15 Incredible Photos of Michigan Lighthouses

Copper Harbor Lighthouse by Steve Nowakowski

Over 115 lighthouses dot the Michigan coastline. Some of them still guide boats to safety, some welcome visitors to spend the night in unforgettable surroundings, and all of them are stunning sites to behold, at any time of year.

We sorted through over 700 photos in our Flickr archives to unearth some truly stunning images of lighthouses across the state.  Have a photo of your own to share? Post it on our Facebook page or send us a Tweet!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our lighthouse images in our special Flickr photoset.

The lighthouses of Michigan are stunning sights against the background of a rising or setting sun.

Big Sable Point Lighthouse by Kristina Austin Scarcelli

Tawas Point Lighthouse by George Thomas

A Michigan lighthouse is a great place to go for a stroll with a loved one…

Muskegon Breakwater Lighthouse by Romulus Rueda

Grand Haven State Park Lighthouse

…to take in the serenity of the landscape…

Manistique Lighthouse by Bill Warnke

Little Sable Point Lighthouse by John Dykstra

…or to marvel at the power of nature.

Grand Haven State park Lighthouse by John McCormick

Frankfort Breakwater by Sondra Halliday

Sometimes, the sight of the lighthouse itself…

Point Betsie Lighthouse by John McCormick

…can be just as stunning as the view from up top.

The view from Point Betsie Lighthouse by Susan Warrow

And if you ever have the chance to visit a lighthouse in winter…

St. Joseph Lighthouse

 …you’ll discover shockingly cold towers of ice and snow.

Manistee Lighthouse by Wendy Wernet

 It’s so very different, but no less beautiful…

Round Island Lighthouse by Dale R. Niesen

…than the vibrant summertime colors that usually dot the coast.

Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse

Have you been to a Michigan lighthouse? Which one is your favorite?


  • http://www.zazzle.com/patsarts Patricia Merewether

    Sand Hills Lighthouse on Lake Superior is my favorite. It’s a Bed and Breakfast and the most comfy, beautiful, wonderful places on earth! We haven’t been back for years – but now I’m thinking about it!

    Also Grand Haven’s Lighthouse. We attend the Kite Weekend there every year in May and have also visited Grand Haven in the Autumn. A lovely place -the town and it’s wonderful restaurants are within walking distance of the lighthouse and the beach.

  • Peggy Ives

    I have been to so many of Michigan’s great lighthouses that I have lost count. They are all wonderful, such a variety. People need to remember that you do not have to go to North Carolina or Maine to see lighthouses that you will remember for a lifetime.

  • Sue Martens

    I like the East Channel Lighthouse on Grand Island, I like the Big Bay Pointe Lighthouse, but my absolute drop dead favorite of all time and forever is the Split Rock Lighthouse on Minnesotas north shore.

  • Doug Wanroy

    I’ve to all but 2 of these and my favorites are always the ones we get full access to. :)

  • http://michigan-outdoors.blogspot.com David Veselenak

    The two lighthouses in Presque Isle north of Alpena are my favorite, been going almost every year since I was a kid. The lighthouse volunteer at the old light now expects us to show up every year, and knows exactly who we are when we do!

  • John Hardaker

    There are so many great lighthouses to visit in Michigan. But for us it has to be Aux Barques Lighthouse. It is located in the northeast corner of Huron County in a wonderful county park and campground. I think it is open daily to the public.

  • Kym Reinstadler

    A top 15 listing of lighthouses with no mention of Big Red at Holland State Park. A travesty! So glad Little Sable cracked the list, though. Its got so much personality.

  • katy

    Crisp Point is my favorite so far. It is remote, but gorgeous and breath taking once you reach it!

  • http://www.JamesCurriePhotography.com James

    Just visited Little Sable Point lighthouse with my wife, niece and nephew the other week. You can see them in the foreground of this lighthouse photo. It’s a beautiful lighthouse and we’ve been to many. So thankful for all the volunteers that keep this part of Michigan history alive.

    Last summer we camped at the base of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse and got to know the volunteers who got to stay in the lighthouse for the week. What a cool program!

  • http://www.JamesCurriePhotography.com James


    Almost forgot to add a link to the photo of The Little Sable Point Lighthouse.


  • Karl Dyksterhouse

    It’s hard to beat the fury of the waves breaking off the Grand Haven lighthouse during a storm, but after spending 2 weeks as a “keeper” at the Grand Traverse Light at the tip of the Leelanau peninsula a couple of summers ago, that one tops the list now. Grand Traverse Light.

  • lora

    White fish point is my favorite! It is located on lake supeior, just north of parudise. It so beautiful in every season!

  • gw

    Au Sable Point Lighthouse is my favorite lighthouse and the easy 1 mile walk back to get to it and love the view from the top. Also, liked the ones that we had to take a boat out to see in Lake Michigan.

  • Debbie Malta

    Beautiful. Simply beautiful. I’m surprised you were ABLE to limit the number to 15!!

  • PamB

    We have seen quite a number of MI lighthouses, but my all-time favorite (in any state) is Round Island Light. It’s so different, and the way it’s positioned out on the little spit of land is neat. I love how it was featured in the movie “Somewhere in Time”, especially the picnic scenes right there by the lighthouse.

