39 votes

South Haven Lighthouse

Water Street, South Haven, Michigan 49090 USA

Free to Visit
Open Now
Wed 8a-10p
  • Independent
  • Public
  • Outdoor
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“An image of maritime heritage”

Constructed with in the early 1870s with $6,000 in congressional appropriations, the South Pier Lighthouse was built as an open 30' wood tower topped by an octagonal cast iron lantern. The lower deck of the tower was a storage room that contained supplies to maintain the light and was also used as a place of shelter when the light keepers worked on the light. The upper level housed the Fifth Order Fresnel lens for the lantern, made by Parisian glassmakers Barbier and Fenestre. To provide safe passage to the structure during foul weather and provide a lifeline for the length of the pier, a 75' long wooden walkway was constructed. At the turn of the century, the Army Corps of Engineers invested heavily on improving South Haven's harbor entrance. New 1,500+ foot long piers were constructed north and south of the Black River channel projected 470' beyond the natural shoreline. Owned by the Historical Association of South Haven, the Lighthouse is more emblematic than necessary as a navigational aid. The Michigan Maritime Museum leases the keeper's dwelling as a curatorial annex and plans to renovate the property, converting it into a maritime library and the area surrounding the pier is a public park with beach, a picnic area, playground and concessions stand.

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Reviewed by
Megan Bannister

  • Road Warrior
  • 135 Reviews
  • 108 Helpful
August 05, 2014
Rated 4.0

The South Haven lighthouse is quite possibly one of my favorites in all of Michigan. Grab an ice cream cone and stroll down the boardwalk off of South Beach for a great view of Lake Michigan.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Caitlin Prior

  • Expert
  • 91 Reviews
  • 89 Helpful
July 21, 2014
Rated 3.0

This lighthouse, South Pier Light, is accessible from South Beach. Depending on the time of year you may have to pay for parking. Also in the summer the beach area is very crowded with families, college students and everyone in between as it is a very popular summer spot. There are restrooms, concessions, a playground area, skateboard park and of course the beach!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 8 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
October 02, 2018
Rated 5.0

One of the better lighthouses in Southwest Michigan. Parking area was small for heavy crowds. There is a charge for parking.

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Reviewed by

  • 4 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
October 03, 2014
Rated 4.0

Love the south haven lighthouse! I wish we had better weather to enjoy the beach! Lots of people out to enjoy the fall views!

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South Haven Lighthouse

Water Street
South Haven, Michigan
49090 USA


Open now until 10:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 8:00 am - 10:00 pm

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Outdoor Seating
See More Details (11)

Parking, Dining

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