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Maritime History Group Tour Itinerary

Day 1

10:00 AM  Arrive at the Door County Maritime Museum located on the Sturgeon Bay waterfront. Enjoy a docent-guided tour of maritime related exhibits that span the nautical history of Door County from early American Indian canoes to post World War II bulk carriers. If there's time, take a tour of the John Purves, a 1919 ocean-going tug boat that has been everywhere from the Great Lakes to the Caribbean and Bering Sea.

12:30 PM  Choose from a selection of soups, salads, wraps, burgers and sandwiches for lunch at Waterfront Mary's Bar and Grill as you watch boats pass through the Sturgeon Bay ship canal.

1:30 PM  For your next stop, walk along the break wall at the Canal Station Pier-head Light located at the Lake Michigan end of the ship canal. Built in 1882 and automated in 1972, it's now manned and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. 

2:30 PM  Journey north on Hwy 57 to the charming community of Baileys Harbor. Here you will find the historic Baileys Harbor Range Lights which sailors once used to guide them safely into the harbor for 100 years beginning in 1869. 

3:30 PM  Continue six miles northeast until you reach one of Door County's most recognizable lighthouses, Cana Island Lighthouse. Wander through the oil room and keeper's house before climbing 97 stairs to the top of the tower for a spectacular view of Lake Michigan. Afterwards, take a stroll around the grounds and search for the historical marker of the Frank O'Conner shipwreck, one of the largest wooden ships ever built.

4:30 PM  Check into your hotel for some R&R. 

6:30 PM  Experience a traditional Door County Fish Boil at Pelletier's Restaurant & Fish Boil located at Founder's Square in downtown Fish Creek. Just as Scandinavian settlers of the Peninsula did 100 years ago, fresh locally caught whitefish are cooked outside over an open fire along with small baby red potatoes and sweet boiling onions. During the cooking process, fish oils naturally rise to the surface which "boil over" along with water in fiery spectacle signaling the end of the cooking process and the beginning of dinner.

Day 2

8:00 AM  Board the Washington Island Ferry for a 30-minute trip across the four mile passageway between the tip of the County and the island known as “La Porte des Morts” or “the door of the dead.” The origin of its name and the county’s, arises from a fabled battle between the Winnebago and Potawatomi Indians as well as, early French settlers who learned the dangerous character of this narrow strait as ships became entombed below in the chilly, turbulent water. 

9:00 AM  Explore Washington Island on-board the Cherry Train or Viking Train and embark on a serene ride along quiet, pastoral roads while taking in the history and sights of this island community. 

12:00 PM  Have lunch at one of many welcoming local restaurants. 

1:00 PM  Explore Schoolhouse Beach, one of only five beaches in the world that is covered completely in smooth, white limestone rocks! Don't forget sturdy shoes as the rocky shore can be difficult to walk on.

2:00 PM  Board the Washington Island Ferry once again to return to the Peninsula. 

3:00 PM  Return to the hotel for some R&R. 

4:30 PM  Prior to dinner, journey through the streets of Sister Bay. Visit the shops and boutiques, stop for a glass of wine, or simply enjoy the scenery at Waterfront Park.

5:30 PM  Enjoy a locally sourced dinner at Grasse's Grill in Sister Bay. Known for their commitment to using locally sourced products throughout their menu, your group is sure to enjoy.

7:00 PM  Travel to the Birch Creek Music Performance Center for an evening of symphony, jazz, or percussion and steel band entertainment. Just three miles east of Egg Harbor, the Birch Creek Music Performance Center is where 200 students and 100 faculty members study by day and present concerts by night in a century-old, 500-seat Dutton Concert barn. Immerse yourself in the music, the moment and the fond memories to follow.

Day 3

8:00 AM  Begin the day with breakfast at Julie's Park Cafe and Motel. Located near the entrance to Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek, Julie's offers everything from classic omelets and old fashioned oatmeal to praline French toast and Door County cherry crepes. Awaken with an eye-opening cup of espresso, coffee, or cappuccino made just the way you like it. Have your picture taken in the oversized purple Adirondack chair and enter it for a chance to be featured on their website.

10:30 AM  Take a two hour cruise along the scenic Door County shoreline. Pick one of several narrated tours offered by Fish Creek Scenic Boat Tours or Sister Bay Scenic Boat Tours. If you're looking for a more casual experience on the water, you can rent a pontoon boat with Northern Door County Boat Rentals in Sister Bay. Don't forget your camera for some breathtaking photo opportunities!