Harbor Walks, Fishing, Shopping, Eating – Do It All In Historic Port Washington
Truly a destination, the new Duluth Trading Store in Port Washington is a great first stop on your visit to the Lake Michigan waterfront. But there's much more to do and see in this historic fishing city.
Right outside the back door of our store, your fishing adventure awaits. On one of Port Washington's Charter Fishing Boats, you'll be battling to land that trophy salmon or trout with an experienced captain who's eager to help you succeed. Charter fishing can be enjoyed by every member of the family, including kids, and no previous fishing experience is required.
If you're already a seasoned sailor, consider arriving at our store by boat. Every year April through the end of October, free courtesy dockage is available at Port Washington Marina for boaters who are stopping to shop or dine (up to 3 hours). Advance reservations are accepted, at 262-284-6606.
Back on dry land, take your catch over to Ewig Bros. at 121 S. Wisconsin St., where they sell quality smoked fish at its finest. They'll smoke your trout, salmon or whitefish for you, using the hardwood fires and seasoned smokehouses that have been part of a family tradition for over 75 years. Or just take home one of their delicious varieties of smoked fish – Mmm, that distinctive flavor!
More the landlubber type? The Harbor Walk also begins outside our store, complete with beautiful views of the marina, charter boats, historic art deco lighthouse and the lake. Take a breezy half hour stroll through Port Washington maritime history and learn about everything from the shipwreck of the steamer Niagara in 1856, to the famous Smith Bros. commercial fishing family, to whom the city is integrally linked.
To really steep yourself in Port Washington's past, the city's historic buildings are mapped out in brochures available at the Chamber of Commerce at 126 E. Grand Ave. Stop #5 on the city center Historic Walking Tour is the Lighthouse Museum at 311 Johnson Street atop St. Mary's Hill. This restored 1860 light station depicts the life of a light keeping family in the 19th century and includes a spectacular view of Lake Michigan from the light tower. Self-guided historic walking tours begin and end at Rotary Park, where picnic tables are ideal for a leisurely lunch.
Practically across the street from Duluth Trading is Bernie's Fine Meats, famous for over 60 years for its summer sausage and bratwurst. This old-European style meat shop is filled with an awe-inspiring selection of cheeses, regional wines and specialty meats including Hungarian style or liver head cheese, blood sausage and kiszka (pork liver, pork snouts, buckwheat grits, beef blood, salt, spices, sugar).
Nice thing about the Chocolate Chisel down the street, operated by proprietor Elizabeth MacCrimmon – it's open every day from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM. It's the perfect place to treat yourself to ice cream in a cone or dish, or artisan chocolates handcrafted by Chocolatier John Reichert. Careful though – you could easily get addicted to the chocolate and sea salt covered caramels!
Or enjoy an explosion of all-natural flavor at Fireworks Popcorn, home of healthy and great tasting gourmet popcorn. Snack on some while you're there, and take home a few varieties as gifts. Someone you know would probably love to try the Autumn Blaze (a dual colored small kernel popcorn with subtle crunch and light, crisp texture) or Savannah Gold (classic yellow corn with creamy texture, large kernels and mild, sweet, mellow flavor).
Totally stuffed with Port Washington's goodies? How about some exercise to work it off. The Inter-Urban Bike Trail is just a block away from our store and runs many miles north and south of Port Washington. Bike Rentals are available, as well as trail maps, at several locations around Port Washington.
The Bait Box bait and tackle shop at 215 E. Washington St. is only a two-block walk away from Duluth Trading and carries live bait including nightcrawlers, crayfish, large and small fatheads, large and medium goldens and musky suckers. Frozen bait is also available. Wondering what the fishing's like this week? Check out the Fishing Report at their website.
Last but not least, while you're in the neighborhood, make a stop at the Allen Edmonds Factory Tour and Shoe Outlet. This upscale shoe company based in Port Washington is one of America's oldest, and one of just three major national brands that still make their shoes domestically. You'll swell with pride as you watch the leather being cut, marked, hand-stitched and sewn, and the shoes polished, buffed, laced, inspected and boxed. Take home a pair from their outlet at a great price.
Accommodations and Summer Festivals:
Holiday Inn Harborview (website) located at 135 E. Grand Ave. is ideal for a family stopover. Just steps from Duluth Trading, the marina and Rotary Park, the hotel offers a fitness center, playground, pool and barbecue grills.
The Port Hotel Restaurant and Inn (website) is a bed and breakfast located in a restored 1902 hotel at 101 E. Main St. Here you can treat yourself and someone special to gracious hospitality, luxury accommodations with fireplaces, whirlpool baths and fine dining including an elegant Sunday brunch.
Hampton Inn and Suites (website) located along I-43 in nearby Grafton, offers faster, easier access to Milwaukee and Brewers baseball at Miller Park. Amenities include a hot breakfast, indoor pool, fitness center and 24-hour convenience mart.
Port Washington Festivals include Port Fish Day in July, billed as the World's Largest One-Day Outdoor Fish Fry. This event features a parade, fish and chips stands, car show, crafts show, carnival, several stages with live music and fireworks at night. There's also a Street Festival in May, and for you real scalawags, the always wacky Pirate Festival in June, with music, food, fireworks and pirate flags flying the whole weekend over general fun and chaos. Or check out the Maritime Heritage Festival featuring two majestic tall ships, an Artisan's Marketplace, historic activities and displays, two music stages, harbor tours, kids' activities, food/ beverage court, fireworks and a cardboard boat regatta.
In addition to the above, Port Washington boasts numerous great places to eat, including Harry's Diner, Beanie's (Mexican), Tello's Grille, Dockside Deli, Newport Shores Seafood Restaurant, Taste of Africa and the Pasta Shoppe.