Port Washington is equidistant from Milwaukee and Sheboygan, making it a convenient stopover for cruising skippers. The best way to explore is on foot. Pick up a map at the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce (262-284-0900) located inside the historic Pebble House at 126 E. Grand Ave.
Attractions: Across Jackson St., north of the inner basin of the harbor, you will find a steep outdoor staircase with over 100 steps leading to the historic Port Washington Lighthouse (311 Johnson St., 262-284-7240), which is open Fridays through Sundays. More than just a lighthouse, this is a museum that represents how residents lived in the 1800s. While up on the hill visit beautiful St. Mary’s R.C. Church (446 Johnson St., 262-284-5771) overlooking downtown.
You can walk back down the steep church stairway to the main downtown Franklin St. to visit the local shops, restaurants and attractions including Port Exploreum, located in the historic (1907) Henry and Hill building at 118 N. Franklin St. (262-284-2406). The hands-on Exploreum details the rich maritime history of Port Washington and the Great Lakes.
If you prefer to explore the lakefront on the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, which is made up of roughly 40 miles of trails, rent a bike from Zuzu Pedals, a large full-service bicycle shop (211 N. Franklin St., 262-988-4099). These bikes work equally well for simply pedaling around downtown and we love the nod to “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
On Saturdays during the summer, the Farmers’ Market on E. Main St. offers fresh produce, baked goods and flowers. The city bandstand in Veterans Park (next to the marina) hosts free movies on Friday nights and concerts on Sunday evenings during the summer. Port Fish Day is held the third Saturday in July. The world’s largest one-day outdoor fish fry serves 40,000 fish and chips dinners. The event starts at 8:00 a.m. with a charity run, followed by a parade on Franklin St. and continues at the fairgrounds with multiple stages of music, an arcade, rides, an arts and craft show, a classic car show and fireworks (on closing day). For more information, visit www.portfishday.com. An annual Community Street Festival is held in May. For a complete listing of events, go to www.visitportwashington.com.
Shopping/Services: A Post Office is at 104 E. Main St. and W.J. Niederkorn Library is at 316 W. Grand Ave. (262-284-5031). Groceries can be found at Fox Bros. Piggly Wiggly at 101 W Seven Hills Rd. (262-284-6134). Should you need provisions for the pets on board stop by One Wag for natural pet food and supplies (327 N. Franklin St., 262-261-5303).
The popular Duluth Trading Company (108 N. Franklin St., 262-268-1305) is located in the harbor offering men’s and women’s outdoor and sport clothing as well as lines of marine, hardware and general items. This store is an attraction in itself. The Shops of Port Washington (123 N. Franklin St., 262-536-4142) are also fun for casual shopping.
The Waterway Guide Team has gained extensive boating knowledge over the years, and now we are sharing all of the tips, skills and tools we’ve picked up along the way!