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Awesome Mitten’s ULTIMATE Michigan Fall Bucket List

From the breathtaking beauty of the Upper Peninsula to the charming towns that dot the Lower Peninsula, Michigan offers an enchanting canvas for fall enthusiasts. We’ve put together a Michigan Fall Bucket List brimming with captivating experiences.

Michigan Fall Bucket List

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Whether you’re craving the thrill of a scenic drive along M-119, the coziness of a cider mill visit, or the adventure of a leaf-peeping hike in one of the state’s pristine forests, Michigan’s fall bounty awaits your exploration.

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Lake of the Clouds, Porcupine Mountains

Enjoy an Epic View of the Fall Foilage at Lake of the Clouds

Whether you’re a lifelong Michigander or you’re visiting for the first time, the fall views in the Mitten State never disappoint! One of the best places for unforgettable views is Lake of the Clouds way up in the Upper Peninsula.

Situated in the Porcupine Mountains in a valley between two ridges, this vibrant blue lake surrounded by lush green forests looks like something right out of a picture.

Lake of the Clouds is already amazing and is one of the most photographed spots in the state. It’s even better in the fall after you make the trek through Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and see the vibrant red, yellow, and orange colors surrounding the lake.

It takes some work to get there, but trust us — you won’t be disappointed by the view.

Looking for more awesome fall views? Check out these other great spots in the UP.

If you visited the highest point in Michigan, would you expect unforgettable fall views? Of course, you would! That’s exactly what you’ll get when you make the journey to the top of Mount Arvon in the Central UP, which has an elevation of 1,979.238 feet.

On the eastern shore of the Keweenaw Peninsula, you’ll find the hidden gem known as Bare Bluff. It may lay off the beaten path, but it’s one of the best views on the peninsula. Here, you’ll be able to look out for miles, but you’ll also have a great vantage point to see the fall colors.

Head just a few miles north of Marquette up to Sugarloaf Mountain. It’s one of the most popular vistas in the UP, but it’s never too crowded either. The mountain has multiple viewing platforms and magnificent sweeping views, so you’ll be able to soak in all the beauty of fall.

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Stargaze at the Keweenaw Dark Sky Park

The Mitten State is one of the best places in the nation for stargazing, especially at dark sky parks in Northern Michigan and the UP.

What is a dark sky park? It is an area — usually surrounding a park — that restricts light pollution, thereby making for an ideal spot for those who are into astronomy.

If you’re keen to look at the stars, the moon, and possibly even other planets, travel to the tip of the UP to the Keweenaw Dark Sky Park near Copper Harbor. The Keweenaw is well known for its dark skies, and it became officially designated as a dark sky park in 2021.

Looking for more places to stargaze in Michigan? Check out these wonderful spots!

Just west of Mackinaw City sits the Headlands International Dark Sky Park. On clear summer nights, it’s not uncommon to see dozens of people lined along Lake Michigan looking toward the sky.

If you want a different view of the sky in the UP, cross the Mackinac Bridge and head east to the Les Cheneaux Islands. This series of more than 30 islands is mostly uninhabited, but it’s perfect for stargazing and seeing nothing but stars for miles on the clearest of nights.

Another great stargazing spot sits in the middle of Lake Michigan on Beaver Island. It’s an absolutely perfect middle-of-nowhere spot where you can enjoy peace, tranquility, and plenty of space to enjoy the night sky.

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See Creative Exhibits at Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize Event

Grand Rapids is one of the best cultural hubs in Michigan, and ArtPrize Grand Rapids is one of the best symbols of the city’s commitment to arts and culture.

This independent arts festival is a fun-filled celebration that invites artists of all mediums to compete for prizes and showcase their fantastic work.

The festival has been a mainstay in the city since 2009 and takes place in numerous venues. This helps create long-lasting partnerships between artists and different organizations in the city.

The festival not only stimulates economic growth in the city, but the public is also able to participate in the voting, and ArtPrize awards the winning artists with nearly a half-million dollars in grants and funding.

Check out these other awesome festivals in Michigan to keep the fun going this fall!

Oktoberfest in Frankenmuth is always one of the most fun and surest signs that fall has finally arrived. The spirit of Munich Oktoberfest can be felt all around as visitors enjoy scrumptious food, dancing, authentic entertainment, and of course, lots of beer.

Paul Bunyan Days in Oscoda is a great way to experience fall in Northeast Michigan and to celebrate the history of the legendary giant, who has an extensive history in Michigan. The festivities include a cornhole tournament, pie-eating contests, chainsaw carving, and more.

