Color Tours in Michigan

Michigan Fall is more than the colors and the sights. It’s about the sounds and smells, and the cozy feeling it gives off.

You can see the changing colors in a Michigan fall. But that’s not all. Imagine bright, clear skies, wind gently rustling through trees, and brilliant fall colors of red, yellow, and bright leaves dancing slowly to the ground.

It’s autumn in Michigan, whether you add the warmth of the sun on a calm, deep blue lake or the foamy tops that are the Great Lakes waves pounding the shore with their fierce fall fury.

Continue reading to find trip ideas and places to go this fall. Scroll down to the bottom to see a Google interactive map. To help you plan your trip, we have the most recent fall colors forecast and an update on fall colors.

PROTIP: If visiting Michigan in the summer, be prepared for more natural beauty. Michigan in the Fall means exploring scenic routes during peak foliage, visiting an apple orchard, or attending a Michigan fall festival.

Michigan Fall Tours

Michigan Fall Foliage: Why Should You?

It’s more than the fresh air that blows in from the lake, or the deep blue waters with white-capped waves crashing into shore.

It’s a wonderful feeling: breezy, bright and beautiful. It’s autumn here in Michigan.

You can plan ahead for any kind of adventure, whether you are looking for a driving tour, a day trip or just an outdoor adventure on Michigan’s scenic roads.

Michigan Autumn Colors Change

Michigan’s summers are amazing, but Michigan’s fall is quite something.

Michigan autumn is a wonderful time of year. There are many fall festivals, cider mills, apple orchards, and farmer’s markets that are bursting with delicious late harvest goodies… all set against the backdrop of stunning fall colors.

It is a beautiful attack on the senses. The cool breeze, the scent of cinnamon, pines and spice, and the feeling of crisp cool air all come together in one season. Frankfort MI, across Lake Betsie at Elberta

Michigan’s Best Places to Get Fall Color

You can add sparkling, turquoise water to your Michigan shoreline if you live within six miles of one.

Michigan’s autumn beauty is in its purest form. You can find autumn colors almost everywhere.

There are many ways to enjoy Michigan’s fall colors. You can take your kids on chairlift rides up a mountain of color, or enjoy a train ride on a colorful train route.

Continue reading to find 21 Must-See Michigan Fall Colors.

Which are the best times to find Michigan fall color?

Get Michigan Fall Colors NOW

The autumn season is approaching and the leaves begin to change from bright green to vibrant golds or deep reds as the season progresses. Because the temperatures in Michigan’s northern areas are lower, fall foliage reaches its peak in these regions.

The season progresses and temperatures in the southern parts of the state begin to fall. Trees in those areas also begin to change color.

Use the Michigan Peak Fall Color Map

The Michigan Peak Fall Color Map displays a time frame when experts believe that fall foliage will change and peak colors. The map will help you find Michigan’s best fall colors.

Use the Michigan Fall Travel Map

This interactive map shows you some of the most beautiful destinations in Michigan for fall fun. These destinations can be used to help you plan your Michigan fall vacation. These are 21 incredible spots where you can see fall colors in Michigan. Read on to learn more.

The Upper Peninsula’s Best Fall Colors Places

Porcupine Mountains Lake of the Clouds

The most photographed spot in the entire Upper Peninsula Michigan is made even more beautiful in fall when the surrounding wilderness and the Porcupine Mountains glow with fall colors.

Lake of the Clouds is named after the stunning reflection of the clouds in the crystal clear water. It’s an amazing sight at any time of the day. It is located in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and was designed for hiking and exploring.

The Porcupine Mountains wilderness is stunning in the fall, especially when viewed at the M-107 Overlook. This overlook is easily accessible. You should plan enough time to explore this beautiful old-growth forest in the western Upper Peninsula.

Plan Your Trip: This scenic half-hour drive will take you back to Ontonagon, the historic town where we stay when visiting the Porkies. You can visit the county historical museum, lighthouse, and learn about local history. You can stay at Peterson’s Cottages which is a charming and extremely clean place just minutes from Lake Superior. There are a variety of cottages and chalets available, as well as a choice of three-bedroom houses. It is nestled in the woods and simply stunning in autumn.

Copper Harbor

Copper Harbor is located at the very tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

This small community on the Keweenaw Peninsula looks out onto Lake Superior. It packs a lot of beauty into its small size. In addition to Lake Superior, you’ve also got Lake Fanny Hooe, a favorite with fisherman, outdoorsmen-and-women, and photographers.

