There is a destination in Michigan that will appeal to virtually every imaginable kind of tourist. The Great Lakes State has everything, including some of the most beautiful lake vacations in the country, as well as quaint villages and cities that are always buzzing with activity.
U.S. News has compiled a list of the top locations to visit in Michigan based on a variety of criteria, including the number of activities offered, the variety of lodging options, and the general feeling of visitors to the state. Using this information, you will be better equipped to choose the destinations that will best suit your needs on your next trip.
The Best Places to Visit in Michigan in the Fall
Michigan is one of the best destinations in the United States to view the fall foliage because it is home to expansive farmlands, several national parks, and sandy beaches. Use the poll below to cast your vote for the travel spot that tops your list for the following year.
The charming city of Alpena was established in 1871, and it currently has a population of approximately 10,000 people. The city is on the shore of Lake Huron and looks out over Thunder Bay. The fact that they are located on the 45th Parallel, which marks the halfway point between the North Pole and the Equator, is their primary claim to fame.
The colors orange, crimson, and yellow burst forth from the leaves of Alpena’s trees in the fall, making the city appear to come to life. Renting a kayak and paddling down the Thunder Bay River while also going on a tour of the Alpena Lighthouse is a great way to make the most of the season in this charming town. Also, do not pass up the opportunity to go on the Alpena Shipwreck Tours or to view the fall colors in any of the more than two dozen local parks.
2. Ann Arbor
Without including our hometown on this list, it would be impossible for us to complete it. People travel to Southeast Michigan throughout the year to visit Ann Arbor since it is such a beautiful college town. Because it is the location of the prestigious University of Michigan, A2 has become a destination for people who enjoy learning, reading, and exploring their surroundings.
In the fall months of September, October, and November, Ann Arbor sees an increase in visitors. Not only have classes resumed, but the surrounding neighborhood is also coming to life with the changing of the leaves and other fall activities!
Cadillac, which was formerly a logging community and went by the name Clam Lake, is the ideal hideaway for anyone who enjoys spending time in the great outdoors. At Mitchell State Park, you may go hiking, fishing, or hunting in the great outdoors, and there are also pathways for biking and hiking.
Even if hiking and camping aren’t your thing, Cadillac still has lots of other things to offer visitors. Visit the Wexford County Historical Society and Museum, or take a stroll through the downtown commercial areas.
The vivid blue lake in Cadillac, which is surrounded by forests of vibrant orange, red, and yellow trees each year, has made this town in Michigan a popular destination for people looking to take in the fall foliage. Not to mention the fact that there are several amazing farms in the area where you can pick your pumpkins and apples as well as get lost in a corn maze.
4. The Copper Harbor
Copper Harbor, which calls itself “one of the most beautiful places in all of Michigan,” also claims to be the town in the entire United States that is situated the farthest away from any U.S. Interstate Highway than any other community. Because it is off the usual road, Copper Harbor is a five-hour drive from any major highway; however, we guarantee that the trip will be well worth it because of the breathtaking vistas.
The village, which has only one hundred people living there year-round, is tucked away on the Keweenaw Peninsula’s southernmost tip, right on the water’s edge of Lake Superior.
Copper Harbor, which is located in Michigan and is frequently referred to as “one of the best places in Michigan to see fall colors,” is stunning throughout the autumn months.
5. To the Grand Haven
Because its history dates back more than 300 years, the region around Grand Haven is considered to be one of the most historically significant locations in the state of Michigan.
In this area, you will discover a boardwalk that is 1.5 miles long and stretches from downtown Grand Haven to Lake Michigan, as well as several lighthouses, amazing museums, and plenty of breathtaking landscapes.
The fall season in Grand Haven is filled with a wide variety of activities, from going on hikes to harvesting your pumpkins and everything in between. However, if you want to have the ideal autumn afternoon in the area, you should make a point of going to one of the area’s many wonderful breweries or vineyards before watching the gorgeous sunset on the beach.
Holland is a wonderful spot to visit at any time of the year thanks to its location on the Lake Michigan coastline, which features beaches covered in white sand.
The region, which Forbes Magazine recognized as being one of “America’s prettiest towns,” has the allure of a little town while also providing the conveniences of a large city, such as delectable waterfront eating, dune climbing, and windmill exploration.
This is the time of year in Holland when the city shines even brighter than normal, with several local fall festivals, Heritage Days at the historic Van Raalte Farm, U-pick farms, corn mazes, hayrides, the Tulipanes Latino Art and Film Festival, and several other events.
Houghton is a wonderland of outdoor activities throughout the entire year because of its position as the entryway to the Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale National Park.
It should come as no surprise that Houghton, which is a four-season beautiful beauty, is stunning during the autumn months. The Keweenaw Peninsula is home to some of the most beautiful autumn foliage in the state, and taking a leisurely drive through the region is the ideal way to take advantage of the season.
8. The Season of Fall in Leelanau, Michigan
More than 1,550 acres are available for exploration inside Leelanau State Park, which may be found at the very tip of the Leelanau Peninsula in the state of Michigan. You’ll find a variety of attractions here, including the well-known Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, a primitive campground, cozy cottages, an engaging playground, and more.
Although there is a steady stream of tourists throughout the year, there is something about the fall season that makes Leelanau State Park seem at its absolute best.
Enjoy exploring the park’s kilometers of beautiful pathways, wandering barefoot along the beach, and enjoying a glimpse of the entire area from the top of the lighthouse. As you enter the park, you will drive beneath a blaze of autumn color that will welcome you.
9. The Island of Mackinac
Mackinac Island, which has been referred to as the “all-natural theme park of America,” has a long history of serving as a popular tourist destination. There are no automobiles, no well-known hotel chains, and a plethora of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Mackinac Island is a dream in so many ways, from the breathtaking views of the wildflowers to the unparalleled rock formations just off the coast.
Although most people think of Mackinac Island as a vacation spot during the summer, we want to let you in on a little secret. Autumn is a wonderful time to enjoy its splendor! When the leaves reach their peak coloration in early October, the island is bathed in a blaze of vibrant red, yellow, and orange hues.
10. Manistique, Michigan
The little town of Manistique, sometimes known as “The Emerald City,” may be found at the mouth of the Manistique River on the north side of Lake Michigan. The Kitch-it-kip, also known as The Big Spring, is the most well-known landmark in this charming city. It is a spring that is forty feet deep and contains more than 10,000 gallons of water that is exceptionally clean.
In addition to the Kitch-it-Kip, the majority of Manistique’s attractions offer fantastic opportunities for autumnal hiking and other outdoor sports. Explore one of the many local lighthouses, go to the Seney National Wildlife Refuge to witness wildlife, stroll along the Manistique Boardwalk, see the fall color at Fayette Historic State Park, and so much more are all possible things to do in this area.
The explanation is straightforward, so let’s just keep it between the two of us. Even though we adore the beaches in Michigan, one of our favorite things about the state is autumn. During the fall, there are a plethora of activities that may be enjoyed in Michigan. There is no shortage of exciting outdoor activities to choose from.
Visit this page for the latest information on the fall foliage in the area, and plan your trip to coincide with its peak in the first week of October for an unforgettable experience.