The Grand Lighthouses of Northwest Michigan

Lake Michigan is surrounded by numerous lighthouses--each one unique and special in its own way. Northwest Michigan has its share of lights that you can photograph, tour, and enjoy. From the Frankfort Breakwater Light up to South Fox Island Light Station, be sure to visit them all and learn about their maritime history.

point betsie
Photo by Ken Scott

Discover the Point Betsie Lighthouse

Timeless charm and easy accessibility explain why Point Betsie is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the state of Michigan. Parking your car just yards away from this beauty, you'll be welcomed by the sights and sounds of Lake Michigan. The Point Betsie Lighthouse marks the southern entrance to the Manitou Passage and is just south of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features an accompanying fog station.

Read more in our Point Betsie Lighthouse story.

Frankfort North Breakwater Light

frankfort north
Photo by Ken Scott

A visit to the charming city of Frankfort in Benzie County wouldn't be complete without a trip to the Frankfort North Breakwater Light. The current light was constructed in 1912 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Standing 44 feet tall, the light is placed on top of a 25-foot tall square steel base. The cast iron lantern room, which is surrounded by a gallery, originally contained a fifth order Fresnel lens that was upgraded to a fourth order Fresnel lens.

Located on the west side of downtown Frankfort, you can walk the breakwater out to the lighthouse, and fish off the pier. To reach the Frankfort North Breakwater Light, take Main Street to the beach where there is public parking, a playground, and benches for relaxing and enjoying a spectacular Lake Michigan sunset!

Visit the Grand Traverse Lighthouse

Grand Traverse
Grand Traverse Lighthouse Photo by Ken Scott

Located at the end of the Leelanau Peninsula within the Leelanau State Park, the Grand Traverse Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses on the Great Lakes. It is open daily for tours and offers special events throughout the year.

Read more in our Grand Traverse Lighthouse story.

Don't Miss These Northwest Michigan Lighthouses

Mission Point Lighthouse

Set at the northern most point of Old Mission Peninsula, you can climb to the top of the tower, visit the gift shop, and explore the many trails that are found within the park.

South Fox Island Lighthouse

This island and its lighthouse is situated between Beaver Island to the north and the Manitou Islands to the south. It was recently restored to its original beauty, with a paint job, rust removal, and the removal of overgrown foliage.

South Manitou Island Lighthouse

This 100' lighthouse is located on the eastern side of south Manitou Island. It has also been recently restored and located nearby is the U.S. Life Saving Service Station.

Northwest Michigan Lighthouse Locations...

Northwest Michigan Map

Grand Traverse Light Station -- Located on the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula in Northern Michigan, The Grand Traverse Light was established in 1852.
Point Betsie Light Station -- Nestled in a dune just south of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the tower stands 39 feet tall, but with the height of the dune it towers 52 feet above Lake Michigan.

Discover More Lake Michigan Lighthouses...

West Michigan Map

Ludington's North Breakwater Light -- Walk the half-mile long pier to West Michigan's most popular lighthouse.
North Pierhead Lighthouse in Manistee -- At the Manistee beach.
Little Sable Point Lighthouse -- Located at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes.
Big Sable Point Lighthouse -- Located in the Ludington State Park.
Pentwater Pier Head Lights -- At the channel to Pentwater Lake.
Grand Haven Lighthouse -- The Grand Haven lighthouse is at the mouth of the Grand River.
White River Light Station in Whitehall -- Operated by the Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers.

Northern Michigan Map

Harbor Point Lighthouse -- Located in Harbor Springs in Northern Michigan. McGulpin Point Lighthouse -- This lighthouse is located in the Straits of Mackinac at Mackinaw City. Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse -- Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse is in Mackinaw City.

Wisconsin Lighthouse Map

Manitowoc North Breakwater - Walk out to the end of the pier to this Manitowoc lighthouse, and wave to the carferry S.S. Badger as the ship passes by.
Algoma North Pierhead - This lighthouse can be seen all along the Crescent Beach Boardwalk and is accessible via the pier if you want to venture closer.
Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse - Located in Kewaunee, Wisconsin...halfway between Sturgeon Bay and Manitowoc along Lake Michigan.

Last Updated: 12-19-2018 03:18 PM ID: 1586