When the leaves turn their fiery red, yellow and orange charms, the deep blues of this pretty inland Lake make for stunning photos. Contrary to Lake Superior and its surrounding forest, the Copper Harbor Lighthouse, a tall, white structure, always looks brighter in fall.

Plan your Trip: For a more spectacular display of fall colors, we recommend staying in this condo at the a Lake Fanny Hooe Resort. This condo is located at the Lake Fanny Hooe Resort. This room overlooks the beach and has a deck. The deck allows you to create your own color tour!


Calumet, a village in the Keweenaw Peninsula, is like going back in time. It was once a bustling hub for copper mining and provided tons of valuable mineral to the world.

National Historic Park is a collection encompassing historic buildings throughout the region that tells the story of the region’s rise as the epicenter for copper.

Plan Your Trip: Take a stroll through historic buildings and streets in fall, against the backdrop of the vibrant Michigan fall colors. This will be one of the most memorable autumn color tours you’ll ever do. The Wyndham Hotel is the best option. The hotel is spacious, clean, and offers a continental breakfast every morning. The indoor saltwater pool is a favorite spot to explore the northern tip Michigan.

Muinising, Michigan at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

It is a must-see on any fall color tour.

Start in Grand Marias and continue along the coast, with the intention of stopping in Munising. In the autumn around Munising, the national lakeshore is spectacular, covering 42 miles.

You can see the towering sandstone hills, highlighted by bright reds and yellows, from or on foot in the autumn months. There are also hidden beaches, sand dunes and waterfalls that you can explore.

Plan your trip: Check out our Guide to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore for more information and to plan your fall color tour. You won’t want to miss out on any of the most important sights in this area. The Pictured Rocks Inn & Suites is a favorite spot along the coast. You can choose from standard rooms or suites. The indoor pool and hot spa are available for your relaxation. Bonus? You can walk just a few steps to the shoreline of Lake Superior.


The hip-and-happening Marquette is growing rapidly, and the natural beauty in the area has a lot of to do with it.

It is surrounded by dense forests and trails for hiking, biking, and other types of exploration. The whole town comes alive when Northern Michigan University students return to campus in the fall.

Explore downtown Marquette, the shops, galleries, and breweries, before heading to the harbor for stunning views.

Presque Isle Park is home to the famous Black Rocks Cliffs and McCarty’s Cove. These are two places you should definitely visit. These areas are especially beautiful in the fall. The natural beauty of Lake Superior’s coast is Michigan’s best fall color splendor.

You have two options to plan your stay: Each one has a unique feature. The Hampton Inn Marquette Waterfront is located right on Lake Superior’s shores and boasts stunning views. It is clean and comfortable with Hampton Inn pillows. Every morning, you’ll find a warm breakfast and a pool. The Ramada Inn has a great location and is dog-friendly. There are large, clean rooms and suites available, as well as an indoor pool, hot spa, laundry facilities, and a restaurant.

Tahquamenon Falls

You can visit Tahquamenon Falls to see two Michigan waterfalls. The Upper Falls is larger and more dramatic than the Lower Falls.

Popular Tahquamenon State Park can be enjoyed at any time of year but it’s most popular in the fall when there are fewer visitors and you can enjoy the tranquility of walking along the trails surrounded by the sounds of running water.

These falls are surrounded by colorful hardwoods and pine trees during the fall months. They are a must-see on any Michigan fall color tour.

Plan Your Trip: This charming and clean cottage with three bedrooms in Paradise, MI is a great choice. The cottage is spacious, airy, and clean. It also has a full-sized kitchen.

The Lower Peninsula has the best fall colors

Port Austin

This little town is just a few minutes from the Michigan Thumb. Summer doesn’t mean that it loses its appeal. The pretty, walkable waterfront of tiny Port Austin is surrounded with verdant forests and farmland. It comes alive in autumn, just in time to take part in your fall color tour.

You can make a weekend out of it by visiting Caseville and walking the pier to explore the downtown. Next, you can head towards Port Austin and wander into Port Crescent State Park. Listen to the waves of Saginaw Bay crashing against the shore as you wander the dunes.


Alpena is a town that will surprise you.

