Crystal Mountain has a number of events and unique activities for you to enjoy the fall color season, plus the beautiful views of the Betsie Valley and nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore make it one of Fodor’s Travel’s 15 Best US Resorts for Fall Getaways (2015). Michigan’s Gold Coast along M-22 (just 20 minutes from the resort) was the first mention in Travel + Leisure’s list of ‘America’s Best Fall Color Drives.’
And there are plenty of ways to take in the scenery on-mountain, like chairlift rides each Saturday from 11am to 1pm and…
Peak2Peak Mountain Bike Festival, Oct. 15
Now in its 11th year, the Founders Peak2Peak Mountain Bike Classic features a 10.5-mile course through and around the single tracks and slopes of Crystal Mountain with three waves — beginner (1 lap), intermediate (2 laps) and professional/expert (3 laps). Chairlift rides, live entertainment, family fun activities and games, food and Founders beer will be available in the festival area at the base of the slopes throughout the day — admission is free to spectators. Register for the race at endomanpromotions.com.
Crystal Spa Days, Oct. 1– Nov. 6
October is not only a wonderful time to enjoy the crisp autumn air and vibrant colors but special pricing on a menu of 50-minute services at the award-winning Crystal Spa. Nearly a dozen services are available from $69 (Sunday through Friday) and $79 on Saturday.
Spooktacular Saturdays offer a haunted trail and family fun Oct. 15, 22, 29
The last three Saturdays in October you can ride the Loki quad chairlift up the mountain and follow the lanterns back down a Spooky (but family friendly) Trail from 7 pm to 9 pm ($7 per person, kids 6-and-under free). Spooktacular Saturday (2 pm to 6 pm) will lead up to the evening’s haunted hike featuring wagon rides, a petting zoo, caramel apples, pumpkin carving and more.
What’s the best home away from home? Bed & Breakfasts, of course. Such accommodations are designed for comfort, charm and uniqueness for the guests that walk through the front doors. Pamper yourself… and wake up to the smell of a freshly prepared breakfast. You’ll feel right at home with these West Michigan Bed & Breakfasts.
The Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance wants you to know about the National House Inn B&B, which is the oldest operating inn in Michigan. Overlooking the beautiful Brooks Memorial Fountain in Marshall, the B&B infuses 19th-century flavor with the luxuries of modern conveniences in all 15 of its rooms. Time travel hasn’t been invented yet, so this is the next best way to experience a bygone era.
The Greater Lansing Area prides itself in offering B&Bs that blend a fine attention to detail with an element of surprise. The area’s B&Bs have waterfalls, Koi ponds, Tudor-style settings and more.
How does staying at a B&B overlooking Lake Michigan sound? Check out a list on The Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council’s website. The area’s B&Bs have received several awards, including Reader’s Choice Favorite Bed & Breakfast in Southwestern Michigan for eight years in a row.
Yelton Manor Bed & Breakfast in South Haven/Van Buren County offers a lovely place to lay your head after a long day of travel and fun. Yelton Manor was just named #2 in the Best Bed and Breakfast Destination in West Michigan by WWMT’s The Best of Michigan Viewers Poll. Enjoy the beautiful grounds, delicious food and desirable location.
The White Lake Area and Muskegon County are home to Amanda’s Bequest Bed & Breakfast — take a trip back in time at this 1873 Manse. This place is a must-visit for foodies with hits farm-to-table dining and on-site heritage culinary school where you can learn how to cook from scratch.
There’s never a bad time to visitApplesauce Inn Bed & Breakfastin Bellaire — it’s a four-season B&B. Enjoy hiking at Grass River Natural Area, biking in Downtown Bellaire, kayaking the Chain of Lakes region and golfing at nearby Shanty Creek.
Known for its wine, Chateau Chantal also has a Bed & Breakfast open all year round. Rated the most romantic B&B in the state, Chateau Chantal offers guests a private winery tour, complimentary glass of wine per night and a free wine tasting experience. Founder Bob Begin can usually be found pouring orange juice for guests each morning, tell stories and making sure everyone feels right at home.
Located in the middle of serene Northern Michigan, Horton Creek B&B is the perfect place to stay. Their seven-room, lodge-themed home is complete with a full breakfast in the morning and dessert each evening. Enjoy a peaceful walk on the trails that wind through 60 acres of secluded woods.
Fall is just around the corner, and you know what that means: Time to celebrate the season with classes at the Downtown Market!
