25+ Breath-Taking Photos Of Michigan Lighthouses In Winter
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25+ Breath-Taking Photos of Frozen Michigan Lighthouses in Winter

Have you ventured out to enjoy any frozen Michigan lighthouses this winter? Exploring Michigan lighthouses in winter is one of the best winter things to do in Michigan, and we’re thankful for so many great Michigan photographers who share their winter lighthouse explorations with us on Instagram!

There are over 100 lighthouses in Michigan – the most in one state in the nation – which tourists flock to each and every summer. Droves of people visit the resort towns and coastline of Lake Michigan every year during the warmer months. Michigan’s Great Lakes have a lot to offer in the winter as well, especially when it comes to lighthouse and shoreline beauty.

As we’ve enjoyed exploring these same Michigan lighthouses during the cold winter months (whether in person or through amazing photos of frozen Michigan lighthouses), we’d like to argue that Michigan lighthouses look better in winter.

Photos of Frozen Michigan Lighthouses in Winter

Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:south Haven
South Haven | photo via @irwin.nick
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:pointe Aux Barques
Pointe Aux Barques | photo via @scottyroddis
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:eagle Harbor Lighthouse
Eagle Harbor Lighthouse | photo via @alexis.writes
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:grand Haven
Grand Haven | photo via @jlep1
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:fort Gratiot Light
Fort Gratiot Light | photo via @michiganartistprints
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:charlevoix South Pier Light Station
Charlevoix South Pier Light Station | photo via @megannoblephoto
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:point Betsie
Point Betsie | photo via @frommichiganwithloveblog
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:little Sable Point
Little Sable Point | photo via @michiganartistprints
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:frankfort Michigan
Frankfort Michigan | photo via @d.e.l.photography
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:belle Isle
Belle Isle | photo via @coltons_captures
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:old Mackinac Point Light
Old Mackinac Point Light | photo via @megannoblephoto
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:pentwater
Pentwater | photo via @chadronald
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:muskegon Breakwater Light
Muskegon Breakwater Light | photo via @irwin.nick
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:harbor Beach
Harbor Beach | photo via @bhay941
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:grand Haven
Grand Haven | photo via @michiganartistprints
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:tawas
Tawas | photo via @travelingmichigan
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:marblehead Lake Erie
Marblehead Lake Erie | photo via @scottyroddis
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:milliken State Park And Harbor
Milliken State Park And Harbor | photo via @travelmi
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:marquette Harbor Light
Marquette Harbor Light | photo via @selectivepotential
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:menominee Light
Menominee Light | photo via @nature.equals.us
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:new Presque Isle Light
New Presque Isle Light | photo via @thaddychris
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:sturgeon Point Light
Sturgeon Point Light | photo via @freshcoast_captures
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:pere Marquette Park
Pere Marquette Park | photo via @tbonnette007
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:muskegon
Muskegon | photo via @skeetown_jay
Winter Lighthouse In Michigan:mackinaw City
Mackinaw City | photo via @michiganaddicts

Fewer Crowds at Frozen Lighthouses in Michigan

One of the perks of exploring frozen lighthouses in Michigan is that the crowds of summer aren’t around. You’ll see mainly the winter in Michigan enthusiasts and Michigan photographers battling the frigid winds coming off the lake, along with large balls of ice, snowdrifts, and slippery roads.

Tips for Michigan Lighthouse Winter Adventures

Former Awesome Mitten contributor, Aaron Cruz, shared:

“I’ve climbed snow piles to reach the South Haven Light and St. Joseph lighthouses on Lake Michigan in the winter. When the easterly winds pick up on these exposed lighthouses, look out! The waves come crashing onto the pier and into the lighthouse, creating ice on everything it touches when temps are far below freezing. Michigan’s coastline that sits on the windy, east side of Lake Michigan is a reason many people, including myself, flock to its lighthouses in winter.”

During most winters, Aaron suggested visiting early in the season before the lake starts to freeze over, meaning fewer waves, hence less chance of ice on the lighthouses, piers, and other surfaces.

Exploring Michigan Lighthouses in Winter

Are you looking for a scenic Michigan road trip that you can take no matter the season or weather conditions? Consider the lighthouses and the surrounding beaches, shoreline, and small towns that dot the Lake Michigan coastline: sun, rain, ice, snow, wind – this Great Lakes coastline is always showing off its beauty.

In December, getting anywhere near Lake Michigan can be a challenge, usually bringing feet upon feet of lake effect snow. An unusually warm start to the season, though, made for an autumn-like feel at times, but nevertheless beautiful.

The Awesome Mitten - Beginning A Lighthouse, Lake Michigan Road Trip

Photo courtesy of Aaron Cruz

Muskegon

Before heading to the coastline in the morning, I recommend that you head downtown and grab a pour over coffee at Lumbertown Coffee. If it’s later in the day, grab a pint and listen to some music at the brewery within the same space, Unruly Brewing Company.

Once at the coast, find a place to park at the sandy Pere Marquette Park along Beach Street. Here is your chance to checkout the homes that line the nearby streets with sand dunes instead of grass in their front yards. At times, you might not be able to see the pavement on the road either.

Heading onto the pier, you’ll usually pass fisherman as you’re walking towards the 53-foot tall Muskegon South Pierhead. The lighthouse is located on the south end of the channel connecting Lake Michigan to Muskegon Lake. Signs of winter are present with the pier resembling a skating rink in spots and beautiful ice forming on the lighthouse.

Tip: For a longer adventure, park at Beachwood Park and head onto the boardwalk for a fifteen minute walk to the pier alongside the sand dunes and shoreline.

The Awesome Mitten - Beginning A Lighthouse, Lake Michigan Road Trip
Photo courtesy of Aaron Cruz

Grand Haven

Hop on US-31 south for about fifteen minutes and you’ll quickly be in the small resort town that was featured in the movie American Pie 2.

The Grand Haven lighthouses sit within Grand Haven State Park and along the Lake Michigan shoreline at the mouth of the Grand River. Be sure you take a walk from downtown to the pier and lighthouse on the one-and-a-half mile boardwalk (Lighthouse Connector Park) that runs alongside the river.

The Grand Haven South Pierhead Entrance Light and Inner Light are connected to the mainland by one of four catwalks left in Michigan. Just off the pier, grab some panoramic views from up-top the sand dunes, as well, some more sandy open road shots await on South Harbor Drive.

The Awesome Mitten - Beginning A Lighthouse, Lake Michigan Road Trip
Photo courtesy of Aaron Cruz

Holland and Big Red

Are you still looking for more? Continue your drive south down US-31 for about twenty-five minutes, and you’ll reach the town that’s home to the most photographed lighthouse in Michigan, Big Red. The Holland Harbor Light sits alongside the channel connecting Lake Michigan with Lake Macatawa.

The lighthouse sits on private property, so the ability to get up close is limited. The opposite side of the channel and Holland State Park is the best public viewing spot. While you’re there, be sure to walk the beach, boardwalk, pier and other sandy areas.

Head inland about fifteen minutes into the heart of town, and here you should grab a craft beer and some eats at New Holland Brewery or a coffee at Lemonjello’s. Now is the time to walk the downtown streets and popular shopping area, stopping in at Holland Peanut Store if you have a sweet tooth.

Other Winter Lighthouses in Michigan

Have you ever visited a Michigan lighthouse in winter? Which Michigan lighthouse frozen by winter’s elements is your favorite to see? What other frozen Michigan lighthouses do you recommend checking out?

There are so many great things to do in Michigan in winter, including romantic winter getaways in Michigan and family-friendly Michigan winter destinations to visit!

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