains popular with visitors interested in this history, as well as those who just want to spend time on the water.
What are the best things to do in Sturgeon Bay?
There are many fun things to do in Sturgeon Bay and the surrounding area, but some of my favorite things are visiting the maritime museum, hiking in Cave Point County Park, and enjoying watersports.
Before You Go: Top Tips for your Trip
Hola! I am Paulina, a fervent travelette who crossed the Atlantic Ocean by Boat HitchHiking. On my blog, you’ll find all the tips to make the most of your holiday. Get ready to enjoy outdoor and sustainable travel like hiking, cycling or sailing. Let’s hit the road together!
#Fantastic #Sturgeon #Bay