Lighthouses in the Upper Peninsula
Along the U.P.'s Great Lakes coasts, you will find several lighthouses in the Upper Peninsula, most a relic of the mid-1800s, when they were built. Although some are inactive, standing tall as a landmark of the early Great Lakes shipping days, many continue to guide ships and boats safely into harbors and around dangerous shoals. And you can see both kinds! Whether you hike to these towering beacons or take a boat tour, you’re able to get up close and, sometimes, even go inside. Take a step back in time with us. Shine a light on an important piece of Michigan history.
Map of Upper Peninsula’s lighthouses
Did you know there are over 40 lighthouses in the Upper Peninsula? With so much Great Lakes shoreline, there are quite a few in each region of the U.P. Search below to see which lighthouses are on your next trip’s route.
Lighthouse tours in the Upper Peninsula
More than a dozen of our lighthouses are open for public tours! You may be fascinated by the architecture and scenery of these locations, but wait until you learn about the history behind the buildings and the people who operated them. Climb up the spiral staircase into the tower just like the original lightkeepers used to every day. Here are the available tours:
Lighthouse bed & breakfasts
If a tour isn’t enough for you, then stay for dinner — and overnight. That’s right, some of our historic lighthouses have even been turned into bed and breakfasts where you and your family can take in the view, shoreline and history!
Sand Hills Lighthouse
In Ahmeek, Michigan, northeast of Houghton, you’ll find Sand Hills Lighthouse (1919). Also on the Lake Superior shoreline, this lighthouse used to house three keepers and their families at once. So it has plenty of room for you and your own large group of friends or family. The light was decommissioned in the mid-1950s but it is still worth the trip!
Whitefish Point Light Station
Welcome to Paradise – where you can stay in a lighthouse on the graveyard of ships — the nickname for Whitefish Point because of its treacherous waters. Built in 1849, the station now houses the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum which has several artifacts from the Edmund Fitzgerald including its bell. You’ll stay in the former Coast Guard crew quarters which were added in 1922.
Big Bay Point Lighthouse
About 45 minutes north of Marquette, you’ll find Big Bay Lighthouse (1896). This well-known red-brick structure is built on a tall bluff overlooking Lake Superior. Inside the bed and breakfast, you’ll find a library, sauna and spa!
Volunteer as a lightkeeper
You can also volunteer to be a lighthouse keeper at several stations. All you have to do is learn the history, take care of some daily tasks and answer visitor questions. What a fun resume addition! If a lighthouse has a keeper program, you’ll find it on the Michigan Lighthouse Guide. Reach out directly to the contact information provided to get started, and thanks for preserving our history!