As warm days turn into cool nights, Michigan’s landscape prepares to show its autumn colors. The first tinges of what many call the state’s most beautiful season showcasing Michigan’s fall finery, will soon come to a forest near you. Michigan is blessed with vibrant color and plenty of ways to see it. There are more than 18.6 million acres of forestland, two national shorelines, nearly 100 state parks and recreation areas, hundreds of local and regional parks, three national forests and state forests in both peninsulas. Get ready to enjoy the color and live the fall color experience!
While color is still several weeks away for most of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the beautiful drive along the Tahquamenon Scenic Byway (M-123 loop from Newberry north around to Paradise and back down to Eckerman Corners) will be one you don't want to miss as the area comes into its prime fall display. Color seekers will find a few wisps of color among maples around the Escanaba area. Peak is expected in the Upper Peninsula in three to four week.
The maples in Clare County are showcasing hints of red and the shrubs are beginning to turn. Locals suggest a drive along a self-guided color tour that takes in farmland, Amish roadside stands, and hardwood forests as a good choice for color in coming weeks.
Travelers to and around the Northwest Lower Peninsula's Traverse City area will find the vibrant gold of meadow grasses, crimson sumac berries and splashes of bright goldenrod, daylilies, blue chicory and other roadside wildflowers against a backdrop of the strong deep blue hues of Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan. Over the next week, these jewel colors are best enjoyed in open areas near the vineyards and orchards of the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas.
Although still a few weeks away from seeing fall color, you’ll certainly want to plan a drive along Lakeshore Drive, heading north toward Grand Haven in the coming weeks.
Leaf peepers driving along I-75, US-10, M-25, M-52, M-47 or M-46 in the Great Lakes Bay Region in the East Central part of the state will find a little gold among the stands of trees, with the promise of more intense color as the weeks progress. Walking through Dow Gardens and Chippewa Nature Center will provide color in all shades.
Southwest Michigan is reporting peak conditions to be more than four weeks away; however, there’s no need to stay away as this year's fall fruit crop is abundant and the season’s peach harvest is at its apex right now.
While the mornings may have that cool, crisp feel that we have come to love during football season, the trees in the Ann Arbor area and the entire Southeast Lower Peninsula region are still four or more weeks from peak conditions.
Pure Michigan Fall Travel Guide Available
Autumn in Michigan is the time of year where fall-color seekers find mile after mile of color-draped trees and enjoy the fruits of the harvest at farm markets, you-pick orchards and cider mills,. Whether you like biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, canoeing, winery tours or our large selection of craft beers, you’re sure to fine the ideal spot to play, stay, or explore in the new 2013 Pure Michigan Fall Travel Guide. The new fall travel guide is available at michigan.org and Michigan’s 14 Welcome Centers while they last.
Fall Takes Center Stage
Use the fall travel peak-season map and the current fall-color report to guide you toward the best time to take a Pure Michigan fall vacation. Look through the Michigan Fall Color Tours on michigan.org to help plan a route whether your interests lie in urban fun or in nature, away from the hustle and bustle.
Fall is the best time to savor quiet pleasures at beaches, fine restaurants, farm markets and art galleries. Bite into fresh produce at farmers markets across the state. Discover places to relax and reconnect; take a deep breath of crisp, Pure Michigan autumn air.
The peak color map and the fall color information at the links below will guide you toward the best time to view Michigan's fall-color show.
Deals & Packages near This Week's Peak Color Region
Need a last-minute weekend getaway? Looking for a cheap cottage vacation package? You're sure to find the perfect Michigan vacation package to save money for the day or to help extend your stay with Pure Michigan. Let us help you with some suggestions for fall getaway packages that you can take advantage of this week.
