14 Amazing Michigan Lighthouses You Can Spend the Night In
Did you know there are Michigan lighthouses that you can stay in?
It’s true: from Lake Superior to Lake Michigan; from northern Lake Huron to Port Huron, there are 14 MIchigan lighthouses where you stay overnight.
There is an air of mystery, intrigue, and fascination that surrounds Michigan lighthouses. Perhaps it’s because of their historic significance, or because we know lighthouses are found near massive bodies of water, which have a foreboding and awe-inspiring presence.
Nonetheless, lighthouses are special and unique, and Michigan is home to more of them than any other state.
With over 100 Great Lakes lighthouses to see, visit, tour and explore, it’s really no wonder we love them so much, but did you know that some Michigan lighthouses offer the chance to stay overnight?
Whether through B&B operations, rental opportunities, or the chance to become a volunteer keeper, staying overnight in a lighthouse on the Great Lakes should be on everyone’s Michigan bucket list.
Michigan Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast
Big Bay Point Lighthouse B&B
4674 Co Rd KCB, Big Bay, MI 49808
Nestled on the shore of Lake Superior about 25 miles north of Marquette, Big Bay Point Lighthouse served as a crucial guide for mariners.
Today, the light is automated, but it still shines bright with enigmatic beauty, charm, and romance, making it the perfect couples getaway in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Now functioning as a Bed and Breakfast, Big Bay Point Lighthouse welcomes guests to stay in any of its seven guest rooms.
Nearby Attraction: Presque Isle State Park, juts northwest of Marquette, is home to famed “Black Rock Cliffs.” These towering cliffs overlooking Lake Superior provide dramatic vistas of one of Michigan’s most fabled Great Lakes.
Sand Hills Lighthouse Inn
6029 5 Mile Pt Rd, Ahmeek, MI 49901
In Ahmeek, on the northern shore of Michigan’s remote Keweenaw Peninsula, the Sand Hills Lighthouse Inn invites guests to stay and escape the troubles of the modern world.
Entering through the doors, you’ll be greeted by a stellar display of Victorian decor. There are no TVs or phones in the rooms, but there is wifi available to guests, so you’ll be able to have a refreshing retreat to the north with all the outdoor recreation and fresh air you can handle without being completely disconnected.
Nearby Attraction: Keweenaw National Historical Park in Copper Harbor, MI.
Jacobsville Lighthouse Inn
38741 Jacobs St, Lake Linden, MI 49945
First opening its doors as an inn in 2004, the Jacobsville Lighthouse was a beloved hospitality destination for 14 years before closing. With sweeping views of Lake Superior and the Keweenaw Bay, it feels like it’s only a matter of time before someone new grabs the property and restores it to its former glory as an inn.
Nearby Attraction: Hungarian Falls, one of more than 300 waterfalls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Michigan Lighthouses that You Can Spend the Night In: Lighthouse Vacation Rentals
Eagle River Lighthouse
Mohawk, MI 49950
The Eagle River Lighthouse sits at the mouth of the Eagle River on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Eagle RIver Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1908 after 51 years in service. In the 1990s, it was sold to historic preservationist Edward “Bud” Cole, whose family now runs the property as a vacation rental.
Nearby Attraction: Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, a stunning Lake Superior Lighthouse
Point Betsie Lighthouse
3701 Point Betsie Rd, Frankfort, MI 49635
Since 1858, Point Betsie Lighthouse in Frankfort, Michigan, has stood on the picturesque Lake Michigan shoreline, making it the oldest structure in Benzie County.
It still operates today, serving as a navigational aid to the US Coast Guard and a treasured landmark in northern Michigan. Visitors are welcome to tour the lighthouse, but guests are also able to stay at Point Betsie Lighthouse, with rentals available on a weekly basis during the tourism season.
Nearby Attraction: Crystal Lake and charming downtown Frankfort, MI. This is one of Michigan’s top vacation destinations, and with good reason. This cute town at the foothills of the Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore is home to stunning Lake Michigan beaches and a fun, walkabale downtown with tons of cute shops, cafes and breweries to explore.
McGulpin Point Lighthouse
500 Headlands Rd, Mackinaw City, MI 49701
In Mackinaw City, the McGulpin Point Lighthouse began operation in 1896 to protect ships traveling through the Straits of Mackinac, making it one of the oldest lighthouses still on the Straits today. Visitors can become guests with overnight accommodations that sleep four people.
A two-night minimum stay is required, but trust us, you’ll want to stay longer. Its close location to Mackinaw City means easy access to shops, restaurants, and even Mackinac Island, but there’s more to explore around the area as well, especially for avid hikers.
Nearby Attraction: Headlands International Dark Sky Park, one of Michigan’s designated dark sky parks. These parks are a fabulous spot for viewing the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis.
More Michigan Lighthouses that You Can Spend the Night In: Lighthouse Volunteer Keeper Programs
Crisp Point Lighthouse
1944 Co Hwy 412, Newberry, MI 49868
Crisp Point Lighthouse, named for one of its brave keepers, Christopher Crisp, is a U.S. Life-Saving Station located near Whitefish Point.
