Did you know there is a Lighthouse Day? No, I am not lying. August 7th is National Lighthouse Day! I AM NOT LYING.
So in honor of National Lighthouse Day, I decided to find all the lighthouses near Lake County (less than an hour drive from central Lake County) and give you the information so you can do a cool little lighthouse tour this summer.
Which is one of the 100 Things to do this Summer in Lake County, by the way. And I didn’t even know there was a National Lighthouse Day before I wrote about that, so I want credit for being ahead of the game.
Lighthouse Tour Around Lake County
Waukegan Harbor Lighthouse
5 E. Madison St., Waukegan
There is parking here as well as across the street; look for Government Pier and walk out to the lighthouse.
Circa 1849, this little lighthouse is the only lighthouse along the shores of Lake Michigan within Lake County. It has a great history that you can read about here. You are able to walk all the way out to the lighthouse but it can be windy and slippery, so that’s not really advised with small children. But do go to the beach to see, take pictures and relish our own little lighthouse.
Waukegan Municipal beach is across the water from Government Pier. You do have to pay to park at the beach parking lot on the weekends ($20), but parking is free Monday through Friday.
Known for their ice cream and hot dogs, Dockside Dogs is a Waukegan institution and is on East Madison Street as well, right near the pier.
Grosse Pointe Lighthouse
Central St. and Sheridan Road, Evanston
Parking is available in the beach lot, which is north of the lighthouse.
Just to the south of us in Evanston, this beautiful lighthouse has graced the Lake Michigan shores since 1873. Tours of the inside are available for children over the age of 8 and up. Tours cost $6 for adults and $3 for kids ages 8-12, on Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Lighthouse Beach is located directly behind the lighthouse and is only accessible for season token or daily token holders. Head here for information on how to get a token ahead of time.
Northwestern University is located just to the south of the lighthouse and is a beautiful place to explore, and the Baha’i House of Worship is located just to the north of the lighthouse. After you see it head to Little Beans Evanston and kids can play in a model lighthouse located in between the two playspaces.
Southport Light Station Museum
5117 4th Ave., Kenosha, Wisconsin
Open May-October; times vary. See website for details.
Located at Simmons Park on Lake Michigan in Kenosha, this lighthouse/museum has been remodeled and is a family favorite for us. The museum is free but donations are welcomed. The climb to the top of the lighthouse $5 for children ages 8-12, $10 for children and adults 12 years and older.
There is so much to do harborside in Kenosha for the kids including two museums, a trolley ride, restaurants, ice cream, donuts and more. It truly is a hidden gem.
You could even take the Metra up to Kenosha to see all the above and forget about parking, tolls, and traffic altogether. Head here for an itinerary of your day in Kenosha via Metra here. It’s like you don’t even have to show up this summer. Let us take care of all the plans. WE GOT THIS.
Lighthouse Mini Golf
2126 N. Lewis Ave., Waukegan
Okay, I know this one is a stretch but it’s summer and if you don’t feel like schlepping out to the beach for “history” or “climbing,” then I have you covered.
Because nothing says lighthouses like miniature golf.
Decorated with fountains and pretty landscape, Lighthouse Mini Golf offers mini golf and arcade games. If you get hungry, Shirl’s (a Waukegan staple) is right next door.
Did I miss any lighthouses? Let us know your favorites in the comments!