Door County Maritime Museum: Tugboat Tour, Galleries, and Gift Shop
By Laurel Ciohon
Looking for some fun for the whole family in Door County? Then head over to the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay. Complete with tugboat tours, a gift shop, numerous galleries packed with adventure, and various activities throughout the year, the Maritime Museum “showcases the area’s rich maritime roots.”
Enjoy an all-access guided tour of the 1960’s era Great Lakes tugboat, the John Purves. The 40-minute tour lets you explore the entire 149-ft tugboat, from engine to galley.
Next, walk through the Baumgartner Gallery to view a complete Door County lighthouse exhibit, as well as a large collection of model ships. I learned that Door County has the third larges concentration of lighthouses in the country!
From there, you can venture over to the Peterson Gallery where the incredible accomplishments of local shipbuilders come to life. View boats ranging from birch bark canoes, to navel canoes, to luxury yachts. Take a birds eye view through a submarine periscope to shipbuilders nearby.
Finally, stroll through the John Roen Asher Gallery where you can explore underwater shipwrecks, browse a large collection of boat engines, learn the history of Chris-Craft (America’s oldest power boat builder), and so much more!
Going on now, “the Sea Dogs exhibit explores the affiliations and enterprises that bond dogs and humans in a wide spectrum of nautical environments.” The exhibit guides visitors through historic photographs, videos, artwork, interactive games, and other activities to explore the special role dogs had in maritime history.
To complete your day at the Door County Maritime Museum, stop in the terrific gift shop to pick out a Door County souvenir, local literature, nautical art, t-shirts, jewelry, Packer gear, postcards, puzzles, ceramic gifts, kids items, and many other unique items.
The Door County Maritime Museum is open year-round, 7 days a week. It is closed on all major holidays. Hours are January–March 10am-4pm, April–June 10am-4pm, July-Labor Day 9am-5pm, and day after Labor Day-December 10am-5pm.
Admission to tug boat and museum is $13 for adults, $10 for youth ages 5-17, and children 4 and under get in free entry to the museum and $6 for the tugboat. See website for pricing for museum only or tug boat only.
Located along Sturgeon Bay’s busy, downtown waterfront, the Door County Maritime Museum is located at 120 N. Madison Avenue. Call for more information or visit them online. 920.743.5958, www.dcmm.org.