A Little Known Upper Peninsula Fall Color Tour

The leaves are beginning to change in Pure Michigan. Today, guest blogger Jesse Land describes a fun fall color tour in the Upper Peninsula.

What if I told you there was a place in the Upper Peninsula where you could find art galleries, wineries, two of Michigan’s most unique state parks and gorgeous fall colors all in one day?

Well, you guessed it, this place exists and I’m going to layout a fun fall color tour that’ll let you hit it all.

Breakfast with a bang

Start your day in Escanaba with an early breakfast at Rosy’s Diner where Rosy herself serves up one of the area’s best breakfasts in this classic styled diner. And she’s a character!

See Kitch-iti-kipi

kitch-iti-kipi viewing raftAfter breakfast, hop on U.S. 2 East towards Manistique and make your way to Kitch-iti-kipi (aka “Big Spring”) in Palms Brook State Park. This crystal clear, forty foot deep natural spring is a must see. A large viewing platform allows you to float out over the spring, taking in the huge trout that congregate here. While the leaves are turning the drive out to Kitch-iti-kipi bursts with fall color so be sure to bring your camera!  



Off to see a ghost town

After enjoying the scenery around Kitch-iti-kipi, drive back to U.S. 2, head west for a few miles, then turn south onto M-183 which is a little known (but excellent) fall color drive. Stop in Garden to check out the Village Artisans Art Gallery (6367 State St. Garden, MI) where dozens of local artists have their work on display.


threefold vine winery

After taking in some art, continue on to Threefold Vine Winery and do a wine tasting in their converted barn. After that, stop into LaTullip Pottery and Tile Works (4677 L.L. Rd. Garden, MI) to see even more local fine art.

And finally, after touring a natural spring, two art galleries and a winery, pull into Fayette Historic State Park to enjoy this well preserved historic ghost town surrounded by fall color. Be sure to make the short hike to the overlook for an excellent view of the town, Snailshell Harbor and the surrounding limestone bluffs.

Lunch in a lighthouse

sherry's port barOkay, Sherry’s Port Bar (4424 L.L. Rd. Garden, MI) isn’t a real lighthouse, but this maritime themed family friendly restaurant/bar is a great spot to stop for lunch while touring the Garden Peninsula. They’ve got quality food every day and an all you can eat whitefish fish fry on Fridays.

Back to Escanaba

End your fall color touring for the day with a drive back to Escanba where you’ll find enough to fill the rest of your afternoon and then some! If you feel like hitting up another winery, visit the tasting room for Leigh’s Garden Winery downtown. If you’re looking for a bit of history, visit the Sand Point Lighthouse and adjacent Delta County Historical Society, which houses a cool museum full of items from Escanaba’s past. Or you could just relax on the beach for a while and take in Little Bay de Noc.

Spend the night in one of the Escanaba area’s excellent lodging options and you’ll be poised to visit any other area of the Upper Peninsula the next day!

This post was written by Jesse Land of Things to do in the U.P. on behalf of the Delta County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

Have you been to any of these places in the Upper Peninsula during the fall? Let us know how you enjoyed them! 

You’re Invited: Michigan Fall Colors Live Web Chat

Fall is in the air in Pure Michigan! The new season officially begins on September 22, which means that brisk days and vibrant colors are in sight. In Michigan, there’s really no better place to see the dynamic colors of a trillion trees than by taking a fall colors tour along our highways, country roads and coastlines. To learn more about how to experience a fall colors tour for yourself, we’re hosting a live chat with Pure Michigan’s very own David Lorenz on Monday, September 30 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EST. David will be answering questions on timing of peak colors, routes to explore and things to do along the way.

On September 30, you can join us right here at the following box. Learn more about David below, and get your questions ready for the chat!

For more on fall in Michigan, check out the following resources:

David Lorenz is the Manager of Industry Relations & International Marketing for Travel Michigan, a division of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation – the official State of Michigan tourism promotion agency.  He oversees Travel Michigan’s efforts in the areas of international marketing, packaged travel, conventions and meetings, industry relations, golf and sports-event promotion. 

Prior to coming to Travel Michigan in October 2002, Mr. Lorenz was the Manager, Partnerships and Promotions, for Meijer, Inc. where he was responsible for the facilitation of collaborative marketing programs with key consumer goods manufacturers such as Nabisco, Kraft, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Disney and Mattel. 

He also has 14 years’ experience in radio broadcasting in roles varying from announcer and news reporter to numerous management positions. 

David Lorenz attended Western Michigan University.  He lives in Norton Shores with his wife, Roberta.  

Fall Colors in Manistee County Have Peaked!

Fall colors in areas across Michigan have begun to peak, and Manistee County is no exception! Today, guest blogger Maralee Cook, a Manistee resident, fills us in on how you can still enjoy fall in its prime during a visit to her hometown.

Manistee County’s gloriously hot and sunny summer has become a brilliant, colorful autumn.  The Great Lake Michigan is a deeper blue, the air is cool and crisp, and from the Manistee Pierhead light you can see north up the coast to Frankfort and south to the Point Sable Light.  The trees are topped with leaves in hues you find on an artist’s palette:  lemon yellow, gamboge, scarlet, vermilion, crimson, burnt sienna and more.  They line the shores of Lake Michigan, the banks of over 270 miles of county rivers, and highways and back roads that carry us past miles of charming towns, farmland and orchards on gently rolling hills.  Farm markets and Manistee’s Saturday Farmer’s Market offer bushel baskets overflowing with fall fruits and vegetables.  Colorful mums and bright orange pumpkins wait by the hundreds to come home with you and decorate your front porch for Halloween.  Come for an autumn drive, bike ride, canoe trip or to play golf or fish.  And there are lots of festivals and events during the rest of October, to round out your stay. 

Check out visitmanisteecounty.com with paper and pencil in hand, ready to mark on your calendar some of our special events.

  • West Michigan Juried Art Show at Hardy Hall in Manistee’s Ramsdell Theatre through Oct. 21.
  • “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” performed at the Ramsdell Theatre through Oct. 21
  • Josh White Jr. live at the Ramsdell Theatre Oct. 26
  • Metropolitan Opera’s performance live in HD of Verdi’s “Otello” Oct. 27 at the Ramsdell Theatre
  • Manistee’s Ghost Ship each weekend in October
  • Scarecrow conventions in Onekama and Arcadia all month
  • Twisted Trails Off Road Park Pumpkin Run and Team Kamikaze
  • Salmon running at the Little Manistee River Weir
  • Fishing continues (always!) in the rivers and lakes

Maralee Cook is a freelance writer living in Manistee, Michigan.

Have you visited Manistee County this year? Share with us in the comments section below!