9 Best Door County Boat Tours

Here are the best Door County boat tours:

Embark on an unforgettable voyage with Door County boat tours, where the serene beauty of the Great Lakes unfolds before your very eyes. Imagine gliding over crystal-clear waters, with the sun setting behind the picturesque Door County peninsula, casting a golden glow over everything.

My family and I have enjoyed several Door County boat tours. So, you can trust me to give your guidance about what to expect on these. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply a new way to explore the breathtaking landscapes of Door County, these boat tours offer an unmatched perspective. Join me as we dive into the heart of Door County’s natural splendor, where every moment on the water becomes a cherished memory.

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Best Door County Boat Tours

Sunset Live Music Cruise – Motorized Boat Tour

Grid of images depicting things that might be seen on the sunset live music boat tour in Door County, including a sunset, island, and microphone.

Sunsets, big water, and music are individually among the most powerful forces in the world. Few experiences move the heart and soul as much as these.

Combine all three, and you will be a changed person. Together, they meld into a memory-making machine that will melt away anxiety and move you closer to the people you love.

The Sunset Live Music Cruise offers an unparalleled evening experience on the tranquil waters of Green Bay. As the sun dips below the horizon, painting the sky in vibrant colors, you’re treated to the soothing sounds of live music, creating the perfect backdrop for a memorable Door County sunset.

Check availability for this great experience.

North Shore to Death’s Door – Motorized Boat Tour

Grid of images related to the Death's Door Boat Cruise, including a map, the Plum Island Lighthouse, and the water of Green Bay.

Embarking on the North Shore to Death’s Door Boat Cruise offers an unforgettable journey through the heart of Door County’s maritime history and breathtaking natural landscapes. This unique cruise not only provides an unparalleled opportunity to experience the stunning beauty of the shoreline but also allows you to navigate through the legendary Porte des Morts passage, known as “Death’s Door.” This passage, the namesake of Door County, carries with it tales of shipwrecks and lore that add a layer of mystique to your adventure.

Imagine the thrill of cruising through waters that have witnessed centuries of history, all while surrounded by the serene beauty of towering bluffs and pristine waters. It’s an experience that combines natural beauty, history, and adventure, making it a must-do for any visitor to Door County seeking to fully embrace the spirit and legacy of this unique region.

Check availability for this unique adventure.

West Islands & Eagle Bluff Lighthouse Cruise – Motorized Boat Tour

Grid of images related to west islands boat tour in Door County. Water scenes, nautical map.

Embark on an insightful journey along the scenic shores of Peninsula State Park with the West Islands & Eagle Bluff Lighthouse Cruise. This 60-minute adventure offers breathtaking views of Door County’s natural splendor and historical landmarks, all for an accessible price. On this tour, you’ll motor past the 7-mile shoreline of Peninsula State Park to the storied Eagle Bluff Lighthouse. Venturing further, the cruise navigates between Adventure and Little Strawberry Islands, unveiling the old campground on Adventure Island and offering a rare chance to observe nesting white pelicans.

This tour is praised for its relaxing atmosphere, stunning vistas, and informative guides, making it an enjoyable experience for all ages. Whether it’s the rich history of the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse or the serene beauty of the West Islands, this cruise promises a blend of Door County’s best features.

Make sure to check availability for this boat tour before it completely books up.

Cave Point Kayak Boat Tour

Grid of images: Scenes from Cave Point County Park and kayakers.

At Cave Point County Park, stone and water collide. Hydrological and geological forces meet. It’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the sheer power of the elements at play here. That’s why it’s one of the most popular spots in Door County.

The Cave Point Kayak Tour is the best way to take in the magnitude of this awesome place.

Exploring Cave Point County Park by kayak offers an unmatched perspective, bringing you up close to the stunning geological formations that make this area a Door County gem. From the unique vantage point on the water, kayakers of all levels can marvel at the breathtaking caves, cliffs, and coves only visible from Lake Michigan’s surface.

