Lighthouse at Kewaunee
Photo Credit: Tom Skubal

Canal Exploration

Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal

Take Hwy. 42/57 across the Bay View Bridge. Follow the signs to the Coast Guard Station.

No trip to Sturgeon Bay is complete without seeing the seven-mile Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal. This historic shipping canal, which opened to small vessels in 1880, connects Sturgeon Bay on Green Bay with Lake Michigan across the Door Peninsula. The canal consists of two parts: a dredged portion of Sturgeon Bay and a 1.3-mile canal dug through the eastern side of the Door Peninsula.  

Be sure to stop at the small wayside park maintained by the Corps of Engineers along the narrow portion of the canal to check out the reader-boards highlighting the history of the shipping canal.

Boat Rentals

Fishing boat, jet ski and sailboat rentals, Snug Harbor Inn, Sturgeon Bay, 920-743-2337

A great way to see Sturgeon Bay and the Ship Canal is to take a cruise on the yacht Harbor Lady or the historic Chicago fireboat Fred A. Busse.

Harbor Lady

Sturgeon Bay, 920-707-LADY (5239)

Harbor Lady is a 95-foot Skipperliner built in Wisconsin. She has three open air decks to enjoy the spectacular views of the Sturgeon Bay Ship canal along with Lake Michigan and the Bay of Green Bay. 

The Fireboat

Sturgeon Bay, 920-495-6454

Originally designed as a City of Chicago fireboat, the Fred A. Busse was built in Bay City, Michigan in 1937 and is similar to two other fire fighting vessels, the Victor Schlaeger and the Joseph Medill, constructed in Sturgeon Bay shortly after World War II. It served the Chicago Fire Department for many years and now houses a small museum dedicated to Chicago’s firefighting efforts. The Fireboat operates from a pier behind the Door County Maritime Museum.


Please visit the Wisconsin Maritime Museum & the Door County Maritime Museum

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