Point Betsie Lighthouse

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Point Betsie Lighthouse

3701 Point Betsie Road
Frankfort, MI 49635
Regions: North
Phone: +1 231-352-7644
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About Point Betsie Lighthouse
Point Betsie Lighthouse, Benzie County's most famous landmark, is located on the Lake Michigan shore just south of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and about five miles north of Frankfort, Michigan. Point Betsie is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States, and likely the most visited attraction in Benzie County.


  • Point Betsie marks the southern entrance to the Manitou Passage.

  • Indians named the Betsie River for the Sawbill or Merganser duck which was prevalent in the area. That identification was continued by the early French explorers, who used "Point Aux Bec Scies," of comparable meaning, as the name of the river as well as the nearby point.

  • The lighthouse was built in 1857-58 and its light was first lit on October 20, 1858. It has continued to serve Lake Michigan mariners for 153 years.

  • The U.S. Lifesaving Service station was built in 1876 and replaced by U.S. Coast Guard in 1917, closing in 1937.

  • The light sits 52 feet above the lake and has a range of about 15 miles.

  • Both the original lens and its 1891 replacement were of the fourth-order Fresnel design.

  • The lighthouse and rescue stations had many keepers throughout their history.

  • The current light system features a modern acrylic lens from New Zealand.

  • National Register Status-LISTED- Reference #84001375. (See National Register of Historical Places - Benzie County)

The Friends organization and Benzie County are grateful of the support of the State of Michigan's Lighthouse Assistance Program, Rotary Charities of Traverse City, the Frankfort Rotary Club's Centennial Project, the Federal Government's distinguished "Save America's Treasures" program and The Nature Conservancy, as well as the contributions of thousands of individual donors whose funds have made possible Point Betsie Light Station's rehabilitation.All the historic structures have now been rehabilitated and are in use. While we are very proud of what's been accomplished in a very short period of time, we are not done! In 2012 the driveway was re-surfaced and limited inside-the-gate parking spaces were added for our volunteers and disabled visitors. In 2014 a major construction project for the Boathouse was completed and features an Exhibit Room, Gift Shop, and Restrooms.


May 28 through October 9- Saturdays: 10 AM to 5 PM- Sundays: 12 PM to 5 PM
Friday & Monday:
June 27 through October 8- 10 AM to 5 PM
June 16 through  September 1- 10 AM to 5 PM
Memorial Day, 10 AM to 5 PM July 4th 10 AM to 5 PM Labor Day 10 AM to 5 PM

Tour Cost:

$5 per adult
$2 per child under 12
No charge for children under 6


Tickets stop being sold at 4:30 PM to allow a complete tour for everyone.
No one under 3-1/2 feet in height will be allowed to climb the tower and therefore will not be charged the cost of the tour.

Assistant Keeper's Rental Apartment Return to 1858, with a week at the historic Point BetsieLighthouse. Come enjoy the charming, Assistant Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters.
Experience breathtaking views from every room, which include Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes,and the Manitou Islands. Steps away from all the sand, sun, serenity and spectacular sunsets that the "Big Lake" has to offer.

For weekly seasonal rental reservations or information, please visit pointbetsie.org.


  • Cozy, casual, and charming two-bedroom, one-bath, upstairs apartment, sleeps up to 6 people

  • Comfortable and plush beds in two bedrooms and a living room with a full sized sleeper sofa

  • One bedroom has a queen-sized bed, the other has two twin beds

  • Fully-supplied modern kitchen with new range, microwave, and refrigerator

  • Kitchen dining area seats six

  • All-new full bathroom with tub shower

  • Bedding provided, bring your own towels

  • Phone available for local calls

  • Private and secure entrance plus a parking space


  • Sleep in one of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States.

  • Feel the Lake Michigan breeze as you picnic at the southern entrance to the Manitou Passage.

  • Contemplate French trappers naming this area "Point Aux Bec Scies," meaning "sawed beak point."

  • Rest under the shine of a light that sits 52 feet above the lake and has a range of about 15 miles.

  • Experience a memorable visit to a lighthouse that is on the National Register of Historical Places.


  • Weekly rental, Saturday to Saturday

  • June through September rates are $2000/week (plus applicable taxes)

  • May and October rates are $1500/week (plus applicable taxes)

  • Some short-term rates are available

  • Unlimited lighthouse tours included

  • Available to rent, late May to mid-October

  • For more information and to reserve your stay, please call 231-651-0862


  • The Friends of the Point Betsie Lighthouse

  • P.O. Box 601, Frankfort, Michigan, 49635-0601


  • Take in gorgeous sunsets every night

  • Stroll the sandy Lake Michigan beach

  • Visit the shops, galleries, and restaurants in Frankfort and other nearby quaint villages.

  • Swim, ski, or sail on Crystal Lake

  • Take advantage of the area's many fine golf courses

  • Fish Lake Michigan, the Betsie and Platte Rivers, and the many inland lakes of Benzie County

  • Explore the nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore


  • See our Visit page to find Point Betsie Lighthouse and this apartment.

  • Point Betsie, Benzie County's most famous landmark, is located on the Lake Michigan shore, just south of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and about five miles north of Frankfort, Michigan.

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