Just like clockwork, with Autumn comes the fall colors. When the leaves change, we’re gifted with some of the most beautiful sights in West Michigan. You’ll want to make time in your busy schedule to drive, bike or walk through some of these amazing works of nature.
We have a little extra time as the colors have been delayed due to the unseasonably warm weather we’ve had lately.
Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings has 661 diverse acres where you can see all of the fall colors. Go for a walk or a hike with the whole family and see animals, plants and more, in addition to the colorful leaves. Outdoors education is their passion, so if you have any questions, make sure you take the time to ask.
The crisp air and beautiful fall colors are just what you want while wine tasting, and the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail has you covered. Check out the beautiful colors that line the trail as you stop at one (or more) of the 20 wineries and nine tasting rooms. The wineries (and the colors) are close enough to visit for just a day, a short weekend or an extended visit.
12 Corners Vineyards in Benton Harbor has a beautiful tree line along their vineyard. It provides a look at some of the fall foliage of the area. Next time you’re at 12 Corners Vineyard for some wine, make sure that you explore the vineyard and the fall colors while they’re both looking wonderful.
DeGrandchamp Farms in South Haven is having their Cranberry Harvest Day on October 15th from 10am to 4pm. You and your family can go out on their tractor pulled cranberry bog wagons to see the harvest process. Keep an eye out for those fall colors! When you get back, have some cranberry treats and caramel apples at their market.
Lemon Creek Winery in Berrien Springs is a great place to stop by on your fall color tour! Guests are welcome to adventure into the orchards and vineyard to pick apples and grapes or sip on some of their award-winning wine while enjoying the beautiful colors of fall. They will also be offering an opportunity for home winemakers to purchase juice and grapes from their harvest.
The Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance loves to see the fall colors explode through their town. Awarded Tree City USA since 1996, Marshall’s wide variety of trees will certainly get you in the fall mood. A walk through the historic town and the various nature areas will prove why they have been Tree City USA for 20 years.
The City of Hastings invites cyclists of all ages and skill levels to come out and enjoy the beautiful autumn colors in the countryside surrounding Hastings. Foodies, art enthusiasts and leaf-peepers alike will find plenty of opportunities to indulge at the Annual Arts & Eats Tour on October 15th and 16th. This includes a self-guided driving and bike tour of the scenic back roads and out-of-the-way places in Allegan and Barry counties.
The Southwest Michigan Tourist Council knows all about color tours in the area. They recommend that you check out the West Michigan Pike, which is the first continuous paved road in West Michigan from the Indiana state line to Mackinaw City. It’s a great way to combine fall colors with unforgettable beaches.
Country Dairy in New Era is in a great area for a color tour. Located right on the Hart Montague Bike Trail and the rolling hills of Oceana County, Country Dairy is the perfect place to stop by on your color tour for some food or take one of their own tours to see the sights.
Also in New Era, Rainbow Ranch has several hundred acres of wooded land for horseback riding. When the leaves are changing, the trails are absolutely gorgeous. What better way to see the fall colors than on horseback?
Double JJ Resort in Rothbury is hosting their Fall Color Weekend and Open House on October 15th and 16th. The event will feature the resort’s 1200 acres of forested property, comprising a wide assortment of maple, poplar and oak trees. The weekend promises a dramatic sight of autumn gold, scarlet and rust colored leaves.
The Mecosta County Area has gone above and beyond the call of duty and put together a detailed color tour itinerary for you to enjoy. The thorough guide will take you all around the area to see the changing colors. They even have one designed to see the colors along the Muskegon River via canoe or kayak. They really have put together something wonderful, and you can view it here.
Gather your family and friends to experience the vibrant fall colors at the Depot-to-Depot Fall Color Tour from Muskegon to Whitehall! This self-guided tour happens on October 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th from 10am to 4pm. Pick up a map at either the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau or the White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce to get started.
Jutting north between the azure arms of Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay lies one of Northern Michigan favorite fall color tours. The Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula stretches 19 miles and is home to nine distinct wineries. Along with wine tasting, enjoy the fall scenery, beautiful beaches, exquisite restaurants, and historic lighthouse. You can’t beat award-winning wines with an awe-inspiring view.
Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire has 4,500 acres of property that is the perfect base camp for a fall fun getaway. Set in the middle of all things Northern Michigan, they are centered around some of the best fall driving tours in the state. If you want to get even closer to the colors, try one of their color tour chairlift rides, which operate every Saturday during the fall color season. These chairlift rides will take you to the top of Schuss Mountain to see Mother Nature’s annual color show.
Heart Lake Cottages in Gaylord is perfectly nestled on the shoreline of Heart Lake. Each of their six cozy cottages are newly renovated and accommodate two, four or six people. Make this your headquarters as you travel through Northern Michigan, looking at the amazing changing colors throughout the area. And when you get back to the cottage, the quaint grounds and gardens are the perfect backdrop for your evening.
Art Gallery of Algoma is offering a Fall Color Painting Tour this fall. These tours include a guided tour of the gallery’s exhibitions and a mini-painting lesson inspired by the beautiful fall colors. The tour includes painting materials and is a unique way to get out and see how beautiful this season is. In the end, you’ll be able to take home your painting to display even when the colors aren’t orange, brown and gold.
Ride the boat over to Beaver Island to see the vibrant fall colors surrounding the island. The boat ride itself, run by the Beaver Island Boat Company out of Charlevoix, is a breathtaking trip as you dock in Paradise Bay in the welcoming autumn colors. Once you’ve arrived, stroll the streets with a cup of cider and learn why island life is so unique.
This October, Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay is hosting daily tours of their 160 acre estate. Visit the vineyard, inn, horses, orchard, and, of course, the forests with their fall colors. Afterwards, make your way to their tasting room and cafe for some wine and farmstead cuisine.
Hotel Walloon on Walloon Lake knows that now that summer is gone and fall is here, that means color tours begin. Their favorite color tours include M119’s Tunnel of Trees, fall chairlift rides, M-22’s Color Tour and more. They’re centrally located between all of these experiences and many more, making them the perfect home base for your Northern Michigan color tour experience.
Enjoy a panoramic view of three counties and all the fall colors at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville. As you ride the chairlift to the top of the mountain, you’ll be greeted to live music and the beauty of Northern Michigan’s fall color season. Stop by every Saturday in October from 11am to 1pm to take in the sights and sounds of the mountain.
Northern Michigan hotels want to ensure that your fall color trip is a huge success. To help with this, they have the Holiday Inn Express Mackinaw City, Days Inn Mackinaw City, Holiday Inn Express in Petoskey and the Apple Tree Inn Hotel, which are all conveniently located near many of the best places to see the fall colors. Travel down highway 131 and I-75 to see all of the changed leaves or visit nearby cities for fall themed events.
Arnold Mackinac Island Ferry on Mackinac Island has colorful fall savings for your next color tour. Enjoy discounts on round-trip fares through October 31st. Adults are $15, children 5 to 12 are $8 and bikes are $8. Children 4 and under ride free! The island is a great place to stay and see the fall colors. Ride the ferry over and bring your bike up for a long weekend with these fall discounts.
The Portage Point Inn in Onekama has a Fall Color discount to entice you to get out and see West Michigan. Now through November, receive 10% off published rates. Guests can stay on the picturesque Portage Lake before hopping onto M-22 to see one of the most beautiful routes in America.
Traverse City offers some of the best places for fall colors. Visit the nearby dunes, bluffs and islands where autumn is in full swing. The Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula stretch across 20 miles, surrounded by orchards, vineyards, forests and villages. This is the perfect morning or afternoon drive to see the fall colors and beautiful views of the bay.
Look no further than Charlevoix to experience Northern Michigan’s fall colors. During the month of October, fall colors are at their peak. The surrounding countryside is full of gently rolling hills and an abundance of foliage that is sure to satisfy that fall color trip you’ve been waiting for. After a day of exploring Northern Michigan, stop into downtown Charlevoix for dinner, a craft beer, or a tasty treat.