This experience, combining natural beauty with adventure, is a must-do for families and individuals alike. On my adventure with the kids, the beauty of paddling past Cave Point and Whitefish Dunes State Park, and the thrill of venturing into accessible caves, made for an unforgettable experience.

The tour is an incredible way to connect with nature, offering chances to see the park’s iconic features up close, and even, conditions permitting, to paddle into the mysterious caves that dot the shoreline.

Check availability for this classic Door County boat tour.

Sunset Kayak Boat Tour

Grid of images depicting the sunset kayak boat tour in Door County, Wisconsin.

If you prefer to greet the dusk in a quieter, more intimate setting, the Sunset Kayak Tour is a better option for you. Down in your kayak, close to the water, it’s as if you are a part of the waters of Green Bay that the sun will be setting into.

Launching from the lovely village of Ephraim, nestled on the shores of the Bay of Green Bay, the Sunset Kayak Tour offers an unparalleled experience to witness Door County’s famous sunsets. With Eagle Harbor’s Bluff and Horseshoe Island forming a picturesque backdrop, this tour is an idyllic way to end the day.

Whether seeking a romantic outing or an unforgettable family adventure, the calm waters and the spectacular sunset create a breathtaking, tranquil scene.

Check availability for this relaxing boat tour.

Death’s Door Bluff Kayak Boat Tour

Grid of images depicting a kayak tour at Death's Door Bluff County Park in Door County, Wisconsin.

This is a boat tour for adventurous souls who want to get away from the crowds. Few folks undertake it—those who do have an experience to brag about.

This tour offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical intrigue. Over the course of 2 hours, you’ll glide through the waters of Garrett Bay, approaching the famous Door Bluff County Park.

The tour highlights include the Schooner Fleetwing Shipwreck, captivating Native American pictographs, and the towering rock cairns of Door Bluff County Park. Marvel at Door County’s highest natural point and enjoy panoramic views of Washington Island. Meeting directly at the launch site ensures maximum time on the water, making it ideal for those eager to explore without delay.

The secluded nature of this location, far from the usual tourist paths, promises an intimate and unique kayaking experience. Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or a first-timer, the provided Red Cross-trained guides ensure a safe and memorable adventure. Don’t miss the chance to discover the secrets of Death’s Door, where the peninsula got its foreboding name.

Check availability for this adventurous boat tour.

Peninsula State Park Kayak Boat Tour

Grid of images depicting kayak tours at Peninsula State Park in Door County, Wisconsin.

The Peninsula State Park Kayak Tour gives you a new perspective on Wisconsin’s most popular state park.

This state park is so popular for a reason – stunning natural beauty combined with fascinating history makes for a winning combination. This boat tour lets you explore it from a different angle – the water.

Participants can explore the park’s famous sights, including the majestic Eagle Bluff, the historic Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, Horseshoe Island, and the serene Nicolet Bay over approximately 4 hours. This tour immerses you in the tranquil waters and scenic vistas of Door County and brings you close to landmarks that narrate the area’s rich history.

The Peninsula State Park Kayak Tour is designed to accommodate both beginners and experienced kayakers, with all necessary instruction provided. As you paddle alongside the park’s coastline, you’ll gain insights into the natural and cultural history of the area, making for an enriching and enjoyable experience.

Check availability now for this scenic boat tour.

Naturalist Led Sea Kayak Boat Tour

Grid of images depicting a naturalist led sea kayak tour in Door County.

Some of the world’s rarest ecosystems can be found in Door County. The Naturalist Led Sea Kayak Tour is one of the best ways to experience these precious natural phenomena.

These boat tours not only allow you to paddle through the crystal-clear waters alongside the breathtaking bluffs of Cave Point County Park but also to discover the hidden beauty that lies beneath the surface, such as underwater caves and shipwrecks.

With guidance from knowledgeable naturalists, you gain intimate insights into the local geology, ecology, and history, making it more than just a kayaking adventure—it’s a deep dive into the heart of Door County’s natural wonders.

