Who says you have to venture to the shores of Lake Michigan or the Upper Peninsula to appreciate waterfront beauty? Those of us who call Metro Detroit home know that there are plenty of stunning shoreline attractions to appreciate along the banks of the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, and even Lake Erie. When you’re ready to appreciate a few of the prettiest lighthouses near Detroit, embark on this fun road trip.
For an adjustable map of our Detroit lighthouse road trip route, click here.
1. Windmill Point Lighthouse
Venture to Mariner Park in Detroit to check out the lovely Windmill Point Lighthouse, a self-operating light with roots dating back to the late 1830s. While the lighthouse itself has been renovated and updated numerous times throughout the years, its sense of history remains intact. As you peruse the area and admire the light, take time to imagine what it might have been like for the lighthouse keepers who once resided in a now-demolished residence here.
2. William Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse
Next, make the drive to Belle Isle and park the car in preparation for a stroll. To reach the William Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse, which has stood on Detroit’s wondrous island park since the early 1930s, you’ll need to walk along the 2.2-mile Blue Heron Lagoon loop trail. While the marble lighthouse has been renovated (and even vandalized) throughout the years, its unique architecture and towering presence make it a true sight to behold – and well worth the extra steps.
3. Milliken State Park Lighthouse
Perhaps the most well-known lighthouse in the Motor City area, this gem sits within Milliken State Park and Harbor, which draws in locals and visitors alike with its unbeatable access to the Detroit River shoreline. The lighthouse itself, which stands 63 feet tall, is actually a replica of the iconic Tawas Point Lighthouse on Lake Huron. You’ll want to snap a few photos as you stretch your legs and appreciate the waterfront views.
4. River Rouge Mariners Memorial Light
There’s something utterly enchanting about this light, which is located at Belanger Park in the community of River Rouge. While the light was only constructed back in 2003, it holds a timeless charm that pays homage to sailors who traversed the Great Lakes. After you’ve appreciated the lighthouse, take time to gaze upon the blue waters of the Detroit River, enjoy a picnic lunch, or take a stroll through the pretty park.
5. Luna Pier Lighthouse
While the Luna Pier Lighthouse doesn’t share the historical relevance of other lighthouses on our list, we still think it’s well worth a visit. Located along the quaint and picturesque Luna Pier Boardwalk in the small town of Luna Pier, this locale boasts beautiful views of Lake Erie. The lighthouse itself was constructed in 2012 and adds an undeniable sense of charm to this coastal community.
Have you visited any of these spectacular lighthouses near Detroit during previous family outings? Did one of your favorite spots make the list? We’re always eager to hear from you, so share your thoughts with us in the Facebook comments or recommend another must-visit coastal destination within driving distance of the Motor City by filling out our nomination form here.