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In Door County, everyone lives by the water. The 300 miles of shoreline are just the doorstep to endless Door County water activities out on the bay of Green Bay and on Lake Michigan. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day on the water with the sun’s rays, the thrill of a jet ski, or the bite of a fish on the end of your line, your aquatic playground awaits.
History Beneath the Water
With more than 275 shipwrecks in the county’s waters, and Death’s Door’s reputation for causing most of them, our county is a haven for divers and maritime lovers. Many of these lie in less than 60 feet of water, making them an easy destination by boat or kayak. Check out the 135-foot Fleetwing up in Gills Rock or the Frank O’Connor near Baileys Harbor. Still curious? Take a tour with Lakeside Shipwreck Tours, Lakeshore Adventures Inc., Gravity Trail's Clear Bottom Kayak Shipwreck Tours - Baileys Harbor, Door County Kayak Tour's Shipwreck Tours - Ellison Bay or Shoreline Scenic Cruises – Gills Rock for a look at more shipwrecks from the 1800’s.
Get a workout in out on the water, or just enjoy the feeling of carrying yourself through the gentle waves, by getting out on a kayak, paddleboard or one of the many other options offered throughout the peninsula.
There are several kayak rentals throughout the county and they will have everything you need for your trip. Many also offer guided tours through some of the hidden creeks, rocky bluffs and wide open water.
Paddleboard rentals are also available; some offer paddleboard yoga classes throughout the summer. Check out the best places to paddleboard from one of our insiders.
So you’ve taken your quiet walk through the serene woods or enjoyed a cozy fireside breakfast and now it’s time to pump a little torque into your vacation. There are several boat rentals that offer pontoon boats for big groups, speedboats with everything you need for watersports, and jet skis.
Rentals are typically made for either half the day or the entire day, so it’s always good to pack some food and drinks. Otherwise, the rental operator will have everything you need for a safe and fun day out on the water.
Have a boat of your own? Explore the many beautiful marinas and boat launches located throughout the county and plan your perfect boat day.
Door County boasts world-class fishing that draws anglers from around the country. Launch your own boat at one of 30 access points along the county or rent one. You can also take a fishing charter where an expert angler and guide will take you to all of the best spots and help you reel in salmon, trout or whitefish. Have your catch locally cleaned, cut and smoked or wrapped so you can bring the taste of the lake home with you. Just remember to pick up ar fishing license for anyone that is older than 16.
The Inland Lakes and Rivers
It’s easy to get drawn to the big bodies of water that hug either side of the narrow peninsula, but often times the inland lakes and rivers are where you can find even more serene magic. Some, such as Kangaroo Lake and Clark Lake, are big enough for your power boat. Others, including Europe Lake, the Forestville Mill Pond and Mink River are better reserved for quiet small crafts. One of our insiders explains where she likes to take her kayak. Wisconsin law lets you travel on any lake, pond or waterway without trespassing, so head inland and explore some of the county’s hidden treasures on the water.
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