Visit West Michigan Lighthouses
Lighthouses symbolize safety, a fascinating maritime history--and have a romantic nature about them. Our area of West Michigan along the Lake Michigan shoreline has its share of these wonderful structures, from Manistee's North Pierhead Lighthouse down to Little Sable Point Lighthouse at Silver Lake. Most were constructed in the late 1800s, when the lumber industry was at its peak. The lighthouses were especially useful in the mid-1900s, when Ludington's Lake Michigan harbor was home to a large carferry fleet.
Today, thanks to organizations that are dedicated to preserving these lighthouses, they proudly stand on the shores of a sometimes turbulent Lake Michigan, opening their doors to visitors, and continue to guide vessels into port.
Ludington's North Breakwater Light
Hours: 10am-5pm daily, Monday evenings 5pm-8pm, late May through Labor Day.
You've seen it in numerous photographs, and it is now ranked #1 in Michigan lights to visit. Ludington's North Breakwater Light is a focal point within the community, and a great place to watch the sunset or wave at the S.S. Badger (Lake Michigan Carferry) as it cruises from its dock in Ludington out onto Lake Michigan. The breakwall leading out to the light is a popular venue for fishermen and those who enjoy walking the mile-long round trip.
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Hours: 10am-5pm daily, May 1-late October.
The black-and-white striped, 112 foot lighthouse at the Ludington State Park stands proudly on the shores of Lake Michigan and remains a testament to lighthouse keepers of the past.
Little Sable Point Lighthouse
About 30 miles south of Big Sable Point Lighthouse brings you to the other "point" that juts out into Lake Michigan. Located in the Silver Lake Sand Dunes and the Silver Lake State Park, Little Sable Point Lighthouse is a 107' brick structure constructed in 1874. The Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association took over the maintenance of the lighthouse in 2005, and it is open to the public Monday-Sunday from late May to late September.
Pentwater's Pierhead Lights
Manistee's North Pierhead Lighthouse
The most symbolic icon of the Victorian Port City is the North Pierhead Lighthouse, located between the 1st Street and 5th Avenue beaches of Manistee. Many Michigan lighthouses demolished their catwalks when the lights became electrified, so Manistee's catwalk is a rare sight. In the late 1920s, after extensive pier renovations, the old fog signal building was replaced by the present structure. Standing watch over Lake Michigan waters, Manistee's North Pierhead Lighthouse welcomes boaters into its harbor, and is a reminder of Manistee's great maritime history.
White River Light Station
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm (closed Monday), late May through late October.
Built in 1875, the White River Light Station is one of four lights operated by Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association. Located in Whitehall, Michigan (about 40 minutes south of Ludington), the Light Station is situated between Lake Michigan and White Lake. The light station was decommissioned in 1960 and became a museum in 1970. Here, you can climb the spiral staircase to the top of the tower or view the original Fourth Order Fresnel lens. There is a $4 donation for adults and $2 for children 11 & under to climb the tower.
Grand Haven Lighthouse & Pier
Discover More Lake Michigan Lighthouses...
- Wisconsin Lighthouses
- Northwest Michigan Lighthouses
- Northern Michigan Lighthouses
- West Michigan Lighthouses
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.
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.
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.
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.