These tours cater to all levels, from beginners to experienced kayakers, ensuring everyone can safely enjoy the beauty of the area. Whether it’s the chance to see a shipwreck up close or to marvel at the geological formations, this tour promises a memorable experience that combines physical activity with educational enrichment.

Check availability now for this great experience.

Wetlands Kayak Boat Tour

Grid of images of people taking kayak tours in Door County, Wisconsin.

Lake Michigan and Green Bay get most of the glory. But, if your water-based explorations stop there, you’ve only scratched the surface. In the Wetlands Kayak Tour, you will delve deep into Door County’s natural treasures to see abundant wild and plant life.

As you meander through the calm waters of Rieboldt Creek and onto Mud Lake, you’re immersed in an eco-rich environment where the harmonious coexistence of plants, birds, fish, and insects unfolds before you. This tour, suitable for beginners and seasoned kayakers alike, provides a rare opportunity to closely observe and be part of an incredible ecological community, making it an ideal choice for those looking to connect with nature and witness wildlife in its natural habitat.

Check availability for this natural deep dive.

Pontoon Boat Rental

boat wake

This is the boat tour for you if you like to take things into your own hands. Want the freedom to explore Door County’s waters on your terms? Rent a pontoon boat.

Pontoon boats, known for their stability and ample space, are ideal for family outings, fishing trips, or simply enjoying a day soaking up the sun and sights. With the freedom to navigate the serene waters, visitors can discover secluded spots, and picturesque shorelines, and even catch a glimpse of local wildlife.

It’s a perfect option for those looking to create lasting memories on the water.

Click here to check pontoon boat rental availability.

Sail Door County – Sailing Tour

sailboat off the shore of Door County, Wisconsin

Imagine gliding across the sparkling waters of Door County, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of rocky shoals, tree-covered islands, and unforgettable sunsets. This is what awaits you with Sail Door County.

Offering a variety of sailing experiences, from exhilarating day sails to romantic sunset cruises, every moment on board promises memories that will last a lifetime. Feel the wind in your sails as you explore the stunning vistas that make Door County a gem of the Midwest.

Whether you’re looking for an adventurous day out or a serene evening on the water, Sail Door County caters to all with their luxurious 40-foot sloop, the Passage North, and the majestic 65-foot schooner, The Edith M. Becker. Bring your camera, your loved ones, and even your furry friends for an adventure that epitomizes the spirit of Door County.

Grid depicting scenes of boat tours in Door County. Superimposed text says: Boat Tours.

How To Pick a Boat Tour in Door County

When you’re planning to soak up the beauty of Door County from the water, choosing the right boat tour can make all the difference. Here are some tips to help you pick the perfect boat tour for an unforgettable experience:

  1. Identify Your Interests: Door County offers a variety of boat tours, from serene sunset cruises to adventurous lighthouse tours and thrilling kayaking adventures. Decide what you want to see and do—whether it’s wildlife, historical sites, or just the open water.
  2. Check the Tour Length: Boat tours can range from a quick one-hour jaunt to a full-day exploration. Consider how much time you want to spend on the water and what fits best with your travel itinerary.
  3. Read Reviews: Look up reviews of boat tours online to see what past participants have said. These insights can help you gauge the quality of the tour, the knowledgeability of the guides, and the overall experience.
  4. Consider Group Size: Some tours offer a more personal experience with smaller groups, while others are more economical and can accommodate larger crowds. Decide if you prefer an intimate setting or don’t mind sharing the experience with others.
  5. Look at the Boat Type: The type of boat can affect your experience. Larger ships offer more stability and amenities, while smaller boats can offer closer views and access to narrower waterways. Kayaks and canoes provide a more personal and adventurous experience.
  6. Check Accessibility: If you or someone in your group has mobility issues, check the accessibility of the boat and the tour’s facilities. Some boats are better equipped to accommodate guests with special needs.
  7. Ask About Safety Measures: Safety should be a top priority. Ensure the tour operator has all necessary safety certifications and equipment, and ask about their safety protocols.
  8. Understand What’s Included: Some tours might include extras like meals, drinks, or stops at specific attractions. Understand exactly what your tour includes and if there are any additional costs.
  9. Book in Advance: Especially during peak season, boat tours can fill up quickly. Once you’ve found a tour that interests you, book it in advance to secure your spot.
  10. Dress Appropriately: Remember that it can be cooler on the water than on land, and conditions can change quickly. Bring layers and consider the weather forecast when dressing for your boat tour.

