33 Best Things To Do in Algoma, WI [2024]

Algoma, Wisconsin is usually overshadowed by its neighbors to the north and west. Door County and Green Bay get much more attention. But, Algoma is well worth a visit. Here are some of the best things to do in Algoma, Wisconsin.

The whole region of Northeast Wisconsin has lots to do, besides just in Algoma. Be sure to check out our category on Things To Do in Door County to learn about more of the unique opportunities in the area.

If this post inspires you to pay Algoma a visit, make sure to check out some of our recommendations of places to stay in Algoma.

Algoma Pierhead Lighthouse with the words Algoma, WI Things To Do

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About Algoma

large red-lettered sign for Algoma, Wisconsin in front of a beach on Lake Michigan

Algoma is a town of about 3,000 people right on the shores of Lake Michigan, about forty miles east of Green Bay and twenty miles south of Sturgeon Bay in Door County.

In many ways, Algoma is still a traditional rust belt town. Agriculture and manufacturing are the backbone of this place. And, it’s certainly more hard-scrabble than the quaint villages of Door County.

However, don’t let this deceive you into thinking that Algoma isn’t worth a visit. It certainly is!

Algoma – Business Incubator

And, one of the reasons is that Algoma has been one of the most successful business incubators in the region. Real estate is inexpensive here, and so is labor. Because of this, some of the region’s most successful ventures got their start in Algoma, including the James May Gallery, Von Stiehl Winery, Skaliwag’s, and Ahnapee Brewery.

If you want to experience the next big thing, whether this is a restaurant or a brewery, there’s a good chance you’ll find it in Algoma.

Algoma – Charter Fishing Capital of Wisconsin

One of the biggest draws to Algoma is the excellent fishing. Algoma is the busiest charter port for Lake Michigan sportfishing charters. Anglers reel in abundant king salmon, steelhead, and brown trout. In addition, many private boats launch from here.

Algoma, WI Map

33 Best Things To Do In Algoma, WI

1. Crescent Beach

Crescent Beach at Algoma, Wisconsin
Via Hello Door County.

Algoma boasts a large, sand beach right downtown. Well-groomed, this is a popular place to swim in Lake Michigan or just lounge, especially when summer gets hot. Algoma tends to stay cool even in the middle of summer, so hundreds of people can line the beach, coming from up to hours away.

Bring along a volleyball. The city maintains several nets, and people play pickup games regularly.

2. Boardwalk

boardwalk along a sand beach in Algoma, WI with a sign that says "Crescent Beach Boardwalk"

The Algoma Boardwalk is a pleasant stroll that extends along Crescent Beach, by the marina, and up the Ahnapee River. It gives you the chance to soak in Lake Michigan, see the pierhead lighthouse, check out the charter fishing fleet, and experience some of the historic districts of Algoma.

3. Breakwater Piers and Lighthouse

lighthouse in Algoma, Wisconsin
Via Hello Door County.

The Algoma harbor is protected by breakwater piers north and south of the Ahnapee River. It is permitted to walk out on these piers, and doing so gives you a sense of the power and majesty of Lake Michigan, and also permits close-up views and pictures of the Algoma Pierhead Lighthouse.

Be careful, however! The surfaces are rough and uneven, and there is exposed rebar. Trip hazards abound, and you should only attempt walking on the breakwaters when the waters are relatively calm. Strong waves have been known to push people into the water.

4. Ahnapee Brewery

grey building sign that says Ahnapee Brewery Algoma, Wis.

Aiming to carry on a brewing tradition begun in the 1800s, the Ahnapee Brewery is one of the most successful newer businesses to have emerged out of Algoma. In fact, their business is so successful that they have opened a location in Suamico, one of northeast Wisconsin’s higher-priced markets.

But, this successful business is definitely still moored to its origins in Algoma.

The Ahnapee Brewery offers sixteen brews to choose from. Every beer lover will find something they like here. A major crowd-pleaser is their Little Soldier Ale, a malty amber American Ale.

Their Algoma taproom has two large glass garage doors that allow the outside in, even when it’s cold. When the weather is fitting, they raise the doors, and their outside patio overlooking Lake Michigan becomes one space with their taproom.

Address: 202 Clark St, Algoma, WI 54201
Phone: 920-785-0822
Website
Map

5. Von Stiehl Winery

yellow brick building and sign that says Von Stiehl

Von Stiehl winery is the granddaddy of the wine-making industry in the state of Wisconsin as the first commercially licensed winery after prohibition. That time on task has paid off. They are known to have some of the best wines in the state.

Their tasting room is housed in a lovely, historic building right off the Ahnapee River. Grab a bottle and go out back to sit and watch the fishing charters come and go from the busy port.

A new addition to the winery is its Cider Bar, a few doors down from the main building. It’s a casual and fun place to spend some time relaxing in the heart of downtown Algoma.

small grey building with a sign that says von stiehl cider bar

Von Stiehl also puts on great events. An annual favorite is their Wet Whistle Wine Fest in mid-September, which features grape stomping, music, and an enthusiastic crowd.

