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White Shoal Lighthouse offers overnight stays this summer

Photo provided by White Shoal Light Preservation Society

One of the tallest lighthouses on the Great Lakes will be opening its doors this summer, offering overnight vacation stays.

The White Shoal Lighthouse is located 20 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge in Lake Michigan, and is equipped to house up to five people.

Lighthouse co-owner Brent Tompkins says a trip to White Shoal includes stunning sunrises and sunsets, and a clear sky that is perfect for stargazing.

“We have no light pollution for miles, so we get the most awesome stargazing in the unions,” Tompkins said.

Tompkins said travelers should be prepared to climb a vertical ladder up to the base of the structure. He also suggests preparing for inclement weather that could unexpectedly extend your vacation by a day or two.

“The whole thing is an adventure from the time you get on the boat to the time to get back in," he said.

The art-deco lighthouse was abandoned in the ‘70s. Tompkins said it was an "empty shell" until restoration began in 2018.

The three-night package at White Shoal includes transportation to and from the lighthouse, and costs three thousand dollars. Proceeds will go toward future restoration of White Shoal Lighthouse.

"They spared no expense when they built it in 1908; it's an immaculate structure," Tompkins said. "We're trying to restore it and keep that alive, keep the history alive."

Jill Harrington is a senior at CMU majoring in journalism and minoring in theatre and interpretation. Jill grew up in Novi, Michigan and started reporting for WCMU in summer 2022.