Top Kayak Tours in Door County

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Top Kayak Tours in Door County

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Mornings in Door County can involve copious amounts of heart-pumping fun or tranquil hours unwinding at your cozy vacation rental. Expect long walks in the evenings under the star-lit heavens, with the gentle sound of waves as your personal soundtrack. 

How will you interact with nature on this trip? Perhaps a hike through one of the area’s plentiful lush forests. Or, if you crave time on the water, we can’t think of a better activity than kayaking — your chance to breathe in fresh air while soaking up stunning landscapes and sunshine.

So, how do you get yourself on a kayak in Door County? You have two choices: rent a kayak or go on an organized kayaking tour. We’ll walk you through both options to help you find the best Door County kayak tour for your trip. 

Kayaking Tours Around Door County


Photo Credit: Virrage Images

Sitting on a peninsula enveloped by tranquil waters, you can see why Door County is a magical place for an unforgettable getaway. With over 300 miles of sun-kissed shoreline and 11 historic lighthouses, it's no wonder that this stunning destination in Wisconsin has earned the moniker "Cape Cod of the Midwest."

These are some of the best tours to splash in your kayak in the area!

1. Cave Point County Park Kayak Tour


Photo Credit: Nejdet Duzen

  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Price: Starting from $65.99
  • Time: 2 hours

A favorite amongst tour-goers, the Cave Point Kayak Tour sweeps you through the waters of Lake Michigan to uncover jaw-dropping limestone cliffs sculpted by the waves and wind for centuries. 

The company provides sit-on-top style tandem kayaks for you to paddle through caves while basking in Door County’s raw natural beauty. Listen closely as your knowledgeable tour guides share the fascinating history of the Niagara Escarpment. 

Guided Tours

In terms of kayak tour companies, you have a few options. Almost all tour companies in the area sell combo kayak packages to visit Cave Point County Park and Whitefish Dunes State Park. But if we had to choose, we would go with Kayak Door County (which also specializes in Sturgeon Bay tours) or Peninsula Kayak Company.


Beginners are welcome on these tours; expert guides who know the waters like the back of their hand will settle even the most nervous riders. Paddleboard rentals (SUP) are also available from Cave Point Paddle and Pedal for an extra workout.

2. Shipwreck Kayak Tour 

  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • Price: Starting from $65.99
  • Time: 2 hours

Have you always had a thirst for peculiar, out-of-the-ordinary experiences? You’ll love Door County’s Shipwreck kayak tours. Did you know that Door County’s waters have over 200 shipwrecks — 14 of which are accessible by kayak? 

We get tons of families booking our vacation rentals, and the shipwreck tour is always a hit activity. Paddle over ancient wooden wreckages in less than 15 feet of water on clear-bottomed kayaks. 

Guided Tours

With Lakeshore Adventures, part of this tour includes a quick visit to a small island in Baileys Harbor. It's an incredible addition, allowing you to admire the historic Birdcage Lighthouse from the 1820s.

3. Bluff Kayak Tour and Door Bluff 1/2 Day Kayak & Hike Tour


Photo Credit: Vitalii Nesterchuk

  • Difficulty: 
  • Price: $69 - $145
  • Time: 2 to 2.5 hours

Do you relish uninterrupted nature? You’d love seeing sites of the Door Bluff Headlands, an undeveloped slice of paradise with limestone cliffs that tower over Green Bay. Lucky for you, two kayak tours help you witness this wonder. 

Guided Tours

 

Bluff Kayak Tour

Join this 2-hour tour to explore the gorgeous shoreline of Hedge Hog Harbour and Door Bluff. Visitors will encounter some of the nation's largest, most striking limestone bluffs and panoramic views of Washington Island and Gills Rock. 

 

You might even snap a picture of the 360-year-old Native American paintings of a grand battle carved into the stone face. Unfortunately, these pictographs were damaged by people touching the paintings, so you’ll have to admire them from afar. A nice bonus? You’ll likely spot a shipwrecked Fleetwing, a wooden sailing ship from the 1800s.


Door Bluff 1/2 Day Kayak & Hike Tour

Adrenaline junkies, listen up! Take your kayak tour up a notch and get the best of both worlds by going on a hiking and kayaking tour of Death's Door with Door County Kayak Tours. The tour is a total of 2.5 hours, including 30 minutes of hiking and a 30 minute picnic break. 

 

Paddle along the shores of Door Bluff County Park, and hike Door County's highest bluff. After this grueling workout, enjoy a charcuterie picnic featuring locally sourced fruits like luscious red cherries, aged cheese, and meats, with a side of pickled snacks and crackers.