Address: 115 Navarino St, Algoma, WI 54201
Phone: 920-487-5208
Website
Map

6. Charter Fishing

charter fishing fleet in Algoma, Wisconsin. Boats in the water.

Algoma is the charter fishing capital of Wisconsin, supporting ample catches of king salmon, steelhead, and brown trout.

Hello Door County especially recommends Kinn’s Sport Fishing, Algoma’s largest charter fishing operation. With ten boats and decades of experience, Kinn’s is highly likely to help you get hooked up with some big fish. The experience speaks for itself, but the size of the operation shouldn’t be neglected. Their charter captains share real-time information with each other. With ten boats operating, they can keep tabs on the location of schools of fish and call other boats in to hook up.

7. Private Fishing

However, you don’t need a charter, or even a boat, to participate in fishing in Algoma. Anglers regularly catch pike and trout in the Ahnapee River. Salmon can be caught from the breakwater piers in mid-September. Nearby Krohn’s Lake and East and West Alaska Lakes support good populations of species like bluegill, perch, largemouth bass, and even muskie.

8. Son of Skaliwags

Son of Skaliwag's Restaurants in Algoma, Wisconsin

Okay, this is going to take a little bit of explanation. This is the location of the original Skaliwag’s Restaurant, which is now located in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. However, the son of Skaliwag’s has recently opened up a restaurant in the original location in Algoma, Wisconsin, seven miles south of Forestville. Hence the name, Son of Skaliwag’s.

Look, we know that a pirate-themed restaurant may not seem all that legit. But, hear us out. This restaurant dynasty has built up an enormous reputation in Northeastern Wisconsin, with loyal customers including players for the Green Bay Packers.

Things you can’t expect at Son of Skaliwag’s: The same menu every time you visit. A quick in-and-out dining experience. Cheap eats.

Things you can expect at Skaliwag’s: The freshest seafood possible. (Steaks, too.) Personal attention from the chef/owner. Surprising menu choices. Delectable flavors that you won’t find anywhere else.

Give it a try. But, word to the wise: Come with lots of time and lots of money.

Address: 312 Clark St, Algoma, WI 54201
Phone: 920-536-1539
Map
Website

9. Walking Tour

Historic buildings in Algoma, Wisconsin
Via Hello Door County.

Algoma is a little more hardscrabble than the villages of Door County to the north. But, this doesn’t mean that this old city doesn’t have some beautiful buildings to see. Gorgeous old homes and interesting buildings are worth an amble around Algoma. You’ll get candy for your eyes and gold for your Instagram.

10. Murals

Mural on a brick wall depicting a historic fishing boat in Algoma, Wisconsin

Some of that eye candy and Instagram golds are Algoma’s growing collection of murals. These are well done and capture Algoma’s unique history and ethos. Keep an eye out for them; they’re everywhere and in some surprising locations.

11. Fish Tale Ale House

brick building housing Fish Tale Ale House in Algoma, Wisconsin
Via Hello Door County.

Fish Tales is a spacious sports bar in a cool old, historic building. While they offer typical pub fare like burgers and pizza, they have some amazing BBQ and some surprisingly inventive dishes. It’s worth stopping in for a meal!

Address: 530 4th St, Algoma, WI 54201
Phone: 920-487-8228
Website
Map

12. Cafe Tlazo

yellow brick building housing Cafe Tlazo in Algoma, Wisconsin
Via Hello Door County.

Cafe Tlazo is the place to go for a comfortable hangout with coffee drinks, sandwiches, and wraps. A great place for breakfast or lunch!

Address: 607 4th St, Algoma, WI 54201
Phone: 920-487-7240
Website
Map

13. Bayshore Outfitters

Bayshore Outfitters is a high-end outdoor clothing and equipment store. Paddling and camping equipment is available here as is clothing to keep you warm in Algoma’s cooler-than-average weather.

Address: 219 State St., Algoma, WI 54201
Phone: 920-487-8215
Website
Map

14. Ahnapee Trail

Ahnapee Trail in Forestville, Door County, Wisconsin
Via Hello Door County.

A 48-mile trail connecting Sturgeon Bay, Maplewood, Forestville, Algoma, Kewaunee, Luxemburg, and Casco. This trail is on an old railroad bed and is therefore quite level, and has an even, easily traveled surface. ATV and UTVS are prohibited, but foot travel, horses, and bicycles are permitted. Snowmobiles are permitted on this trail in the winter, and dog sleds even occasionally make use of it. Many access points are available. Click here for a map.

15. Wienkes

Wienke’s Market offers homemade canned goods like pickles, jams, and pie fillings, baked goods, and produce. The authentically rustic setting is fun and nostalgic.

Address: 292 County Rd S, Algoma, WI 54201
Phone: +19207437014
Website
Map

16. Algoma Pizza Bowl

Algoma Pizza Bowl’s name says it all. A pizza shop with an old-school six-lane bowling alley attached, the Pizza Bowl is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening. They also have a full-service bar and offer other pub grub food options.

