Explore over 100 lighthouses along the shore of  West Michigan with tours, tower climbs, museums, and more. Get an up-close look at the lamps and lenses, and enjoy the beauty of the lakeshore from a unique point of view. Learn more about each one, as well as the Lake Michigan Circle Tour, through WMTA’s Lake Michigan Lighthouse Map. The 2022 edition of the map will be out later this spring, and you can request one here.  

South West Michigan Lights Imported Image

Imported Image For over 100 years, South Haven’s lighthouse has guarded the entrance of the Black River. This iconic sentry, with its red base and 1,200 foot catwalk, provides immediate recognition for people who have lived in or visited South Haven. The public is welcome to stroll out on the pier and marvel at the views, or take in a beautiful sunset.  Imported Image Whether you see the St. Joseph North Pier range lights from the bluff, high above the water in St. Joseph, or from the beach at Tiscornia Park, the two structures stand as beacons at the mouth of the St. Joseph River as it empties into Lake Michigan. Both lights have been on the pier since 1907, guiding boats safely to harbor. If the weather is good, you can walk down the pier and take a closer look at the structures.   

Lights Along the Central West Michigan Lakeshore Imported Image

Imported Image Two iconic lighthouses welcome visitors to Ludington while keeping the harbor safe. Take a short pier walk to see the North Breakwater Light up close, and don’t forget to snap some photos for Instagram. This landmark is located at Stearns Park Beach, where an evening stroll to watch the sunset is a favorite activity. The historic Big Sable Lighthouse can be found at the Ludington State Park, where you can take a 1.8-mile walk to view it. This famous black and white tower will open to visitors in May.  Imported Image Muskegon’s South Pierhead and South Breakwater lighthouses are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are proud participants in the USLHS Passport Program. Imported Image The Grand Haven Lighthouses are historical “must-see” attractions while visiting the Grand Haven area! Established in 1839, two lights on the south pier, both painted red, are connected by a lighted catwalk that also connects them to the shore and the Grand Haven Boardwalk. People often enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk that borders the Grand River channel and the pier, making the Grand Haven lighthouses one of the most photographed lighthouses in the Midwest. The Grand Haven pier is also a popular spot for fishing and catching the sunset. For a unique view of the lighthouses, visit the North Pier in Ferrysburg, which is accessible via North Shore Drive. Imported Image Don’t miss one of Michigan’s most photographed lighthouses, and Holland favorite, “Big Red”, a three-story square tower building that stands over the channel connecting Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan. For a great view of Big Red, visit Holland State Park and walk along the boardwalk to the north pier (wheelchair accessible). You can also view Big Red from Mt. Pisgah, where the dune staircase takes you 157 feet above sea level.  

North West Michigan Lighthouses Imported Image

Imported Image Shepler's Lighthouse Cruises offer you a front row seat to the magnificent lighthouses in the Straits of Mackinac, with 5 different routes that range from 3 to 5 hours in length. A highlight of their 2022 schedule includes giving guests the chance to witness these lights at work with a special opportunity to go out one time as the sun rises and once as it sets. While onboard you will hear maritime history and stories from the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association. Lighthouse Cruises depart from and return to Mackinaw City. Your Lighthouse Cruise adventure awaits, so order your tickets online today. Imported Image Mackinac State Historic Parks’ Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City was known as the ‘Castle on the Straits’ when it was finished, and it’s not hard to see why. The house itself is so unlike many others in the area, and today is restored to its 1910s luster. Inside, guests will find a hands-on exhibit detailing the science and technology used in lighthouses, the original Fresnel lens, and exhibit spaces, as well as period settings. The second floor, open to the public for the first time, showcases the Marshall family (the original keeper and family at the house), and has amazing views of the Mackinac Bridge. Elsewhere on the grounds, the Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Museum explores 10 famous wrecks in the straits, while the barn is home to a movie on the wrecks. The Fog Signal Building offers unique shopping.Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse will open for the 2022 season on May 5th. Imported Image The Charlevoix Lighthouse overlooks Lake Michigan, nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan and the Pine River Channel. This historic lighthouse has been guiding sailors home for a hundred years.  Imported Image There are eight lighthouses in the Traverse City region, and four of them are easily accessible by land. Mission Point Lighthouse is at the northern tip of Old Mission Peninsula that gives historic tours in the summer with an expansive beach and miles of trails. Grand Traverse Lighthouse is near Northport and also does tours with a fascinating explanation of lifesaving efforts that took place during the peak shipping times. The Point Betsie Lighthouse in Frankfort marks the southern entrance to the Manitou Passage. The lighthouse is carefully maintained by a non-profit group and owned by Benzie County. The Frankfort North Breakwater Lighthouse is an icon of Frankfort and an extension of the Frankfort Beach. It becomes a perfect place to watch sunsets in all four seasons. Imported Image While Mission Point Lighthouse doesn’t open until May 1st, their park trails are a favorite hiking spot. The beach at the lighthouse was even voted as Traverse City's favorite beach in 2021. Visitors are welcome to bring lunch and use the park picnic tables. Parking is always free.

Lights of the Upper Peninsula Imported Image

Imported Image Get a sailor’s view of historic lighthouses and both the American and Canadian shorelines on the Famous Soo Locks Boat Tours’ Lighthouse Cruise. This 4.5 hour journey takes you through the Soo Locks with live narration of historical sights and highlights, including Gros Cap Reef Lighthouse, Birch Point, Round Island, Bay Mills Point, and many more. A snack bar is available onboard and a boxed lunch can be preordered! Purchase your tickets and get ready for a wonderful experience on the St. Marys River. Imported Image The Keweenaw Peninsula features 8 lighthouses that are located on the peninsula, as well as 7 that are on Isle Royale National Park or off the shore of the Keweenaw. Copper Harbor Lighthouse was the first lighthouse to be built in the area, and was completed in 1849. The original structure was dismantled, but the stones were used to build the current structure that was constructed and lit in 1866. Imported Image Situated on Lake Superior within Lighthouse Park in Marquette, the 1866 Marquette Harbor Lighthouse is the city’s oldest significant building and an iconic landmark. While the lighthouse and Marquette Maritime Museum are closed until the warmer months, the park is still open, allowing visitors to enjoy stunning views of the famed red lighthouse.