Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum
4.5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum has become one of Michigan’s most popular destinations in the cultural tourism industry, attracting over 75,000 visitors each season. Museum patrons learn about the perils of maritime transport on the Great Lakes at the Whitefish Point Light Station, an Historic Site on the National Register of Historic Places. See the Whitefish Point Light Tower, in continuous operation for 155 years, the oldest operating lighthouse on Lake Superior. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society was founded in 1978 by a group of divers, teachers, and educators to commence exploration of historic shipwrecks in eastern Lake Superior, near Whitefish Point in Michigan's scenic Upper Peninsula.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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See what travelers are saying
  • Heather V
    282 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very cool museum
    Very well done. Multiple buildings to explore. If you don’t get tickets ahead online, you’ll need to go to the gift shop (follow signs) first. Also have a pier to see the lake and beach to explore.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 10, 2023
  • William W
    Denison, Iowa453 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the Drive and Exploration
    The admission price was reasonable and the various buildings were all excellently prepared. In May, there will be midge. They don't bite, but can be annoying. I've rarely been in a museum that makes such amazing use of mannequins. Don't be afraid, they don't bite, even if you might not expect to see them when you come around the corner. The whole experience transports you to a time that has been captured in the various displays. Imagine being there on a dark night. Imagine being there during a storm. Imagine all the history that has passed there. Great insights into the Edmund Fitzgerald and other shipwrecks. Bonus is that they are doing extensive work on the street. I would imagine that this will be all the better quite soon. Take the walk out to the viewing platform on Lake Superior and imagine! While out there, but sure to make the additional drive to Tahquamenon Falls.
    Visited May 2023
    Written June 18, 2023
  • 1966Airstream
    321 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Who knew there were so many shipwrecks?
    We didn't realize how many shipwrecks occurred in this area. It was interesting to read about them and to see some of the artifacts recovered from some of them. This museum is not one building but a collection of several buildings, each dedicated to a certain topic. One building showed a short film about the Edmund Fitzgerald. We had a good time. It is a self guided tour so you can go through it at your own pace. We were there about 1.5 hours.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 20, 2023
  • traveler59
    Florida183 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great experience in the UP
    It's beautiful and short drive from Paradise to Whitefish Point. The grounds are immaculate, historic and well mapped. The original lighthouse still stands and operates and the lightkeepers cottage stands and is lovely to go through. Another building holds a life boat and artifacts. Nice movie about the bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald. Nice beach access. Shipwreck museum is very nice.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 10, 2023
  • George C
    Fort Worth, Texas16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very Educational. Watch out for International Roaming on Your Phone
    This is an great place to visit. It has lots of stories about maritime wrecks in the Great Lakes. Focus a lot on the Edmund Fitzgerald but other vessels are also mentioned. Includes history of the Coast Guard and how they would rescue people. Good place to get an education. Watch your cell phone however, It's close to Canada and you may get international data usage put on your phone bill but this can be easily removed with a call to your cell phone carrier.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 23, 2023
  • pconrad02
    Zionsville, Indiana136 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very well done museum, worth the drive!
    We hadn't researched this attraction before we went, so we weren't sure what to expect. Actually thought it might be kind of a tourist trap. It was quite the opposite! This is a very well done museum and the home of the bell from the Edmond Fitzgerald. It's also the home of the Whitefish Point light station. There are quite a few restored buildings that you can tour and the shipwreck museum has a lot of artifacts on display from several wreaks. If you're into birds there is also the Whitefish point Is bird observatory! Well worth the drive up the point!!!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 28, 2023
  • Lisa L
    52 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth the trip
    Great museum. Definitely worth the detour to get to. Enjoyable and informative. Video about the raising of the Edmond Fitzgerald bell. Lots of artifacts and a tour of additional buildings including the lighthouse keepers quarters.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 16, 2023
  • Lori K
    79 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A MUST See!!!
    This is one of the best museums I have seen in a while. It has it all. It has wonderful inside displays and well documented items. There are individuals who will provide historical information on the area. Several buildings to tour. A very touching and powerful movie... and several other videos to watch. A great beach. It just has it all and it is a must see.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 17, 2023
  • RunningGirl14
    Missouri167 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    History
    This place was very nice, and the scenery is breathtaking. The museum is very informative, and it is also quite sad. The building that shows the Edmund Fitzgerald movie was out of electricity, so they gave us all a free CD of the movie. Great gift shop, every employee was very friendly, and found some great rocks on the shore line.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 9, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles974 reviews
Excellent
640
Very good
262
Average
43
Poor
20
Terrible
9

