The state’s two largest maritime museums are the southern and northern anchors of the Schooner Coast. Each delivers a wealth of insight on the rich maritime heritage of Wisconsin’s Schooner Coast and helps guide your trip.
75 Maritime Dr., Manitowoc
The museum takes visitors back 150 years to the coast’s fledgling shipbuilding and fishing industries. Stand next to a full-size cross section of the schooner Clipper City. Learn how shipbuilding and shipping became some of the first industries in the newly formed state of Wisconsin. Stroll along a port city boardwalk where shipbuilders, sailors and traders walked in the mid-1800s. Peer into shop windows to see the goods transported by schooners. Trace the area’s commercial fishing history from its early days to the 21st century. And, tour USS Cobia, a fully restored submarine that represents the 28 subs built in Manitowoc during WWII.
120 N. Madison Ave., Sturgeon Bay
Follow the evolution of the area’s shipbuilding history from its early days of handmade birch bark canoes to Great Lakes lumber schooners to seagoing naval combatants. See scale models of boats and ships built in Sturgeon Bay, including half-hull or plating models, corporate models and folk art models. Learn about the area’s many lighthouses, which are vital to the safety of the area’s busy shipping waters. See a full-size replica of the lantern room of Sherwood Point lighthouse with its 4th order Fresnel lens. And, tour the restored John Purves tugboat to learn more about life aboard a hard-working Great Lakes tug.