For the complete fall schedule, go here. To download a pdf of classes and events, go here. (There are classes for everyone — family, kids and adults.) Meanwhile, here are just a few highlights:
AUTUMN NIGHTS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN Fri, October 14, 6p-8:30p • $65
The Mediterranean always offers bright flavors and healthy meals. You’ll master an olive tapenade, herb-fresh tabouli, chicken souvlaki, and a citrus semolina cake. Learn how to select authentic ingredients and how the right olive oil can add the finishing touches to your meal. Register here.
STEWS & BREWS Tue, October 18, 6p-8:30p • $65 (21+)
Pair some great beers while snacking on Beer Nuts and make a classic gumbo, a hearty meat and bean chili, sweet cornbread and chocolate stout brownies. Register here.
PUMPKIN PATCH COOKING
Fri, October 21, 6p-8:30p • $55
Celebrate pumpkins in the most delicious ways! You will enjoy some fresh-roasted pumpkin hummus while creating pumpkin sage soup, roasted herb chicken with pumpkin polenta and festive pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Register here.
BOOOOOOOZY HALLOWEEN COCKTAIL PARTY
Tue, October 25, 6p-8:30p • $55
In this class, you will learn how to make cocktails along with an appetizer and dessert to host the spookiest Halloween cocktail party. Learn how to make Pumpkin Cauldron Rhum Punch, Apple Cider and Bourbon Spritzers, mini pumpkin cream soup, and a fall tiramisu. Register here.
As Autumn approaches in West Michigan, it’s time to start celebrating the harvest! West Michigan offers a wide variety of ways to celebrate, whether it’s stopping by a cider mill, attending a special harvest dinner, or heading out to the local fall festival. However you like to get into the feeling of fall, West Michigan has you covered.
South: West Michigan Harvest Celebrations
Fenn Valley Vineyards believes that wine should be approachable, and their tours have been designed to help take the mystery out of making world class wine. Fenn Valley is offering fall vineyard tours on Saturdays and Sundays through October 18th. They aim to strike a balance between education and entertainment. Luckily, the subject matter always keeps things interesting! Their tours are pretty in-depth. They run about 1:45 in length, and involve wine tasting throughout to illustrate the various points being made.
In the fall, the tours go into the vineyard where the emphasis is on how wine grapes are grown and the kinds of operations that Fenn Valley performs to grow their premium grapes. Reservations required and accepted on the Fenn Valley website.
This fall South Haven has a variety of events to offer for young, and slightly mature audiences. South Haven boasts a 20-acre Corn Maze; a lot of creative energy goes into this project every year to make it the best corn maze anywhere! The corn maze is open through October 30th, from 10am-6pm on weekdays and from 12pm-6pm on weekends.
September is apple time at Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire Michigan. Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm has over 250 different varieties of apples on their farm, and many of the heritage varieties date back to the 1700s. The market is open to the public Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays after Labor Day from 10am to 6pm. Plan to stop by for some free apple tasting! You can sample all of their varieties on hand, and then go to the orchard and pick your own fruit. Enjoy one of their cherry waffle boats, apple pie squares, taffy apples, or hot apple cider, or bring your own picnic to enjoy in the family picnic area with playground.
St. Joseph is a must-stop if you’re looking for fall fun in West Michigan! Kick things off with a visit to the Farmers Market in Lake Bluff Park, and then head downtown on September 25th and 26th for their Fall Festival! Plan on a weekend filled with fun events for all ages, including the Great Bed Race! Downtown shops will also be hosting a block party on Friday, and Saturday will see a Critter Barn petting zoo, a musical instrument petting zoo, and the Great Pumpkin Festival!
Central: West Michigan Harvest Celebrations
Not quite ready to say goodbye to the summer days of ice cream yet? Welcome fall in summer style with the limited edition ice cream flavor of Cider Mill Donut from Hudsonville Ice Cream. Apples are the largest and most valuable fruit crop in Michigan, and with apples, come donuts and cider. “This flavor starts off with apple cider flavored ice cream, with a spiced-apple swirl throughout and real donut pieces,” says Ray Sierengowski, director of product development for Hudsonville Ice Cream. “All the flavors of your local cider mill are delivered to you in one delicious scoop. You’ll FALL for this tried-and-true combination.”
Look for Cider Mill Donut and other “Limited Edition” flavors—distinguished by the red packaging—in grocery stores throughout Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois from mid-September through early November (while supplies last).
