The Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum has announced their first-ever, off-season lighthouse Keeper Program. The Keeper Programs – summer and winter – allow lighthouse enthusiasts, history buffs and others to stay at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse in the Leelanau State Park at the tip of the little finger in exchange for light-duty work and a weekly or nightly charge.

“The on-season Keeper Program is so popular, we thought we’d expand to include an off-season program,” said Lisa Drummond, program coordinator. “It’s a great opportunity for people interested in living history or parents wanting to give their children a unique learning experience.”

Think of it as a working vacation. Here’s how it works. After you’ve passed the application process and picked your dates, you attend a short orientation and training where you’ll learn the history of the lighthouse and your responsibilities. Summers you’ll be responsible for greeting visitors, providing historical information about the lighthouse and the area as well as helping out in the gift shop and museum. The winter program is less labor intensive because the museum and gift shop are closed, but you’ll still be helping with seasonal maintenance, offering historical information and directing visitors up for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking. 

You’ll stay in the former assistant keeper’s quarters in the lighthouse – the actual keeper’s quarters are the museum portion of the lighthouse. Your quarters include a fully equipped modern kitchen, a comfortable living room area, two bedrooms each containing twin beds, and a bath and a half.

The on-season program requires you sign up for a minimum duration of one week. However, the off-season program allows you a single night stay if you wish, and at $25 a night per person, it’s an affordable and unique way to spend a weekend away from home, perfect for a family of four or a group of friends looking for an interesting an unusual way of getting together. For more information go to

Quick Links to More Fun in Leelanau County!

  • The Leelanau Vacation Directory: Listings to lodging, galleries, restaurants and more along with an interactive map.
  • Leelanau Digital Vacation Guide: Browse beautiful pages connecting you to wine tours, great drives, historic Glen Haven, lighthouse tours, canoeing and click to hundreds of websites.
  • The Leelanau County "Don’t Miss" List
  • The Complete Restaurant Guide for Leelanau County: Just type in any Leelanau County town and browse the wonderful array of restaurant options.
  • Video: Sleeping Bear Dunes
  • Check out all the music, festivals, arts and events of all kinds happening in Leelanau County: Just pop in the name of the Leelanau County town you’d like to play in and choose amongst hundreds of things to do!
  • Plot your day in Leelanau County using this Interactive Map: Choose an activity in "I’d like to find" and choose a Leelanau town for "in a town near." Then click away!
  • Rent a cottage in Leelanau County: There are hundreds of cottages to rent in Northern Michigan. Type the town you’re interested in into the Search box and plan your getaway Up North!