Apples are plentiful in Northern Michigan in the fall, and Charlevoix’s Apple Festival is one of the best ways to enjoy them. Vendors sell everything from apple cider to apple sweets — like crepes, cake, and of course, plenty of farm-fresh apples.

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Drive Through the Picturesque Fallasburg Covered Bridge

There aren’t many covered bridges in Michigan, but the ones that are here offer a high degree of nostalgia and charm that may remind some of a quiet New England town.

The Fallasburg Covered Bridge in Lowell connects Fallasburg and the historic Fallasburg Village over the Flat River. It spans 100 feet and dates back to 1871.

The bridge is made of pine timber in the Brown Truss style and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Michiganders can drive on the Fallasburg Bridge, slowly of course, and enjoy the journey.

Make sure to go slow when crossing because there’s a small fine for going any faster than walking speed.

Take a scenic drive and enjoy these other great covered bridges in Michigan!

The Augusta Covered Bridge in Kalamazoo County was built in 1973 with queen-post trusses and is close to the entrance to the W.K. Kellogg Forest. The bridge is located on the North Country Trail and is open to pedestrians only. It’s a small bridge, but it always makes for a scenic walk.

The Ada Covered Bridge in Kent County dates back to 1913. It was constructed for just $3,000, and modifications have been made to it over time. The 125-foot bridge goes over the Thornapple River and remains a popular place for people to walk. Also, it’s the site of several popular events during the year, including Beer on the Bridge every August.

The Pierce Stocking Covered Bridge is located in the heart of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It’s one of the most scenic elements of the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive and allows vehicles to drive over it. There’s even a pull-off for folks to admire the bridge from a distance.

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Indulge in a Pie Flight at Crane’s Pie Pantry in Fennville

Michigan offers beer flights, cider flights, and wine flights aplenty, but in the Southwest Michigan city of Fennville, you can dig into a pie flight for dessert!

Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant and Winery is a family-owned business and is well known for pies, donuts, wine, and more. But the real star of the show is the pie flights, which allow customers to try five different delicious pies served a la mode. 

The pie menu here includes more than a half-dozen options, including cherry, apple, and chocolate pecan, so you can mix and match to build the perfect pie flight to enjoy after a great meal.

Looking for more fun in Fennville this fall? Try these awesome activities while you’re visiting Fennville.

Make plans during the second weekend in October to attend Fennville’s annual Goose Festival. The town is part of the migratory route for Canadian geese and the festival includes a wild goose chase 5K, carnival activities, a parade, and more.

If you’re seeking fresh apple cider, make a trip to the Virtue Cider Mill. The scrumptious ciders that visitors can enjoy here are modeled on European farmhouse ciders, and cider enthusiasts will be amazed to see heirloom apples transformed into crisp ciders.

If you prefer wine instead, head to the Fenn Valley Winery . You don’t have to travel all the way up the Lake Michigan coastline to Traverse City to enjoy great wines. Instead, you can come to Fennville and enjoy traditional tastings, tours, and fun events during the year.

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Visit Gene the Pumpkin Man’s Fall Produce Market in Kalamazoo

West Michigan has strong agricultural roots, and scores of Michiganders visit this side of the state every fall to find the perfect pumpkin at a local pumpkin patch.

If you love getting to know the people behind the pumpkin patches, then you absolutely have to make the trip to Kalamazoo to meet Gene the Pumpkin Man.

For decades Gene has been a larger-than-life figure at his family farm, easily recognizable by his orange hat and orange button-down.

Gene’s family farm includes free parking and free admission, not to mention pumpkins, squash, photo ops, honey and pumpkin butter, and so much more. Credit cards aren’t accepted here, so make sure to have cash on hand.

Want to visit the state’s best pumpkin patches this fall? Check out some of our favorite Michigan pumpkin patches.

Lewis Adventure Farm and Zoo in New Era celebrates fall from early September through Halloween. It offers plenty of fall-favorite activities, including pumpkin picking, a corn maze, apple picking, and much more.

Olin Farm in Lowell offers an authentic pumpkin-picking experience on a family-owned farm. This farm has been a mainstay for decades and has two pumpkin patches for visitors to find that special jack-o’-lantern.

Post Family Farm in Hudsonville is an 80-acre farm that families have been visiting for decades each fall to pick pumpkins. Visitors are able to take a wagon ride, meet farm animals, and much more.

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Conquer the Corn Maze at Harvest Moon Acres in Gobles

Another sure sign of a Michigan fall is getting lost in a beautifully designed, fun corn maze.

One of the best corn mazes in the state is in Gobles in Southwest Michigan. Harvest Moon Acres stretches over 5 acres and challenges those brave enough to step inside with questions, twisty pathways, and a quest to find different picture rubbings.

