Paths of History

Learn about Door County’s rich past through walking tours

Door County is rife with history, and many of its communities and historical societies offer walking tours to help guests learn about it at their own pace. 

The Door County Maritime Museum, 120 N. Madison Ave., has a 14-point, self-guided tour/scavenger hunt that takes visitors to anchors, an air funnel, a ship’s double wheel and more marine artifacts. Photo by Rachel Lukas.

Sturgeon Bay

Among the several self-tours to be had in Sturgeon Bay, the library offers routes through the Clio website and mobile app. Two of the tours are parts one and two of the 3rd Avenue Historic District Tour, which encompasses 40-plus sites in about four blocks.

The Door County Maritime Museum, 120 N. Madison Ave., has a 14-point, self-guided tour/scavenger hunt that takes visitors to anchors, an air funnel, a ship’s double wheel and more marine artifacts. 

If you’re looking for nature in your history tours, The Historic Village at Crossroads offers a look into the important industries and elements of Door County. The Village features a schoolhouse, granary, fish house, chapel and heritage garden.

Destination Sturgeon Bay also has a tour covering both the east and west banks and more than 120 historical locations. Find maps at or by stopping by its office, 36 S. 3rd Ave. 

The Cupola House in Egg Harbor. Photo by Rachel Lukas.

Egg Harbor

Egg Harbor’s walking tour has 28 stops spanning from County E to County T. Like Sturgeon Bay’s tour, this tour is available on Clio, or history buffs can pick up a guide from the history center at 7845 Church St. The tour – about a mile long – highlights historical buildings and sites, including Harbor View Park and the Cupola House.

Fish Creek and Gibraltar

The Gibraltar Historical Association offers an audio-accompanied walking tour through Fish Creek’s historical Main Street district. It offers 23 stops in less than a mile, and learning about those stops is as easy as calling a phone number and punching in the stop where you are. That phone number and a map are available at; at the Alexander Noble House Museum, 4167 Main St. in Fish Creek; and at the Fish Creek Visitor Center, 4097 Main St.


Ephraim Historical Foundation curator and collections manager Cody Schreck said that Ephraim doesn’t have a walking tour right now, but the foundation is working on an app with a walking tour that he hopes will be available next year. In the meantime, guests can enjoy Ephraim’s tram tours (see the story in this issue) or visit the historical buildings that the foundation preserves. 

Sister Bay

The Sister Bay Historical Society has 17 buildings at the Corner of the Past Museum grounds, 10310 Fieldcrest Road, that visitors can tour with a $10 admission, either by themselves or with a docent. The map for the self-guided tour offers historical information about each building, as well as general Door County history. The museum and grounds are open Monday-Friday, 10 am – 4 pm.

Liberty Grove

The Liberty Grove Historical Museum’s grounds have 10 buildings that visitors can walk to and through. The walking tour is available as a PDF at or in the museum, but guests may get more information by venturing inside. Docents staff the buildings when the museum is open (Wednesday, 9 am – 12 pm, and Saturday, 12-3 pm), but the grounds with the walking tour and overlook of Ellison Bay are open to the public every day. 

Washington Island

Washington Island doesn’t have a historical walking tour, but its brochures – available at – offer guides to the entire island, including three museums and historical beaches.

To get more information about any of these tours and the many other historical learning opportunities around Door County, contact the historical societies or check out their websites.