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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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107 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Schaumburg, Illinois
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
9 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014 NEW

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.

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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 The museum feels very outdated.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
6 helpful votes 6 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

Cedarburg, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 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

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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

Huntly, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2014

The museum was quite interesting, with enough displays to occupy oneself for hours. The highlight, though, is the tug boat tour, so definitely opt for both the museum and tug boat when you visit.

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

Ahoy! We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your visit to the maritime museum and your tour of the historic tugboat, John Purves. A tour of the massive tug is definitely a highlight of any visit to Sturgeon Bay. When next you visit, explore our smaller museum in Gills at the tip of the Peninsula to walk the decks... More

Richfield, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

This is a sweet stop in Door County to learn a little history of the area's shipbuilding. My kids loved seeing how they used to take the ice of the bay! The volunteers at the museum are fabulous!

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

Thanks for the great review...wonderful to hear you enjoyed your visit and learning about the extraordinary maritime heritage that makes the Door Peninsula such a special place to work and play! Thanks again. More

Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
8 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

Door County is surrounded by water so a Maritime Museum is a natural. Their displays are very interesting and educational. Definitely a good family place especially on a cool or rainy day when inside is preferable. Helps you get a good sense of the history of the area and its strong marine bonds.

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

Ahoy! We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your visit...be sure to check out our smaller museum in the historic fishing village of Gills Rock when next you visit the Door Peninsula. Thanks much for the wonderful review! More

Duluth Minnesota
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2014

The museum was good but the highlight was the tour of the tug boat, they did an amazing restoration job and there is nothing like actually boarding a boat and seeing it from top to bottom.

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

Ahoy! Thanks for the wonderful review...we are thrilled that you so enjoyed your visit to the museum and tour of the historic tugboat, John Purves. The restoration of the vessel back to the way she looked in the 1960s when she sailed for the Roen Steamship Company here in Sturgeon Bay is indeed amazing. We concur that It is a... More

GREEN BAY, WI
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2014

I brought my 4 year old son and his 2 cousins (4 yrs old and 2 yrs old) into the Maritime Museum to see the Pirate exhibit and also to go on board the docked boat. Immediately after walking through the door, an elderly woman behind the counter eyed up the children. I asked how much would it cost for... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Bob D, General Manager at Door County Maritime Museum, responded to this review

Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to complete your review. I am very sorry to hear that you had a less than satisfying experience when you visited our maritime museum. We do our best use all input to spur continuous improvement. We regret that you came away with the impression that children are not welcome at... More

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