Autumn in Northern Michigan

There’s nothing quite like fall in Northern Michigan. The area offers unique attractions for families and individuals who want to indulge in the essential activities of the season, from sampling the many Michigan apple varieties to embarking on a breathtaking color tour. Here are some quintessential attractions to get you into the spirit of fall.

Jeremy Keith

Charlevoix Apple Fest

Charlevoix, Northern Michigan’s essential beach town, hosts their Apple Festival annually, an event that showcases the area’s superior apple orchards, farmer’s market, and food. Browse the work of local arts and craftspeople while munching on over 30 apple varieties, including traditional and heirloom apples. Compete in pumpkin-carving contests and the Sunday morning 5/10K run. Kids can get their faces painted, choose an apple from the apple pond, ride ponies and pet their favorite animals at the petting zoo. The event begins in East Park at 10 AM on October 13 and runs through the weekend.

Great Lakes Glass Pumpkin Patch

A Petoskey-area tradition, the Great Lakes Glass Pumpkin Patch showcases the pumpkin creations of local glassblowers Harry Boyer and Lynn Dinning. The event begins on October 7 and runs through November. Visitors can browse the hundreds of glass creations, picking up their favorites along the way to purchase while they stroll through the gardens.

Mackinaw Manor Haunted Mansion

Mackinaw’s Halloween jewel promises to scare with the industry’s most up-to-date special effects, equipment, and technology designed to take you on a memorable, terrifying trek. The mansion is open daily from noon until 9 PM.


Traverse City Zombie Run

If you wish Halloween came more than once a year, Traverse City’s annual 5K Zombie Run is for you. Come dressed as one of the undead, grab an early-morning beer from Right Brain Brewery, and race your fellow zombies to the finish line. Awards are given for race winners and the best costume. The race begins at 9 am on October 28 and all revenue supports the city’s trail network, Tart Trails.

Royal Farms

Ellsworth’s Royal Farms is a famous Northern Michigan fall destination, and for good reason. The farm captures the magic of fall by offering all of the food and activities we crave when the temperatures begin to drop. Enjoy hard cider from the tap, wine tasting, apple picking and homemade donuts. Get lost in the corn maze, browse the gift shop, tag along for a hayride, pick out the perfect pumpkin, and shop for fresh fruits and vegetables.


Simon Thalmann

Lake Michigan Circle Tour

Color tours are an autumn tradition in Michigan. While our winding tree-lined highways are stunning in every season, a tour from September to November is especially magnificent. Set against red, orange and gold-hued leaves, the lakeside highway M-119 color tour boasts Instagram-worthy photo opportunities on a 20-mile stretch from Harbor Springs to Cross Village.

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