A woman looking at a scuba diving display at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum to explore Michigan’s maritime history, shipwreck legends, the Edmund Fitzgerald and much more!

When exploring Michigan, make sure to spend some time diving into its past. In our region, you have the opportunity to learn about our state’s important maritime history. Several decades spent shipping across the Great Lakes — a time when lightkeepers peered out the tower awaiting any distress signal. There is no better way to learn about this era of Michigan than to visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point!


The museum is open each year from May 1-Oct. 31 daily. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum admission

Admission costs are as follows:

A woman looking at a scuba diving display at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Photo Credit: Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association

Things to do 

One of Michigan’s most popular destinations, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum attracts over 100,000 visitors each year. And with so much to learn in one place, we completely understand why they come! Guests can explore the following on their visit:

Whitefish Point Lighthouse

Whitefish Point Lighthouse was built in 1849 to guide those ships to safety in the dangerous waters. Today, it is the oldest operating lighthouse on Lake Superior! The current tower dates back to 1861, when Abraham Lincoln was president. You can take a self-guided tour of the Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters which were built the same year. The light station is a registered National Historic Site. 

Learn more about Whitefish Point Lighthouse

Shipwreck Museum Gallery

As you wander through the museum gallery, learn about the treacherous waters of the Great Lakes. Watch the legends you’ve heard of over the years, in history lessons, come to life before your very eyes. The artifacts and exhibits tell one story in many perspectives — brave sailors who survived the waters and those who weren’t as lucky. The waters extending west from Whitefish Point earned the chilling name “Lake Superior’s Shipwreck Coast” for all the ships that perished. Many ships succumbed to the mighty waves of the Great Lakes, but one of the most famous is the Edmund Fitzgerald. 

Edmund Fitzgerald tribute

In November 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald sunk during a severe storm in massive waves that took over the ship. Its original bell was recovered from the wreckage in 1995 and is on display at the museum today. Pay tribute to the crew members who perished that day by learning more about their stories. 

A bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Photo Credit: Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association

Buildings to visit

Your Shipwreck Museum tour includes a self-guided tour of the museum itself, the 1861 Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters, the 1923 Surfboat House and the 1923 USCG Motor Lifeboat House with a video theater. You can learn more about each buildings role on the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum website

Learn more about our shipwreck history 

There is an old legend that Lake Superior’s icy temperature stays cold even in the summer because of all the souls who perished in its waters. While several factors determine the Lake’s temperature, the legend is believed by many because of several famous Lake Superior Shipwrecks like the Edmund Fitzgerald. Learn about some of the most famous Lake Superior shipwrecks before visiting the coast yourself. 

Shipwreck tours

While you can tour the Shipwreck Museum’s various buildings across its campus, you can also take multiple glass bottom shipwreck tours from different cities along Lake Superior’s coast. 

Visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum today

Plan your trip today to the museum and coastline, where you can see artifacts and historical accounts from these shipwrecks and more. Book a hotel stay in the area so you can see it all before you leave! 


Kirkland Warbler
POV biker racing down a dirt track in the forest
Yellow Ladyslippers
Tahquamenon Falls in summer
scenic shot of Crisp Point Lighthouse
a small bunch of white trillium on the forest floor
closeup of rocks
Blackburian Warbler on a pine tree limb
The Tahquamenon Falls Riverboat heading up the river.
The northern lights over Lake Superior