This quiet and historic town is located in northeast Michigan, on the shores Lake Huron. It offers a lot of activities and stunning natural scenery. Alpena’s shoreline is home to many parks and public beaches. Here you can sit down and admire the beauty of Thunder Bay or the small islands off the coast.

Although the downtown shopping area (a great place to walk) may seem small, there are seven other options in the vicinity. Lake Huron lighthouses are located nearby. There are also four state parks and several local parks.

Rockport Harbor State Park is a great place to view beautiful fall colors. Get your hiking boots on and hit the trails.

Plan your Trip: Check out our guide to the TOP things to do in Alpena. Get started planning your autumn getaway to this gorgeous spot in northeast Michigan. The Ramada By Wyndham is a spacious, clean spot that’s just 10 minutes walk from the beach. The hotel is very kid-friendly, and features an indoor pool, arcade/game area, and a fitness room. The Holiday Inn Express and Suites is another option. They offer a breakfast every morning and an indoor pool.

Ocqueoc Falls State Forest Campground
*ADA Accessible

North from Alpena, Michigan’s northeast coast highway, just off US-23 is Ocqueoc Falls.

Not only is Ocqueoc Falls the largest water fall in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, it also is the ONLY universally-accessible waterfall in the United States. The waterfalls are located in the Ocqueoc river, which flows through a thick hardwood forest with tall maple and birch trees.

The magnificent display of color is created by the combination of age-old hardwood trees, such as quaking Aspens, oaks, maples, and elms with their bright yellow, orange, and red leaves, and the solid green of pine, spruce, and cedar trees. The falls are only three feet tall, but the cool, clear water makes it a popular spot for summer fun.

ADA- Accessible Way
A wide walkway runs along the river and provides ADA-compliant access to both the falls as well as to the ADA accessible rock-climbing wall.

Two picnic areas are provided with accessible crushed limestone and equipped with accessible picnic tables. Accessible clear space is provided on the benches along the path. These cement pads allow for side-by sides seating for someone with a disability and someone without.

The beauty of the falls is not limited to them. The riverbank has a long path that winds through the woods, and then along the bank of the river. This is where you will find the most interesting and beautiful rocks, which have been smoothed over the years by the water.

Listening to the water rush as it flows through the falls is an unforgettable Michigan experience on a calm autumn day. It’s like an outdoor concert, a quiet performance by Nature.

The Purple Martin Inn is just one minute walk from Lake Huron’s beautiful beach. This bed and breakfast is cozy and clean. It also offers a lovely sun porch and delicious breakfast.

Mackinac Island

It’s hard to imagine anything more relaxing than walking this small island, which is alive with fall color during the autumn months. You can enjoy the refreshing lake breezes of Lake Huron as you walk around the 8-mile perimeter or take a bike ride to see the stunning fall colors.

It is also a highlight to travel to the island, so make sure you have your camera with you

IF YOU GO: Check out our Mackinac Island Hotel Guide with a map and our guide to the TOP Things to Do on Mackinac Island. We love The Island House for its spacious and clean rooms. You’ll find a beautiful garden, lounge, and views of the ocean from this location, which is a bit away from the bustle of downtown. The historic Murray House Hotel is located right across from the Star Line ferry terminal. The rooms are spacious and clean. The beds are comfortable. Michigan’s Tunnel of Trees is located on M-119

Tunnel of Trees

We’ll tell you straight: The Tunnel of Trees Michigan fall color at its finest – and if only one place is your favorite, make it this.

This 20-mile long scenic M-119 drive is located north of Petoskey, Harbor Springs and will keep you busy snapping photos the whole trip. Take the M-119 from Harbor Springs to head north along this heritage route. Follow the road through tall, brightly colored hardwoods.

You’ll be heading towards Cross Village when you pass Good Hart. Make sure to stop by the General Store. Enjoy stunning views of Lake Michigan as the road follows the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

Cross Village is worth a stop for a meal at Legs Inn. After you have finished your meal, you can get back in your car and enjoy the sights as you drive towards Petoskey or Harbor Springs.

WARNING: This drive can be habit-forming…in a good way.

Plan Your Trip: Stafford’s Bay View Inn, Petoskey is an historic property that offers stunning views of Little Traverse Bay. Many travelers love the mansion’s European-style boutique hotel and its old-world charm.


We have been long-time admirers of Fisherman’s Island State Park and we return every fall to enjoy the bright golds, reds, and trees set against the backdrop of Lake Michigan.

