Door County Maritime Museum
Sitting on one side of Sturgeon Bay’s working waterfront, this museum showcases the area’s deep maritime roots. The museum offers tours of John Purves, our restored tugboat, along with other interactive exhibits. A few personalities in the galleries of the museum you will discover include courageous ship captains, diligent anglers, and lonely lighthouse keepers. You can feel the rich history of the Great Lakes awaken in front of you!
This one acre park is located on the west side of Sturgeon Bay. You will find this park is an excellent place to fish or partake in boating activities. If you feel more like relaxing then you can take in the beautiful views of the water, shipbuilding area, and Michigan Street steel bridge. There are picnic tables, benches, and a gazebo on site for having a nice take-out lunch and cocktail or beer from neighboring restaurants.
Otumba Park, three-acres in size, is near the heart of Sturgeon Bay’s west side, and is a favorite of many locals and visitors for swimming, laying on the beach, playing in the park, and having a picnic. There are basketball courts, tennis courts, restrooms, and a covered picnic shelter located here. It is connected to Bay View Park by a paved walkway along the water. You can witness ships and other boats passing by while looking out at the adjacent shoreline towards Green Bay waters.
In 1931 three abandoned vessels were burned to the waterline at Bullhead Point. Sturgeon Bay Stone Company was the last to own these remnants of the once thriving limestone fleet. The hulls of the vessels, Ida Corning, Oak Leaf, and Empire State, lie just offshore from the point and remain visible at low water. These shipwrecks are very close to shore and in only 0-10 feet of water. A few ways to really get close to these are kayaking, snorkeling, and diving. Recently, a large anchor from a local wreck was placed right next to the water as well. You will find a historical marker here that highlights the shipwrecks in the park.
Potawatomi State Park
Potawatomi State Park was named after the tribe that inhabited Green Bay’s shores and islands when Europeans first settled. The tribe was called Bo-De-Wad-Me which means “keeper of the fire.” This park sits on the shore of Sturgeon Bay and has 1,200 acres of terrain that is encapsulated by steep slopes and rugged limestone cliffs. You will find plenty of shade from the trees that will open up into the most beautiful vistas of the water and surrounding area. There are many stops within the park that have historical markers to teach you all about the history of the park and the water you are looking at.
This mighty tower is located in Potawatomi State Park. Currently, it is closed due to severe wood decay. The DNR is working on a plan for moving forward with tower’s fate. Many residents and visitors of the county have fantastic memories of climbing (or running) up and down this magnificent tower to find a breath taking view at the top. It was built in 1931 and we hope to see it being restored in the near future so others can experience what we all have in the past.
Ice Age Trail Eastern Terminus
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a 1,200-mile footpath contained entirely within Wisconsin. It goes throughout the state from St. Croix Falls on the west side, to Sturgeon Bay on the east side, and goes as far south as Janesville. This trail highlights the landscapes that were carved out by ancient glaciers. These spots are some of the most beautiful areas in the entire state. The Ice Age Trail is 1 of only 11 National Scenic Trails and about 60% of the residents in Wisconsin live only 20 miles away from one point on the trail.