Peak Color for September 13, 2019

Meteorologists across the state are reporting an earlier color season as reports of slight to moderate color starting to show across wide areas. Cooler temperatures over the next week are expected to keep the fall color show developing. For most of Michigan, peak color is still a few weeks away, but check out what each region has to offer in the coming weeks. For great seasonal photo options, check out these color-draped routes from west Michigan to the Saginaw Bay region and the Upper Peninsula.
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 Iron Bell Trail

Upper Peninsula

While peak color is still several weeks away for most of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the beautiful drive along the Keweenaw Peninsula, Tahquamenon Scenic Byway, Brockway Mountain Drive, Whitefish Bay National Forest Scenic Byway and Porcupine Mountains State Park promises a stunning fall color display.

Marquette has a few trees donning early colors, and while you wait for peak conditions, this is the perfect time of year to explore the area’s 150 miles of singletrack, 83 miles of shoreline, 77 waterfalls, unique food and great brews. St. Ignace area has early color along US-2 toward Brevort and Naubinway to the north along I-75.

The Western Upper Peninsula and Mackinac Island are still very green with just the slightest tinge of color here and there. Although a slow start, peak conditions are estimated to overtake the Upper Peninsula in one to two weeks.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Peak color in the lower peninsula is still a couple of weeks away, as color will progress down from the Upper Peninsula. 

Travelers to Traverse City will find the M-22 shoreline along the Leelanau Peninsula one of the most popular color routes for the area viewing. Northwest Michigan’s Old Mission Peninsula provides a stunning drive this time of year. Nearly 20 miles long, the picturesque drive showcases a beautiful patchwork of orchards, vineyards, forests and villages. Visitors can experience wineries and roadside fruit stands. 

As the Petoskey-Harbor Springs area transitions from summer to fall, travelers can discover golf, local trails and unique dining and shopping.

Spot color can be seen driving north on Old 27 to Harrison in Clare County, and Roscommon County is reporting a tinge of red among area maples, which should provide a nice background scenery for the Michigan Firemen's Memorial weekend (September 19-21). 

Manistee County, Ludington, Charlevoix, Benzie County and other Northwest Michigan destinations are all showing bits of color; however, peak conditions are three to four weeks away

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Color seekers heading to the Alpena area will find early color scattered about local maples.  Picturesque lighthouses, dark sky parks, trails and wild-life viewing make this an ideal destination for a brisk fall afternoon.  

As you drive along the shoreline of Tawas Bay, you’ll find a hint of color on the edges of some of the maple leaves. Area wildflowers are bright with autumn foliage and the golfers are enjoying the last few weeks on the fading greens. Scenic M-55 is starting to see slight shades of red and yellow on the oaks. Occasionally you can catch a glimpse of a sugar maple that is about the reach the peak of blazing glory.

Fall excursion seekers taking a leisure drive through the Gaylord area can welcome the season at the  Blocktoberfest on September 21. Gaylord is a diverse outdoor destination and fall is the perfect time for many outdoor recreation activities this time of year.

While there are wisps of early fall color running through area trees, Houghton Lake, Oscoda -- and the rest of Northeast Michigan-- anticipate peak conditions to arrive more than three to four weeks from now.

Central and Southern Lower Peninsula

Holland and nearby communities are still weeks away from peak color. Visitors to the area this coming weekend can enjoy stunning views of Lakes Michigan and Macatawa from the top of the Mt. Pisgah dune. Oceana County, Silver Lake Sand Dunes area and Mount Pleasant anticipate prime viewing conditions in three to four weeks.

Great Lakes Bay Region, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Saugatuck- Douglas, South Haven --as well as most of Michigan’s Central Lower Peninsula--are reporting mostly summer-like foliage. If you’re traveling in the area this weekend, you’ll find color among the fresh produce, jams, jellies and selection of supplies and Native art crafted by local artisans at the Native Farmers Market in Midland. As color progresses, a walk through Dow Gardens or Chippewa Nature Center will provide excellent viewing conditions. This region offers viewers  15 uncommon fall color tour ideas that you’ll want to explore.  There’s plenty of fun to be had at local breweries, wineries, farm markets and u-pick farms even before the magnificent burst of color overtakes the region.

Southern Michigan is reporting peak conditions to be more than four weeks away. However, now is the perfect time to unwind at a local winery, where you’ll find classic tastes, new innovations, bold fruit wines, and much more. Many of these wineries offer tours, events and tastings. Stay tuned! Fall color should peak from mid-October to November 1 along the Lake Michigan shore in Michigan's Great Southwest.

Deals & Packages near this Week's Peak Color

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.

Celebrate Fall Beer Season
Various Locations
Grand Rapids

Bay Pointe Fall Deals
Bay Pointe Inn

Save on Your September Stay in the Soo!
Various Locations
Sault Ste. Marie

Stay and Play 2 Rounds of Golf at The Rock
Drummond Island Resort
Drummond Island

Petoskey Area Fall Flex Package
Various Locations

Your Autumn Adventure on Mackinac Island
Mission Point
Mackinac Island

Fall Color Explosion in the Western UP
Various Locations
Gogebic County

Save When You Stay in Livingston County
Various Locations
Brighton-Howell Area
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Celebrate Autumn with Savings in Traverse City
Various Locations
Traverse City

Celebrate Fall Beer Season
Various Locations
Grand Rapids

Military Discount
Inn at Stonecliffe
Mackinac Island
Stay 2 Nights & Save 15%
Harbour View Inn
Mackinac Island
Stay & Play Package
Drummond Island Resort and Conference Center
Drummond Island
End Of Summer Special
Inn at Stonecliffe
Mackinac Island
Color Season
Keweenaw Hodge Podge Lodge
Eagle Harbor
Romance Package
Cherry Tree Inn & Suites
Traverse City

Check out this month’s Featured Deals & Packages.  Visit for a complete list of great statewide vacation package deals.

Events near this Week's Peak Color

 If you’re looking for fun things to do this fall, it’s time you make plans to visit one of our many fairs, festivals, cultural or sporting events. These events celebrate, the fun-loving spirit you’ll find here. See a small sampling of what’s happening right now.
Harvest Festival
September 13-15, 2019
Spooktacular Halloween and Harvest Festival
September 20-21, 2019
Cedar River
Balloons Over Bay Harbor
September 20-22, 2019
 Bay Harbor

Annual Paul Bunyan Days
September 20-22, 2019

Harvest Festival
September 21, 2019
Brimley State Park
30th Annual Parade of Nations
September 21, 2019
Hops and Props
September 21, 2019
25th Annual Taste of Harbor Springs
September 21, 2019
Harbor Springs
September 21, 2019
Sunrise Suds Tap Takeover 2019
September 21, 2019

Be sure to visit for a complete list of great statewide events.

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Connect with Us
Pure Michigan is encouraging travelers to experience fall through a whole new filter, and sharing those experiences with the hashtag #FallFilter on Twitter and Instagram, in addition to the popular #PureMichigan hashtag. Fans can also tag Pure Michigan on Facebook when they share their favorite fall road trip.
A picture is worth a thousand travel inspirations. We invite you to connect with Pure Michigan on your favorite social network for the latest travel ideas, insider tips, vacation deals and more.  For more information, visit