Following these tips can help ensure that your boat tour in Door County is as enjoyable and memorable as the stunning views you’re bound to encounter.

Tips for Going on a Boat Tour in Door County

Embarking on a boat tour in Door County is a splendid way to explore the natural beauty and maritime charm of the area. To ensure your adventure is as enjoyable as possible, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Dress in Layers: The weather on Lake Michigan and Green Bay can change quickly. Dressing in layers allows you to adjust to the changing temperatures, ensuring comfort throughout your tour.
  2. Wear Sun Protection: Even on cloudy days, the sun’s reflection off the water can be strong. Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from UV rays.
  3. Bring Waterproof Gear: A waterproof jacket can be a lifesaver against splashes or rain. Consider waterproof cases or bags for your phone and camera as well.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Bring along a water bottle. Some tours may offer refreshments, but it’s best to have your own water, especially on warmer days.
  5. Arrive Early: Getting there early ensures you have enough time to check in, use the restroom, and find a good spot on the boat. It also means you’re less rushed and can start the tour relaxed.
  6. Consider Motion Sickness: If you’re prone to motion sickness, take precautions such as over-the-counter remedies or pressure bands. Choosing seats near the center of the boat can also help.
  7. Listen to the Crew: Pay attention to any safety briefings and instructions from the crew. They’re experienced and knowledgeable about the area and conditions.
  8. Be Camera Ready: Door County’s coastline is stunning, and you’ll likely encounter wildlife, lighthouses, and beautiful sunsets. Keep your camera or phone handy (but secure!) for those perfect shots.
  9. Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to engage with your tour guides. They can provide fascinating insights into the local history, geology, and ecology that you might not discover otherwise.
  10. Respect the Environment: Remember that you’re a visitor in a natural habitat. Avoid littering, and respect wildlife by keeping a safe distance and not feeding any animals you might encounter.
  11. Check the Weather: Before you head out, check the weather forecast. Tours may be canceled or postponed in case of bad weather, so it’s good to be informed.
  12. Plan for the Bathroom: Some boats may not have restroom facilities, especially smaller or more adventurous tours. Use the facilities before boarding, just in case.
  13. Explore Different Tours: Door County offers a range of boat tours, from kayaking and sailing to sunset cruises. If you have time, try different types to fully experience the maritime beauty of the area.

With these tips in mind, you’re all set to enjoy the breathtaking views and serene waters of Door County from the deck of a boat. Happy sailing!

Benefits and Drawbacks of Boat Tours in Different Bodies of Water

Exploring Door County by boat offers a unique perspective of its stunning natural beauty. Each location, from the vastness of Lake Michigan to the tranquil inland waterways, presents its own set of benefits and drawbacks for boat tours.

Lake Michigan


  • Expansive Views: Offers wide, open views of the horizon and the opportunity to see Door County’s coastline from a majestic vantage point.
  • Historical Lighthouses: Provides up-close views of historic lighthouses, many of which played crucial roles in maritime navigation.
  • Wildlife Sightings: The expansive waters are home to diverse wildlife, including opportunities to spot birds and aquatic life unique to this great lake.


  • Variable Conditions: Lake Michigan is known for its quickly changing conditions, which can lead to rougher waters and potentially cancel tours.
  • Colder Temperatures: The vast open waters can be significantly cooler, requiring extra layers even on warmer days.

Green Bay


  • Calmer Waters: Generally offers more sheltered waters than Lake Michigan, making for a smoother boat tour experience.
  • Sunset Views: Facing west, boat tours here offer some of the most spectacular sunset views over the water.
  • Rich History: Green Bay’s shores are steeped in history, from Native American heritage to early European settlers, providing an educational component to tours.


