With so much of our border made of water, it’s unsurprising that Wisconsin has numerous lighthouses to explore. Taking a trip along the shore of Lake Michigan will bring you to numerous different types of lighthouses where you can learn all kinds of state history and get some of the best Great Lakes views anywhere. Get in the car and head out on the road to check out this amazing Wisconsin lighthouse road trip.
1. Kenosha Southport Lighthouse
Built in 1866 using Cream City brick, this spot was the first navigational light a mariner would see upon entering Wisconsin from Chicago. The grounds and tower are open weekends from May through October and run by the Kenosha History Center. Kenosha Light is located on Simmons Island on 4th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53140.
2. Windpoint Lighthouse
This 103-foot lighthouse dates back to 1880, making it one of the tallest and oldest active lighthouses on the Great Lakes. The grounds are open to the public daily and the lighthouse is open on the first Sunday of the month between June and October. Sunday tours take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., every half hour. Beginning in 2018, tours will also be taking place on the Saturdays before the first Sundays of the month (July-September), from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Admission for tours is $10.00 per adult (ages 12 and up) and $5.00 for children (ages 6-11). Windpoint Lighthouse is located at 4725 Lighthouse Dr., Racine, WI 53402.
3. North Point Lighthouse
Northpoint Lighthouse is located at 2650 N Wahl Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53211 in Lake Park.
During the summer, the lighthouse is open for tours every Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and every Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Those hours run from mid-June until the end of August. The rest of the year, the lighthouse is open Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors, students and children aged 5-11. Children under age 4 are free. Children must be at least 5 years old and at least 38 inches tall to climb the tower.
4. Port Washington Light Station
Built in 1860 and now serving as a museum, this lighthouse is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays May through October. The light station has been discontinued and converted into a two-family dwelling, but it has been restored to it's original glory. Located at 311 Johnson St., Port Washington, WI 53074.
5. Neenah Lighthouse
Here the road trip takes a small veer off the Lake Michigan coast to check out two amazing lighthouses along Lake Winnebago. Also known as the Kimberly Point Lighthouse, this one sits at the confluence of the Fox River and Lake Winnebago. There's a weathervane in the shape of a sailboat on the top of this 49 foot lighthouse. The grounds are a city park and open to the public. Located at 270 Lakeshore Ave., Neenah, WI 54956.
6. Bray's Point
There are shallow reefs here along the shore but local government did not think a lighthouse was needed here. So William Bray, a former State Senator, bought the land and paid to construct a lighthouse himself, also serving as the light's operator. The lighthouse is on private property, but can be see from the corner of Bay Shore Dr and Lake Dr, Oshkosh, WI 54901
7. Two Rivers Northern Pier Lighthouse
The North Pier Lighthouse started as a small thirty-six foot tall skeletal wooden light on the end of the North pier. It was rebuilt in 1928 and was extinguished in 1969. The Coast Guard donated the entire structure to the Two Rivers Historical Society, who relocated it to the Rogers Street Fishing Village Museum. The tower is open for visitors from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. May through October, and by appointment during other months. Located at 2413 Jackson St,. Two Rivers, WI 54241.
8. Rawley Point
The U.S Coast Guard has operated a lighthouse at Rawley Point since 1853. This relocated lighthouse, which came from Chicago in 1894, rises 113 feet above Lake Michigan. It's lantern is one of the largest and brightest on the Great Lakes. It's a part of Point Beach State Forest and can be viewed from the beach. Located at 9400 CR-O, Two Rivers, Wisconsin 54241.
9. Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Pierhead Light
There are numerous pier-head lighthouses along Lake Michigan that all look a bit alike and aren't too exciting. We chose this one as a great place to represent them as it's located at the fully operational U.S. Coast Guard station on the Lake Michigan end of the Sturgeon Bay ship canal. The Pierhead navigation light was built in 1882, and the station was built with a tower light in 1899, renovated in 1903, and automated in 1972. The lower level breakwall is the only section of the grounds that are open to the public. Located at 2501 Canal Rd., Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235.
10. Cana Island Lighthouse
This island is actually accessible by a small little sandbar/landbridge that opens up in low tide, allowing you to walk right out to it. Cana Island is open from May through October, seven days a week, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The last tower climb starts at 4:30 p.m. each day. It is located at 8800 E Cana Island Rd, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202. Located at 8800 E Cana Island Rd., Baileys Harbor, WI 54202.
What is your favorite Wisconsin lighthouse to visit? Let us know about it in the comments.