Lighthouse Map + Circle Tour

Lake Michigan Lighthouse Map & Circle Tour

2023 Lighthouse Map Sponsored By Blarney Castle Oil


On the cover: Lilac’s surround the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse in Marquette, Michigan. Photo taken by Paula Liimatta and entered to the 2022 West Michigan Tourist Association Annual Photo Contest.


Circling Lake Michigan

Vacationers have been looping the lake for generations, but the official “Lake Michigan Circle Tour” route was not established until the 1980s when the Michigan Department of Transportation teamed up with West Michigan Tourist Association (WMTA) to create the route and its official guidebook. Along the way, find more than 100 lighthouses, countless islands, unique attractions, parks and natural areas, miles of glorious beaches, quaint harbor towns, an internationally-recognized urban center, and one “modern marvel” – the Mackinac Bridge.




While a loosely-organized “circle route” around Lake Superior was promoted by local tourist organizations as early as the 1960s, the first official (and signed) Great Lakes Circle Tour was the Lake Michigan Circle Tour. The only single-nation Circle Tour (Lake Michigan being the only Great Lake completely within the US), the Lake Michigan Circle Tour also has the most mileage of any Circle Tour in the state.

Working in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Transportation, the West Michigan Tourist Association helped to make the first of the official Great Lakes Circle Tours a reality and the first publication was released in 1988 as a 52-page guide book. The guide book was transformed into a map in 2007, and the route can now be found online at Lake Michigan Circle Tour: Lighthouse Driving Itinerary.

Recommended stop: Indigo Bluffs – Sleeping Bear Dunes in Empire

Lighthouse Passport Club

Lighthouse hunting is an addicting hobby, and one shared by hundreds of thousands of people around the globe. The U.S. Lighthouse Society’s Lighthouse Passport Program and Club is the perfect complement to this passion allowing you to record your lighthouse visits, and achieve recognition for your accomplishments.

To purchase your very own passport, you can sign up online at or by calling 415-362-7255.

Lighthouse Links