Spartan Stores Mackinac Island Days
Multiple offers on Fall Hotel Packages and Season Ending Retail Specials
Now thru October 20, 2013
Pick up your "passport to savings" for Mackinac Island at participating Spartan Grocery Stores throughout the entire state of Michigan. Enjoy Spartan Stores Mackinac Island Days from October 6 through October 20. This package offers great overnight and retails specials as the Island nears the end of its 2013 season.
Celebrate Michigan this Fall at Grand Hotel
$126 per person, per night
Now thru October 27, 2013
Grand Hotel invites you to enjoy the hotel at an exceptional value this fall with a special Celebrate Michigan package. This offer includes a full breakfast and five-course dinner daily, Michigan-themed reception, free golf green fees (cart fee required); free admission to Fort Mackinac (open limited hours in October), 25% off lunch at Grand Hotel restaurants, and a 10% discount on shop merchandise. Come enjoy the beautiful colors of up north Michigan and the slower pace of Mackinac Island with this great offer.
Fab Fall Special
Now thru November 15, 2013
Escape to Big Powderhorn Country to enjoy a kaleidoscope of autumn colors against a picturesque Northwoods setting where you’ll experience all of the magnificent scenery and area amenities that this region has to offer. The vibrant oaks, maples and birches stretch as far as the eye can see. Receive 30% off three nights, 35% off four nights and 40% off five nights.
AmericInn Lodge & Suites Iron River
September 15-October 15, 2013
Stay at the AmericInn of Iron River and print the coupon (from the link) and receive 20% off our standard rate. No other discounts or coupons may be used. Cannot be used for a package.
Visit michigan.org for a complete list of great statewide vacation package deals.
Events near This Week's Peak Color Region
Cirque Shanghai Bai Xi
Sault Sainte Marie
September 12-14, 2013
Cirque Shanghai Bai Xi is a visually spectacular production combining Chinese acrobatics, fast-paced action and contemporary staging. Cirque Shanghai combines the traditional and modern in an acrobatic stage performance featuring awesome displays of physical strength and incredible feats of balance performed in spectacular costumes.
Parade of Nations
September 14, 2013
Michigan Tech welcomes all to the area for its annual Finlandia University multi-cultural festival which includes a parade, ethnic food festival, games, entertainment and an art show.
Tahquamenon Wilderness Canoe Race
September 14, 2013
The Great Race from the Lower Falls to Lake Superior is a sanctioned 17 1/2 mile, two-person canoe race as the paddlers brave the waters of the Tahquamenon River from the Lower Tahquamenon Falls to Lake Superior. The day’s competition offers a one-person, 6 ½-mile shorter race.
Big Rig Truck Show & Parade of Lights
September 14-15, 2013
Make plans to attend the 18th Annual Richard Crane Memorial Big Rig Truck Show, where you’ll see fabulous paint jobs, extreme custom chrome and lights and custom interior designs. See the grand display of lights as theses huge vehicles cruise across the Mackinac Bridge and through downtown St. Ignace for the "Parade of Lights".
Big Mac Shoreline Fall Scenic Bike Tour & Ride Across the Mackinac Bridge
September 14-15, 2013
Cycle pass incredible scenery and enjoy a light cook-out lunch at ride’s end with family and friends on Saturday and on Sunday, riders over the age of 13 experience the thrill of riding across the magnificent Mackinac Bridge.
Visit michigan.org for a complete list of great statewide events.
Get the Inside Scoop
Connect and get the inside scoop on where color is peaking at the Pure Michigan Connect blog. Take a minute to comment on the blog posts, or submit one of your own. Be sure to follow the September 30th chat, where we will answer your questions about fall and discuss the best places to go and things to do when Michigan puts on its annual dazzling display of color.
Follow @PureMichigan on Twitter for the latest fall color news. Join the Pure Michigan Fan Page on Facebook to stay up-to-date on all the latest events in Michigan and talk to others with the same love for Michigan. Or, connect with Pure Michigan on your favorite social network for the latest travel ideas, insider tips, vacation deals and more. For more information, visit michigan.org/social.