3 Must-See Lighthouses in Ludington

Ludington, Michigan, isn’t just a beach town —- this year-round wonderland is one of Michigan’s most hidden gems, where every season paints a breathtaking scene. Located just a short journey north of Grand Rapids, visitors praise the area for its quaint small-town feel and eye-catching lighthouses.

And if you want to soak up these sights in style? There’s no place to stay like a Water’s Edge vacation home. More than just the top spot for vacation rentals, we’re your go-to guide for all things Ludington.

And something everyone should see during their stay in Ludington is its lighthouses. These historic sentinels guarding the coastline have long since shredded their touristy landmark status and become soul-stirring artifacts of the area.

First time in Ludington? You’re in good hands. We’ve done a deep dive into the three most enchanting to get you as excited about them as we are. Let’s dig in!

Big Sable Point Lighthouse

Photo Credit: Tom Gill via Flickr CC 2.0

Want to travel back in time? Big Sable Lighthouse will take you there. Nestled on the serene lakeshores of Lake Michigan within the lush Ludington State Park, this Michigan lighthouse isn’t just a beacon for ships; it’s a call to adventure.

The towering structure, painted in striking black and white, has stood proud since 1867. One of Michigan’s tallest lighthouses, Big Sable Point, invites you to climb its 130 steps. The reward? Breathtaking panoramic views of an area that are absolutely Instagram-worthy. Imagine capturing the sunset over one of the Great Lakes; it’s a photographer’s dream!

But you can do more than just climb Big Sable Point. In fact, you can live the life of a lighthouse keeper through Big Sable Point’s volunteer keeper program. During your stay, you’ll learn about its operations, check out the keeper’s quarters, and immerse yourself in a lifestyle that’s both quaint and exhilarating.

Accessibility? No worries. Getting there is part of the adventure, with a scenic drive and a short hike or beach walk to reach this hidden gem. And with events and tours regularly on the calendar, there’s always something new to discover.

Historical appeal? Check. Immersive tour potential? Check. Gorgeous views? Three positive strikes make Big Sable Point a must on your Ludington itinerary!

The Ludington North Breakwater Light

Photo Credit: clare_and_ben via Flickr CC 2.0

The Ludington North Breakwater Light is yet another testament to Michigan’s rich maritime heritage. A nice plus? It’s located a blissfully short distance from the lively Stearns Park Beach and the bustling heart of downtown Ludington.

As you embark on the half-mile stroll along the pier to the structure, the rhythm of Lake Michigan’s waves will set the pace for your journey. Talk about meditative.

Each step offers a new perspective, with the city’s skyline on one side and the expansive lake on the other. But this path is more than just a route to a lighthouse; it’s a travel influencer’s dream. Early mornings and late evenings here are magical, casting a golden glow that even the most social media weary would find hard not to post.

Capture candid moments of local fishermen at work or frame the perfect landscape shot with the lighthouse’s one-of-a-kind silhouette against the sunrise or sunset.

The Famous Tilt

In 1994, a subtle yet profound shift occurred when the crib beneath the lighthouse settled, causing a four-degree tilt to the northeast. Rather than being corrected, this tilt was deemed safe by the Army Corps of Engineers and left as is, adding a distinctive angle to the lighthouse’s profile.

This tilt is a visible reminder of the natural forces at play and the lighthouse’s enduring presence. It’s a feature that captivates photographers and storytellers alike, symbolizing the adaptability and perseverance of both the structure and the community it serves.

For Water’s Edge guests, it’s more than a tourist spot; it’s an immersion into the dynamic mix of city vibes and natural serenity, a distinctive part of your Ludington experience. Here, every moment is not just a view but a deep connection with Ludington’s lively community and picturesque surroundings, creating memories that endure beyond your stay.

Little Sable Point Lighthouse

Photo Credit: J. Stephen Conn via Flickr CC 2.0

Little Sable Point Lighthouse is the only one still flaunting its original 3rd-order Fresnel lens, a rare gem from 19th-century France. The Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers ensured this lens survived the fierce Armistice Day storm of 1940, which included 30-foot waves and 90-mile-per-hour winds.

But there’s more to this lighthouse than its architectural feats. The 107-foot-tall beacon emulates stories of its keepers, like Joseph Arthur Hunter and Henry Vavrina, which add a personal touch to its history. Hunter, known for his lengthy service and resourcefulness, even built his retirement home from beach salvage. Vavrina, meanwhile, was celebrated for his culinary skills, hosting large gatherings at the lighthouse, a testament to his community spirit.

These days, visitors can climb its steps, explore its history, and enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. As for getting there? Enjoy the paved walking path for easy access to the lighthouse (and the beach).

Enjoy Ludington Lighthouses with Water’s Edge!

From the towering history of Big Sable Point to the stunning vistas from Ludington North Breakwater Light and the timeless beauty of Little Sable Point, each Lighthouse tells a unique story. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or just looking for that perfect Instagram shot, these lighthouses have something special for everyone.

But why just read about it when you can experience it all firsthand? Make your trip to Ludington unforgettable with a stay at a Water’s Edge vacation home. Imagine waking up to the gentle sound of Lake Michigan’s waves, spending your days exploring these historical beacons, and then coming back to the comfort and luxury of a Michigan beach rental.

Fall family adventure, romantic getaway, solo retreat — no matter your vacation plan, Water’s Edge is the perfect base for lighthouse exploration and more.

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