Address: 401 2nd St, Algoma, WI 54201
Phone: 920-487-2721
Map

17. LaSalle County Park

This county park has historical significance as a landing place for the French explorer Robert de LaSalle’s 1679 expedition. It has picnic tables, grills, and playground equipment, and features 440 feet of public access to Lake Michigan.

Address: 408 Cth U, Algoma, WI 54201
Map

18. Shanty Days

fireworks
Via Hello Door County.

Shanty Days is Algoma’s premier event, a weekend full of concerts, the area’s largest parade, fireworks, a craft show, children’s inflatables, a car show, and more. People love Shanty Days, and out-of-towners crowd into this small town to take part in the festivities.

Shanty Days is usually held in mid-August. Check out the Algoma Chamber of Commerce’s website for more info.

19. Soar on the Shore

Every summer, kiters descend on Algoma to send up monstrously huge kites and to perform daring maneuvers with smaller stunt kites. This is really something to see! It’s usually held in mid-August. The Algoma Chamber of Commerce’s website has more information on this event.

20. Concerts in the Park

Held every Thursday night over summer months, Algoma offers free concerts in Heritage Park, overlooking Lake Michigan. Beer and wine are served along with great tunes.

21. Olson Park

This park along the Ahnapee River is a favorite spot for fishermen and boaters.

One great feature is the kayak launch, which makes getting in and out of your kayak and in and out of the river a breeze! Anyone can launch a kayak here, but there are also kayak rentals available for those who do not own one.

22. DeMeuse Park

DeMeuse Park is Algoma’s dedicated dog park. Your four-legged friend will enjoy running off-leash and meeting other dogs.

23. Kayaking

Algoma is a great place to kayak. The river is suitable for kayakers of every skill level. Those with experience and proper equipment will enjoy kayaking out on Lake Michigan.

Kayak rentals are available at two points on the Ahnapee River.

24. Photography

Algoma is a photographer’s paradise. Lake Michigan’s dynamic waves, the pierhead lighthouse, and downtown murals are just the beginning of photographic subjects available.

25. Hiking

The Ahnapee Trail provides miles upon miles of easy yet pleasurable hiking. You’re sure to have wildlife sightings on this trail.

26. Horse Riding

people riding horses on a trail

Horseback riding is another popular activity in Algoma. Horses are allowed on the Ahnapee Trail, but it’s not uncommon to see them on the roads as well. Some restaurants even have horse hitches out back.

27. Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling is permitted o the Ahnapee Trail. And, when the snow is good, hundreds of snowmobilers descend upon Algoma from around Wisconsin.

28. Catch a Sunrise

sunrise behind the lighthouse in Algoma, Wisconsin
Via Hello Door County.

The early bird gets the worm, and this is certainly the case when it comes to sunrises. It’s a treat that few experience, but it’s worth the experience to see the sun rising up out of the waters of Lake Michigan.

29. First Friday Art Night

Every first Friday of the month, businesses in Algoma stay open late. Pop in and out of art shops, and take in the pop-up sidewalk art shops that set up as well.

30. Go to Church

yellow brick church, Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Algoma, Wisconsin
Via Hello Door County.

Algoma has several beautiful churches both in town and in the surrounding countryside. The members will be glad to see you, and you will receive wondrous blessings there!

31. Wet Whistle Wine Fest

Wet Whistle Wine Fest occurs every September and offers award-winning wines, a grape stomp, and live music! Revelers often come in elaborate and whimsical costumes. A great time!

32. Algoma Main Street

Just walking up and down the Algoma Main Street is an enjoyable experience. You’ll see murals, and you can wander in and out of bars and shops.

In a sense, Algoma has multiple main streets. There is no street mark as “Main Street,” and there are several streets that form the core of Algoma’s downtown business district. 4th Street is the “main” main street of the town, the major artery through which traffic flows. However, Fremont Street and Clark Street could also be considered the Algoma Main Street. Fremont Street is where the major civic buildings are, including city hall, the public library, and the elementary school. Clark Streets has lots of businesses.

All of these are real, working main streets, with hardware stores, tackle shops, restaurants, consignment shops, and more.

33. Paddle the Swans

Fiberglass swan paddleboats in Algoma, WI
Credit: HelloDoorCounty.com

Algoma now has a flock of Swan Paddleboats that you can rent to explore the Ahnapee River. These are available downtown by the 2nd Street Bridge.

Places To Stay in Algoma

If you’ve decided that you would like to visit Algoma, our top-recommended place to stay is Harbor View Condos. We know the owners personally, and know that they will provide you with a great stay. Two and three-bedroom units are available, with full kitchens, grills, and outdoor patios.

Another great place to stay in Algoma is Scenic Shore Inn. This property has a swimming pool, sauna, fitness center, and lovely outdoor gathering areas.

Conclusion

As you can see, Algoma has more than enough things to do to keep your group entertained! Build in a trip to Algoma and experience a somewhat more authentic, though no less enjoyable, Wisconsin vacation experience.