This weekend (June 12 – 14), the Door County Maritime Museum (DCMM) will celebrate its 22nd Annual Lighthouse Festival by offering visitors 12 land or water tours of the county’s 11 lighthouses, some of which are only accessible to the public this weekend.
Although some tours are sold out, tickets for a variety of tours remain available.
Two different day-long, land-based tours spotlight the five mainland lights. Offered in conjunction with the Door County Trolley and Door County Nature & Travel Tours, these tours include each of the mainland-accessible lights. A special ghost tour leaves from DCMM on Friday and Saturday evenings, proving interesting stories related to the county’s maritime lore.
As for the boat trips, the day-long Island Clipper tour on Saturday will take visitors across Death’s Door into Michigan waters. The tour passes Poverty Island and St. Martin Island with a stop at Rock Island State Park and a hike to Pottawatomie Lighthouse.
The excursion to Chambers Island is another once-a-year opportunity. Although a larger capacity boat permits more people to visit Chambers Island, it will continue to be a hot ticket item. At press time, on-island transportation is not guaranteed, so participants need to be prepared for a scenic mile-plus hike to the lighthouse and back. But if you are up for the walk, it’s a neat opportunity to see one of peninsula’s least visited islands and enjoy a stunning view of Green Bay from the lighthouse.
Two years ago the festival offered the opportunity to cruise on the schooner Edith Becker and the “tall ship” is back this year to provide a cruise to Eagle Bluff Lighthouse from Sister Bay. There’s nothing quite like being under sail on this classic vessel.
The Chicago Fireboat will be offering its regular daily lighthouse cruises from the Door County Maritime Museum as well as a special evening sunset dessert cruise both Friday and Saturday evening.
Cana Island and Eagle Bluff Lighthouses will maintain regular seasonal hours throughout the weekend. Both the Sherwood Point Lighthouse and Sturgeon Bay Canal Light are operated by the U.S. Coast Guard and offer free admission over the weekend. However, the Saturday and Sunday of the Door County Lighthouse Festival weekend are the only days the property (not the lighthouse) is open to the public at Sherwood Point.
The range lights at The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor, with its restored lower light, will also welcome visitors Friday and Saturday between 10 am – 2 pm for a free-will offering.
A silent auction over the weekend, ending Sunday afternoon, will feature Harbour Lights lighthouses and maritime figurines, and Anchor Bay collectables. All proceeds will support the museum.
For more information, visit dcmm.org or call 920.743.5958.