Photo Gallery Friday: Point Betsie Lighthouse Tour
Photo Gallery Friday is a regular feature on Travel the Mitten that will help showcase photos from places where a few pictures just aren’t enough to show off everything.
Point Betsie Lighthouse marks the southern entrance to the Manitou Passage on Lake Michigan, an important shipping channel for freighters that runs between the Manitou Islands and the mainland. Because of its picturesque form and its close proximity to the Sleeping Bear Dunes national Lakeshore, this is believed to be one of the most photographed lighthouses in the country. The Point Betsie Lighthouse is able to be visited any time during the year, and on select summer days its grounds are open for visitors. Not only is it possible to climb to the top of the lighthouse tower for an amazing view, but you can also check out historical exhibits and artifacts in the other restored buildings on the property. The lighthouse is typically open for tours from late May until early September; for current hours of operation head to http://www.pointbetsie.org/visit/hours.html.
While we had visited this lighthouse many times over the years, we had never had the fortune of timing our visit with museum hours. When we stopped by on an unseasonably warm October 1st of this year, we were both surprised and delighted to find the Point Betsie Lighthouse open for tours. The view from the top of the 37-foot-tall tower was a highlight of our visit, but we also enjoyed learning about the history of the lighthouse and the life saving station. Other features of the complex include a restored fog signal building, the original second order Fresnel lens, a boathouse exhibit featuring many historical photographs, and more. It is also possible to rent the keeper’s quarters, have a wedding or special event on the grounds, or volunteer to be a guide. Enjoy this gallery of some of our favorite photos from our tour for more information and to see photos of our previous visits, go to http://travelthemitten.com/lighthouses/point-betsie-lighthouse-lake-michigan/.