Nestled along the shores of Lake Huron’s coastline, Lexington, Michigan offers small town charm and access to incredible natural beauty.
With a population around 1,000 people, Lexington provides a peaceful escape to experience the lakes, lighthouses, and maritime heritage of Michigan’s Thumb region. Here are the top 30 things to enjoy during your Lexington getaway.
1. Climb the Lexington Lighthouse
For stunning views across Lake Huron, climb the Lexington Lighthouse. This lighthouse was built in 1830 and stands 52 feet tall. Guided tours let you climb the tower’s 76 steps, see the Fresnel lens up close, and explore the adjoining museum.
2. Relax at Lake Huron Beach
Just north of the pier, Lexington has a public Lake Huron beach area with a sandy shoreline. Visitors can swim, build sandcastles, picnic, or just relax and enjoy the peaceful water views and sunsets.
3. Go Fishing on Lake Huron
With a pier and marina on Lake Huron, Lexington is a popular fishing destination. Anglers can catch salmon, steelhead, walleye, perch, and more right from shore or on guided charter trips. Stop by Foertmeyer & Sons bait shop to get gear and tips.
4. Stroll Through Downtown Lexington
Lexington has a quaint downtown area perfect for strolling. Pop into small shops, antique stores, galleries, and eateries housed in historic brick buildings. Don’t miss photo ops with the large statues on Main Street!
5. Tour Huron County Nature Center
At this free nature center, explore interactive exhibits about the local ecosystem, including live reptiles and amphibians. Outside are scenic walking trails through wetlands to observe native plants and wildlife.
6. Visit Port Sanilac Harbor Lighthouse
Take a short drive south to visit the picturesque Port Sanilac Lighthouse, built in 1886. Climb the anchored wooden pier staircase for panoramic views of Lake Huron and tour the restored keeper’s quarters.
7. Explore the Thumb Octagon Barn
This historic and unique 8-sided barn was built in 1924. Take a guided tour to see decor from the 1920s, antique tools, farm machines and more. Picnic areas surround the scenic rural grounds.
8. Charter a Fishing Trip on Saginaw Bay
Book a party fishing charter out of Lexington Harbor and cruise out on Saginaw Bay for a day catching walleye, perch, salmon, pike and more. Gray FishTag Charters comes highly recommended by locals.
9. Hike at Port Crescent State Park
Just a 20 minute drive west, explore this rugged state park on Saginaw Bay with sandy beaches, dunes, forests, and hiking trails. A great place for camping, birding, cross-country skiing, and nature walks.
10. Play Disc Golf at Veterans Memorial Park
Right in Lexington, this lakeside park offers an 18-hole disc golf course with baskets tucked throughout the wooded landscape. Great for all skill levels.
11. Visit Historical Village at Lexington
Experience 19th century life at this outdoor museum with restored historic buildings including a train depot, general store, log cabin, schoolhouse, mills and more.
12. See the Glory Days Exhibit at Sanilac Historical Museum
Located in the historic 1892 county courthouse, this museum houses exhibits on the maritime history of the Thumb region, including shipwrecks, lighthouses, and commercial fishing.
13. Paddle Sand Point Nature Preserve
For peaceful paddling surrounded by nature, launch your kayak or canoe at this 700 acre preserve. Meander through coastal wetlands and marshes looking for turtles, herons, orchids and carnivorous plants.
14. Bike the Huron County Nature Trail
Stretching from Port Austin to Sand Point, this paved rail trail offers 10 miles one-way for scenic biking near Lexington. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy along the way!
15. Attend Port Sanilac Summer Festivals
Throughout the summer, the small harbor town of Port Sanilac hosts fun festivals like Shipwreck Festival, Thunder Over Sanilac, and Sanilac County Fair & Homecoming. Live music, food, vendors, parades and fireworks.
16. Go Wine Tasting on the Thumb Coast Wine Trail
Sample award-winning Michigan wines at the vineyards and tasting rooms along this wine trail near Lexington. Wineries include Pheasant Ridge, Sandhill Crane, and Burning Oak.
17. Play Golf at Washington Shores Golf Club
Tee off on this scenic semi-private course with mature trees, rolling fairways, and water features overlooking Lake Huron. Affordable rates and perfect for all skill levels.
18. Browse the On The Decks Art Shows
Held weekly in Port Austin, this outdoor art fair spans two city blocks and features over 100 local artists. Enjoy live music and food vendors while perusing paintings, photography, jewelry, woodwork, and more.
19. Rent a Beach House in Port Austin
For accommodations along the shore, book a rental house in Port Austin. Properties feature full kitchens, multiple bedrooms, and sandy beaches right out your back door! Relax on the private deck and enjoy sunset views.
20. Swim at the Lexington Public Pool
On hot summer days, cool off at the public swimming pool located along the waterfront park in Lexington. Features include a large pool with diving boards, kiddie pool, playground, and concession stand.
21. Camp at Port Crescent State Park Campground
Immerse yourself in nature by camping at Port Crescent State Park along Saginaw Bay. Tent and RV sites available, plus rustic cabins and yurts. Great base for bay fishing, swimming, hiking, biking and more.
22. Watch the Sunset from Turnip Rock
Take an evening kayak ride out to Turnip Rock, a unique overturned rock formation in Lake Huron accessible only by boat. Watch incredible sunsets with this coastal landmark in the foreground.
23. Visit the Port Austin Farmers Market
Every Friday afternoon from June through September, downtown Port Austin hosts a lively open-air farmers market. Browse fresh produce, baked goods, locally made food, and handcrafted items while listening to live music.
24. Birdwatch at Point Aux Barques Lighthouse
Spot migratory birds like hawks, owls, and songbirds on the grounds of this lighthouse near Port Hope. Visit in May during the Point Aux Barques Songbird Festival.
25. Take a Train Ride on the Huron and Eastern Railway
Departing from Port Austin, ride this historic railway through forests and farm country. Options include dinner trains, pizza trains, birding tours, and more!
26. View Shipwreck Artifacts at the Lore Maritime Museum
Learn about Great Lakes shipwrecks and maritime history through artifacts, images, and models at this museum in Port Austin. Guided tours provide fascinating stories of sunken ships.
27. Ride ATVs on Local Trails
Rent ATVs/UTVs from Full Throttle Powersports and ride the challenging trails, dunes, and pathways surrounding Lexington. Guided tours available. Safety training for beginners.
28. Charter a Sailboat on Lake Huron
Book a private sailboat charter out of Lexington for a scenic cruise on the open waters of Lake Huron. Sunset sails offer magnificent views. Bring food and drinks to enjoy onboard.
29. Explore the Riverview Trailway
Stretching from Port Huron to Lexington, this multi-use trail follows the Lake Huron coastline through forests and wetlands, offering excellent views of the St. Clair River. Ideal for walking, running or biking.
30. Visit Krass Market
Before leaving Lexington, stop by Krass Market, a butcher shop and deli serving housemade sausage, jerky, smoked fish and meats. They also sell locally made cheeses, gifts, wine, beer and gourmet foods.
With its charming small town ambiance, maritime heritage, and access to incredible natural scenery, Lexington is the perfect base for exploring Michigan’s scenic Thumb region.