  • Limited Wildlife: While still abundant, wildlife sightings may be less varied than in the more expansive Lake Michigan.

Sturgeon Bay


  • Gateway to Both Waters: Unique location connects Lake Michigan and Green Bay, offering diverse tour options.
  • Maritime History: Home to a rich shipbuilding heritage, providing insight into the region’s maritime history.
  • Protected Waters: The bay’s sheltered waters make for gentle sailing and are ideal for all ages.


  • Industrial Views: Some areas around the bay are industrial, which might detract from the natural beauty sought by some visitors.

Inland Waterways


  • Intimate Nature Experience: Smaller boats on inland tours offer close encounters with the shoreline’s natural beauty and wildlife.
  • Tranquility: These tours are often more peaceful, offering a quiet escape into nature.
  • Accessibility: Sheltered from the larger open waters, these tours are less likely to be canceled due to weather.


  • Narrower Scopes: Limited to the interior landscapes of Door County, missing the grandeur of the Great Lakes.
  • Mosquitoes and Insects: Being closer to shorelines and wetlands can mean a higher presence of mosquitoes and other insects, especially in the evening.

Choosing the right boat tour in Door County depends on personal preferences, weather conditions, and what you hope to get out of the experience. Whether it’s the open waters of Lake Michigan, the historic shores of Green Bay, the bustling Sturgeon Bay, or the tranquil inland waterways, each offers a unique way to experience the beauty and history of Door County.

What to Wear on a Boat Tour

Live Music Boat Cruise

  • Comfortable Layers: Evenings on the water can get cool, so bring a light jacket or sweater.
  • Smart Casual Attire: While not overly formal, these cruises often have a more upscale vibe. Think smart casual – a nice top with trousers or a casual dress.
  • Flat, Non-Slip Shoes: Deck surfaces can be slippery, especially with the movement of the crowd. Opt for comfortable, flat shoes with a good grip.
  • Accessories: Consider a hat or sunglasses for early evening cruises, and a small, secure bag for personal items.

Kayak Tour

  • Quick-Dry Clothing: Opt for synthetic materials that wick away moisture and dry quickly if you get wet.
  • Water Shoes or Sandals: Footwear that can get wet and provides a good grip on slippery surfaces is essential.
  • Sun Protection: Long-sleeved shirts and pants made from lightweight, UV-protective fabric can help shield you from the sun, along with sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.
  • Personal Flotation Device (PFD) Fit: Wear clothing that allows your PFD to fit snugly and comfortably. Your tour provider will typically supply the PFD.

Pontoon Boat Rental

  • Swimwear: If you plan to anchor and swim, wear your swimsuit under your clothing or bring it along.
  • Layered Outfits: The weather can vary, especially if you’re out for the whole day. Include a mix of shorts, t-shirts, and lightweight long-sleeve shirts.
  • Waterproof or Water-Resistant Jacket: Be prepared for sudden showers or spray with a light waterproof layer.
  • Footwear: Water-appropriate footwear that’s also comfortable for lounging on the deck. Flip-flops or water shoes are great options.
  • Hat and Sunglasses: Protect yourself from prolonged exposure to the sun with a wide-brimmed hat and UV-protective sunglasses.

Remember, the key to enjoying any boat tour is comfort and preparedness. Dressing appropriately for the type of cruise and the expected weather conditions will ensure you have a pleasant experience on the water.

About the author
Mark Stoneman
Hi! My name is Mark! I have been a resident of Door County for almost ten years now, and I'm glad to help you say "Hello" to Door County. I believe that travel helps to change lives, and because of that, I want to help you improve your life through travel.

2 thoughts on “9 Best Door County Boat Tours”

    • Hi, John, thanks for your question. Most of the boat tours on this article will vary their routes based on factors like time of year, current weather, and water conditions. If there are particular lighthouses you want to get eyes on, your best option is to sign up for a tour associated with the the Door County Lighthouse Festival.

      I hope this helps, and thanks so much for your readership and question.


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