The Lakeside City that Lives On, and For, the Water
Summer is when Door County shines the brightest. Learn about the area’s culinary riches or find family-friendly activities.View Average Monthly Temperatures
Big City, Small-Town Charm
Maritime charm and natural beauty meet a blue-collar ethic in Sturgeon Bay, Door County’s world-renowned shipbuilding hub. From thousand-foot boats and small bass-fishing boats to the acclaimed Door County Maritime Museum, this community’s heritage is all about the water.
But Sturgeon Bay offers much more than just views—here lies the heart of the county’s music and arts scenes, world-class parks, historic shopping districts, and countless dining options ranging from supper clubs to hole-in-the-wall pubs and cozy coffee shops.
Sturgeon Bay Restaurants
Sturgeon Bay’s dining and drinking scene is as diverse as they come, with fine dining in historic landmarks, sushi, ethnic restaurants, healthy kitchens, greasy spoons, and everything in between. One constant is the imprint of the city’s nautical past, represented in the art, on its menus, and in the names of the establishments that make Sturgeon Bay an authentic representation of small-town America.
Sturgeon Bay Favorites
Sturgeon Bay Lodging
With a sprawling resort and conference center on the canal, shoreline resorts on the edges of the city, national hotels, themed hotels, and historic B&Bs nestled into the fabric of the neighborhoods, Sturgeon Bay has every type of accommodation imaginable. You’ll find plenty of rental homes and condo options, plus campgrounds outside the city.
Sturgeon Bay Favorites
Things to Do in Sturgeon Bay
Sturgeon Bay is a fisherman’s mecca, with some of the best bass fishing in the world. Tour a restored tug, visit the phenomenal Door County Maritime Museum, learn the history of Door County, stroll down historic 3rd Avenue, or step into nature at Potawatomi State Park on the city’s edge. From sunrise to sunset, you’ll find a never-ending list of great activities in Sturgeon Bay.
Deeper Dive: Sturgeon Bay
Door County’s Maritime Historical Sites
Architecture & Landmarks
Door County Spring Birding Guide
Splendor & Solitude at County Parks
7 Must-Dos in Sturgeon Bay
1. Cast a line
If you like fishing at all, this is the place to do it. The fishing here is so good that it hosted 2015’s ESPN bass-fishing world championship.
2. Take a lighthouse tour
Sturgeon Bay is home to three lighthouses: the North Pierhead lighthouse, the Sturgeon Bay Canal Station light, and the Sherwood Point light.
3. Hit three distinct shopping districts
The West Side, Third Avenue, and Jefferson Street all offer different but equally enticing shopping experiences, from quaint, small-town shops to sophisticated boutiques.
4. Visit the Door County Maritime Museum
Learn how vital Sturgeon Bay was to the World War II effort, cranking out a Naval ship every five days! You’ll also learn that the city is home to innovations like the self-unloading shipping container and the box shipping container.
5. Explore Potawatomi State Park
In the early days of the National Park System, the land that is now Potawatomi State Park in Sturgeon Bay was considered for national park status. Instead, the eastern terminus of the Ice Age Trail is found in the park and serves as a gateway to outdoor adventure.
6. Visit Sunset Park
As fine a city park as you’ll find, Sunset Park offers a perfect place for a picnic, a sunset photo, or room for kids to roam. It’s also a great place to admire the mammoth Gantry Crane of Bay Shipbuilding.
7. Catch a performance
Once a movie theater, the Third Avenue Playhouse hosts wonderful small productions in the historic district throughout the year.