It’s the perfect fall activity for friends and families alike. Harvest Moon also offers Flashlight Nights to make the maze more mysterious.

Once you’ve made it through the maze, explore the grounds to enjoy farm animals, concessions, group campfires, and much more.

Looking for more corn maze fun this fall? Check out these excellent Michigan corn mazes!

The Hayes Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch in Rock in the UP has gained popularity among corn maze enthusiasts for having a new maze each and every year. That ensures anyone can have fun every time they visit. Make your way through the maze to become a Hayes Corn Maze Master.

Royal Farms Corn Maze in Ellsworth offers a maze that’s both a maze and a scavenger hunt. Visitors are encouraged to find all stations through the 5-acre maze, and prizes are available to those who can complete the challenge.

Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery Corn Maze in Grand Rapids is a tradition for locals, and the farm has a new theme for its maze each year. Past themes have included 9/11 and other patriotic tributes.

Renaissance Festival
Michigan Renaissance Festival | photo via cindy.lyon.520

Experience the Michigan Renaissance Festival

Michigan has so many great fall festivals, but the Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly entreats knights, maidens, and kings alike to travel back to the days of yore.

Visitors can explore a 16th-century European village where they’ll see jousting, and interact with magicians, jugglers, knights, and so many more colorful characters.

There are also delicious eats to feast upon and usually dozens of artisans selling their wares in the festival marketplace.

Whether you’ve been to a dozen Renaissance fairs or you’ve never been, this festival isn’t short on fun. There’s something for everyone to enjoy, and you might find yourself going back next year.

Looking for more fantastic fall festivals? Hop in your car and head for these fun-filled Michigan events.

If you enjoy festival food, then you’ll love the annual Michigan Chicken Wing Festival in Lansing. The festival is usually a showcase for vendors to flaunt their wings with exciting and delicious flavors, and other events here include live music and a kids’ zone.

The Copper Harbor Trails Fest in Copper Harbor is an awesome event for running enthusiasts and really anyone who likes to be outside. There are races for runners of all skill levels, along with music, food, and beer. It’s all your favorite festival ingredients rolled into one!

The International Festival in Holland showcases one of the premier towns in West Michigan for a festival that’s all about celebrating world cultures. There are live performances, many varieties of food, and plenty to see and explore from countries all over the world.

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Take an Interactive Musical Tour of the Motown Museum

Motown music is synonymous with Detroit and visitors to the Motor City can bask in that history with a tour of Hitsville USA, located on West Grand Boulevard.

It was here that so many legendary musical careers were launched, including Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Diana Ross to name just a few.

The interactive tours here allow visitors to see where the magic was made decades ago as they see memorabilia, records, and costumes. The tour guides have even been known to sing Motown hits as they take visitors down the storied halls.

Are you a history buff? Then make plans to visit these other magnificent Michigan museums!

The Thomas Edison Depot Museum in Port Huron is a historic depot where the great inventor Thomas Edison once worked as a reporter. This hands-on museum is a great way to learn Edison’s story, and exhibits include a reconstructed mobile lab that he used.

The Mackinaw Bridge Museum in Mackinaw City pays tribute to the Mighty Mac and the workers who built it. It sits upstairs at Mama Mia’s Pizza and is free to explore anytime the restaurant is open.

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum in Grand Rapids pays tribute to Michigan native and 38th President Gerald Ford and his wife Betty. It’s great for people who like history and presidential trivia.

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Stroll Along the Paint Creek Trail

Stretching across almost 9 miles in northeast Oakland County, the Paint Creek Trail runs over the path of the former Penn Central Railroad. It’s also the first non-motorized rail-to-trail in Michigan.

Since 1983, the trail has been popular with Michiganders and sees more than 100,000 visitors each year. The trail goes through Lake Orion, Rochester, and Rochester Hills among other spots, and is a perfect trail to explore with family and friends on a fall color tour.

Want to get outside and explore this fall? Put on a good pair of shoes or boots and hit these wonderful Michigan trails!

The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Chapel Loop in Munising is just one of the 100 miles of paths along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The Chapel Loop stretches for 3.3 miles and passes Chapel Lake and Chapel Falls on the way to Chapel Beach.

The Ludington State Park Lighthouse Trail covers 3 miles of sandy Michigan shoreline and offers plenty of incredibly scenic fall views. Plus, it leads trekkers all the way to Big Sable Point Lighthouse, where you can climb up and really soak in the views.

The Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park Trail in Cass City offers hikers the chance to traverse a 1-mile trail through the woods and across the Little Cass River. The Sanilac Petroglyphs are one of the biggest groups of ancient rock carvings in Michigan, and they’re fun to look at as you explore the fall colors.

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Cheer on the Broncos at a Western Michigan University Football Game

Michiganders love college football, and they’re fiercely loyal to their college teams.

One of the best places to watch a game is on the campus of Western Michigan University at Waldo Stadium. The Broncos have been a mainstay in the Mid-American Conference for decades and enjoy a competitive rivalry with Central Michigan University.

Whether you like football or not, football games in Kalamazoo and other spots around the state are exciting places to be on game days. It’s a chance to tailgate, hang out with fellow fans, enjoy some great food, and really soak in the college football atmosphere.

Want to watch more football in Michigan this fall? Travel to these other iconic Michigan football venues!

Whether you’re a fan of the Maize and Blue or not, you can’t go wrong watching a football game at Michigan Stadium, also known as the Big House, in Ann Arbor. With a stadium capacity of more than 100,000, it’s hard not to get swept up in the excitement and the atmosphere when you have thousands of people cheering and singing the school fight song, “The Victors.”

If you’re a fan of Michigan State, a game at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing is always a good time. Get there early to catch a glimpse of the Spartan Walk, during which the coaches and players walk to the stadium, and make sure to catch the always-excellent halftime show.

The season for the Detroit Lions extends into winter, but if you want to see the pros in action, head to Ford Field in Detroit. You’ll be amazed by the play on the field, the excellent sight lines, and the delicious food.

Related: Spartans vs Wolverines: Ultimate Michigan Football Rivalry

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Gobble Your Way Through the Ann Arbor Turkey Trot

For more than a decade, the Turkey Trot has been a Thanksgiving tradition in Ann Arbor.

Before the Thanksgiving Feast, hundreds of runners get into the holiday spirit with festive costumes and some friendly competition. The trot itself (a 5K) can be completed by running, walking, or even crawling, so it’s perfect for the whole family. There’s even a 1-mile Tot Trot for youngsters.

Runners are rewarded with cookies and cocoa at the finish line, and there are photo ops with Santa and Turkey Tom. So, all in all, it makes for a fun morning!

Looking for more fall races to compete in? Check out these other great 2023 Michigan Turkey Trots! Use Google search to get more details about these races…

2023 Race & LocationDate
Muskegon Turkey Trot 5K Trail Run | Muskegon, MINovember 4
Oxford Township ParksTurkey Trot | Oxford Charter Township, MINovember 4
St Peter Turkey Trot 5K/10K | Hemlock, MINovember 4
St. Clair River Turkey Trot | St Clair, MINovember 4
Waldenwoods Turkey Trot | Howell, MINovember 5
Coldwater National Honor Society Turkey Trot | Coldwater, MINovember 11
Hoffmaster Turkey Trail 5K Run | Norton Shores, MINovember 11
Big Red Marching Machine Turkey Trot | Fort Gratiot Twp, MINovember 12
CMU NAEA’s Turkey Trot | Mt Pleasant, MINovember 12
LSSU Turkey Trot | Sault Ste. Marie, MINovember 12
The Original Kroger A2 Turkey Trot | Dexter, MINovember 12
2023 ICCS Turkey Trot | Imlay City, MINovember 18
Alma Turkey Trot | Alma, MINovember 18
ICCS Turkey Trot | Imlay City, MINovember 18
Turkey Trot 5K Fun Run | Saugatuck, MINovember 18
WMU Turkey Trot | Kalamazoo, MINovember 18
Dowagiac Turkey Trot | Dowagiac, MINovember 19
Turkey Trot General Info | Detroit, MINovember 22
11th Annual Out Side In 5k Turkey Trot event | Grand Haven, MINovember 23
2023 Annual Battle Creek Family YMCA Turkey Trot… | Battle Creek, MINovember 23
2023 Gaylord Turkey Trot | Gaylord, MINovember 23
3rd Annual Downtown Dewitt Turkey Trot | DeWitt, MINovember 23
America’s Thanksgiving Parade Turkey Trot | Detroit, MINovember 23
ANTI-Turkey Trot | Shelby, MINovember 23
Dork Brothers Turkey Trot | Alpena, MINovember 23
Gobbler Gallop Trail/Run | Saginaw, MINovember 23
Hands & Feet Turkey Trot | Adrian, MINovember 23
Huffin for the Stuffin | Northville, MINovember 23
Iron Mountain | Kingsford Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk | Iron Mountain, MINovember 23
JACKSON TURKEY TROT | Jackson, MINovember 23
Kalamazoo Area Runners Turkey Trot Time Prediction Run | Portage, MINovember 23
Lansing Turkey Trot | Lansing, MINovember 23
New Beginnings Turkey Trot 5k | Sheridan, MINovember 23
Niles-Buchanan YMCA Thanksgiving Day Run | Niles, MINovember 23
Oxford Turkey Trot 5k, 10k, & Family Mile | Oxford, MINovember 23
Portage Health Turkey Trot 5K | Hancock, MINovember 23
Tamarac Turkey Trot | Fremont, MINovember 23
Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot – Ann Arbor | Ann Arbor, MINovember 23
The Sunrise Side Pantry’s Turkey Trot | Rogers City, MINovember 23
Turkey ‘TRAIL’ Trot | Shelby Township, MINovember 23
Turkey Trot | Grand Rapids, MINovember 23
Turkey Trot MMYMCA | Menominee, MINovember 23
Turkey Trot Time Prediction 5K | Portage, MINovember 23
TWW Turkey Trot | East Tawas, MINovember 23
Up North Media Traverse City Turkey Trot | Traverse City, MINovember 23
YMCA of Barry County Turkey Trot | Hastings, MINovember 23
Zeeland Turkey Trot 8k | Zeeland, MINovember 23
Deerfield Park 5K Turkey Trot | Shepherd, MINovember 24
Kiwanis Boyne City Turkey Trot | Boyne City, MINovember 24
Marquette Turkey Trot | Marquette, MINovember 24
Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot – Flint | Flint, MINovember 24
Toys for Tots Turkey Trot | Gaylord, MINovember 24
Turkey Trot 5k/Turkey Bowl — Calvary | Canton, MINovember 24
Twin Cities Turkey Trot | Benton Harbor, MINovember 24
Wildcat P.R.I.D.E. Turkey Trot | Lakeview, MINovember 24
19th Annual Turkey Trot For A Cause | Canton, MINovember 25
Coopersville Cares Turkey Trot | Coopersville, MINovember 25
Detroit Zoo Turkey Trot 5K | Royal Oak, MINovember 25
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Fantasy Forest | photo via tllymrksdisappear

