Live like a lighthouse keeper in Michigan

Courtesy Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau
Old Mission Point Lighthouse

A sweet little clapboard lighthouse at the tip of Old Mission Peninsula—overlooking Grand Traverse Bay’s rocky shoals—opens to the public on June 7 for the first time since its construction in 1870. Visitors can climb the tower for views and brush up on the history of the lighthouse, which shined a kerosene lamp and then an electric beacon until it was decommissioned after World War II.

If you have a month and $600 to spare, you can be among the first to try out a new volunteer lighthouse keeper program at Old Mission Point Lighthouse. It’s modeled after successful one- and two-week opportunities at Grand Traverse Lighthouse across the bay in Northrop.

Volunteers should expect to pitch in with light maintenance work, man the gift shop, and act as informal guides available to field visitors’ questions (not to worry, there’s an orientation). The $600 per person fee covers a month’s stay at the lighthouse in private quarters that include a bedroom, a fully equipped kitchen, a living room, and an office space. While away any free time by exploring the 18-mile peninsula’s beaches, vineyards, hiking and cycling trails, and sites like a furnished log cabin and a 1850s general store.

INFO Admission to Old Mission Point Lighthouse is $4 for adults, $2 for kids; open 10am-5pm during the opening weekend (June 7-8), daily from June 11 through Labor Day, and weekends during leaf-peeping season. Call 231/386-7195 for details on volunteering at either lighthouse.


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