17 Spectacular Pure Michigan Stars of the Shore for National Lighthouse Day

Did you know that today is National Lighthouse Day? With more than 115 lighthouses nestled along the coast, Michigan boasts more lighthouses than any other state! This week, we asked our fans to share photos of their favorite Pure Michigan lighthouses. Here’s a roundup of just a few fan favorites.

Interested in planning a trip to one of the spectacular stars of these shore? Visit michigan.org/lighthouses for more information.

Be sure to plan a stop at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum when you visit Whitefish Point Lighthouse. Photo by Natalie Fether – Hobby PhotographerWhitefish Point Natalie Fether Hobby Photographer

White Shoal Lighthouse was built in 1910. It is about 20 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge. This lighthouse is only visible by boat. Photo by Cheryl Aldrich Lane WalbergWhite Shoal Cheryl Aldrich Lane Walberg

Watawam Lighthouse in St. Ignace rises 62 feet above the waterPhoto by Jason McIver PhotographyWatawam Lighthouse St Ignace Jason McIver Photo

The Holland Harbor Light is also known as “Big Red.” Photo by Under the Radar MichiganUnder the Radar Michigan Big Red Holland

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse and a view of the Mighty MacPhoto by Theresa VillwockTheresa Villwock Old Mackinac Point

Little Sable Point Lighthouse in Oceana County is open to the public for a small admission feePhoto by Terese ChandlerTerese Chandler Little Sable Point

Big Sable Point Lighthouse was the first light station constructed in the Ludington areaPhoto by Randy ClaypoolRandy Claypool Big Sable Point

Point Aux Barques Lighthouse is one of the oldest continuously operating lights on the Great Lakes and is maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. Photo by Erika AthertonPoint Aux Barques Lighthouse Erika Atherton

Did you know Old Mission Point Lighthouse on the Grand Traverse Peninsula is  exactly half way between the North Pole and the Equator on the 45th parallel? Photo by Lynn Pokora.Lynn Pokora Old Mission Lighthouse

Looking up at the Ludington North Breakwater LighthousePhoto by Anjali Wayman.Ludington Lighthouse Anjali Wayman

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse  is still an active light and the keeper’s dwelling is operated as a public museum. Photo by Jeremy Rowe.Jeremy Rowe Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

Clear skies and calm waters at the Menominee North Pier LighthousePhoto by Jenny Diller Knarr.Jenny Diller Knarr Menominee North Pier Lighthouse

The Grand Haven Lighthouse is located along Lake Michigan in Grand Haven State Park. Photo by Vicki Graczyk.Grand Haven Vicki Graczyk

A narrated cruise through Copper Harbor’s once bustling port takes you to one of Michigan’s oldest lights, the Copper Harbor Lighthouse. Photo by Fit Forever Photography.Copper Harbor captured on the Isle Royale Queen Mary iV Fit Forever Photography

Tall Ships sail into shore near the Charlevoix South Pier LightPhoto by Alan Leese.Charlevoix Alan Leese

The Frankfort Lighthouse is a beautiful sight to behold year roundPhoto by Bob Simmerman.Bob Simmerman Frankfort Lighthouse

Mendota (Bete Grise) Lighthouse was built in 1895 and remains largely unchanged. Photo by Steve Nowakowski.Bete Grise Steve Nowkowski

See more Pure Michigan lighthouses in the video below.

Which Michigan lighthouses have you visited? 

Five Things to Keep in Mind on a Lake Michigan Lighthouse Tour

Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state and all of them have a unique look and story, making it the perfect place for a summer lighthouse tour. Today, guest blogger Kendra Higgins from Spring Lake gives us five helpful tips to keep in mind on a Lake Michigan lighthouse tour.

Grand Haven Lighthouse by Missy Mayer

Grand Haven Lighthouse by Missy Mayer

As the name implies the Great Lakes Circle Tour follows state highways around Lake Michigan, through Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan creating one of the most memorable road trips where you can see over 80 of the iconic lighthouses that lace the Lake Michigan shoreline. The trip was inspired by our annual Glowing for Grand Haven event that takes place in July to help raise funds to restore and maintain the Grand Haven Lighthouse. We wanted to explore, learn more maritime history, and further cultivate the meaning behind our event. What better way to do so than to hit the road and learn firsthand along the Lake Michigan Circle Tour. So what does it take to accomplish such a road trip? Well you’re just in luck, we’ve narrowed down the top 5 Michigan musts!

North Pier Lighthouse in St. Joseph by Jerry Joanis

North Pier Lighthouse in St. Joseph by Jerry Joanis

1. Patience. If you set out with a plan for your road trip, you better pack a lot of patience. Let us just remind you the joys of traffic and road construction as they are a usual hurdle in everyday life, let alone a week’s voyage. Your phone doesn’t always get a signal, your GPS will take you on some strange path because you mistyped one number when typing in the coordinates, and heaven forbid you have car trouble! So, whether the trip is to see lighthouses, national monuments, explore state parks, or just go off the beaten path, just remember, it’s supposed to be fun. Be patient and enjoy the ride!

