Places to Visit in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

by Cheryl Teal

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, is north of Green Bay on Lake Michigan. Its strategic location makes it a shoo-in for water-oriented attractions and activities: visiting lighthouses, harbor cruises and kayaking on Lake Michigan or Sturgeon Bay. There are also plenty of opportunities to fish with a charter service or walk on the highest sand dunes in the state. Additionally, kids are sure to enjoy a farm visit, where they can milk goats and cuddle with sheep.


Sturgeon Bay, county seat of Door County, is home to the Door County Maritime and the Historical Museum. The maritime museum, 120 N. Madison Ave., is the place to go if you're interested in shipbuilding; everything from Navy vessels to yachts has been built here. The museum includes exhibits on 19th-century water transportation, such as Indian dugouts. The historical museum has a street scene replicating the town as it was more than 100 years ago. See seamstress shops, a blacksmith, bank, pharmacy and school. An early fire station also is depicted. The museum, 18 N. Fourth Ave., is open May 1 through October 31 annually.

Activities for Artists

Sturgeon Bay has at least two venues that artists will gravitate toward. One is the Miller Art Museum. At 107 S. Fourth Ave., the museum was established in 1975 by Gerhard Miller, whose artwork occupies a gallery. Though the museum changes exhibits seven times a year, it houses a permanent collection of more than 600 pieces of art by almost 200 Wisconsin artists. Glass collectors may find the Popelka Trenchard Glass Gallery of interest. The studio, 64 S. Second Ave., offers glass-blowing demonstrations a couple of times a year. Or you can choose the do-it-yourself route: The studio offers two-hour to all-day classes in glass blowing.

Water Activities

Visiting lighthouses is popular in the Sturgeon Bay area. Door County's 300 miles of shoreline created the need for lighthouses, the Door County Chamber of Commerce notes on its website. The chamber says the most accessible lighthouses are at Cana Island, Eagle Bluff, Canal Station and Bailey's Harbor Range. The lighthouses were built in the 19th century and are now automated. The county is home to five state and 18 county parks, which provide biking, hiking and beach combing. Visitors can walk on Wisconsin's highest sand dunes at Whitefish Dunes State Park. Within the state park, the county operates Cave Point Park, where visitors can see caves made by the waters of Lake Michigan.

Kids' Activities

Kids of all ages will enjoy a visit to The Farm, which calls itself "a living history museum of rural America." Whether you're eight or 80, you won't be able to resist cuddling with a lamb or petting a cow. The Farm, 4285 Highway 57, puts on a goat-milking demonstration several times daily, with audience members asked to help out. The complex is filled with barns spread over a wide area.

About the Author

Cheryl Teal is an award-winning photojournalist who began writing professionally in 1968. She is a former small-business owner who specializes in writing about business, motorcycles and travel. She has her own line of travel guides called "Cheryl's Guides," which are mostly about travel in China. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon.