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Whether you’re an angler, a sailor, or a family looking for a day on the water, Door County has an experience waiting for you on the waters surrounding the peninsula and it’s 34 islands. Nearly 300 miles of Door County shoreline mean the opportunities to get on the water are endless.
Most of the county’s waterfront towns and villages offer docks and marinas with public slips or places to rent a boat. Some boat launches in the county do require a small launching fee.
There are several boat rentals that offer pontoons for big groups, speedboats for watersports, rafting for high speed fun and jet skis to enjoy the ultimate boating adventure in Door County. Boat rentals are typically done by the full or half day, while jet skis are generally rented by the hour. The boat operator will provide you with all the training and gear needed for your day on the water.
The county offers everything from a guided sailboat tour around the tip of the county to lessons to captain your own vessel. Witness the county’s 11 lighthouses from the water, just as early Great Lakes navigators did, or relax and let nature whisk you into the sunset.
If you love the lore of the lakes, you’ll love the Door County Maritime Museum locations in Gills Rock and Sturgeon Bay. The flagship location in Sturgeon Bay offers a treasure trove of artifacts, stories, videos, and interactive displays. Learn about the county’s vital role building Naval vessels in World War II, and dig into the history of the lighthouses that have guided ships to safety. Many of the guided boat tours offer local insight on shipwrecks, surrounding islands and iconic must see spots that are even more spectacular from the water.
Insider Tip: Know Your Bodies of Water
Want to pass for a local? Call the surrounding waters by their rightful name. To the west is Green Bay, usually referred to simply as “the bay.” To the east is Lake Michigan, or “the lake.”
While you may be tempted to call the waters off Sister Bay or Egg Harbor “the lake,” picky locals will revel in correcting you on this dead giveaway that you’re from south of the county line.
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