top of page

Fall Fun in Northern Michigan

Updated: Oct 7, 2022

What better place to be during the Fall season than Northern Michigan? Your vacation doesn't need to be limited to the summer months to find some great outings and excursions for any age. Let’s take a stroll through Michigan’s north and discover the destination of your next trip!

Image by Gretchen Dorian via

The calling card of fall starts with the changing of the trees. As the canopies of forest start to show their fall colors when they shed their summer coat in favor of beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow be sure to take a drive to soak it all in. One destination between Harbor Springs and Cross Village offers the best stretch of road to take in the scenery. M-119, or Lake Shore Drive, is known commonly as the tunnel of trees. The tunnel begins north of Harbor Springs then narrows for 20 miles bordering a bluff with views of Lake Michigan stretching its expanse. Along the way you will find shops, restaurants, beautiful scenery and historical landmarks that are much worthy of a pitstop. According to MLive Peak Color the best time to see the fall foliage is October 3 through October 10, but more costal areas like Emmet County are primed for the latter date, so be sure to get out the first 2 weeks of the month to get the most out of these beautiful colors.

While near Harbor Springs be sure to take a visit to Pond Hill Farms where the fall festivities are already well underway. During the fall months the farm celebrates Pumpkin Weekends, every Saturday and Sunday September 25 through October 24, 11AM to 5:30PM where you can enjoy activities like pumpkin bowling, hayrides, pumpkin smashing, the pumpkin patch and feeding the animals. After you’re finished, stop inside the cafe to enjoy a snack like pretzels, pepper jelly and cream cheese, smoked trout and more. Other food items include sandwiches, salads, wood fired pizzas and delicious fall inspired sides. Be sure to wash it down with a glass of red, white, sparkling, or dessert wines from their extensive list, they also stock up on cold beer and hard cider available by the flight, pint, or glass growler. Before you go remember that no trip would be complete without grabbing everyone’s fall favorite, cider & donuts!

Image via

Taking the drive to the next destination is only a short distance away, the annual Charlevoix Apple Festival starts at 10AM October 8th. The fun filled weekend offers a chance to enjoy freshly harvested apples and many other fall products. The small town charm of Charlevoix comes to a head at the Farmer’s Market where vendors sell everything fresh and all locally sourced. Pumpkins to jams, baked goods, produce, meats, and soups, all await you at one of the many tents downtown. Every pallet and taste can find a bite to eat at one of the food booths attending the festival too. Local nonprofit organizations will be on site with hot food like chili, hot dogs, soup, Irish apple cake, hot cacao, and kielbasa. Looking to find a holiday gift? Head over to the Arts and Crafts Show where local artists feature their work and show off their talent.

Image via

During the summer you will be hard pressed to not find a vendor selling fresh cherries while you travel about town, but the cherry capital of the world is famous for more than this sweet and tart fruit. Traverse City is one of the largest producing wine areas in Michigan. Take a weekend visit to Traverse City’s wine trail known for its award-winning wines, this is the perfect place to relax and sip some of the best wine in the state. Old Mission Peninsula features 10 local wineries offering tastings, small bites, and beautiful scenery for your party to enjoy. Map your adventure and discover what wine enthusiasts have known for years, Traverse CIty is the perfect wine region destination.

Before the cold months set in fully, there is one last opportunity to get out on the water and have that last boat day. While homes on the inland lakes begin taking their boats out of the water you have a unique opportunity to take in the fall foliage in a completely different way. Renting a boat or kayak is the perfect way to get up close and personal with nature around you. The Inland Waterway encompasses nearly 40 miles, Michigan’s longest chain of rivers and lakes. The waterway runs through Pickerel Lake, Crooked Lake, Crooked River, Burt Lake, Indian River, Mullet Lake, Cheboygan River, finally emptying into Lake Huron. Along the winding rivers and expansive lakes you will be able to see beautiful homes and changing trees, try your hand at fishing, pass under bridges and maneuver 2 locks. Visit the Indian River Chamber of Commerce for information on the waterway and boat rentals.

Michigan has some of the best and most beautiful sights to visit year round, but the fall months present something that is unique and distinct from other times of the year. The world is filled with beautiful pigments of color that can’t be seen any other time. On top of the crisp air and beautiful scenery, it is the perfect time to cozy up in your favorite flannel and taste the flavors that fall provides. With flavors like pumpkin, apple, and spices as well as activities like hayrides, hikes, and more, there’s always something fun awaiting you, your friends, and your family.

Image via


bottom of page