I love this mitten state, there’s so many amazing places to explore all with their own unique feel and attractions. We’ve done most of the state, Alpena, Traverse City, Pictured Rocks, Grand Rapids, Detroit, but still there are a lot of places left on my list that are great for fall getaways.
Plus, going at different times of the year changes everything, so even though we may have already been somewhere in the summer, the holiday season or the fall colors can make somewhere feel brand new. I love traveling in the fall; it’s the off season for the most part so it’s a lot cheaper, but there’s so much beauty, especially in Northern Michigan.
Leland will always hold a special place in my heart. We got married up there in the fall and it was absolutely stunning. It’s small town vibes meets up north, and it’s absolutely perfect. From fishtown to the wineries, there’s no better way I would want to spend a weekend taking in the fall colors.
Drinks // We absolutely loved the views at Green Bird Cellars and Organic Farms, but Verterra right downtown also had a great tasting room and I would have to recommend you pick up a bottle (or two) of Witch’s Brew from Leelanau Cellars.
Eat // Blue Bird Restaurant has good breakfast and good whitefish for dinner, but I also love The Riverside Inn for something a little fancier. Also if you don’t get a sandwich from The Cheese Shanty in Fishtown you’re doing something wrong.
Cider Mills & Orchards // You must head up to Northport at check out Christmas Cove Farms, it’s the cutest shop with vintage bottle all over the walls and they have more apple varieties than you knew existed.
Attractions // Spend some time strolling along the old fishery of Fishtown, take a wine tasting tour, and catch some views at Clay Cliffs.
Grand Rapids is a perfect combination of city and small town. There’s so much going on, but the downtown area is so compact that it really doesn’t feel too big. You can never go wrong spending a weekend in Beer City USA.
Drinks // Be sure to start your day off at one of the amazing coffeehouses, I love Madcap. Then hit the brewery trail. Everyone knows to go to Founder’s, but also check out The Mitten Brewing Company, Vander Mill Ciders, and Hideout Brewery.
Eat // Get fantastic pie at the Grand Rapids Market, check out Rockwell & Republic, and make sure to grab some comfort food at The Electric Cheetah.
Cider Mills & Orchards// Robinette’s is one of my favorites, but also Sistema’s Orchards is a great option.
Attractions // If you’re going in the fall, wander through Art Prize, the world’s largest art competition. Take a walk along the river, ride the carousel at the kid’s museum overlooking the city, or swing dance in Rosa Parks Circle. For one of my favorite views of GR, stroll through John Ball Zoo and catch a glimpse of the skyline from the top of the park.
A classic up north getaway, we love just driving around the back roads, pulling over for photos of the fall colors, stopping for wine or donuts, and enjoying the small town’s charm.
Drink // Tap 30 Pourhouse has lots of great beers on tap, and beards brewery has flights that come in the shape of a beard. Petoskey Brewing however probably has the coolest atmosphere.
Eat // Visit Twisted Olive for views and a stunning patio, and City Park Grill is a good option as well.
Cider Mill & Orchard // Bill’s Farm Market is where you want to go for donuts and cider near Petoskey.
Attractions // Just north of town is the famous Tunnel of Trees, which is a must if you’re headed up in fall. Bear River Valley Recreation Area is a good spot to take a hike, and same with Petoskey State Park. And if you’re really feeling up to it, catch the ferry over to Beaver Island for the day.
Everyone always thinks of Mackinac Island as a summer destination, but going in the fall was totally eye opening. The colors were stunning, and because we actually stayed on the island we were able to be out later, explore downtown when it wasn’t packed, and check out all of the side streets.
Where to Stay // I would have to highly recommend our hotel, The Inn at Stonecliffe for a great experience and views of the bridge from the breakfast hall. If you can stay at the Grand Hotel, do it, but Mission Point is another wonderful option.
Drink // The Pink Pony is an iconic Michigan classic right in downtown, and the Gate House is a good spot to stop on the way to or from The Grand Hotel
Eat // Millie’s on Main and Seabiscuit cafe are my two all time favorites, and it’s not Mackinac Island if you don’t grab some fudge while you’re there, too.
There aren’t any cider mills on the island, but pop in to Sander’s Fudge and get a hot apple cider to warm up while wandering the streets.
Attractions // Bike around the island but be sure to spend some time going in-land as well. Bike along the roads and check out some of the most ridiculous houses in Michigan. Take in great views at the Fort, and enjoy the peace and quiet of Mackinac Island State Park.
Where are you exploring this fall?!