Leelanau lighthouse. Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Leelanau State Park. Best Lake Michigan lighthouses. Things to do in Leelanau Peninsula, County. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

 

Hi there!

 

If you’re looking for a lighthouse to visit during your trip to Northern Michigan, the Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Lake Michigan is one of your choices!

 

Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Leelanau State Park. Best Lake Michigan lighthouses. Things to do in Leelanau Peninsula, County. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Leelanau State Park. Best Lake Michigan lighthouses. Things to do in Leelanau Peninsula, County. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

 

 

Facts and history of Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Leelanau peninsula lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Northern Michigan travel blog

Facts and history of Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Leelanau peninsula lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Michigan state park. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

This lighthouse is located on the shores of the Leelanau Peninsula, and it’s one of the historic lighthouses in Michigan.

 

Grand Traverse Lighthouse, michigan historic site. Northern Michigan travel blog
Michigan Historic Site

 

Grand Traverse Lighthouse, national register of historic places. Northern Michigan travel blog
National Register of Historic Places

 

There are a couple of lake shoreline access points that are right around the lighthouse grounds. And there are benches set up right along the lake so you can sit and take in the views too!

 

Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Lake Michigan shoreline. rocky beach. Things to do in Leelanau State Park. Leelanau Peninsula. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Lake Michigan shoreline. rocky beach. Things to do in Leelanau State Park. Leelanau Peninsula. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Lake Michigan shoreline. rocky beach. Things to do in Leelanau State Park. Leelanau Peninsula. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Lake Michigan shoreline. rocky beach. Things to do in Leelanau State Park. Leelanau Peninsula. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Lake Michigan shoreline. rocky beach. Things to do in Leelanau State Park. Leelanau Peninsula. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Lake Michigan shoreline. rocky beach. Things to do in Leelanau State Park. Leelanau Peninsula. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Lake Michigan shoreline. rocky beach. Things to do in Leelanau State Park. Leelanau Peninsula. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

Depending on how much you walk around the lighthouse grounds outside, how much time you spend taking in the lake views, and how much time you spend inside the buildings, you might end up spending anywhere from less than 15-20 minutes here, or 1-2 hours here. 

 

 

Visiting the Grand Traverse Lighthouse in summer 2020

The lighthouse museum, fog signal building, and gift shop are all open as of June 26. The tower climb up the lighthouse won’t be available in 2020 because of public health concerns.

Be sure to bring a mask if you plan on going inside any of the buildings, as “face coverings” are said to be required.

 

 

Distance from the Grand Traverse Lighthouse

The lighthouse is located in the Leelanau Peninsula, which is the northern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan, kind of near Traverse City.

  • Traverse City: Around 1 hour
  • Mackinaw City (and bridge to the UP): 3 hours
  • Detroit: 5 hours
  • Chicago: 6 hours

Grand Traverse Lighthouse map. Leelanau State Park in Leelanau Peninsula, Leelanau County. Northern Michigan travel blog
See this map in google maps.

 

 

Camping near Grand Traverse Lighthouse

Campground near Grand Traverse Lighthouse: Leelanau state park campground. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

There is a campground within walking distance of the lighthouse! It’s just a few minutes walk.

This campground is also basically right on Lake Michigan. There are many campsites from which you can get views of the lake.

See more info about the state park camping.

 

 

Check for any alerts before you go!

 

 

 

 

 

And now…

Here’s a bit of what you can see with a visit to Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Leelanau State Park!

aka PHOTOS!

I visited a few days before the lighthouse museum opened, so I was really only able to walk around the lighthouse grounds.

So, this is what you can see even if you don’t go inside!

Pictures taken June 2020.

 

 

Getting to Leelanau State Park

Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Leelanau state park. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

Leelanau State Park and the Grand Traverse Lighthouse are located at the very northern tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, as far as you can go! 

So there is only one road that goes far up to the northern tip, and that will lead straight to Leelanau State Park.

 

Getting to Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Leelanau state park. road drive. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

It’s best to have offline maps downloaded prior to your trip to the Leelanau Peninsula, as data connection (and phone service) may be spotty. The Google Maps app has offline maps that you can download for free. GPS will still work just fine in this area which can make offline maps a good way to get around.

 

 

Cost to visit Leelanau State Park (and the lighthouse!)

Entry fee cost of Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Leelanau state park. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

If you are a Michigan resident, hopefully you have your recreation passport! If not, you can get it when you arrive at Leelanau State Park for around $17. See current prices.

If you are non-resident, you can purchase a daily pass for around $9 when you arrive at the state park. If you know you’ll be visiting at least 4 Michigan state parks in the calendar year, then you can also buy the annual pass for around $34. See current prices.

 

Entry fee cost of Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Leelanau state park. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

 

Visiting the Grand Traverse Lighthouse grounds

So once you’ve entered the state park, you basically just follow the road straight ahead that will lead you to the parking area.

 

Getting to Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Leelanau state park. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse parking lot in Leelanau state park. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

You’ll pass by the day use area. There is a playground for kids, and there was a volleyball net set up when I was there. There are picnic tables and grills here too if you want to make use of these things. 

