Independence Day fireworks displays launch from various bays and harbors along the Door Peninsula, so this year, try watching them from the water. Heading out on a boat with friends and family is one way, but if you’re looking for a smaller group or a solo experience, here are some tips and options for a nighttime kayak or paddleboard adventure.
It’s best not to wander very far from shore at night, and go out only in calm weather conditions. Wear a life vest, and make sure that every kayak, boat and paddleboard in your party has a light.
Two kayak companies are offering Independence Day weekend fireworks tours.
Peninsula Kayak Company will take a group to see the July 4 fireworks display at Sturgeon Bay’s Otumba Park. Participants must sign a waiver and arrive 15 minutes early for the two-hour tour starting at 7 pm. The cost is $55 per person. The guide will lead the tour along the shoreline of historic Sturgeon Bay before returning to the park for the fireworks display.
Michelle Schneider of Peninsula Kayak Company said Baileys Harbor and Fish Creek are two of the best suited bays for nighttime kayaking or paddleboarding. For some fun lighting, she strings a set of LED lights around her own kayak. Schneider also recommends trying a paddleboard.
“Paddleboards can be really fun,” she said. “You can even set a lawn chair or cooler on the board.”
Door County Adventure Center will offer a July 3 kayak tour to watch Egg Harbor’s fireworks show. The two-hour tour will launch from the marina at Harbor Hounds Dog Park at 7:30 pm. The center takes 16 people on the tour for $55 per person.
“People have a really nice time,” said Abbey Tierney of Door County Adventure Center. “It feels like [the fireworks are] right over you.”
Tierney said the fireworks kayak tour that her company offers is suitable for even the inexperienced kayaker.
“You might have to paddle a little to maintain your spot in the water, but it’s not a strenuous paddle,” she said.
Tierney recommended wearing a light sweatshirt and layered clothing. Paddleboards instead of kayaks are also available on request, but for safety reasons, neither kayak company offers nighttime rentals without tour guides.
Want Another Perspective?
Maybe you’ve seen the fireworks from the water already, so you’re looking for a new experience. One kayak- and bike-rental company is offering a “glow roll” bike tour to watch Egg Harbor’s fireworks display from an e-bike. Glow bikes are motorized, reach up to 18 mph and have LED lights wrapped around the rims.
“It’s a really fun way to get the vibe of a town,” said Liam Beran of Door County Kayak Tours.
The glow roll tour is typically offered as a sunset e-bike ride, but on July 3, it will end with a view of the fireworks. The tour will start at 7:30 pm at the e-bike rental facility at 8442 Hwy 42 in Juddville and may include a stop for ice cream or gelato along the way. A guide will also take the tour group through Fish Creek. The cost is $99 per person.