This week, Michigan’s fall color display continues to make a slow, but graceful, advance across the Upper Peninsula, where peak conditions are still two to three weeks away. Many of the region’s trees are stressed; resulting in only a hint of color change is reflected in the area.
Chippewa County is predicting bursts of color for this approaching weekend. A road trip to Tahquamenon Falls State Park or Point Iroquois Lighthouse are reported to be the ideal locations to experience the unspoiled terrain, wilderness lure and color that the Upper Peninsula has to offer.
The oaks and maples are starting to paint a brilliant roadside canvas in the Keweenaw. The best color so far is along M-26 coming into the peninsula in the Twin Lakes area. Color on the Keweenaw Peninsula ranges from 25% in the Twin Lakes area to 5% in the far north near Copper Harbor with 10% in between.
Overall, the Upper Peninsula is displaying mostly early color with some peak to near-peak conditions.
Northeast Michigan’s US-23 near Alpena is just starting to exhibit color when viewers will see a hint of yellow and red among the Aspens, oak and maples.
Color seekers will be bedazzled by Alcona’s mid-morning mist from the night air is reduced to droplets of water which reflect as rubies, garnets, topaz and emeralds as leaves are just beginning to change color in Northeastern Michigan. Peak is still three to four weeks away.
Fall color is just starting its swing across the Charlevoix County area. Noteworthy drives for the upcoming weekend include glimpses of red maple trees along the county’s major roads.
The Traverse City area is still showing only 5 to 10 percent peak color. Right now, the most brilliant color is in the bright red leaves of the Virginia Creeper vines twining in the still-green trees and the crimson of the staghorn sumac.
One excellent place to enjoy fall color is northwest of Traverse City on the Leelanau Peninsula, the “little finger” of the Michigan mitten – a place of beautiful scenery and quaint lakeshore villages, and home to the magnificent Sleeping Bear Dunes. The coastal fringes of this remarkable area can be sampled easily along M-22, which follows the shore of Grand Traverse Bay to Northport, then turns abruptly southwest to skirt the coast of Lake Michigan through Leland, Glen Arbor and the Sleeping Bear Dunes. (Be sure not to miss the side jaunt on M-109 through the “ghost port” of Glen Haven and past the famous Dune Climb to the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, which offers splendid views of the surrounding lake and dune country.) But while most visitors are content to follow the Leelanau shoreline route, more adventurous travelers know that when it comes to fall colors the peninsula’s hilly interior often provides a more brilliant show than the coastlands. Here, along the slopes above Lake Leelanau and the two Glen Lakes, is a largely undiscovered region of farmlands, woods, vineyards and small towns that still retain traces of their Polish and Bohemian founders.
The Grayling area is showing limited color along I-75 heading north, which should make for a pleasant fall drive this weekend.
As you stroll downtown South Haven, the beech and maple leaves are just showing a slight hint of crimson. As you get into the more densely wooded areas between South Haven and Bangor, or South Haven and Saugatuck, more vibrant colors are visible. Blue Star Highway (A2) between South Haven and Saugatuck is an absolutely gorgeous area which is expected to offer some of the area’s best fall foliage as the season progresses. The area also offers a number of seasonal activities at locations like Crane Orchards and Fenn Valley Vineyards & Wine Cellar in Fennville.
Most of Michigan’s lower peninsula is reporting mostly summer-like foliage as peak conditions are still at least three to four away.
Fall Takes Center Stage
Use the fall travel peak season map and the current fall colors 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 below and the fall color information at the links below will guide you toward the best time to view Michigan's fall-color show.
Michigan Fall Color Tours
Pure Michigan Fall Ads
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.
There is Still Time for a Grand Package during our 125th Season
Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island
Pure Michigan: $181 per person
Expiration Date: October 29, 2012
Fall is a beautiful and quiet time at Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Our Pure Michigan Package is $181 per person per night, based on double occupancy, and includes a full breakfast and five-course dinner daily, free golf (cart fee required) and a box of fudge. Buy two nights and get a third night free or stay one night and receive the second night for half price. Or, come celebrate the Somewhere in Time weekend. The romantic getaway includes a special screening of the movie filmed at Grand Hotel, discussions of the production process a visit with cast and crew members, cocktail receptions—and a full breakfast and five-course dinner daily. Guests are invited to dress in period attire for the weekend. Our Somewhere in Time weekend is $985 per couple. For complete package details, visit the link below.
