The best thing about fall in Michigan is the changing colors of the trees. Pack up the kids (and your pet) and plan a family road trip for a day or even a weekend away to enjoy the season.

2023 Planning tip: The Upper Peninsula usually has near peak around October 2nd. Lower Michigan peak will begin around October 9th. The entire state will be past peak by October 23rd.

M-25 around the thumb

Take M-25 from Port Huron, past Lexington all the way around the thumb of the state past Port Austin to Bay City for a drive full of fall colors and picturesque views of Lake Huron. Recommended stops include Michigan’s oldest lighthouse, Fort Gratiot, putt-putting for a good cause at Putt’in 4 Paws in Lexington and setting sail on a fall color cruise in Bay City. You’ll also want to head to Midland to view the leaves from up high on the Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens Canopy Walk.

Red Arrow Highway

Take a drive along Lake Michigan to explore quaint coastal villages, such as Union Pier and St. Joseph. This area is known for its agriculture with plenty of U-pick farms such as Nye’s Apple Barn that is the perfect pit stop for pie, cider and more fresh treats!

Keweenaw Peninsula Scenic Drive

Travel through dense forests and quaint towns to Copper Harbor to take in the stunning view of Michigan’s fall colors and Lake Superior. From Copper Harbor, enjoy the 9.5 mile Brockway Mountain Drive around Lake Superior, the highest above sea-level drive between the Rockies and Alleghenies and an official Michigan Wildlife Viewing Area.

The Western-most U.P.

CR 513 leads from the small town of Bessemer to the Lake Superior shore. Once a wagon supply route to the area’s iron mines, the 15-mile route could easily be overlooked is surrounded by one million acres of the Ottawa National Forest and it is an explosion of color in the fall.


This famed stretch offers 116 miles of Lake Michigan’s picturesque coast from Manistee to Traverse City, road trippers can make a pit stop at must-see Michigan destinations, including Sleeping Bear Dunes National LakeshoreInspiration Point and Point Betsie Lighthouse.

Photo Credit: Frank, Michigan In Pictures