On a crisp fall day, there’s nothing more wonderful than heading out with loved ones to enjoy a few hours of exploration and adventure. Whether you opt for perusing the great outdoors, sipping on a hot beverage, or simply appreciating the beauty of Michigan, there’s no shortage of fun to be had here in the Great Lakes State each autumn. Here are 11 amazing day trips to enjoy this fall.
1. Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive (Empire)
If you’re in the mood for a leisurely adventure in the car, hit the road at Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive for some of the most beautiful views in the entire state. Your journey will take you alongside Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, offering one-of-a-kind glimpses of Lake Michigan and the fall foliage that surrounds the area’s dune lands.
2. Yates Cider Mill (1990 E Avon Rd, Rochester Hills)
What’s fall without a cup or two of hot cider? Head to Yates Cider Mill, the oldest of its kind in Michigan, when you’re in the mood for the ultimate autumn adventure. Check out how cider is pressed on-site, grab a gallon or two to take home, and bask in the charming atmosphere of the mill itself.
3. Crane Orchards (6054 124th Ave, Fennville)
When it comes to picking apples, Michigan certainly has its fair share of options. One favorite is Crane Orchards in Fennville, which draws in countless visitors each year with its U-Pick areas and beautiful atmosphere. Once you’ve loaded up on fresh fruit, sit down for a meal at the Pie Pantry Restaurant — you’ll feel like family as soon as you arrive.
4. Canoeing down the Au Sable River (Grayling)
Looking to get out and about this fall? Round up a few friends and venture to Borchers in Grayling, where you can opt for either a canoe or kayak journey down the Au Sable River. You’ll make your way through stunning fall foliage and observe the peaceful flow of the river during your trip through some of Michigan’s most magical natural splendor.
5. Tunnel of Trees (M-119)
We’ve mentioned the Tunnel of Trees before, but it deserves to be shouted out countless times. This gorgeous stretch of M-119, which connects Harbor Springs to Cross Village, feels like a portal into another dimension. You’ll drive below towering autumn foliage, alongside bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan, and through shaded areas that are nothing short of breathtaking.
6. Tahquamenon Falls (Paradise)
Tahquamenon Falls is a beautiful destination year-round, but you absolutely must experience its beauty during the autumn season. Watch as the powerful water rushes through both Upper and Lower Falls, making for stunning photos and a magical in-person scene. The vibrant colors on the trees around the falls are simply the icing on the cake, and you won’t want to miss out.
7. Round Barn Winery (10983 Hills Rd, Baroda)
If you’re a wine enthusiast, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from here in the Great Lakes State. One of our favorites is Round Barn Winery, which offers thorough tastings and a wide array of adult beverages for purchase. The atmosphere at Round Barn is decidedly welcoming and quaint, and you might never want to leave once you arrive.
8. Brockway Mountain Drive (M-26, Copper Harbor)
If you find yourself in the Upper Peninsula, it’s tough to beat an autumn day trip to Brockway Mountain Drive. As you make your way along this nine-mile stretch of road, you’ll gaze out across seemingly endless views of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Intoxicating fall colors and the broad skies of the U.P. make this one of the most unforgettable drives in the state.
9. Crystal Mountain Resort (12500 Crystal Mountain Dr, Thompsonville)
If you’re seeking a unique way to observe our state’s fall foliage, it’s tough to beat a scenic chairlift ride at Crystal Mountain Resort. Throughout the autumn months, visitors can hop on the chairlift and take a ride to the mountaintop, where a variety of concerts and other special events are held throughout the season. Once you’ve seen the trees from above, you’ll be completely enamored.
10. Greenfield Village (20900 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn)
It’s always a blast to step back in time at Greenfield Village, and the fall months are no exception. No matter what your age, you’ll enjoy perusing this one-of-a-kind attraction within the Henry Ford. Mingle with historical re-enactors in period-appropriate garb, ride in a real Model T, or simply imagine that you’ve stepped into a time machine and landed in Michigan’s early agricultural era. No matter how many times you’ve visited, Greenfield Village never seems to lose its appeal.
11. Highbanks Trail (Oscoda)
It would take weeks to list out each and every lovely fall hike throughout the state of Michigan, but this trail is Oscoda should be at the top of your list. This seven-mile trail along the Au Sable River is overflowing with fall scenery, peaceful views, and an undeniably calming atmosphere. We recommend stopping to observe the area around the Lumberman’s Monument, which truly comes to life each fall.
Of course, these are just a handful of the unique day trip destinations that exist here in the Great Lakes State. We’re always eager to hear from you: where will you be spending your days this fall? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!