The South Manitou Island Lighthouse is the most familiar landmark on the island and is clearly visible from the mainland. The 100 foot lighthouse tower, active from 1871 to 1958, marked the location of the only natural harbor between here and Chicago. Ships took refuge here during storms and steamers stopped at the island to refuel with wood for their boilers. The keeper's quarters (building on the right) is connected by a covered passage.
The lighthouse is located less than 0.5 miles from the dock. Walk through the village and past the visitor center to the boardwalk that will take you over the dunes to the lighthouse. Along the way, you will enjoy the cool breeze off Lake Michigan and learn about the shipwreck of the Three Brothers which lies just off the shore at Sandy Point. Daily tours of the lighthouse are available during the summer. Climb to the top for a spectacular view.