Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state. Over 100 of them sit along the Great Lakes and serve as a reminder of our rich nautical history. Luckily for Grand Rapidians, Lake Michigan's coast is home to many iconic and picturesque lighthouses, and is just a short drive away.

There's no shortage of fun to be had in Grand Haven, or any of West Michigan's beach towns.

The Grand Haven South Pierhead Outer Light sits on a concrete structure that resembles the prow of a ship.

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids

Grand Haven South Pierhead Inner and Outer Light

Established in 1839, two lights are located on the south pier in Grand Haven State Park. Both are painted fire engine-red and are connected by a lighted catwalk (which connects to the shore and the Grand Haven Boardwalk). The Inner Light is of a classic lighthouse silhouette, while the Outer Light resembles a foghouse and stands on a large concrete foundation. The Inner Light stands at 51 feet high and overlooks the park's beach – named among the top 25 best beaches in the United States by Travel + Leisure magazine.

Approx. 35 miles from downtown Grand Rapids.

Holland - Big Red - Lighthouse. Pedestrian access to Big Red is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays to local residents from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Holland's "Big Red" lighthouse is widely recognizable.

Photo by Paul Jendrasiak

Holland Harbor Lighthouse

Also known as "Big Red," this three-story building is topped with a gray-shingled roof and square tower. The twin-gabled design reflects the area's Dutch influence. Constructed in 1870, Big Red proudly stands at the south side of the Holland Channel located in Holland State Park. Big Red is beloved by Holland, and is Michigan's most photographed lighthouse! 

Approx. 35 miles from downtown Grand Rapids.

Lighthouses in Muskegon

The Muskegon South Pierhead Light is one of two lighthouses that sit on the Muskegon Channel.

Photo by Nick Irwin for Experience GR

Muskegon South Pierhead Light

There are two lights that mark the channel connecting Lake Michigan to Lake Muskegon. The oldest is the 1903 tower that stands at the end of the pier. Although constructed in 1903, the South Pierhead light contains the original lantern room from the previous 1870 lighthouse structure that it replaced. During the summer months, the 48-foot-tall South Pierhead Light is open to the public for tours. The South Pierhead Light can be accessed by a pedestrian pathway at the NOAA Lake Michigan Field Station.

Approx. 44 miles from downtown Grand Rapids.

A boat passing a lighthouse by the pier.

Muskegon's South Breakwater Light is impressive in height and viewable only from the exterior.

Photo by Nick Irwin Images

Muskegon South Breakwater Light

Located at Pere Marquette Park, the South Breakwater Light sits at the end of a walkable pier and the south "arm" of the Muskegon breakwater. Built in 1931, this red, ironclad, pyramidal tower stands at 63 feet tall. Unlike the South Pierhead Light, the South Breakwater Light was not meant to be occupied. Thus, the light is viewable from the exterior only. Visitors can walk the pier and take in the view of the Muskegon Channel, Lake Michigan, South Breakwater Light and Pierhead Light.

Both the Muskegon South Pierhead and Breakwater Lights are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Approx. 44 miles from downtown Grand Rapids.

White River Light Station

Built in 1875 and located in Whitehall, this lighthouse is now a museum open to the public. The light sits on a thin peninsula separating Lake Michigan from White Lake. Climb the spiral staircase to the top, explore maritime history through photos and nautical artifacts, and look across Lake Michigan as the Keeper did a century ago.

Approx. 60 miles from downtown Grand Rapids.