Three Fantastic Fall Scenic Drives in Pure Michigan

Michigan’s motto is, “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.” In this day and age, it can also be interpreted as, “If you seek a pleasant drive, pick a road near you.” With 111 designated Natural Beauty Roads, 20 National Byways and more than 212 miles of twists, turns and celebrated scenery, Michigan is abundant in breathtaking drives, especially when the countryside is ablaze with fall foliage fireworks.

Combining the convenience of cruising with accessibility to awesome adventures, many Michiganders prefer to meander through majestic Michigan from the comfort of an RV. Beginning with Henry Ford and the Vagabonds “glamping” vacations 100 years ago, the idea of traveling with civilized accoutrements has not gone out of style and has, instead, expanded into the RV and camping industry of today.

From waterfalls to gorges, coastlines to farmer stands bursting with Pure Michigan autumn abundance, fall is an absolutely stunning time to take a comfortable cruise through foliage in full splendor. During an autumn trip, chances are you’ll experience less-crowded conditions at campgrounds, RV parks, restaurants and attractions.

Some favorite fall scenic drives that represent the bounty and beauty of Pure Michigan include:

1. West Michigan Pike
Hugging the curves of Lake Michigan from Chicago, Ill., to Mackinaw City, this 500-mile road has been “Lake shore all the way” since 1915. Passing through vacation destination villages like Holland, Manistee and Sleeping Bear Dunes, this roadway is an RV travelers dream with multiple campgrounds and RV parks located just off the beaten path.

Photo Courtesy of the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC)

Photo Courtesy of the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC)

2. Historic Motor Tour US 27
“Back in the day, it was the way!” Traversing from St. Ignace to Miami, this highway originally followed an Indian trail and was the main thoroughfare of Michigan. While no longer an official state highway, the two lane road with hills, woods and farmlands channeling through charming small towns of mid-Michigan fuels driving thrills and family adventures. Taking this route sends travelers past farms and tiny markets bursting with seasonal selections.

Photo courtesy of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA)

Photo courtesy of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA)

3. Black River National Scenic Byway
Getting to this breathtaking road takes a bit of effort and long hours –but when travelling in an RV, one barely notices! Once you get to the town of Bessemer, in the western tip of the Upper Peninsula, and go north on CR 513, the scenery, natural beauty and history is worth the effort. This passage—once a wagon road—takes drivers past multiple waterfalls, old growth forests, iron mines and to the shores of Lake Superior.

Photo Courtesy of the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC)

Photo Courtesy of the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC)

Consider spending a weekend—or more—off the main highways and take a scenic tour of Pure Michigan this fall. Travelling by RV is an experience that won’t be soon forgotten. For more details on campgrounds and RV parks throughout the state, visit or

Where do you love to road trip? Let us know in the comments!

Meet the Blogger: The Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) encourages growth in the recreation vehicle and private campground industries while contributing to the quality of Michigan tourism.

Premiering the Pure Michigan Singalong Video

Last month, Jeff Barrett and Rob Bliss embarked on an epic Pure Michigan road trip, where they visited 50 Michigan cities in 7 days. Throughout their journey, they interacted with people from communities along the way to create an energetic digital video that highlights various things the state has to offer. We’re excited to premiere the final video below.

Thank you to everyone who joined in on Rob and Jeff’s adventures! Let us know if you took part in the making of this fun singalong!


One Week. 50 Cities. The Most Ambitious Pure Michigan Road Trip Ever Planned.

What can you do in one week? Jeff Barrett and Rob Bliss – two ordinary Michigan-born men – are about to embark on an extraordinary road trip through the state to answer that question. The goal will be to create an energetic digital video that highlights various things the state has to offer. The video will serve as a way to help tell the story of Michigan as a great place to live, work, play and build a business. The trip will take place in an “Imported from Detroit” Chrysler.

Barrett and Bliss’ firm Status Creative will be filming all across Michigan during the week-long road trip. This is the same firm behind last year’s Grand Rapids LibDub - national winner for Best Use Of Video in Social Media from PRNewswire. Barrett and Bliss will be highlighting some of the people, businesses, events and natural beauty that make Michigan unique. The journey will begin on Sunday, August 19th and conclude a week later on the 26th of August.

The general public is welcome and encouraged to participate in these filmed events as Barrett and Bliss come to their city. Those curious about what events will be happening near them can visit the Interactive Map (see below).

Update: Filming for the video ended in August. Check to see the final video from Jeff and Rob’s trip on Sunday, September 9th!

View Pure Michigan Roadtrip in a larger map

For the most up-to-date information follow Jeff Barrett on Twitter at @BarrettAll and the hashtag #PureMichigan. He will be tweeting live updates of when and where to show up and participate. Pure Michigan and the Chrysler brand will also be sharing important updates. Below is a collection of photos Jeff has taken along the way so far. We’ve also rounded up some tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram photos, and YouTube videos showing the making of the video, which you can view in our Storify collection.

Have you taken a memorable Michigan road trip? Share with us below!