You’ll meet the Garrett Bay Boat Launch team in Ellison Bay to kickstart your adventure. Along the way, you will see the Schooner Fleetwing Shipwreck, spot Washington Island, witness Native American Pictographs, and observe the charming fishing village of Gills Rock.

4. Lighthouse Tour of Cana Island

  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Price: Starting from $110
  • Time: 4 hours

Imagine a heart-shaped piece of land floating on Lake Michigan, blanketed in oh-so-green trees. The piece de resistance? The striking 1800s Cana Island lighthouse invites your curiosity. 

Embark on a unique experience as you paddle towards Cana, a tiny island home to an iconic lighthouse of the area. Marvel at the towering 89-foot structure from a distance and then on land. 

But the tour doesn’t end at the lighthouse. You’ll also get to see the preserved home of the original lighthouse keeper. We hope you have some stamina for the 97-step spiral staircase. It’s worth the short breath — you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama of Door Peninsula. Take in the scene atop this 150-year-old structure while listening to whispered stories of sunken ships and tales of legends.

Guided Tours

Door County Kayak Tours runs an extended version of this guided kayak tour from June to September. They also include a delicious picnic along with your adventurous explorations.

5. Sunset Kayak Tour


Photo Credit: Sergei Domashenko

  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • Price: Starting from $69
  • Time: 2 hours

Not a morning person? No worries. Joining a sunset tour is the perfect fit for travelers who start their day a little later. In this case, the late bird catches the worm — and the worm is a kaleidoscope of fiery oranges and red hues. 

Guided Tours

Connect with Peninsula Kayak Company's Sunset Tour for an unforgettable Door County kayaking experience. Watching silhouettes of kayaks surrounded by water bathed in golden light is an experience that words can't do justice. This sunset kayak tour begins at Ephraim, a quaint Door County village worthy of your time before or after your kayak adventure!

6. Logan Creek State Natural Area - Wetland Tour

  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • Price: Starting from $50
  • Time: 2 hours

Picture the dark, marshy side of a forest. Not every green area has one, but Logan Creek does. You’ll witness a wet-mesic tree blanket peppered with black ash and white cedar. 

The Logan Creek State Natural Area shares an oasis of untouched waters, designated an “Outstanding Water Resource” by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 

Guided Tours

Take in the endangered flora species in this unique kayak tour option. The Peninsula Kayak Company has exclusive access to Logan Creek. Begin your kayak tour with Peninsula Kayak Company at their private launch site at Long Creek.

Renting Kayaks in Door County


Photo Credit: G-Stock Studio

Feeling gutsy? Kayakers with experience can opt to rent out kayaks without guides or tours. Companies in Door County offer an array of choices — from single kayaks and tandem kayaks to stand-up paddleboards; take your pick! 

For absolute flexibility and convenience, rent kayaks from companies that provide hourly rentals (2 to 8 hours) with drop-off and pick-up services. Book one in advance to avoid last-minute disappointments. 

Our advice? If someone in your group is a kayaking newbie, rent kayaks from Cave Point Paddle and Peddle. You can purchase an add-on lesson for only $20.

Pro Tips for Kayaking in Door County

Leave the Electronics

Yes, we know how high-res your new iPhone camera is — but it won’t be much use to you if you drop it in the water! 

 

So unless it’s waterproof, just leave your phone and other non-water-proof electronics charging at your vacation rental. Don’t worry; you’ll still get to snap some memories. Most of the tour guides on our list double as pro photographers, and they’ll snag some shots for a small fee of $10-$20 per person.

 

Set Up a Plan B

Lake Michigan slams the coastline with spooky waves occasionally, meaning your kayak tour could be canceled. It’s for your safety. 

 

In these cases, inquire with the tour company about other activities instead. For example, you might enjoy a bike tour or hiking adventure instead or try to get a refund. 

 

Stay Cool and Hydrated

A day on the water can dehydrate your body and skin. Remember to bring a hat, sunscreen, and a generous water bottle. Don’t forget snacks to satisfy the kiddoes’ hunger pangs on tour!

Splash In Your Kayak in Door County

After a long day of paddling, dive into the lap of luxury at Moonsail Vacations. We understand the value of solace and serenity, which is why we created spaces that feel simultaneously revitalizing while still maintaining a sense of home.

Unwind in style on our comfortable beds as you sink into a deep slumber before waking up and seizing the day on Door County’s waters.