There was a time when folks would drive past Sturgeon Bay and even Egg Harbor to get to “Door County!” Things are different now, as Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay have been woven into the fabric of Door County over the years. More than even, Sturgeon Bay, with it’s resurgence a number of years ago in restoring its historic downtown, is a destination of Door County travelers. By far, Door County’s largest town (about 9,500+), it remains a warm and friendly respite.
Incorporated in 1883, Sturgeon Bay is situated on both sides of the bridge, spanning the waters of Sturgeon Bay, the town offers both beautiful vistas from many waterfront locations, boating, fishing, and wonderful places to stay.
What’s in Sturgeon Bay? From live theater, to fine arts galleries, to wonderful and unique shops, coffee houses, dining of ever kind from casual to fine – Sturgeon Bay has a lot to offer. And Sturgeon Bay has not only some of the finest resorts and B&Bs in Door County, but also some of the finest in the Midwest.
We have strolled down historic Third Avenue in downtown Sturgeon Bay many, many times. It is loaded with shops and galleries and restaurants. Some of our favorites are a great cup of java at Kick Coffee, great gifts and unusual items at The Dancing Bear, and gourmet caramel corn and fudge (made right in the shop) at Copper Kettle Confectionary. It is charming, delightful and downright fun. Younkers department store always has a great selection of items at reasonable prices for men, women and kids too! Festivals, museums and more are waiting for you. Dine at the Inn at Cedar Crossing restaurant for a wonderful lunch, and even stay at the inn! Third Avenue is cool.
Sturgeon Bay has just about anything you might be looking for from resorts and B&Bs to boat launch facilities and marinas – all waiting for you! With 250 miles of coastline, Door County has a wealth or maritime history- and The Door County Maritime Museum is just the place to discover the depth of this history. All ages will delight in this wonderful museum, which covers topics from shipbuilding to shipwrecks. Another delightful museum, the Door County Historical Museum (18 N 4th Avenue), displays artifacts and historical items from Door County’s past. This one was rated the “Best Small museum in the Midwest” by a major city newspaper, The Chicago Tribune – it’s a real find!
Art museums like Miller Art Museum and The Fairfield Public Gallery offer wonderful glimpses of art, from local works to art from around the world. Galleries, like AMO Gallery and Framery, offer the works of many great artists, limited edition prints, and more.
If golfing is your pleasure, choose from the challenging Cherry Hills Golf Course, or Idlewild, or an easier but still challenging par three course, 27 Pines. We have golfed Cherry Hills and can attest to the great challenges that await you there – for any skill golfer.
Traveling with kids? Try some of the Sturgeon Bay resorts like Westwood Shores Waterfront Resort, Bridgeport Waterfront Resort which offer swimming pools, cookouts and other things of interest. The Farm, a very cool farm-like environment where kids of all ages can see farm animals from horses to goats in a natural surrounding – you can even get milk bottles and feed the hungry little goats. From cows to kittens, it’s fun for all. And don’t forget Dairy View Country Store, where kids of all ages can learn about the farm, eat homemade ice cream in the dairy shop and see all sorts of cool things – like a 17 acre corn maze (August thru November)! Also, you can step right into a 1950’s diner at Perry’s Cherry Diner on Michigan Street – malts, shakes, great sandwiches, cherry colas and more!
The Door Peninsula School of Music is also located here, right at 306 S Third Avenue (Suite E). They have a program called Kindermusik for newborns to 4 years old, and they offer summer camps too. Interested in Barbie dolls? Well, you can visit the Collector Showcase at 3910 Hwy 42/57 and see about 1,000 Barbies from older to newer, and even a whole bunch of antique cars. Of course, there is a gift shop that sells Barbies!
Stroll down Third Avenue and find wonderful clothing at Wilkins and Olander, or check out the department store of Younkers – lots of fun kids clothes.
Take a look at historic Jefferson Street as well, where old homes have been transformed into antique shops, gift stores and more. Find a Yield House store and other home accessory shops all along this charming street with cobblestone crosswalks.
Go sailing or fishing at Sturgeon Bay’s many charter fishing and sailing spots. Check our Water Activities section for more info. Lots of folks come to Sturgeon Bay to fish from perch to bass and walleye on the bayside, to lake trout and salmon on the lakeside. It’s a fisherman’s paradise! Hauling a boat with you? Launch it at Sawyer Park, Sunset Park or even dock it for a couple of hours at these parks. Want to rent a boat? Check out the marinas at Snug Harbor Resort and Leathem Smith!
Potawatomi State Park offers special programs in the summer too. Check them out!
Go visit the Sturgeon Bay Canal Station lights, first operated on May 15 1882!
Take some cool tours from kayak tours (at Door County Bicycle Works) to a tour of Door County by air (Wings Over Door County) – all available in Sturgeon Bay!
And on a rainy day, head to the Sturgeon Bay Cinemas – 6 screens await you with first run movies. See our Movies section for all the details!
Head over to the Third Avenue Playhouse for a live theater performance. Or take a dive up Bay Shore Road (north) – it is beautiful, and you will pass some of the best resorts and B&Bs in Door County!
And if you are interested in real estate, there are some excellent opportunities for you in Sturgeon Bay! Call Coldwell Banker at 920-743-8881 , or Bety Tipler of Century 21 Action Group at 920-743-7327 . These professionals will find what you need! Read our reviews of these real estate folks!
All Over Sturgeon Bay
And to show you how much time we have spent in Sturgeon Bay because we think this is a great town, here are some of the reviews of places we have toured in Sturgeon Bay!
And there are a lot more! Visit our Sturgeon Bay Inns and Places to Stay Reviews Page!
So stay in Sturgeon Bay and discover a whole new Door County! Not only is there a lot to do in Sturgeon Bay, it’s only a 15 minute or so ride to Egg Harbor, where you can head further north to reach the rest of Door County’s charming towns.
For additional information, visit www.SturgeonBay.net – be sure to cross-reference listings there with our exclusive, in-person and independent reviews on our site.
For Sturgeon Bay Fishing Information, please check
Sturgeon Bay Harbor Guide
Stay in the bay, Sturgeon Bay!