Visit the Fantasy Forest at Leila Arboretum

Visiting the Fantasy Forest at Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek is like visiting another world, so it can absolutely be one of the highlights of your Michigan fall bucket list.

The Fantasy Forest is a magnificent sculpture park that sits on the site of a former ash tree grove. The sculptures were formed from trees by talented artists who created incredible works of art.

Visitors are asked not to touch the sculptures, but a few of them are designed for sitting. There are plenty of photo ops too, so you can take plenty of cool shots to post on social media.

Looking for more fall fun in Southcentral Michigan? Visit these spots on your travels!

Before the weather turns too cold, gather friends and family for a friendly game of disc golf. There are lots of courses in Michigan and it’s a great excuse to be outside and enjoy the fall weather and colors.

If you’re going to be outside, consider bringing your golf clubs along. Michigan has tons of top-rated golf courses that cater to golfers of all skill levels and offer challenges, great views, and great times.

If you’re just looking to enjoy the fall weather, why not plan a family picnic and fall photoshoot? Jackson County has plenty of parks and playgrounds to have a picnic and hire a local photographer to take some nice family photos.

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Experience Fall Camping at Waterloo State Recreation Area

Located within an hour’s drive of Lansing in Chelsea, the Waterloo State Recreation Area offers more than 40 miles of hiking trails and lots of space for fall camping. 

As the largest state park in the Lower Peninsula, Waterloo is home to a variety of camping options, including modern, rustic, backpack-only, overnight lodging and equestrian sites. That makes it easy to find a camping spot that suits you and your family.

The opportunities for outdoor leisure are numerous here — nearly a dozen inland lakes, a trail system, hunting and fishing spots, guided horseback rides, and more.

Looking for more places to camp this fall? Consider these great Michigan camping spots around the Mitten State!

In the Upper Peninsula, Tahquamenon Falls is beautiful any time of year, but it’s even prettier in the fall. It offers plenty of camping options, from RV camping to rustic camping and more.

For a different kind of camping experience, try yurt camping in Michigan. Yurts are tent-like structures made of canvas and latticework that include some rustic camping amenities like woodstoves and grills.

If camping isn’t your thing, you might consider Michigan fall cabin rentals. From the Upper Peninsula to Northern Michigan to the Thumbcoast, there are many great places to rent a cabin, where you can enjoy the natural views and atmosphere.

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Explore Cadillac’s Extensive ORV Trails

If you love exploring Michigan in the fall on an off-road vehicle, Cadillac is one area you’ll definitely want to visit.