Fisherman’s Island is an amazing spot. You can feel quite private here, even though it is just outside Charlevoix.

You can bundle up here and walk along the shoreline in search of the much-loved Petoskey or Charlevoix stones. It’s almost impossible to miss one, especially after a storm.

Charlevoix-the-Beautiful is no less beautiful in fall. You should plan plenty of time to explore the charming downtown and enjoy the stunning views at Round Lake in autumn.

To plan your trip, use our Ultimate Charlevoix Guide. The Charlevoix Suites will delight you, offering a complimentary breakfast every morning. Even the standard rooms are large, the rooms are spacious and clean. After a long day of exploring fall colors, relax in the hot tub and pool.

North Bar Lake in Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore You might be familiar with the mythical North Bar Lake. It is a tiny gem hidden in the dunes. Maybe you have seen it from the Pierce Stocking Senic Drive.

North Bar Lake can be reached by winding roads through tall hardwoods and eventually to the sandy dunes. It is an inland sandy lake that is separated from Lake Michigan by a small spit.

Locals love North Bar Lake, as well as lucky visitors who know the exact location. This little bit of sand separates the two bodies. On one side, you will find North Bar Lake. Just a few feet away, the cool, turquoise waters of Lake Michigan.

You could spend a whole day soaking in the warm waters of North Bar, then jumping over the sand to splash into the cold Lake Michigan. Many people also spend their summer days doing this.

Northern Michigan’s Magic Autumn

The fall foliage gives North Bar Lake a magical appearance.

The forest surrounding North Bar Lake is vibrant with bright colors of reds, gold and the lush surroundings turn it a deep, dark, blue. Lake Michigan, which is still azure to the west, is capped by white, foamy waves that roll in from the shores when the weather cools.

All of this is complemented by the bright sand beach and distant dune bluffs, creating a picture that’s worth painting. Many do. It is not uncommon to see artists with canvas trying to capture the beauty and wonder of the view.

North Bar Lake can be found just north of Empire, in the middle of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore. You should also visit the towns nearby if you plan to visit North Bar Lake. The charming towns of Empire and Glen Arbor offer breathtaking views and are worth a visit during a Michigan fall color tour.

Plan your trip: Stay at M22 Inn. It’s a very clean and comfortable place. This is a great place to explore Glen Lake and the dunes. I love the Empire Lakeshore Inn, it’s clean and comfortable. It’s located in downtown and is just eight minutes walk from beautiful Empire Beach.

Frankfort and Point Betsie Lighthouse

Is it more New-England-y to Frankfort in fall?

It must be New England, because you might mistake Lake Michigan for the Atlantic Ocean at this beautiful spot in northern Michigan. Lake Michigan feels larger here, the waves are stronger along the Point Betsie Lighthouse’s shores and even more in the fall.

It’s beautiful: the aspens and golden poplars, standing tall against the backdrops of the lighthouse with red roofs and the moody blue Lake Michigan. You’ll need a sweater or jacket to keep you warm.


You’ll want to add two spots in Holland that you should add to your bucket list: Holland State Park, and Centennial Park in central Holland.

Both are located in Holland but they have so many differences that you will want to make a weekend out of it to really explore Holland.

Holland State Park *ADA Accessible

Holland State Park is Michigan’s most visited state park. But you wouldn’t know it if you didn’t visit in fall.

This dramatic landscape, which is surrounded by sand dunes, and located at the point where the Black River (flowing out of Lake Macatawa), spills into Lake Michigan, is no surprise that people flock to it in quieter southwest Michigan.

The crowds are less in the fall and you can enjoy the park almost entirely to yourself. This allows you to take in the beauty of Lake Michigan.

The Big Red Lighthouse in Holland is a must visit.

Holland State Park can be identified immediately by Big Red, Holland Harbor Lighthouse. This lighthouse has been guiding boaters to safety for over 150 years.

Visitors love to visit the Lighthouse on the south side.

The lighthouse, which measures nearly 40 feet in height and is bright red, is one of the most photographed. It has a twin-gabled roof that pays tribute to the rich Dutch history.

Michigan’s autumn colors are accentuated by the vivid red lighthouse and the deep blue lake.

This area of Lake Michigan Beach is well-maintained with wide, paved paths that can be used by those who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids.

