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Door County Maritime Museum

120 N. Madison Ave., Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
920-743-5958
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Specialty Museums
Owner description: Door County Maritime Museum: Enjoy tales of bold ship captains, brave seaman, innovative shipbuilders, rugged fishermen, stalwart lighthouse keepers... more » Owner description: Door County Maritime Museum: Enjoy tales of bold ship captains, brave seaman, innovative shipbuilders, rugged fishermen, stalwart lighthouse keepers and much, much more--sea stories abound! The Door County Maritime Museum offers three unique visitor experiences. Its year-round 20,000 square foot flagship museum is located between the dowtown bridges on Sturgeon Bay's workking waterfront. It features four large exhibit galleries and the immaculately restored seagoing tugboat John Purves built in 1919. The iconic Cana Island Lighthouse, located Baileys Harbor, is a Door County treasure. The northern museum is a hidden gem featuring the classic wooden fish tug Hope. It is located in the historic fishing village of Gills Rock alongside the infamous "Death's Door" passage. Both are open seasonally. « less
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112 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014 NEW

The Door County Maritime Museum is... exactly what it claims to be-- a small county museum that highlights the region's historical relationship with Lake Michigan and Green Bay. There are about 4 galleries, focusing on history, personal tales, ship models, and a few full-scale boats. One section also features a rotating exhibit. When we visited, the topic was pirates. It... More

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Phillips, Wisconsin
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 NEW

The museum has a friendly staff, good layout, and a nice tug boat tour. It is located close to downtown shopping and a pontoon boat rental.

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Pecatonica, Illinois
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
12 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

For a small museum, this one is really packed with a wide variety of interesting things. My husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed it. I would urge you to spend the extra money for the tugboat tour. It has been completely restored and has an interesting history. We went on a Wednesday and our guide did a fantastic job of... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014 via mobile

We did both the museum and the tug boat tour. My husband enjoyed the museum more than me. It was just ok. The tugboat tour was awesome. Note....if you have trouble with steep stairs, don't go. But it was a great tour.

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Bob D, General Manager at Door County Maritime Museum, responded to this review

We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your tour of the historic tugboat John Purves...it is truly a unique experience. Thanks much for the great review! More

Chicago
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

We entered mildly attracted and left surprised by how the museum involved you in the history and lives of the people of Sturgeon Bay. There's always too much to see in any museum so I decided to pick one thing and immerse myself. That was the Marine Travelift in the John Roen Asher gallery. I watched the video and read... More

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Bob D, General Manager at Door County Maritime Museum, responded to this review

Ahoy! Thanks much for the wonderful review!! The story of the famous Marine Travelift company and its ongoing manufacturing operations here in Sturgeon Bay is a fascinating story. Marine Travelift recently delivered a 1000-ton lift to a shipyard in Newport News VA...it is the largest self-propelled boatlift in the world...far different than the original lift on display here in the... More

Schaumburg, Illinois
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
9 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

Even if you're not an enthusiast of the water, or the history of the Great Lakes you will be after you visit here! Lot's of exploring to do nearby. Great for families.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Bob D, General Manager at Door County Maritime Museum, responded to this review

Ahoy! Thanks for the wonderful review...we are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your visit. We enjoy celebrating the Door Peninsula's fascinating maritime heritage with all our visitors! We hope you can plan a return visit in the not too distant future. Thanks again! More

Champaign, Illinois
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
26 attraction reviews
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

As part of 4th of July vacation we decided to check out the museum. The museum feels very outdated. Though they do incorporate some new technology, for the most part the presentation is done through text and pictures and does not do a good job engaging people with limited knowledge on maritime history. The pirate exhibition was a little better,... More

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Bob D, General Manager at Door County Maritime Museum, responded to this review

Thanks much for your review...we do our best to use all feedback to spur continuous improvement. Sorry to hear you didn't find our exhibits engaging. Did you get a chance to try the Lyle Gun rescue game? How 'bout the working periscope? Did you have time to take in the video on Sturgeon Bay's WWII shipbuilding boom? Many folks find... More

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
21 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

We were tight on time and had already been to a museum so we chose to just tour the tug boat. Great decision for us as the tug boat tour was 45 min and our tour guide exceptional. Interesting, factual and fun, this was $6 well spent.

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Bob D, General Manager at Door County Maritime Museum, responded to this review

Ahoy! Wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your tour of the historic tugboat John Purves...we're very proud of our tug! Hope you can plan a return visit when you have more time to take in the rest of the maritime museum. Thanks much for the great review! More

Forest Park, Illinois, United States
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014

Excellent tour of the museum with Bob, a volunteer. Wish our large group had more time to explore the ships outside as well as all the interesting exhibits in the museum. Children will enjoy the pirate exhibit. Don't miss the excellent Pirate Art Exhibit by Don Maitz, the artist who created the captain character associated with Captain Morgan Rums. The... More

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Bob D, General Manager at Door County Maritime Museum, responded to this review

Ahoy! Thanks much for the wonderful review. We hope you can return in the not too distant future with more time to explore all of our exhibits...and to sink a few enemy vessels from the decks of the pirate ship Fortune in our fun and educational Pirates--Ship to Shore exhibit. Thanks again. More

Saint Louis, Missouri
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014

My husband and I had recently toured the Manitowoc Maritime Museum and decided that we would give the Door County Maritime Museum a try as well when we were visiting for a few days to view the lighthouses in the area. We were very please with the museum. I personally found it a lot more intriguing than the one in... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Bob D, General Manager at Door County Maritime Museum, responded to this review

Thanks for the wonderful review...great to hear that you enjoyed your visit to the museum and tour of the historic tug, John Purves. We love our tugboat!! And yes, our Lighthouse Room is the perfect place to begin the exploration of Door County's eleven lighthouses. When next you visit, check out our smaller museum in Gills Rock to learn about... More

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