It has more than 100 miles of ORV trails and is viewed by Michiganders as one of the premier spots for ORV enthusiasts.

In fact, it’s so popular that Wexford County has been branded as a premier, year-round destination for ORVs, thanks to a federal grant.

The trails in the county are numerous and perfect places to explore the beauty of a Michigan fall. If you want a different way to experience a fall color tour, a ride on an ORV makes for a heck of a view.

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Relax on a Scenic Chairlift Ride at The Highlands in Harbor Springs

Whether you’re looking to rest after spending time hiking or biking or you’re in search of a unique view of the fall colors, you can hop aboard the chairlift at The Highlands.

The lifts aren’t just for winter or skiing — they’re used in the fall too. The lifts provide stunning, breathtaking panoramic views of the fall foliage, the lush grounds of The Highlands, and the crystal blue waters.

From high on your perch on the lifts, you’ll be able to see Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Little Traverse Bay, and even as far as the Mackinac Bridge on a clear day.

Related: Soar to Scenic Views at Copper Peak Michigan

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Take a Fall Drive Through the Tunnel of Trees

If you really want to experience all that a Michigan fall can offer, no bucket list is complete without a drive through the Tunnel of Trees.

This jaw-dropping drive is part of M-119, which stretches from Cross Village to Harbor Springs and runs along Lake Michigan’s coastal bluff.

The drive extends about 20 miles on a narrow road and is a magnificent explosion of fall color when all the leaves have turned. We recommend going in the middle of the week when there’s much less traffic.

The drive lasts about 40 minutes if you drive the maximum allowed speed of 45 mph, but it’s best to take your time and really soak in all the colors around you.

Can’t get enough of Michigan’s majestic fall colors? Hop in the car to make the trip to these fantastic color spots!

There’s no better way to experience fall colors in the UP than on the US-41 Tree Tunnel into Copper Harbor. The colors here are vibrant, and you’ll consider yourself lucky that you got to see colors at the very top of the state.

The Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway in Northeast Michigan is a great way to see Ocqueoc Falls as you keep your eyes peeled for the fall colors. The pathway has four loops of different distances that are great for hiking and biking.

Another great way to see the fall colors is by taking a drive on M-25 along the shores of Lake Huron in Michigan’s Thumbcoast. You can stay in the car and admire the fall colors, or explore more by stopping at a park along the way.

Related: Experience 4 Breathtaking Fall Color Drives in Michigan

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Hunt for Treasure on the ORB GeoTour Near Houghton Lake

Geocaching, the practice of setting up and tracking caches, has been popular in the Houghton Lake area for many years.

The ORB GeoTour, which runs through 2025, is a way to experience the great outdoors in Michigan and explore Roscommon and Ogemaw counties.

Thirty geocaches have been placed throughout the two counties, and the geocachers’ goal is to collect 28 of them and fill out a survey to receive a special geocoin. Those who can find all 30 get a special digital souvenir.

It’s the experience of a lifetime and one that allows you to explore all that’s great about the Mitten State.

Once you’re done geocaching, don’t leave Houghton Lake just yet! There’s a lot more to see and do in this wonderful Michigan town

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Savor Fresh Cider and Donuts at Knaebe’s Apple Farm & Ciderworks

Cider and donuts go hand in hand during a Michigan fall, and this farm north of Alpena offers freshly made cider and donuts along with a whole host of other treats.

Once you’ve picked up your donuts — Knabe’s offers several varieties including pumpkin, cinnamon, sprinkled, and bacon, apple maple (B.A.M.) — and cider, grab a spot at a table inside or head outside to one of several picnic tables or standing tables.

The cider and donuts are the stars of the show at Knaebe’s, but there’s a lot more to see and explore. Knaebe’s offers hard cider flights, wood-fired pizza, a petting zoo, play structures for kids, apple picking, and much more.

Can’t enough cider and donuts in the fall? Visit these other spectacular apple farms and orchards!

Blake Farms in Armada is one of Michigan’s biggest apple orchards and offers more than 40 varieties. It also makes standard and hard cider, as well as freshly baked goods — to say nothing of its many family-friendly activities.

Spicer Orchards Farm Market & Winery in Fenton is the perfect place for a fall family outing. The family has farmed for six generations, and they know how to produce perfect apples, cider, and donuts for visitors to enjoy.

Golden River Orchard in Cheboygan is a first-generation family farm that has made a name for itself by offering plenty of apple varieties, as well as cider, pumpkins, squash, donuts, and lots of other delicious goodness.

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Explore the Impression 5 Science Center

For more than 50 years, the Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing has been a go-to spot for kids looking to have fun with hands-on learning.

