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Your guide to Sturgeon Bay
All About Sturgeon Bay
Just 45 minutes northwest of Green Bay and the largest city on the Door Peninsula in eastern Wisconsin, the city of Sturgeon Bay is a busy shipping corridor. The historic Sturgeon Bay Bridge, known locally as Michigan Street Bridge, was once the only link between the mainland and northern Door County. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the bridge no longer goes all the way across, but you can walk most of it and take in views of the ships sailing by. Today, the Oregon Street Bridge and Bay View Bridge cross the bay and make for fun walks, runs, or cycle rides.
Sturgeon Bay has many parks, of which Sunset Park is the largest. Potawatomi State Park lies at the edge of the city and is named in honor of the Native American tribe who inhabited these shores. You’ll find biking and hiking trails throughout the park, including the 2.8-mile eastern trailhead of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail with interesting glacial characteristics. No visit to Sturgeon Bay is complete without a visit to historic Third Avenue, with its shops, shipbuilders, museums, art galleries, and restaurants where locally caught bass is always on the menu. Consider taking the city’s self-guided historic walk to discover it all.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Sturgeon Bay?
Sturgeon Bay’s humid climate means it’s warm in spring, when the cherry trees are in bloom, and summer, when temperatures are their most comfortable and rentals in Sturgeon Bay become very popular. During the winter, temperatures fall below zero and it’s very windy and snowy. This cold period can last up to five months, from November to April. Fall in Sturgeon Bay brings harvest festivals, including Fall Fest and Pumpkin Patch. If you visit in September and October, you can expect fewer numbers of visitors.
What are the top things to do in Sturgeon Bay?
Cave Point County Park
The rugged limestone cliffs of Cave Point County Park are popular with swimmers, divers, hikers, and photographers. The rock faces — carved out by centuries of crashing waves — surround Lake Michigan’s blue waters, while a multitude of underwater caverns that you can’t see from land run along the shoreline. The Black Trail at Cave Point leads south to the Whitefish Dunes, which are part of another state park.
Door County Maritime Museum
You’ll learn about Sturgeon Bay’s shipbuilding and maritime history at the Door County Maritime Museum. The waterfront museum takes you through Sturgeon Bay’s brave captains and bold inventors, fishermen, and lighthouse keepers. Many of the exhibits allow you to see how these tradespeople lived and worked in past eras.
Sturgeon Bay Canal North Pierhead Light
From a long pier, you can view Sturgeon Bay’s bright red North Pierhead Light, first built to guide vessels through the Lake Michigan end of the ship canal in 1881. The building is now a fully operational Coast Guard station that doubles as a great place to catch the sunset during the summer.