 

Grand Traverse Lighthouse, grill and picnic tables at Leelanau State Park. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

On your way to the parking lot, you’ll see the path to the lighthouse. So after you park, you walk down this path.

 

Walking path to Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Leelanau state park. Northern Michigan travel blog

Walking path to Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Leelanau state park. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

You’ll pass by an interesting looking tree, that is listed as a northern white cedar tree.

 

Northern white cedar tree in Leelanau state park. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

Then you’ll first come across the lighthouse gift shop.

 

Grand Traverse Lighthouse gift shop in Leelanau state park. Leelanau peninsula lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

Then there’s a walking path to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, which is also the building of the lighthouse keeper’s residence.

 

Walking path to Grand Traverse Lighthouse museum in Leelanau state park. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse museum in Leelanau state park. lighthouse keeper. Leelanau peninsula lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse museum in Leelanau state park. lighthouse keeper. Leelanau peninsula lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

Then further along the walking path, you’ll come to the fog signal building.

 

Grand Traverse Lighthouse fog signal building. Leelanau peninsula lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

Apparently, when the fog signal building is open, you can learn about Lake Michigan shipwrecks in the area, as well as about underwater drones!

Then, there is a short trail that starts right next to the fog signal building that will take you directly to Lake Michigan!

 

Grand Traverse Lighthouse beach Lake Michigan access trail near fog signal building. Leelanau peninsula lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse beach Lake Michigan access trail near fog signal building. Leelanau peninsula lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse beach Lake Michigan access trail. Leelanau peninsula lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse beach Lake Michigan access trail. Leelanau peninsula lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Leelanau peninsula lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Leelanau peninsula lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Leelanau peninsula lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Leelanau peninsula lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

And then, you can head back to around the lighthouse museum where there’s some green space and benches.

 

Grand Traverse Lighthouse museum to Lake Michigan at Leelanau State Park. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse museum at Leelanau State Park. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse museum at Leelanau State Park. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

You will also find more direct access spots to the Lake Michigan shoreline!

 

Grand Traverse Lighthouse, automated light tower at Leelanau State Park. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse at Lake Michigan in Leelanau State Park. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse at Lake Michigan in Leelanau State Park. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse at Lake Michigan in Leelanau State Park. Northern Michigan travel blog

Grand Traverse Lighthouse at Lake Michigan in Leelanau State Park. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

You can also walk directly along the shoreline from this lighthouse grounds area to the campground.

 

Grand Traverse Lighthouse to campground beach shoreline trail at Lake Michigan in Leelanau State Park. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

Also, if you want to see Lake Michigan off in the distance, bring along some quarters for the binoculars! (Or, bring your own binoculars!)

 

Visit Grand Traverse Lighthouse to see Lake Michigan. binoculars at Leelanau State Park. Northern Michigan travel blog

Visit Grand Traverse Lighthouse to see Lake Michigan. binoculars at Leelanau State Park. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

You can stop by the gift shop at the end of your lighthouse visit!

 

Grand Traverse Lighthouse gift shop in Leelanau state park. Leelanau peninsula lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

And located in a kind of separate area…

If you are a lighthouse chaser into historic sites, then also don’t miss the site of the first Grand Traverse light station!

There is no longer anything remaining to be seen, but you can visit the spot where the light station used to stand.

This is located in the campground area and you can walk to it from the main lighthouse area.

The road to the campground is the first road immediately after you pass the state park office building when you are entering the park. And then you’ll keep walking to the left, in the direction of the current lighthouse, and you will end up at the site of the old light station. (Or, you can walk along the shoreline to get to the campground!)

 

Old Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Leelanau peninsula, historic site, in Leelanau state park. Northern Michigan travel blog

Old Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Leelanau peninsula, historic site, in Leelanau state park. Northern Michigan travel blog

Old Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Leelanau peninsula, historic site, in Leelanau state park. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

After you see this, you can keep walking in the same direction, and you will end up on a road that runs right along Lake Michigan!

 

Road along Lake Michigan in Leelanau state park near Grand Traverse Lighthouse. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

I saw some swans around here. And apparently, some types of swans are unwanted in Michigan and considered an invasive species. (Based on the bill color, it does not seem to be the type I saw though.)

 

And that’s a bit about what a visit to the Lake Michigan lighthouse in the Leelanau Peninsula might look like!

For more stunning Lake Michigan views when you’re visiting Leelanau County, also see the Clay Cliffs loop trail and the best hikes in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore!

 

See more lighthouses in Michigan:

 

 

HAPPY VISIT TO THE GRAND TRAVERSE LIGHTHOUSE!

 

Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Leelanau State Park. Best Lake Michigan lighthouses. Things to do in Leelanau Peninsula, County. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

 

There are affiliate links on this page. Among other partners, as an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission from this.

Things to pack for your Michigan vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more lightweight than your average beach towel while still being absorbent. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
How to be a little bit more eco-friendly during your road trip!
Instead of using plastic silverware, try out bamboo silverware like this set!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can beach-proof your phone with a simple waterproof phone case like this.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're swimming in Lake Michigan or Lake Superior! Less sunscreen also means less chemicals from that sunscreen will enter our precious Great Lakes!
Get your travel bags more organized!
Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.