35th Anniversary Room Rate Special
Root Cellar Resort & Restaurant
Now thru November 2012
Book a stay at the Root Cellar Resort for only $35 a night and enjoy a tasty meal at the resort’s adjacent restaurant. The inn’s recent addition includes 13 spacious, fully equipped rooms complete with all of the modern luxuries.
Summer Savings in Sault Ste. Marie
Now thru October 14
Sault Ste. Marie Convention & Visitors Bureau
Vacation packages and hotel savings are just a click away. Choose from several participating hotels offering special packages and lodging incentives just in time for the busy fall travel season. Take advantage of discount coupons and packages starting at $101 per couple.
Weekend Adventure: ATV/ORV
Now thru November 4
Pine Bluff Resort
Located on Big Manistique Lake, this four-season, full-service resort makes the perfect basecamp for your fall color tour. For only $569 per person, your fall weekend adventure package includes cabin rental for four adults (call to inquire on additional guest pricing), meals at the resort’s High Banks Restaurant & Bar ($50 certificate will be provided), up to four ATVs to use on the UP’s extensive trails system Friday and Saturday (must be 21 and have a license and major credit card), helmet rental and a choice of a number of popular ATVs. Taxes and gas are not included.
Ride to Mackinac Island for Free
Chippewa Hotel Waterfront
Stay any two nights (Sunday thru Thursday from August 26 to October 24) and receive $50 off the first night to cover two round-trip ferry tickets.
Expiration Date: 10/24/2012
Enjoy a relaxing ferry ride to Mackinac Island. Stay any two nights (Sunday thru Thursday August 26 to October 24) and receive $50 off the first night to cover two round trip ferry tickets. This special is valid for new reservations only. Two-night minimum required. For reservation, call (800) 241-3341, or visit link below.
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum Package
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum
Now thru November 1
Discover the history of the Great Lakes today. Reservations grant you admission to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and Whitefish Point Light Station, a 10% discount in the Shipwreck Coast Museum Store, and a one year membership to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society. The costs of this package is $150 per night/for a party of two people.
Visit michigan.org for a complete list of great statewide vacation package deals.
Events near This Week's Peak Color Region
Cooler nights, crisp days, brilliant color, pumpkin patches, winery tours and festivals galore--it has to be autumn in Michigan. Check out this week’s sampling of great Michigan fall events.
3rd Annual Mackinac Island Restaurant Week
Taste why Mackinac Island is a premier dining destination. Island restaurateurs invite you to join more than a dozen eateries to indulge in some of their more popular and succulent dishes. No passes or tickets necessary. Just stop by participating restaurants throughout the week.
Fall Color Tours by Dog Team
September 15 – October 31
Nature's Kennel Iditarod Sled Dog Racing & Adventures
Prepare for a breathtaking fall color tour riding a sled dog sleigh along the colorful trails of the Eastern UP. The tour runs through beautiful hardwood forests that are a treat to see in the fall. These special fall-color tours take place during morning training runs throughout the season. Your color tour will include a tour of the kennel, an opportunity to hold puppies and an introduction to sled dog. The two-hour tour makes frequent stops for photos before returning to the kennel for a hot drink and homemade treat. The cost for this exciting UP color tour is $75 per person and is limited to two people per session. Children must be over eight years old for this tour. Reservations required.
Michigan Fiddlers Jamboree
Enjoy music performed with non-electrical instruments, dancing, concessions and lots of fun.
Haunted Weekend on Mackinac Island
See the island like you’ve never seen it before. A weekend of history and ghost hunting! Award winning authors, Kat Tedsen and Bev Rydel (Haunted Travels of Michigan book series) will take you on an extended journey into the mystery, haunting, and ghosts of Mackinac Island. Weekend includes day and night time ghost hunting adventures, historic walking tour. Plus this year, there will be two of Michigan’s most respected psychic/mediums on hand for private readings.
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.
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.