You can hike the surrounding sandy bluffs and enjoy windswept autumn views with Lake Michigan and colorful trees.

Lake Michigan Autumn
Moody Lake Michigan really comes alive during the cool autumn months.

The water mirrors the sky. It can be dark, deep and foreboding, with waves breaking against the shoreline or splashing across the pier.

Sometimes, the water is calm and still with gentle waves lapping against the sand.

Lake Michigan remains a breathtakingly beautiful site.

Mt. Pisgah

Holland State Park’s expansive beach offers breathtaking views of the Lake Michigan Bluffs to the north.

You can see Mt. Pisgah overlooking Holland’s Lake Macatawa.

These windswept bluffs glow in autumn, swaying in a breeze off the lake and displaying true Michigan fall foliage splendor.

Lake Macatawa & L. Frank Baum

The Black River channel, which connects Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa on the south side Holland State Park, is six miles long. It has a fascinating history.

L. Frank Baum, a children’s writer, wrote “The Wizard of the Oz” in a small cottage on the shores of Lake Macatawa more than 100 years ago.

Baum, a prolific author, spent summers at Lake Macatawa where he was inspired by Dorothy and her friends to write his story.

Centennial Park – Holland’s Connection with the Wizard of Oz

Take a trip to Holland State Park’s charming downtown shopping district if you visit.

In downtown Holland’s Centennial Park, which is a Victorian-era park, you will find a huge floral display that commemorates the city’s connection with the Wizard of Oz.

This spot is arguably the most beautiful park in Michigan, and that’s a bold statement considering the state is filled with beautiful parks. It becomes even more stunning in autumn.

Centennial Park has brick pathways and flowerbeds, which will take you past a Dutch fountain, a gazebo and a fishpond to get to the library.

Brick pathways, intricate floral displays, and even a pavilion can be found in this Victorian-ear Park just blocks from the charming shops of bustling 8th Street.

ADA-Accessible Holland

Centennial Park has wide, paved paths that allow wheelchairs and other mobility devices to be maneuvered comfortably.

Holland State Park, located near Detroit, is also ADA accessible. It ranks as one of Michigan’s most accessible state parks.

This is a well-deserved ranking: The paved pathway along the channel leads directly to the north pier, which extends into the lake. It allows users with mobility aids to have a great view of the shoreline.

The waves can be strong and dangerous in autumn. Be aware of the weather conditions.

Holland State Park offers many accessibility features. There are wide, paved paths that run through the park that make it easy for wheelchair users to navigate, as well as benches, picnic tables, and benches.

Southeast Michigan Fall Colors

Edwards Hines Drive

You’ll be amazed at the vibrant display of fall colors along Hine Drive if you hit it right at the right moment.

The 17-mile long Edward Hines Drive runs from Dearborn to Northville at a comfortable 40 miles per hour speed limit. It also includes historic sites worth visiting.

Nankin Mills was once a prosperous farming community in late 1800’s. Now all that remains is a beautiful white grist mill, which serves as an interpretive center.

Kensington Metro Park

Kent Lake is surrounded by nearly 5000 acres lush, rolling hills, and forest that provide a stunning backdrop to Michigan’s fall display of color.

Make a day out of it. There’s so much to do.

A charming petting zoo is available with the chance to interact with friendly horses, cows, and goats.

You will find beautiful beaches on both lakes. There are plenty of shaded grassy areas for you to relax under the trees.

Ann Arbor’s Huron River

Argo Park Kayak & Canoe is the best spot in metro Detroit for getting away from it all. Grab a kayak, put on your PFD, and head to the Huron River.

It’s breathtaking to see the fall colors on the riverbank and the water beyond. You’ll soon forget that you aren’t in remote parts up north.

The Huron River, a river stretching 104 miles, twists and turns its way to Lake Erie.

After you are done, visit Zingerman’s Deli to try the amazing macaroni or cheese.

To discover more in this iconic American college town, use our Ultimate guide to Ann Arbor.

Port Huron, Lexington

Michigan’s Port Huron region is one of Michigan’s most treasured secrets. It offers some of the most beautiful fall scenery.

The most beautiful shade of aquablue is found along Michigan’s Thumb Coast. It extends up to Lexington. It is strikingly contrasted with the rich reds, oranges, and yellows of autumn.

If you follow Michigan’s M-25 highway towards Port Austin, you’ll find charming towns and picturesque harbours.

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