The flotilla of nine tall ships is expected to arrive in Sturgeon Bay late Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 3, after finishing the Lake Michigan portion of the Tall Ships Challenge Race earlier in the day in Algoma.
The parade and overnight stop in Sturgeon Bay is the prelude to the three-day Tall Ships Festival Aug. 5-7 in Green Bay, one of the eight official port cities of the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2016.
The Tall Ships come to Sturgeon Bay only every three years, so you’ll want to make sure you have a clear view as they parade through the canal in Sturgeon Bay. Here is a list of our favorite viewing spots.
US Coastguard Canal Station Grounds
Catch the ships at full sail as they make their grand entrance into the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal. With plenty of parking and access points along Canal Road, this is an excellent place to set up your chairs and watch the ships sail in.
Door County Land Trust
This location on the southern side of the channel gives you an equally outstanding view of the ships as they make their way through the canal. The Sturgeon Bay Canal Light serves as a beautiful backdrop and makes this an ideal spot to take photos.
On a Boat
Getting on the water is one of the best ways to see the ships up close and personal. Just make sure you don’t get too close – those big ships need room to maneuver!
This is the ultimate spot to watch the ships as they dock. Relax in the grass as the ships tie up for the evening at East Side Dock. Then take the opportunity to learn about each ship from dockside docents.
Much like Graham Park, this site doubles as a viewing and docking location. Sawyer Park is next door to the Door County Maritime Museum, which houses exhibits on the region’s maritime history. Visitors can also see the Tall Ships from the museum’s second floor.
Observation Point Near Bayview Park
The point reaches far into Sturgeon Bay, providing views of the Tall Ships traveling through the Michigan and Oregon St. bridges as well as docking at Stone Harbor Dock.