Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum Opens Doors to Lodgers in New Winter Program

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

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