When I started mapping our 1,200 mile, 7 day circle tour-plus around Lake Michigan and beyond, lighthouses were not a major feature on our route plan. Beginning the circle in Chicago and heading east, some of our planned stops included Indiana Dunes National Park, farms and small towns in West Michigan, Mackinac Island and eventually Pictured Rocks on Lake Superior.
But as we made a lunch stop in St. Joseph, MI on day one, we checked Google and Roadtrippers for close-by suggestions. The historic St. Joseph Lighthouse -- featuring those iconic wintertime pictures of the frozen lake wrapping the small structure -- topped the list. So we took a short detour, found easy lake-front parking at Tiscornia Park, and walked out on North Pier for a quick peek.
As the wind howled around us and an angry lake pounded the pier, we leaned forward for more than a casual stroll. It was then and there that the history, stories and scenic settings of the lighthouses took control. We found ourselves searching Google and blog sites, then taking detours to more of these iconic structures while exploring some historic small towns in the process.
We photographed and video-captured 15 lighthouses on Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. We skipped many others due to our route, preplanned activities and time limitations. Oh, well, now we have reason for another trip.
We created a 4-minute video for Newsbreak that features images from all. Following is the list of the lighthouses we visited, in the order we visited, all of which are included in the Newsbreak video:
- St. Joseph Lighthouse, St. Joseph, MI
- Big Red Lighthouse, Holland, MI
- South Pierhead Lighthouse, Muskegon, MI
- Breakwater Lighthouse, Ludington, MI
- North Pierhead Lighthouse, Manistee, MI
- Mission Point Lighthouse, Traverse City, MI
- South Pierhead Lighthouse, Charlevoix, MI
- Wawatam Lighthouse, St. Ignace, MI
- Round Island Lighthouse, Mackinac Island, MI
- Sand Point Lighthouse, Escanaba, MI
- Grassy Island Lighthouses, Green Bay, WI
- Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse, Kewaunee, WI
- Rawley Point Lighthouse, Two Rivers, WI
- North Pierhead Lighthouse, Two Rivers, WI
- Breakwater Lighthouse, Manitowoc, WI
More Lake Michigan Circle Tour
Here are links to a few more short NewsBreak videos about stops on our summer circle tour around Lake Michigan and beyond -- plus a few more of our all-time favorites. We're producing more, so be sure to follow DeanLand on NewsBreak for all the latest: