Summertime in Michigan is undoubtedly our state’s most popular season for tourism and outdoor exploration. With countless opportunities for hiking, swimming, camping, and more, there’s no shortage of fun to be had during warmer months here in the Great Lakes State. But some of these gorgeous locales are just as wonderful when fall rolls around — and you’ll want to see for yourself!
1. Tahquamenon Falls
There's something absolutely magical about the atmosphere at Tahquamenon Falls. Rushing water, shaded hiking trails, and plenty of natural beauty to inspire the senses. When you visit Tahquamenon during autumn, you’ll be blown away by the presence of vibrant fall foliage that adds an entirely new layer of beauty to the area.
2. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
During summer months, it’s tough to resist the appeal of Sleeping Bear Dunes. Whether you’re running down the sandy slopes or gazing out at the impossibly blue waters of Lake Michigan, this spot is sure to amaze. But when fall rolls around, there’s still plenty to see. Take a journey down Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive for marvelous autumn vistas and gorgeous glimpses of the lake — what’s not to love?
3. Old Mission Peninsula
If you’re a wine-lover, Old Mission Peninsula is the place for you. This breathtaking region in Michigan will make you feel as though you’ve been transported to the most famous wine countries of Europe, and the area’s allure is only enhanced when chillier weather arrives. Bundle up, grab a few loved ones, and enjoy the crisp air as you sip on sweet wine. Life is good!
4. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Through the end of October, boat tours of Pictured Rocks are still available to the public, so you can easily head out onto Lake Superior for a unique look at this beloved destination in the Great Lakes State. Even if you can’t hit the water, though, there’s something fantastic about the ample hiking, camping, and waterfall-viewing opportunities here that remain in action throughout autumn.
5. Greenfield Village
Located at the Henry Ford Museum, this Dearborn-based attraction is popular year-round for its dedication to bringing Michigan’s history to life. Whether you’re riding in a Model T, checking out a historically accurate homestead, interacting with actors in period-appropriate clothing, or enjoying a Halloween gathering, there’s always something to do when you step back in time at Greenfield Village.
6. Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island might just be Michigan’s most famous destination, and it’s easy to see why. With streets full of bicycles and horse-drawn carriages, there’s a timeless charm to the island that can’t be found anywhere else. This charm is just as prevalent during the fall, when summer crowds head home for the season and there’s a quieter atmosphere to be found on Mackinac. Take a bike ride or hike around the island for marvelous views of the Straits and some of the loveliest fall foliage imaginable.
7. Nichols Arboretum
This Ann Arbor-based natural wonderland is the perfect place to immerse yourself in our state’s autumn beauty. Whether you’re gazing at the cool waters of the Huron River, jogging along a path under the covering of red and yellow leaves, or simply sitting among nature with a good book, you’ll never want to leave "the Arb" once you arrive.
8. Ludington State Park
Ever wanted to do a little fall camping? Ludington State Park is the place to be. During summertime, the primary attractions at this beautiful locale are its lighthouse, its soft sandy beaches, and its quick access to Lake Michigan. But did you know that the area also features several lovely water inlets, countless campsites, and plenty of hiking trails? Stop by this fall to see what Ludington State Park has to offer — you’ll be mesmerized by its beauty.
9. Lake St. Clair
Venture to Michigan’s east coast for all sorts of fall adventures near Lake St. Clair, which is best visited from Lake St. Clair Metropark. During the summer, this park comes to life with its on-site waterpark and all sorts of outdoor activities, but autumn is equally as exciting for kids and adults alike. Enjoy a Halloween event, marvel at fall foliage, or simply stroll along the waterfront on a crisp day.
This charming little town is a popular tourist destination due to its abundance of lovely Bavarian architecture, plenty of shopping opportunities, all sorts of beloved restaurants, and so much more. If you visit during fall, you’ll find a calmer Frankenmuth that still maintains its unique charm — and the shopping is still just as much fun. With scenic beauty and friendly faces, there’s no better place to spend the day.
Alright, Michiganders: it’s your turn! Which summer destinations in the Great Lakes State do you enjoy visiting during autumn as well? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.