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10 Most Scenic Northern Michigan Lighthouses to Visit

Last updated on January 22, 2023

Michigan Lighthouses

More than 10,000 residents from all over the state cast their votes on the topic of the 101 things they adore most about Northern Michigan. Their votes selected the 303 winners of the Red Hot Best, as well as the more than 700 honorable mentions.

Your next trip to Northern Michigan wouldn’t be complete without a stop at one of these amazing lighthouses, and we’ve got them all listed below for you.

With these top 10 lighthouses in Northern Michigan, you can also check what are the top things to do in Traverse City, Michigan.

1. Frankfort’s Point Betsie Lighthouse

This hipped-roofed queen of the Benzie County seashore is a beacon of beauty, shining brightly from the clear light of the morning all the way through to the neon orb of sunset.

Bring along your camera and don’t forget your bathing suit since the beach is going to blow your mind. Tours are available, with adult admission costing $5 and children ages 6–11 costing $2.

2. Old Mission Peninsula, Mission Point Lighthouse

At the very end of the peninsula, where there is a sandy beach in front of the lighthouse, there is a magnificent lighthouse.

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The first floor of the museum does not charge an admission fee; however, climbing the stairs to the second floor will cost you $4 for an adult and $2 for children younger than 12 years old. Spend a week living the life of a lighthouse keeper at the Mission Point Lighthouse!

3. Northport’s Grand Traverse Lighthouse

Visit the renovated keeper’s home and climb the tower for a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan, Cathead Bay, Grand Traverse Bay, and the Manitou Passage. The cost of admission is $4 for adults and $2 for youngsters aged 6 to 12 years old.

4. Frankfort North Breakwater Lighthouse | Frankfort

You won’t want to miss the spectacular sunsets that can be seen from the Frankfort Pier, which can be found at the very end of Main Street. The lighthouse, which was constructed at the very end of the pier in 1932, contributes significantly to the overall atmosphere.

5. Munising’s Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse

When it originally opened its doors in 1868, the lighthouse that can be found to the north of Munising was made of wooden construction.

This lighthouse, which was built to guide boats from Grand Island to the port, is plainly seen from many of the Pictured Rocks trips that depart from Munising bay as well. The view is breathtaking at any time of year, particularly during the fall.

6. North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse | Lake Michigan

You can reach the North Manitou Island Shoal Light from Fishtown in Leland in a very short amount of time and then head over there to take a look around.

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This lighthouse, affectionately referred to by the locals as “The Crib,” served as the final manned offshore light in the Great Lakes until the year 1980, when it was replaced by an automated light.


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7. Mackinaw City’s Historic Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

At the confluence of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, you’ll find this lighthouse serving as a landmark.

It was established in 1889 as a means of assisting ships in navigating through the Straits of Mackinac, and it remained in operation until 1957.

8. Round Island Lighthouse | Straits of Mackinac

This Mackinac Island lighthouse, which also goes by the name Round Island Light, was built in 1895. It stood on the west shore of Round Island and served as a connection point between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

In 2009, the Round Island Lighthouse Preservation Society was established in order to secure the lighthouse’s continued existence and ensure its preservation for future generations.

9. South Manitou Island Lighthouse | Leelanau County

This lighthouse, which can be found on South Manitou Island, is widely recognized as one of the most recognizable features on the entire island.

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The South Manitou Island Lighthouse, which was operational from 1871 to 1958 and was the only natural port between here and Chicago, was visible from the mainland and served as a navigational aid to mariners.

During times of bad weather, ships would seek shelter here, and steamers would stop at the island to restock on wood to burn in their boilers.

10. Whitefish Point Lighthouse | Paradise

Whitefish Point Lighthouse, which is still in service today after being built in 1849, holds the record for being the oldest lighthouse that is still in operation in the Upper Peninsula.

On Lake Superior, it has historically been utilized as a refuge for those seeking protection from storms or other adverse weather conditions. Additionally, it serves as the entrance to Whitefish Bay.

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