Beachtowns Fall Fun Itinerary

Sunset in Ludington

The nine Beachtowns along the west Michigan Lakeshore aren’t just summer destinations. The editors of Michigan Travel Ideas put together a fall itinerary to guide you in enjoying each beach town on a different weekend this season.

October 7–8, Ludington
Friday 10-2 p.m., Saturday 10-5 p.m.

Celebrate the harvest at Autumn Days, offering experiences in everything reminiscent of this fleeting season. Watch apples being pressed into cider, hop on a hayride and take a look at the past in the 29 museum buildings in the historic village. The Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor is serving up that perfect taste of fall—fresh baked apple pie.

October 15, Muskegon
Saturday 10-3 p.m.

Discover the vibrant colors of fall on the 7th Annual Depot to Depot Fall Color Tour. On the self-guided drive, see several historic and scenic sites; there is also a list of optional side trips. Make a weekend of it with the discounts offered at select lodging facilities and local businesses. Enter to win the Lake Express Ticket Contest and receive complimentary passes to various attractions.

October 22, Holland
Saturday 9 p.m.–1 a.m.

At the biannual GrooveWalk music event, 10 bands perform at 10 local bars for a night of live music and fun—each bar even has a featured drink. The free GrooveXpress buses stop near each venue, and each bus has its own musician on board to keep the beat going.

October 28–29, Grand Haven
Friday and Saturday 7-11 p.m.

Dare to walk through the Haunted Hall’s Experiments in Terror this Halloween. Admission gets you into both of their haunts: Phobia1a Proj3ct and Operat1on unr3ality. Prepare to be terrified.

November 5–6, St. Joseph
Saturday 10-4 p.m., Sunday 12-4 p.m.

HollyMarket is a great way to get a jump-start on holiday shopping. The annual art and craft fair features a variety of artwork, decor and holiday gifts arranged in the galleries of the Krasl Art Center.

November 11–13, South Haven

Women are taking over for the annual Women’s Only Weekend. Events start Friday afternoon with the Wine and Cheese Welcome. Activities include a Harbor Walk, scavenger hunt and enrichment workshops.

November 18–20, Silver Lake Sand Dunes
Any time

A blanket would be the perfect accessory for cozying up on the beach to watch a beautiful Pure Michigan sunset at Little Sable Point Lighthouse.

November 25–26, Saugatuck
Friday and Saturday

A horse-drawn carriage ride provides the perfect pace to take in all the creativity this artist’s colony has to offer. Explore downtown Douglas and Saugatuck in a new way with this laid-back tradition. After your ride, the annual tree lighting ceremony takes place on Saturday at 5 p.m. in Wicks Park.

December 3, Harbor Country
Saturday, 1- 4 p.m.

Sample wines at the Holiday Open House at the Round Barn Winery. Kids can make holiday decorations and take photos with Santa.


  • Colleen Plummer

    Good morning…… I love the articles and campaign for Pure Michigan, but how do you manage to mention these other beach communities and not mention Pentwater? We have one of only two state campgrounds in Michigan that isn’t dry and we have a lovely beach that has been a magnet to the Chicago crowed since the 1800′s. As a business owner I would like to see better inclusion for not only my community, but I don’t see Frankfort on here either and others.(They have a wonderful giant pumpkin weigh-in/carving contest coming up) Pentwater is having it’s 15th Octoberfest this weekend, Spooktaculer on Oct. 29 with backwards parade, games, ghosts and who know what else! We had its Fallfest two weeks ago for future reference. The add campaign is an excellent one as you should already know. Keep up the good work! Business owner (32yrs) Colleen Plummer

  • Jane Bardwell

    So..after Ludington the beaches end?…according to the Michigan map there seems to be much more shore line further north. I heard that the beaches up there are so spectacular and that the locals try to keep it hidden. Someone must have broke the silence and told Good Morning America!

  • Cheryl Dezelski Lee

    YUp – Jane – we locals tried to keep them secret – but they are way tooooooo beautiful to keep to ourselves. Check out Good Harbor Bay, while checking out all the Leelanau wineries! Perfect! Live in CA now and miss HOME so badly! Love Northern Michigan!

  • Sarah

    To answer the questions about the communities along Lake Michigan missing from this article (eg Pentwater, Frankfort, Harbor Bay) – each local Convention and Visitors Bureau needs to opt-in to the “Beachtowns” organization. Ludington is the northern most community that belongs to Beachtowns.

  • Annette

    Aren’t there any beaches on the EAST SIDE of the state too??

  • Jan Brons

    Ummmm, where is Manistee in all of this? Great shops! Wonderful boating. Fabulous fishing! Terrific beaches!