Through the use of interactive exhibits and scientific exploration, kids of all ages have loved coming here to enjoy exhibits like the Spectrum light and mirror exhibit, the POP! bubble experience, the First Impression infant and toddler room, and much more.

If you’re looking for a way to engage your youngsters in learning as they have fun, this is a great place to do it. It’s great for a day visit, multiple visits with a membership, and even birthday events.

Looking for more family-friendly indoor activities this fall? Check out these other great family spots!

The Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum is a great place for kids to explore. Attractions include the Exploratorium, which encourages kids to build things, and the Beemazium, a giant multi-level hive built for exploration.

The Yankee Air Museum in Belleville makes for a great Michigan day trip. You can take guided tours or explore on your own a fascinating collection of videos, artifacts, guides, simulators, and more — all geared toward aviation and the history of Willow Run, an important part of the Arsenal of Democracy during WWII.

If you’re looking for a museum centered around fun, look no further than the International Frisbee Hall of Fame in Calumet. For fans of regular Frisbee, guts Frisbee, or even disc golf, this is a trip worth making and includes lots of cool memorabilia.

Related: 5 “Unplugged” Family-Friendly Destinations in Flint Michigan

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Pay Your Respects at Veterans Memorial Gardens in Holt

Veterans Day, an annual November holiday honoring military veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, is marked throughout Michigan with tributes in big cities and small towns alike.

Veterans Memorial Gardens in Holt is a 5.5-acre tribute to those who served and has a Veterans Memorial as its centerpiece, which pays tribute to every branch of the military.

In addition, Veterans Memorial Gardens has several gardens within it, including a beautiful butterfly garden and plantings all throughout it.

It’s a beautiful place to reflect, to pay respect, and to remember friends, loved ones, and others who served their country.

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Watch the Giant Pumpkin Chucker at Johnson’s Pumpkin Farm

There’s nothing better than visiting a farm during the fall to pick pumpkins, see farm animals, and enjoy fresh cider and donuts.

If visiting a pumpkin patch is a fall tradition for your family, you’ll love Johnson’s Pumpkin Farm in Saginaw. Not only can you pick from 80 varieties of pumpkins, but you can also watch the trebuchet.

Also known as a pumpkin chucker, the trebuchet can hurl a 30-pound pumpkin several thousand feet through the air and stands over 60 feet tall. There’s a lot to do at Johnson’s, but the pumpkin chucker is always a popular feature.

Looking for more places to pick the perfect pumpkin this fall? Check out our awesome list of pumpkin patches!

Corn Fun Family Farm in Casco offers plenty of fall fun. The activities here include a 4-mile corn maze that includes two different mazes, a pumpkin patch, a hay bale pyramid, and more.

Gull Meadow Farms in Richland is one of the premier pumpkin patch destinations in Southwest Michigan. Visitors can pick pumpkins from the patch, gather fresh apples in the orchard, enjoy freshly baked treats, and so much more.

Fleming Farm in Gaylord has a corn maze, as well as plenty of pumpkins. You can go out and pick your own, or you can choose from many that have already been picked. There’s a petting zoo, tractor hayrides, and a hay bale maze too.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum - Whitefish Point - Fbl 23

Explore the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

In Michigan, Whitefish Point on the shores of Lake Superior is considered the Graveyard of the Great Lakes because so many ships have been lost there.

To pay homage and remember, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum offers visitors a place to learn the history behind the Edmund Fitzgerald and many other notable Michigan shipwrecks.

It truly is a mesmerizing place to learn about Michigan’s maritime history, and it offers visitors an immersive experience to truly understand the dangers of traversing the Great Lakes.

It’s open until Halloween, so make your plans to visit before it closes for the season.

Want to learn about Michigan shipwrecks and maritime history? Visit these other areas of the Mitten State this fall!

Alpena is a great place to visit in the fall and is also home to the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center with exhibits that everyone can enjoy. These exhibits highlight the many shipwrecks found in the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and include a life-size schooner deck.

If you want to see some of the sanctuary’s shipwrecks, stay in Alpena for a seasonal glass-bottom boat tour. If you’ve ever wondered what shipwrecks look like up close, you don’t have to wonder anymore as you explore these awesome relics.

If you’re in the UP,  you can never go wrong with a trip to the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie. Since the mid-1800s, they’ve been an important part of Michigan’s history and are always exciting to see when ships are passing through.

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Enjoy a Hearty Meal at Lehto’s Pasties

If a trip through the Upper Peninsula is on your fall bucket list this fall, you absolutely have to stop and treat yourself to a pasty.

