You Need to Visit These 7 Lighthouses in Northern Michigan

The Michigan coastline consists of over 3,000 miles of rocky shores, beaches, and scenic overlooks. With so many important shipping lanes navigating the Great Lakes, there are a plethora of lighthouses in Northern Michigan. This collection of bright beacons features a wide variety of sizes and shapes and provide visitors with a fun list of sightseeing opportunities. These attractions are perfect for filling time in between visits to the famous sights in the area. If you need help discovering more of these fun and exciting ways to see the Wolverine State, request our free Vacation Guide!

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These are the Best Lighthouses in Northern Michigan

Big Sable Point Lighthouse – Ludington

Big Sable Point Lighthouse sits along Lake Michigan’s coast in Ludington State Park. This is one of the most recognizable lighthouses in Northern Michigan with it’s classic black and white striped design. Visit during a day on the vast stretch of beach between Ludington and the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area. 

Point Betsie Lighthouse – Frankfort

It might be small in size, but the Point Betsie Lighthouse near Frankfurt is a beautiful sight. The lighthouse keeper quarters stands almost as tall as the main tower, but the main highlight of this Northern Michigan lighthouse is it’s 100-year old Fourth Order Fresnel Lens that still shines brightly in the beacon. 

Grand Traverse Lighthouse – Northport

Take a 45-minute trek north from Traverse City to see the Grand Traverse Lighthouse and Leelanau State Park. This all-in-one structure is home to the lighthouse and keeper’s quarters on an isolated peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan. Visit during the winter to go on an exciting snowshoeing excursion through the state park and along the rocky coastline.  

Old Mission Lighthouse – Traverse City

Old Mission Lighthouse is only a 25-minute drive north of Traverse City on a thin peninsula in between West Arm Grand Traverse Bay and East Arm Grand Traverse Bay. The tiny lighthouse structure boasts beautiful views, a small beach, and a park on Old Mission Point. Fall is the best time to visit, especially when the foliage is in full bloom.

McGulpin Point Lighthouse – Mackinaw City 

You’ll find the McGulpin Point Lighthouse three miles west of Colonial Michilimackinac and the Mackinac Bridge. This beautiful mid-19th-century brick structure is a short walk from the water but is not directly on the coastline like most lighthouses in Northern Michigan. It’s worth a visit if you have some time to explore while waiting for a ferry to Mackinac Island. 

Robert H. Manning Memorial Lighthouse – Empire

The Robert H. Manning Memorial Lighthouse is one of the more interesting structures along Lake Michigan. The 38-foot tall beacon stands separate from the keeper’s quarters, and its style is similar to the Point Betsie Lighthouse. It’s right next to the beach and parking. If you’re in Empire during the evening, you can still see the light in operation. You’re also only a short drive to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. 

South Manitou Island Lighthouse – South Manitou Island

You’ll need to take a ferry from Leland to remote Manitou Island in order to explore the island’s rich history and beautiful sights. The South Manitou Island Lighthouse welcomes you as you arrive in the small village. This 65-foot building looms over the lake and is one of the tallest lighthouses in all of Northern Michigan.

Plan Your Michigan Getawaythe view from the Merry Mullett Lake House

Freshwater Vacation Rentals features an extensive collection of properties in Northern Michigan. Our rustic cabins and homes all have excellent locations that fit the type of vacation you want. So, whether you’re searching for a quiet escape near a remote lake or want to be near the action of Traverse City or Mackinac Island, you’ll find the perfect home for you and your family. Check out all of the fantastic activities in Northern Michigan and start planning your trip today.

Book your rental with us today! We look forward to welcoming you to the Freshwater Vacation Rentals family.