With its endless miles of freshwater shorelines, it’s not surprising that Michigan is home to nearly 130 lighthouses. If you are one of those people who loves nothing more than to visit a strong and storied lighthouse, then a lighthouse tour in Presque Isle should be at the top of your summer bucket list.
Lighthouse Tour in Presque Isle
Presque Isle is tucked away in the northeastern corner of the Lower Peninsula, and it is wedged between Grand Lake and Lake Huron — giving it an almost island-like atmosphere. Visitors to Presque Isle often find themselves embarking on a lighthouse tour, which will take them to not only one but two lighthouses in the community, and can also include stops at a museum that was created out of the former keeper’s house and a 19th-century harbor range light.
Old Presque Isle Lighthouse
You can begin your lighthouse tour at the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse, which was built in 1840 and in service until 1870. Today, this 30-foot-tall tower made of weathering white stone is one of the oldest surviving lighthouses on the Great Lakes. It is situated on the north arm of the Presque Isle Bay, and when you climb up to the lantern room, you are afforded some of the most magnificent views of the bay. Before you leave this lighthouse and continue your tour, don’t forget to stop by the statue of Patrick Garrity Sr., who served for many years as the keeper of the lighthouse.
New Presque Isle Lighthouse
The next stop on your tour should be the New Presque Isle Lighthouse, which may not be the oldest surviving lighthouse in the Great Lakes region, but it is still famous in its own right. Standing at 113 feet tall, this lighthouse is one of the tallest lighthouses on the Great Lakes that can be accessed by members of the public. It was built in 1870, and has been helping ships, freighters and other boaters safely navigate the waters of Lake Huron for more than 150 years. Visitors are able to climb to the top of this lighthouse, but they must meet a 42-inch height requirement. Children under 12 who meet the height requirement must be accompanied by an adult.
More to Explore in Presque Isle
After you have climbed to the top of this lighthouse and soaked up the breathtaking views of Lake Huron and beyond, you will want to take a step back in time at the 1905 Keeper’s House. This house is just a short walk away from the New Presque Isle Lighthouse, and it now operates as a museum that tells the story of the lives that the keepers led on a daily basis. You will uncover many artifacts and items of interest that tell more about what life was like at the turn of the 20th century in Presque Isle.
While the majestic lighthouses and pristine waters that surround Presque Isle are memorable, you would be remiss if you didn’t also head to the Ocqueoc Falls. This is the largest waterfall in the Lower Peninsula, and it is located about 35 minutes away by car from the lighthouses in Presque Isle. In addition to hiking the six miles of trails that surround the falls, you can splash and swim in waters that pool at its base!
Best Places to Eat in Presque Isle
Whether you are focusing simply on lighthouses or you want to create a customized tour that includes the towers as well as the falls, you are likely going to be hungry after completing your jam-packed itinerary. In Presque Isle, there are several down-to-earth restaurants that offer hearty meal options for travelers.
For a guaranteed good time, head to Sandy Bay Trading Co. and Woody’s Grand Lake. Its menu is filled with easy-to-please options, such as pizzas, flatbreads, and burgers, and it has earned a reputation for its incredibly friendly service.
Another option that you can look into is the Fireside Inn. While it’s not a traditional restaurant, this inn has a dining room that features a daily menu of homemade meals for its guests. On some days, when they aren’t too busy, they have openings for people who aren’t staying on location. Give them a call and see if you can grab a seat in their cozy dining room and enjoy the daily special!
Lodging Near Presque Isle
Want to explore more of northeastern Michigan? Stay a day or two at one of these great lodging options near Presque Isle:
- Grand Lake Resort
- Presque Isle Harbor Home
- Lakeside Home w/ Fire Pit
- Camper’s Cove RV Park & Canoe Livery
We've included local campgrounds in most of the #MIAwesomeList posts to help you get the most out of your Michigan summer bucket list adventures!
No RV? No worries. You can save up to 25% on your travel costs this summer by renting an RV through RVshare!
Whether you want to pull it behind you or have it all set up at your destination, renting an RV is the best way to enjoy all your summer adventures in Michigan!