2. Plan for more time than you anticipated. While it correlates with being patient, we also suggest if you’re in it for the adventure, to plan for a couple extra days. Not all small lakeshore towns are tourist traps. Some are rich with locals that have lived in the same town for generations who can’t wait to hold the door open for you to explore the best local breakfast joint, or the long dirt road that opens up to unsurpassed views of Lake Michigan. Their shared secrets just may become a tradition in your family.

Little Sable Point by Kristina Austin Scarcelli

Little Sable Point by Kristina Austin Scarcelli

3. Michigan Weather. While Michigan weather is unpredictable, make sure you enjoy the season(s) you set off in. We had the luxury of starting out and ending in the warmer spring climate along the Southwest Michigan coastline; an intense 50 degrees. Yet in the U.P. we personally witnessed the feet (yes, feet) of snow and ice caves left as reminders from the polar vortex. Whether you enjoy 70° and sunny sun bathing on the beach, or snowmobiling across miles of trails, pick your season…or in Michigan’s case you may just experience all four!

4. Avoid Being Hangry. We get that when traveling with kids they’re hungry, bored, have to pee, dropped their snacks, and then starts the screaming. However, don’t doubt that the same can’t and won’t happen with grown adults who begin to experience the symptoms of being “Hangry” (anger caused by hunger). We recommend throwing out the rules of the new trendy diet you’re on, and load up on the snacks, and then get a few more “just in case”. There’s nothing like driving along the circle tour curves, with the sun roof open (or gloves on, depending on your season), jamming to the greatest hits of all time sharing a bag of Better Made chips.

Charlevoix Lighthouse by Brian Hudson

Charlevoix Lighthouse by Brian Hudson

5. Collect. Take in everything you see and share it! We’re not suggesting you continuously post on Facebook or Twitter every second something happens, but share the newest hotspot you found to grab dinner or share about the fabulous staff you encountered at one of your overnight stays. Travelers today are more prone to go off the beaten path and take suggestions from family and friends on what direction to head. When you begin to share, you’ll start to realize the things that are most important to you, bettering your vacation or overnight staycation experiences.

Kendra Higgins, Director of Marketing and Social Media for Holiday Inn Spring Lake. Sprouting from Mid-Michigan farm country, Kendra has a new found love and appreciation for Michigan’s golden coast as an active community member and newly fashioned lighthouse enthusiast.  She encourages you to visit the Grand Haven area and follow the hotel on Facebook, Instagram, and Blog to learn more about their lighthouse tour!

Fall in Love with Michigan Lighthouses

Lighthouses in Michigan are the stars of the shore. Today, guest blogger Sharma Krauskopf tells us the story of how she fell in love with Michigan lighthouses

I am fascinated with lighthouses and here’s why – Lighthouse Digest. For the last 20 years, I have been writing books and magazine articles and speaking about lighthouses. I also lead tours, have lived in a lighthouse in Scotland, and now am making a movie about lighthouse keepers. I have been living in Michigan for over 30 years but hadn’t been involved Michigan lighthouse to any great extent. People have a tendency to not be a tourist in their own neck of the woods, and I guess I’m a good example.

A few years ago that began to change. Due to health issues and family responsibilities my ability to travel long distances to lighthouses came to a screeching halt. What happened next I call the “tugboat effect,” named after an antique wind-up tugboat toy we had that took off across the floor until it ran into an obstacle which caused it immediately to turned in another direction. Like the tugboat, I instantly changed directions by looking closer to home where I found Point aux Barques Lighthouse for my movie.

Recently, my husband and I took a trip to see the Saginaw River Range lighthouse only to find a sign saying “Closed to the Public”. Remembering the tugboat, we changed direction promptly traveling further north to Tawas Point Lighthouse located near East Tawas, Michigan. This magnificent lighthouse and its well maintained park have belonged to Michigan DNR since 2001. Having seen and written about hundreds of lighthouses, I can guarantee this is an extraordinary one. Being that it was the off-season, there were few people around and it was like we were living at the lighthouse. We found a motel in Tawas City so we could be at the lighthouse for sunrise the next morning which turned out to be a good decision as we got some beautiful pictures.

Upon returning home, I discovered the Lightkeeper at Tawas Point Lighthouse program. Having lived at a lighthouse for many years, I know how much fun, adventure, and beauty the job involves, and I have already submitted our application for next year. If you live in Michigan hopefully you’ll remember this blog. If circumstances dictate you can’t travel far, remember the tugboat. I don’t regret my international travel, but I do feel badly that I had not seen more of my home state when I was younger. I should have jumped in the car and experienced all the beauty, history and entertainment that was just down the road.

Sharma Krauskopf lives on a farm near Parma, Michigan. For many years, she and her husband owned Eshaness Lighthouse on the Shetland Islands in Scotland. Currently she is executive producer of a feature length motion picture about lighthouse keepers which will be filmed in the fall of 2014 at Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse in the Thumb area of Michigan. For more information on her movie, check out the website. 

Do you have a favorite Michigan lighthouse? Tell us in the comments below.