They have more lighthouses than any other state in the country, and they don’t really let you forget it.
You can buy lighthouse postcards and put a lighthouse license plate on your car. It’s not uncommon to find entire racks full of lighthouse brochures at your local visitor’s information office. I’ve even heard of people taking lighthouse tours of Michigan.
When I first moved here, I was kind of surprised by Michigan’s obsession with lighthouses. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love a good lighthouse as much as the next girl. But probably not as much as the next girl if she happens to be a Michigander.
A lighthouse to me was always part of a destination — not a destination in itself.
Until last weekend, when I found myself in South Haven for the express purpose of visiting its lighthouse.
You see, South Haven’s lighthouse was featured in this series of photos of frozen lighthouses on Lake Michigan that went crazy viral a month or so ago. (Full disclosure: those photos were actually taken a year ago. But, whatevs. Winter in Michigan is winter in Michigan.)
I’m sure when most people saw those photos they instantly decided they would never, ever go anywhere near Lake Michigan in the winter. Or possibly ever.
I, on the other hand, thought to myself, “I want to go to there.”
I suspect this is a sign that my transformation to true Michigander is finally complete.South Haven is a ridiculously adorable resort town about an hour away from Kalamazoo. It’s so ridiculously adorable that it was even adorable while under construction.
The lighthouse is a short walk from the downtown area. Or, if it’s the middle of winter and it’s twenty-five degrees with freezing winds, you should probably drive there. I chose to walk because, apparently, I like to regularly lose feeling in my face.
The first thing that greets you when you arrive at the lighthouse is a big yellow sign telling you that you should probably stay away from the lighthouse if you value your life and you don’t want to die an icy, watery death.
This, of course, wasn’t stopping anyone. Neither was the super thick, slippery layer of ice on the pier.
Because, hey, we’re Michiganders!
Ice is our playground!
Also, MUST. GET. TO. LIGHTHOUSE.
While still impressive in person , the lighthouse wasn’t nearly as ice-covered as it was in the Internet photos. The lighthouse was pretty much ice-free, except for one little patch on the side that was facing the water.
By the time I’d made my way out to the lighthouse and snapped a few photos, I’m pretty sure my face was more frozen over than that lighthouse.
In fact, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if pictures of my numb, red, frozen face start to go viral on the Internets real soon. Surely, the fact that I was still smiling despite not having been able to feel my face for a full thirty minutes is worth a little Internet fame-dom, no?Are you lighthouse-obsessed? What lighthouse have you visited and loved?