Port Washington, Wisconsin (We tend to call it “Port”) is a real living-breathing city. It has a “heart,” a harbor surrounded by hills, and a history. You could live here for decades and not hear all of the stories, largely because there are so many, plus there are new stories being written right now.
Downtown Port Washington, WI is bracketed by North Beach and Upper Lake Park to the north, and Coal Dock Park and South Beach to the south. Follow the beach and bluff and you will find Lion’s Den Park. Extending from shore into the heart of the harbor is Rotary Park. It is also possible to walk out to Port’s iconic lighthouse, weather permitting. Or if you wish to visit the historic lighthouse it is perched on the bluff to the north. The bright red roof gives it away. Climb the 105 steps from E. Jackson Street or drive up the hill and loop around St. Mary’s Church. The view is breathtaking.
Explore Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is an inland sea. More than six times the size of Yellowstone, it is a force of nature with its own climate. Pick- up your kayak and launch from the beach. Add a wetsuit and paddle year-around – but use your head. Lake Michigan is the real deal. The soon to be realized National Marine Sanctuary, will begin just to the south of Port Washington and extend north all the way to Two Rivers. Get out your scuba gear and dive on more than 30 identified shipwrecks.
The fishing is great! If you have 30 minutes to burn, grab your pole and fish the harbor. Catch a Coho, Chinook, or Rainbow Trout to name a few. Launch your boat if you have more time. The boat launch is about a block away from your front door. Maybe your boat is already tied-up in the marina? How cool is that?
If you’re a Polar Bear taking a dip on New Years Day, you can run from the lake to your own hot shower in seconds at Lakepointe. Invite your Florida friends for the party.
The Dennis Sullivan is a frequent visitor to Port. She ties up along side Rotary Park. You may wish to climb aboard and help hoist the sails. When she’s making six knots under sail out on the big lake, you will be transported to a time when early European settlers came to Port Washington Wisconsin in ships via the Great Lakes.
There are always things to do in Port Washington, WI. Living in a recreational playground, surrounded by natural beauty and charm, feeds our spirit. Port Washington is a festival town with great music and food. Enjoy Fish Day, the largest single-day fish fry on the planet. Pirate Fest is a treasure trove of mayhem and merriment. Plus the Paramount Blues Festival features a whole weekend of world-class blues and American Roots music centered on Coal Dock Park.
Port Washington Marina - boating, fishing & diving charters available.
Port Washington Yacht Club - Social club, cruising trips, fishing tournaments
Ozaukee Interurban Trail - 30 mile paved trail that spans the length of Ozaukee County
Riveredge Nature Center, Newburg - Hiking, Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoeing & a rich array of programs for adults and kids
Coal Dock Park - scenic views, habitat area, wildlife, sculpture area, children’s garden, & floating boat docks.
Upper Lake Park - best views of Lake Michigan, hosts the annual Fish Day Celebration, 5K races, car shows, & community events.
Veteran’s Memorial Park -gathering for community events at the bandshell, including a summer movie series.
Possibility Playground - ADA accessible playground with a replica of the city’s lighthouse.
Kiwanis Pavilion (north of marina)
Rotary Park -scenic park on the lakefront, Commercial Fisherman’s Memorial.
Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve - one of the last stretches of undeveloped bluff land along Lake Michigan shoreline.
Forest Beach Migratory Preserve - hosts a “patchwork quilt” of habitats that support migratory birds, reptiles & mammals of all kinds.
Sauk Creek Nature Preserve - 27-acre natural area in Port Washington.