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Michigan in the fall — chilly weather, fall colors all around, and all the fun, small-town vibes along the banks of the Great Lakes. There is truly no better place to spend your fall getaway than in the parks and towns of Michigan. Check out our guide to the best of Michigan fall colors.
1. Whitefish Point
For fall colors and chilly air earlier in the year, head up to Whitefish Point, in the northern handle of Michigan. The little town sits on the edge of the state along the waters of Whitefish Bay, in Lake Superior. The little town is small, quaint, and full of the most vibrant colors in the fall months. While in Whitefish Point, be sure to check out the Whitefish Point Light Station, Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, and the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory.
2. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
The Porcupine Mountains, located in Silver City, Michigan, in the upper peninsula of Michigan along Lake Superior, is a popular spot to catch the vibrant fall in the state. The wilderness park, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, has hiking paths, wild forests, and lookout points to watch over the world below you in awe, including the Lake of the Clouds, all blanketed in a floor of crispy orange leaves. Make it a camping trip with a special twist and check out the Best Glamping in Michigan.
3. Tahquamenon Falls State Park
Another great UP (that’s upper peninsula, for those coming from out of state) fall spot is Tahquamenon Falls State Park, located near the town of Paradise, Michigan. This picturesque park’s main draw is the wide waterfalls of the Tahquamenon Falls. Head out on any of the trails and hike up to the waterfalls for spectacular fall vibes and views of the red, orange, and yellow leaves around the rushing water.
4. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Just around the corner from Tahquamenon, but not so far west you hit the Porcupine Mountains, sits the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The park is breathtakingly gorgeous during any season, featuring pine tree-topped marble and rocky cliffs overlooking a perfect turquoise sea below. In the fall, this site becomes even more overwhelmingly beautiful as the leaves on the trees change color and reflect off the waters below. Hike up the trails in the park, like the North Country Trail to the best lookout spot.
5. Keweenaw Peninsula
Head to the western part of the Upper Peninsula to the Keweenaw Peninsula, just north of the Porcupine Mountains. The peninsula is full of quaint lakeside towns and charm and only becomes more charming with the fall foliage in full effect. Make your trip to the Keweenaw Peninsula into a road trip along the M-26 state highway. The road will take you through the Copper County State Forest, Lake Roland, and the town of Houghton. The towns and sites along the route seem to fold seamlessly into the colorful fall themed hills, making it quite a sight to be seen.
6. Leelanau State Park
Beautiful, blue Lake Michigan, peak fall colors, and Michigan’s coastal towns and cities. Could anything be better? Head to Leelanau State Park, at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula along Lake Michigan. The park is home to dozens of hiking trails, surf spots if you dare to take on the mid-October waves, and the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, a historic monument in the area. All of this under the changing leaves on the trees above your head. The only way to make this trip better? Make it a road trip! Start in Traverse City and head out on route M-22. The route takes you up along the edge of the waters of Lake Michigan, passing by all the best spots to take in the beauty of the changing leaves. Before you hit the road, make sure you’re prepared with the do’s and don’ts of road trip travel.