Built in 1875 and beginning operations the following year, Crisp Point Lighthouse was a crucial aid on Lake Superior’s Shipwreck Coast for over 100 years before being decommissioned and falling into disrepair in the 90’s. Today, volunteer keepers stay on premises and help maintain and restore Crisp Point Lighthouse to its former glory.
Nearby Attraction: Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, featuring the bell recovered from the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald.
Traverse City, MI 49686
At the end of Old Mission Peninsula, near Traverse City, Mission Point Lighthouse is an iconic landmark between the east and west arms of the Grand Traverse Bay.
Built in 1870, this lighthouse is located on the 45th parallel, meaning it is situated exactly halfway between the North Pole and the Equator and in the heart of Michigan wine country. The keeper program at Mission Point Lighthouse is massively popular, offering the chance to temporarily reside in a historic landmark with breathtaking views of the water.
Nearby Attraction: Traverse City and the Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail.
Tawas Point Lighthouse
On Lake Huron, Tawas Point Lighthouse Tawas Point Lighthouse has been in operation on Lake Huron since 1876, which makes it a popular destination among those with maritime interests.
However, because of its scenic natural location, outdoorsy people of all kinds come to enjoy all kinds of activities, from birdwatching to simply enjoying the spectacular sunrises on Michigan’s aptly named “Sunrise Coast.” Volunteer keepers stay for around two weeks at a time and help maintain the facility while enjoying a bit of a getaway on Tawas Point.
Nearby Attraction: Tawas Point-Sandy Hood Nature Trail and downtown East Tawas.
Cheboygan River Front Range Light
606 Water St, Cheboygan, MI 49721
The Cheboygan River Front Range Light offers a unique setting for volunteer keepers to enjoy while they work. Instead of the more isolated parts of the Great Lakes coastline, volunteer keepers can enjoy being in the heart of Cheboygan on the riverfront.
Here, volunteer keepers manage the operation of tours and gift shop duties as well as general maintenance and groundskeeping. Being a volunteer keeper at the Cheboygan Riverfront Lighthouse offers the unique benefits of both staying in a historic building and the access to a bustling downtown.
Nearby Attraction: Aloha State Park and historic downtown Cheboygan
St. Helena Island Lighthouse
Two miles offshore from the Upper Peninsula, St. Helena Island sits in the Straits of Mackinac. Once upon a time the island housed a small community, but now it sits uninhabited, only receiving a couple hundred visitors a year, starkly contrasting nearby Mackinac Island, which sits ten miles to the east.
Volunteer keepers work hard to maintain the St. Helena Island Lighthouse by doing work like painting, sanding, cleaning and more. Stays for keepers can range from a few days to a couple months.
Nearby Attractions: Mackinac Island
Grand Traverse Lighthouse
15500 N Lighthouse Point Rd, Northport, MI 49670
On the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, the Grand Traverse Lighthouse was built in 1852 and operated for exactly 120 years. Today it is a recognized location on the National Register of Historic Places and visitors come to see what makes it so special.
Volunteer keepers are invited to stay and maintain the property for week long shifts from April to December. Volunteers help run tours and operate the gift shop as well as participate in general maintenance and upkeep tasks in this special Northport Lighthouse.
Nearby Attraction: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the stunning Lake Michigan towns of Glen Arbor and Empire MI
Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse
There are many things that give the Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse its legendary status. From being among the top ten oldest lighthouses in the state, having been built in 1848, to being the home of the first female lighthouse keeper, Catherine Shook, there are countless things that make this spot so cool.
It’s no wonder that keepers love to participate in the restoration, preservation, and sharing of this lighthouse’s story. Located near the tip of Michigan’s thumb, this lighthouse offers keepers and visitors the chance to visit a more remote part of Lake Huron on Michigan’s Thumbcoast.
Nearby Attraction: Turnip Rock and Port Austin, one of Michigan’s best-kept secret resort towns.
Group Stay Experiences in a Michigan Lighthouse
Fort Gratiot Lighthouse
2802 Omar St, Port Huron, MI 48060
One of the more unique opportunities for staying overnight at a lighthouse can be found at the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse in Port Huron.
This is Michigan’s first and now oldest lighthouse, having been built in 1829, and you have the chance to stay overnight inside. This opportunity, called “Overnight at the Light” invites groups of 20 or more to spend the night, bunk-room style, in the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse.
The event also includes a tour, which may include a lighthouse tower climb if the weather permits. This opportunity is perfect for scouts or other youth or school groups.
Nearby Attraction: Blue Water Bridge and Michigan’s Blue Thumb Coast
More Top Michigan Travel Spots
About the Author –
Bella DiMascio is a Content Editor for mymichiganbeach.com. She grew up in the Detroit suburb of Westland. She later attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo where she majored in Communication Studies and minored in English: Writing. Creative writing has been a hobby and interest of Bella’s since she was in elementary school. She is thrilled to be using her talents to highlight the Great Lakes State. Outside of writing, Bella enjoys getting outside with her two Australian Shepherds, playing video games, and binging shows on Netflix.