Door County Lighthouse Festival

Door County, Wisconsin, is a beacon for lighthouse enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Twice a year, in the splendor of spring and the crispness of fall, the Door County Lighthouse Festival illuminates the peninsula’s rich maritime history and its majestic lighthouses, many of which are usually off-limits to the public. This event, expertly run by the Door County Maritime Museum, offers a unique opportunity to explore these historic beacons up close, through an array of air, land, and water-based tours.

Red lighthouse. Superimposed text says: Door County Lighthouse Festival.

Door County Lighthouse Festival: A Glimpse into Maritime History

Lighthouses, standing tall against the backdrop of Door County‘s stunning landscapes, are not just navigational aids but are steeped in stories of the past. The festival, with its exclusive access, opens the door to these stories, allowing visitors to step inside structures like the Sherwood Point Lighthouse, which is generally closed to the public. This rare access not only satisfies the curiosity of lighthouse aficionados but also offers a glimpse into the life of the keepers who once manned these vital posts.

Lodging for the Door County Lighthouse Festival

If you’re planning a trip to the Door County Lighthouse Festival, our post on the best hotels in Door County is your best starting place to find the best lodging for your group.

Offered Spring and Fall

cana island lighthouse in door county wisconsin
Via Hello Door County

You have two opportunities to participate in the Door County Lighthouse Festival, in the Spring and in the Fall.

The Spring festival is usually offered in late May or early June. This is a good chance to see the lighthouses of Door County when the sun is shining and the water takes on glorious hues of blue, green, and purple.

The Fall festival is usually offered in October. Different colors greet you during this time – the beautiful Fall Colors on the trees.

Tours for Every Adventurer at the Door County Lighthouse Festival

Picture depicting the Pottawatomie Lighthouse on Rock Island in Door County, Wisconsin
Pottawatomie Lighthouse by Charles Hartman via Wikimedia Commons. Used by permission (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Whether you’re an avid boater, hiker, or someone who enjoys a scenic drive, the Door County Lighthouse Festival has something for everyone. The variety of tours available ensures that each visitor can experience the lighthouses in a way that suits their interests and comfort level.

Water-based Tours

Sail through the crystal-clear waters of Lake Michigan and Green Bay to witness the majestic beauty of the lighthouses from a perspective like no other. These tours offer breathtaking views and the opportunity to capture stunning photographs of the beacons standing guard over the waters.

Land-based Tours

For those who prefer to keep their feet on solid ground, land-based tours provide an intimate look at the lighthouses and their surroundings. These guided tours delve into the history and architecture of the lighthouses, offering insights into their construction, operation, and the keepers who lived there.

Air-based Tours

For a truly unforgettable experience, take to the skies with an air-based tour. Aerial views of the lighthouses and the surrounding Door County landscape provide a unique and exhilarating perspective that is sure to be a highlight of your visit.

The Role of the Door County Maritime Museum

The Door County Maritime Museum plays a pivotal role in the success of the Lighthouse Festival. As the event organizer, the museum not only facilitates access to these historic sites but also ensures that each tour is informative, enjoyable, and safe for all participants. The museum’s dedication to preserving maritime history and promoting the importance of lighthouses is evident in the quality and variety of tours offered during the festival.

Planning Your Visit to the Door County Lighthouse Festival

Whether you’re drawn to the historical significance, architectural beauty, or simply the romance of lighthouses, the Door County Lighthouse Festival offers a unique and enriching experience. To make the most of your visit, consider planning ahead. Tour spaces are limited, and the opportunity to explore lighthouses that are usually closed to the public is a rare treat that draws visitors from near and far.


The Door County Lighthouse Festival is more than just an event; it’s a celebration of history, architecture, and the enduring spirit of maritime exploration. Whether by land, water, or air, the festival offers a journey through time and a chance to connect with the past in a tangible way. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore Door County’s lighthouses and experience the beauty and history of this unique region.

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.

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