TJmom
washington dc1,917 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
The museum is interesting but quite expensive at $14 pp. It's worth $7 pp which is why many people visit after 5 pm.
There was a coast guard in one of the buildings and he was quite helpful in answering questions. There was also a very informative lady who explained about lighthouse lights.
Young lady selling tickets didn't want to answer my question about timing of documentary even though no one else was behind me to buy tickets. She told me to wait for the other lady who was selling tickets to another group and that the other lady would explain the timing. However that group had many other questions so we took our tickets and left to see the buildings. Perhaps the ticket sellers should be trained to know what is on exhibit.
The documentary is quite nice and starts on top of the hour.
Written July 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Donna R
Elliot Lake, Canada632 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
We made this a must do stop on our Lake Superior Circle Tour and we were not disappointed. Excellent artifacts, storyboards, guides and information on all facets of the area, the lighthouse and, of course, the Edmund Fitzgerald. We had a boy of 10 and girl of 12 years old with us who were entertained and intrigued during the entire time there. Afterwards, we took a long, slow stroll along the lakeshore, enjoying the water, sand and sun. The kids had a quick swim in their clothes because we didn't want to walk all the way back to the RV to change clothes. T-shirts and shorts did the trick!
It's a great place to spend the better part of the day and highly recommended for all ages.
Written July 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Have Camera, Will Travel
South Bend, IN3,571 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
I was very excited to finally get to see the Shipwreck Museum. It had been on my Bucket List for years. After finally making it up there to see it, I can say that it is very well done, but a little underwhelming as far as the size of the building it's in. Unless you read every piece of information in the place, you can easily see it in 30 minutes. I'd recommend that you spend extra time to read and watch the videos they have going. The layout of the museum is excellent and the majority of the room is dimly lit with the displays brightly lit. This creates a cool atmosphere. The displays are excellent with photos, models, and artifacts from many shipwrecks, including the famous Edmund Fitzgerald.

The whole Whitefish Point complex should be a must see if you are vacationing in the U.P.
Written October 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DinesEverywhere
Tampa248 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
There are numerous structures accessible to visitors at this location, including the Shipwreck Museum Gallery, Lighthouse Tower, USCG Surfboat House, and Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters. The USCG Crew’s Quarters is available for overnight stays.

The Shipwreck Museum Gallery is a small museum that has a dimly lit, windowless exhibition room…giving the feeling of being underwater. Numerous ships – covering a time span of over 100 years – that succumbed to Lake Superior and Whitefish Bay are featured in displays, as well as artifacts that were retrieved from these ships. There are also maps showing the locations where the ships sank, the dates they sank, the depth of the water, and the number of lives lost.

One of the most famous ships to founder at Lake Superior is the “Edmund Fitzgerald”. This display has a detailed model of the ship, a continuously playing program about the recovery of relics and [written] final radio transmissions before the ship’s sinking. Other items of interest at this display include a life preserver and the “NEWTSUIT”.

Other interesting pieces in this museum include the bell from the “Edmund Fitzgerald” – retrieved in 1995 (but not with the “Edmund Fitzgerald” display), a “White Shoal” lens that was located west of the Straits of Mackinac, an anchor from the Schooner “Niagara”, and the hull from the “S.S. Independence”.

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters is beautifully restored and preserved, with fine woodwork seen throughout the house.
Written August 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DannyWasserman
Virginia Beach, VA4,450 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
This is an outstanding and amazing museum to see. With paid admission, you tour the museum, the lighthouse, and all the surrounding buildings, and see how how the US coast guard kept the area safe for all the mariners. The museum itself, has an amazing history of all the shipwrecks, especially the Edmund Fitzgerald. We got some souvenirs from their gift shop. This is a must if in this area.
Written June 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PasssionateTraveler
Payson, AZ1,174 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Couples
Worth the drive when in the area, especially if you love lighthouses or are interested in the sad history of this part of Lake Superior. Several stories about doomed ships including the Edmund Fitzgerald. Must wear a mask when in any of the buildings. Gift shop. Price covers all buildings.
Written July 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DianeP48
Bensalem, PA123 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
We recently was reintroduced to Gordon Lightfoot and of course then, did more research into his song about the Edmund Fitzgerald and the shipwrecks of the Great Lakes. We knew we had to get to this museum and made the 14 hour drive to find that every mile was worth it. The area of the Upper Penisula of Michigan is beautiful and we enjoyed our time here with this Museum a sure hit. Everyone here is knowledgeable and very friendly. All the houses of the tour are fascinating and interesting. We were able to walk into Lake Superior and feel how enormous the Lake is. We walked the path as well. The gift shop offered many interesting items.
Written August 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian B
Marion, OH83 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
The shipwreck museum is small, but the displays are well put together and informative. There is also a film about the Edmund Fitzgerald, and there are several lighthouse keeper house displays. The lighthouse itself was not open to climb or tour. It was a pleasant way to spend several hours. I would definitely recommend this if in the area. Unfortunately, when we visited in June, the "stable flies" were in full swing at the beach. Apparently they like warm, humid days with a southerly breeze, which is the kind of day we had. They look like houseflies, but they bite like deer flies. Oh, and they apparently consider insect repellent as just a seasoning for their human meal. Definitely limited our beach time.
Written June 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Monica58860
Dousman, WI1,380 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
Even though we went at the very end of the extended season, we still found that this was a very worthwhile trip and experience. Lots to see so plan on being there a while. Just watching how the sky changes over Lake Superior is worth it alone. If you go in the fall, like we did, you get to see the beautiful fall colors but like we did also, lots of rain. All the personnel at the museum were extremely helpful. Just a really nice way to view a gorgeous area of our big country...don't miss this for"When the Gales of November come early"you can recall looking at the bell of the Edmund Fitzgerald
Written March 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

scelestini83
Clinton Township, MI65 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020 • Family
My particular trip I would rate a 3 but it has nothing to do with the museum but Mother Nature. It was pouring and the wind was whipping. We made the best of it but we paid $40 to rush around. They have great artifacts from shipwrecks and it was cool to see the lighthouse keepers house. The lookout to Lake Superior was neat and I saw the whitecaps. I envisioned a ship trying to get through that weather. I will have to go again to see things I missed. Again no fault of the museum. We rushed around on our own accounts.
Written June 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


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