Of the 129 lighthouses in Michigan, which will you visit this summer?
Did you know that Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state?
Each one of the 129 lighthouses in the state carries it’s own unique story and look. Although they serve the main purpose of emitting light to be used for visibly navigating in a large body of water, there is much more than can be offered from these monuments.
Whether you are touring the lighthouses for an excursion or volunteering to be a keeper, there is so much to learn about the beauty and history regarding Michigan’s finest traditional pieces. While some lighthouses are private, there are many that are open to the public and provide the perfect inexpensive afternoon activity for you and your family. Some of the most popular lighthouses to tour during the summer include:
- Tawas Point Lighthouse: Located within Tawas Point State Park in East Tawas, Michigan. Admission to this 70-foot tall lighthouse is just a two dollar donation per person to climb the tower and includes a museum that is attached as well. Proceeds go towards restoring the lighthouse exhibit and maintaining the keeper’s area.
- Huron Lightship Museum: This National Historical Landmark marks one of the last of its type. This is a floating lightship that was originally used when deeper water was present and navigation was needed, but the depth made it impossible for a lighthouse to be built. There are adult, student and senior rates that are applied for admission to this historical treasure.
- Old Presque Isle Lighthouse: Located in Presque Isle, this is one of the oldest lighthouses to still be standing today on the Great Lakes. This exhibit includes a light tower, as well as a keeper’s dwelling that has a museum. When climbing the stones of the lighthouse, a perfect picture can be captured with the beauty of the Presque Isle Harbor and the shoreline of Lake Huron.
- Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse and Museum: This lighthouse is one of the few on the Great Lakes that is still functioning. 103 stairs lead up to the 89-foot tall top of the tower. Still in operation, the importance is evident while flashing its light 18 miles out into Lake Huron to signal that waters become shallow when entering into Saginaw Bay. There is also a museum that can be visited, taking place of the old keeper’s residence.
- Fort Gratiot Light Station: Port Huron has a valued destination spot that includes not only a beautiful lighthouse, but also a full circle view of the county park with a beach that can be visited right below. After undergoing renovations in 2012, this lighthouse stands as the oldest operating one in the state.
Each lighthouse and museum has specific dates and hours that tours are held, along with different admission rates. Visiting and touring lighthouses in Michigan serve as an inexpensive excursion that your kids and you will absolutely love. The true natural beauty of Michigan can be seen from very tall heights, so don’t miss your chance to experience these exhibits this summer!
Picture Credit: Richard Leonard