Learn some new ways to bring the harvest into your home this fall with an apple cooking class from Downtown Market Grand Rapids! This family cooking class is titled “Bushels of Apples,” and will focus on this classic fall snack. You’ll learn how to make an Overnight Baked Oatmeal, Apples Bavaria, and an Apple-Butternut Squash Soup, all of which are filled with bushels of flavor! The class takes place Saturday, October 17th from 10am-12pm and registration is available on the Downtown Market’s website.
Post Family Farm is the place to be this fall, with their annual Fall Festival taking place every Saturday from through October 31st. They offer hayrides out to the u-pick pumpkin patch, corn maze, kid’s activity area with crafts and games as well as a new and improved play area for 2015. Their famous homemade pumpkin donuts are available Monday-Saturday starting at 8:00 am and can be pre-ordered.
What better way to welcome fall than by spending some quality time in the great outdoors. Nothing beats a float trip in a drift boat during the Salmon run on the Pere Marquette River in the Fall. The Fall colors and watching the Salmon spawn are something you can’t find anywhere else, whether you like to fish or not. If you do like to fish, it’s the best time of the year to wet a line.
There are few fish that live up to their name, but the King Salmon in the Pere Marquette River certainly do! Red Moose Lodge is located right off the river, and is the perfect place for a fall weekend fishing trip, whether you’re simply looking for a place to stay, or want to book a guided fishing trip down the river.
Rockford’s 39th Annual Harvest Festival is September 25, 26 & 27th, 2015. The Harvest Festival will feature a classic car show, chili cook-off, Rotary Pork Barbeque, children’s activities including Trick or Treating & Costume Contest, crafts, an antique tractor show and parade, and much more. There is also a Farm Market, Museum Auction, Make-it and Take-it Scarecrow Building (which continues the following 2 weekends), Entertainment Tent, and Outdoor Movie. Find more information on the Rockford Chamber’s website.
North: West Michigan Harvest Celebrations
Castle Farms in Charlevoix invites you to celebrate the harvest with them at their upcoming annual Harvest Festival on September 27th! Visit the ‘Mini Farmer’s Market’, with vendors exhibiting and selling homemade items, including maple syrup and caramel popcorn. Take home a snapshot from the photo booth! Horse-drawn wagon rides, arts & crafts, games and prizes, face painting, magic show and fire spinning are just some of the spectacular activities for the whole family. Enjoy free cider and donuts with additional food available for purchase. $10 admission includes full access to the Castle, plus family friendly activities for all ages. Purchase your tickets at the door or in advance on the Castle Farms website.
Pentwater is holding their annual Fall Fest on the Village Green on September 26th and 27th this year. Experience the beauty of fall at their annual Arts & Craft Festival, where over 100 vendors provide hand-made crafts, a special skill or art, a skilled trade, or antiques on the Village Green. Enjoy live music on the green as well. This is a fall weekend in Pentwater not to be missed! Fall Fest runs from 10am through 5pm on Saturday, and 10am through 3pm on Sunday.
Share the excitement of the harvest with Chateau Chantal at their 16th Annual Harvest Day on October 3rd from 12pm-4pm. Mark & Brian’s cellar and still will be open to smell wines, stomp grapes, and tour. Stop by at 1pm for a Mini Slurpin’ Seminar where you can learn the basics of wine tasting, at 2pm for some good old fashioned grape stomping, and at 3pm for a distillation seminar. The tasting room staff will be serving wine tastes and taking private label orders. Also take advantage of special pricing on full case orders of any one varietal of wine!
The Traverse City area knows how to get in the mood for Fall, and has plenty of options if you’re looking to kick off the autumn season. Head to Bellaire for their 17th Annual Harvest Festival & Scarecrow Extravaganza on September 26th, and enjoy a Short’s Beer tent, live music, a craft and flea market, and hands-on educational booths for the kids.
The Acme Fall Festival falls on the same day (September 26th), and features a farmers market, bake sale, craft show (with live demonstrations), kids activities, Michigan children’s offers, and more fun for all ages. Then get your taste buds ready for a family-style feast at Harvest@theCommons on October 10th. Your feast will be prepared by Traverse City’s own Harvest restaurant using the finest local ingredients honoring the farmers of the region. Enjoy local libations and authentic bluegrass tunes by Billy Strings and Don Julin during your meal as well.
Michigan is special because it fully experiences all four seasons. Make sure you take advantage of fall and the beautiful change in color and temperature around West Michigan!