The phrase “hidden gem” gets thrown around a lot these days, but when we say Algoma is a hidden gem of northeast Wisconsin, we mean it! Nestled on the western shore of Lake Michigan at the southern end of the Door Peninsula, Algoma strikes the perfect balance between quaint charm and undiscovered allure while boasting an array of activities for every kind of visitor. 

With its picturesque landscapes, vibrant art scene, and abundance of outdoor experiences, Algoma truly offers the perfect vibes for families seeking to bring a little relaxation and a little excitement to those dog days of summer. Keep reading to uncover your summer adventure itinerary!


Sun and Fun at Crescent Beach

Picture sandy shores, the lapping lull of waves, and a light breeze in the air – summer days really do unfold like a postcard along Algoma’s Crescent Beach. The beach and adjoining half-mile handicap-accessible boardwalk is the city’s crown jewel, and it’s easy to see why. Take a dip in Lake Michigan, play a game of volleyball, dig your toes into the warm sand, launch your kayak, work on your tan, build a sandcastle – there’s no limit to how you can spend a perfect beach day. You might even catch a glimpse of the eagles that nest nearby!

Crescent Beach in Algoma

If you’re feeling adventurous, head up to the north side of the beach and walk out to the Pierhead Lighthouse, situated on one of two breakwater piers. Just be careful – the surfaces can be uneven, and strong waves can crash over the piers! Wait until the waters are calm, or hang back and get the perfect photo with the striking red lighthouse in the background.


Explore a Dynamic Art Scene

With all that natural beauty, it’s no wonder Algoma is home to a vibrant art scene. Over the past few years, Algoma has experienced a remarkable surge in artistic endeavors, boasting a diverse array of galleries, studios, and unique artisan shops. From clay to glass, painting to multi-media, and everything in between, Algoma's art scene caters to a wide range of interests.

And if you want to immerse yourself in the art action (and get a great pic for the ‘gram), we recommend going on the mural tour, which features seventeen beautiful murals adorning the walls of buildings throughout the town. 

Learn more about the different art venues in Algoma and view a mural map by downloading the Algoma Arts Community Brochure.



Kayaking, Fishing, and Swans – Oh My!

While the lake is a big draw for many Algoma visitors, the city is also home to the beautiful Ahnapee River. This 14.7-mile estuary is a winding, serene wildlife enthusiast's dream. The flat, calm waters make for near-perfect kayaking, and the fishing is next-level, with abundant rainbow trout, salmon, smelt, and more. And if you’re looking to travel down the river on something a little more unique, Bayshore Outfitters has got you covered with their flock of Swan Paddleboats, available to rent downtown by the 2nd Street Bridge.

Algoma Swan boats


Giddyup Slong the AhnapeeTrail

Horseback riding along the Ahnapee Trail is a popular summer pastime in Algoma. The Ahnapee Trail spans 50 miles and was once covered in railroad tracks. It was later converted into a beautiful multi-purpose recreation trail. Because of this, it has a wide, firm surface – perfect for horseback riding (or trail bikes, if that’s your thing). Several places in and around Algoma offer guided horseback riding along the Ahnapee Trail. Learn more about the trail here.


Take in Some Local Tunes

For over two decades, the Algoma Concerts in the Park series has been a cherished tradition, enchanting locals and visitors alike with concerts set against the breathtaking backdrop of Lake Michigan and the Algoma City Marina. Bring your chairs and blankets and enjoy a variety of local, family-friendly music every Thursday from late June to mid-August at Heritage Park. Check out the 2024 lineup here.


Reel in the Big One on Lake Michigan

Algoma has a reputation for being the top port for sport fishing in the Great Lakes, so if fishing is your thing, we recommend chartering a boat with one of the many local charter businesses and heading out onto the lake. You’ll be able to experience first-hand why Algoma is a top spot for anglers with bountiful salmon and trout, including King Salmon!

Boats at harbor


Get Your Sips

If you’re looking for a fun activity that’s adults-only, consider wine tasting at von Stiehl Winery or a stop at the Ahnapee Brewery. Both are fixtures in the Algoma area; von Stiehl set up shop in 1967 (making it Wisconsin’s oldest licensed winery) and the Ahnapee Brewery was founded in 1868, originally housed in what is now von Stiehl’s wine shop!

Explore von Stiehl’s European-style underground wine cellars and learn about their state-of-the-art wine production facility spanning over 10,000 square feet. Then, take in the views of Lake Michigan from Ahnapee Brewery’s patio as you enjoy some of the sixteen Ahnapee brews on tap.

Von Stiel Winery


Where’s your Favorite Algoma Hot Spot?

Did we miss any “must-dos” in northeast Wisconsin’s favorite hidden gem? Let us know!