Driving Lake Michigan’s Circle Tour: Lighthouse Map

Driving Lake Michigan’s Circle Tour: Lighthouse Map

Linked to the Atlantic Ocean by a system of locks, canals, and channels alongside the Saint Lawrence Seaway, a preferred Midwest street journey is the Nice Lakes Circle Tour, a delegated scenic street system connecting the entire Nice Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. The Nice Lakes Circle Tour consists of routes for circumnavigating the Nice Lakes, both individually or collectively.

Lake Michigan Circle Tour

With 1,640 miles of shoreline touching Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, the Lake Michigan Circle Tour exists throughout the Nice Lakes Circle Tour. First printed by the Michigan Division of Transportation and the West Michigan Vacationer Affiliation as a 52-page information guide in 1899, the Lake Michigan Circle Tour was changed by an internet site in 2007. Nonetheless, you possibly can order a printable copy of the map to be despatched to your private home tackle (now we have this and prefer it).

Lake Michigan Circle Tour Sign

Marked with this scenic street marker each ten miles, the Lake Michigan Circle Tour is roughly 1,000 miles lengthy, the drive would take about 14 hours to finish with out stopping. A key attraction on the tour is 105 Lake Michigan lighthouses, a few of that are accessible solely by boat. Brown “Harbor Tour” indicators are supposed to direct vacationers on a aspect journey into one of many many port communities alongside the lakeshore.


Key Stops on the Lake Michigan Circle Tour

Having accomplished the whole journey over the span of a number of years and several other street journeys and in several seasons, there’s one thing about Lake Michigan that form of will get in your soul. Listed below are a few of our really helpful key stops alongside the route, with hyperlinks embedded to extra detailed tales beforehand printed on Street Journeys for Households.

West Michigan

I grew up in West Michigan, so let’s begin there. Sand dunes, boardwalks, and seashores. These three issues are basic to the childhood of anybody residing inside 40 miles of “The Lake.” In Holland, Tunnel Park has a tremendous playground, seashore, and campsites. Duck Lake State Park, north of Muskegon is a great spot to attempt skim boarding (decide your personal board up at Meijer or buy one earlier than your journey).

sand castle lake michigan

I Love Grand Haven Sandcastle at Grand Haven State Park

Grand Haven has a stunning boardwalk and fashionable state park. We visited final yr and went on a sundown cruise (learn extra in this story). Hug the lakeshore and proceed north on M31 and also you’ll go via Ludington (the place the SS Badger automobile ferry crosses the lake into Manitowoc, Wisconsin). Earlier than you allow, nevertheless, you should definitely cease and see the lighthouses right here (we suggest a go to to Ludington State Park).

lighthouse on the shores of lake michigan on a stormy day

Massive Sable Level Lighthouse, Ludington State Park


M22 and Sleeping Bear Dunes Nationwide Lakeshore

Arguably the most well-liked vacationer vacation spot in Michigan is the Sleeping Bear Dunes Nationwide Lakeshore, Traverse Metropolis and the Leelanau Peninsula. As soon as a month I see a M22 sticker on a car out right here in Oregon; a testomony to the truth that so many people Michiganders have moved west however nonetheless have a formative connection to this a part of the world. The Oregon Dunes Nationwide Lakeshore is as shut because it will get. As I discussed earlier, a number of the stops on the Lake Michigan Circle Tour are solely accessible by boat/ferry, particularly the Manitou, Beaver, and Squaw Islands.

Sleeping Bear Dunes Nationwide Lakeshore

I’ve sturdy household ties with the Manitou Islands; my nice nice grandparents settled there after immigrating to America; examine making your personal day journey to South Manitou Island on this story.

South Manitou Island Lighthouse

Door County, Wisconsin

Thought-about the Cape Cod of the Midwest, Door County, Wisconsin is the Wisconsin tourism equal of Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula. Additionally identified for wine, cherries, crusing, and purchasing, over ten lighthouse stops are famous on this part of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour.

Scenic Views of Door County, Wisconsin

As a result of the wind usually travels West to East throughout Lake Michigan, you gained’t discover the spectacular sand dunes (once I first moved to Wisconsin in 1995 I used to be not anticipating a fast and steep drop off into the water at Bradford Seashore in Milwaukee – one can simply wade slowly out into Lake Michigan for a number of hundred ft on the other shore). That stated, spectacular winds and deep water assist put locations like Sheboygan, Wisconsin on the map because the Browsing Capitol of the Midwest.

Journey south from Sheboygan and make a cease in Port Washington, house of the well-known Pirate Competition. As spectacular as Michigan’s dunes are Wisconsin’s bluffs.

Bluffs Overlooking Port Washington, Wisconsin

Backside of the Lake

The underside, or “foot” of Lake Michigan is in regards to the reverse expertise from Michigan’s Higher Peninsula because it will get (we don’t have any printed tales on the U.P, however we’ll repair that quickly, eh!) If in case you have by no means been to Milwaukee, add it to your bucket checklist. Milwaukee is among the most underrated cities in America and has tons to supply for households from museums to parks, sports activities, festivals, occasions, excursions, and a great deal of regional, ethnic, non-chain eating places.

North Port Lighthouse Museum

A stunning cease on the Lake Michigan Circle Tour is the the North Level Lighthouse Museum is a lighthouse inbuilt 1888, situated within the picturesque Lake Park and now on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations. For extra concepts on what to do in Brew Metropolis, take a look at my insiders information right here. Roughly half-hour south of Milwaukee within the city of Racine the Windpoint Lighthouse, one other lighthouse/museum price testing.  We had a pleasant picnic on the seashore right here regardless of visiting in early spring when the wind can nonetheless be bitter chilly from the latest ice soften.

Windpoint Lighthouse in Racine, Wisconsin

Kenosha, Chicago, South Chicago, and Norther Indiana have stops alongside the route; the Indiana sand dunes and Indiana Dunes Nationwide Park is most undoubtedly on our bucket checklist.

Kenosha lighthouse. Children for scale.

Earlier than You Go

Earlier than you go to Wisconsin and Michigan, you should definitely learn these humorous insider ideas in these tales:


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