What’s a pasty you ask? In the UP, it’s culinary perfection and consists of beef, potatoes, and rutabagas mixed together and wrapped up in a tasty, flaky golden crust. It traces its roots back to mining days and is perfect for lunch and dinner.

Letho’s Pasties in St. Ignace is located just over the Mackinac Bridge, and hungry visitors have their choice of beef, chicken, or veggie pasties.

Looking for more great places to sink your teeth into a pasty? Check out these other fantastic spots north of the bridge!

Muldoon’s Pasties and Gifts in Munising is open seasonally from spring to Halloween, but it serves award-winning pasties of several varieties. It also makes several kinds of dessert pasties, so save some room after your meal, or get one to take home.

Gram’s Pasties in Escanaba has proven popular with locals over the years and offers pasty options you can’t find anywhere else. Traditional pasties are on the menu, of course, but Gram’s offers daily specials as well, which have included nacho cheese, ham, potatoes, and salsa among past options.

The Pasty Oven in Iron Mountain serves a number of pasty varieties, and the restaurant has been rewarded for its pasty offerings in the past. Also, it ships pasties, including yummy varieties like breakfast pasties, pepperoni pizza, and chicken and cheese.

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Paddle Along the Cass River Water Trail

If you love kayaking and canoeing in the fall, then you should definitely add a paddle along the Cass River Water Trail to your list.

The trail spans nearly 40 miles — starting upstream of Vassar where M-46 crosses the Cass River and continues through Vassar, Tuscola, Frankenmuth, and Bridgeport before ending at Wickes Park on the Saginaw River.

There are more than a dozen kayak and canoe launch sites along the trail, so it’s easy to pick your own start and end point. Paddlers will love traveling through small towns and natural areas on their travels.

The Cass River Trail website suggests a number of paths along the trail, depending on your skill level, so it’s easy for everyone to put in and start exploring.

Looking for more fall kayaking fun in the Mitten State? Check out these other excellent kayaking spots!

If you love scenic views while you’re kayaking, you really can’t go wrong with a trip along Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It’s one of Michigan’s most beautiful spots to paddle and is an excellent trip for kayakers with at least a moderate level of experience.

Turnip Rock in Port Austin is one of the most unique places in all of Lake Huron. If you love kayaking, you’re in luck because that’s the only way to reach it! Bring your camera and prepare to take lots of great photos.

The Huron River Water Trail spans more than 100 miles through the Lower Peninsula and is an ideal body of water for paddlers of all skill levels. You can paddle along yourself or take a guided tour if you feel more comfortable.

Couple With Wine

Create Your Own Wine at Vinomondo Winery in Fort Gratiot

For almost 20 years, Vinomondo Winery has been the standard for wine in Michigan’s Thumbcoast. Not only is the wine delicious, but it also offers something for everyone — even those who don’t drink wine.

If you have a favorite vintage or you’re looking to try something new, you can order a batch of your favorite wine. Vinomondo will take care of all the work, all you have to do is come in and enjoy.

If you really want to have a hand in the process, you can bottle the wine yourself and save a few dollars per bottle while you do.

Michigan has so many great wineries, and you’ll definitely want to add these stops to your fall bucket list!

MAWBY in Suttons Bay is a vineyard and winery that offers an experience unlike any other. In this relaxed winery, visitors can sample Mawby’s distinct sparkling wines, which have all kinds of creative names. There are indoor and outdoor tasting areas, so you can sip wherever you please.

White Pine Winery in St. Joseph is known for crafting delicious fine wine from locally grown grapes. The tasting room is located in the heart of town and offers delicious varieties like Merlot, Syrah, and more.

2 Lads Winery in Traverse City requires a bit of a drive to reach, but we promise it’s worth it! The region is known for bold wines, so if you like reds, whites, and roses, you’re in luck!

Fall Fishing

More to Explore This Fall in Michigan

From the kaleidoscope of foliage to the warmth of pumpkin spice lattes, this bucket list encapsulates the essence of Michigan’s autumn charm. Embrace the season’s magic, and let our Michigan fall bucket list be your guide to an unforgettable autumn in the Great Lakes State.


  1. You should really add “MI DOGS” in Newberry to your listing. What a wonderful place to cuddle sled dog puppies and meet Laura Neese, an international champion musher. She’s run the Quest and Iditarod and many other Lower 48 races. She’s on FaceBook for further references. Thanks!

  2. Our deepest thanks for recognizing our winery! We strive to provide the best wines and service in Michigan at reasonable prices! We’re also on Facebook and X (formerly known as Twitter) for anyone interested in getting more information! Cheers!

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