  • Karen Barnes

    My favorite is the Tawas Point Lighthouse!! I live just a few minutes from the lighthouse and I get to see it all the time, and I still love going there to see it. Beautiful always beautiful!!

  • Lucy

    We often took vacation’s on our boat and I think we were somewhere on Lake Michigan and there was a free standing lighthouse. There were 2 young guys who operated it. We tied our boat up and climbed the ladder to the top. The guys gave us a wonderful tour and when we were coming back around a week later my father had them attach a pail to a rope and lower it so he could put a six pack of beer in it. My dad was a Navy guy and this has always been a fond memory of our days on the boat.

  • Denise Santiago

    I love lighthouses I’m trying to visit all the ones here in MI so far my
    One is Poing Betsy in Frankfort sooo beautiful.

  • Vito Lumetta

    There are so many here in Michigan and we have visited many of them over the years. I got my wife a book one Christmas that lists all of the lighthouses in Michigan, complete with addresses and directions. That turned out to be a wonderful gift and we have done our best to see as many as possible. Still to this day the one that stirs the emotions the most for us is Point Betsie Lighthouse. That is one special place!

  • Judith Tate Meno

    Point Betsie on Lake Michigan at Frankfort!!! Everyone in my family has been here countless times. It is so very picturesque and beautiful, and every time you go there, because of changes in sun, clouds, wind and weather, it is as inspirational as it was the first time! It is a wonderful place for folks who enjoy finding beautifully colored stones, as well.

  • Barb Contos

    Big Bay lighthouse on Lake Superior is quite beautiful. A gorgeous place to spend a night. We managed a stop there last year and got some very nice photos.

  • http://kathyspublications.com Kathy Mendoza

    It’s hard to pick a lighthouse, but would like to share a brief lightbouse memory. Growing up in Cross Village in the 1940s and 50s the lighthouses were still manually operated. Three were visible on a clear day from our blufftop. White Shoals, Gray’s Reef and “Skilly Gallee” as we called it. Lying in bed at night we recognized the lighthouse foghorns as they were all different. The memories of those sounds is something special to me. I’m 74 years old now, but love the memories of those times. A girl from Cross Village I know, JoEllen Crossett, makes hooked rugs from locally grown wool and she is making a rug depicting all of the lighthouses.

  • Bill Munger

    Too many with wide variety of unique differences to say this is the one. No need to travel to the ocean – Michigan must be declared the Lighthouse capital of the world!

  • Adana Adams

    There are so many beautiful ones it’s hard to pick just one. We adore walking Grand Haven, playing on the beach near Point Betsie, zipping by Round Island on the ferry into Mackinac Island, seeing the Big Mac Bridge as the backdrop behind Old Mackinaw Point Lighthouse. Having some lunch at Manistee Lighthouse is a favorite event, or watching the car ferry come across the lake at Ludington Lighthouse, and driving out to Cheboygan Crib. So many lighthouses, or little time.

  • Milton

    Rock Harbor Lighthouse on Isle Royale is my personal favorite. Hard to get to, but worth the trip. Passage Island Lighthouse wins the award for most remote in Michigan (but Crisp Point is a close second). I’ve visited about 40 lighthouses in Michigan and I loved them all. Point Betsie is next on my list.

    Did I mention that I live in the Northeast and travel to Michigan to see lighthouses? Why are you Michiganders keeping this a secret? Maine coast lines have NOTHING on you.

  • Denise Anderson

    Hi my name is Denise, that’s a hard choice on my fav on the light houses, as I love them all.

  • http://www.lightphotos.net mitko

    Fantastic photos!

  • Dave Kristopeit

    I cannot believe that you do not have a photo of the Windpoint Lighthouse in Racine. It is still protecting ships 135 years after commissioning.

  • Beverly Price

    My husband and I have been to every one of these lighthouses and many more. Each light has its own character and beauty. We have seen 55 Michigan lights and lighthouses and we never get tired of the beauty and rich history of each one. They are a unique asset for our state, as are the Great Lakes. We LOVE our state with all of its lighthouses and we are so proud to have grown up and live in the Great State of Michigan.

  • http://dniesenfoto.smugmug.com Dale Niesen

    I noted that there are no credits for the photographers of these wonderful photos of Michigan Lighthouses. I am the photographer for the photo of the Round Island Lighthouse many of the other photos are very well done and I hope that Pure Michigan will find a way to give credit to those artists as well. To see more of my Michigan Lighthouse photos please visit my website at http://dniesenfofo.smugmug.com

  • http://dniesenfoto.smugmug.com Dale Niesen

    Sorry that would be http://dniesenfoto.smugmug.com

  • http://www.michigan.org Pure Michigan

    Dale – we’ve added photo credits. You have a great eye…your photo of Grand Hotel on your website is spectacular!

  • http://dniesenfoto.smugmug.com Dale Niesen

    Thank you very much for adding the credits to all the lighthouse photos and for the kind comments regarding my photography. Most of my free time now is at night so I have been chasing the Aurora Borealis for the past couple years here is a link to my Michigan aurora gallery http://dniesenfoto.smugmug.com/AfterDark/Aurora-borealis/i-QQHkS3D Again thanks for adding the credits to the wonderful photos of Michigan’s lighthouses.

  • Doug Clark

    Little Point Sau.ble. Grew up 2 miles away

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