Although a self-guided tour of Michigan’s lighthouses can be a delightful way to pass a few days in the Great Lakes State, the experience can be even more enlightening with a well-informed guide. Besides shuttling tourists to and from Mackinac Island, Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry (800/828-6157, www.sheplersferry.com) also offers lighthouse cruises ($49.50 adults, $37.50 children 5–12).
Departing from Mackinaw City, these trips guide passengers amid lighthouses and shipwrecks that would be difficult for most people to reach otherwise. Along the way, passengers are treated to historical tales that provide an informative context for the lighthouses that still stand today.
The eastbound cruise features offshore lights like Round Island Light and the privately owned Bois Blanc Island Light, while the westbound cruise highlights structures such as the red-and-white striped White Shoal Light and the 1873 St. Helena Island Lighthouse.
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel