9 Incredible Places for a Michigan Fall Color Tour

These towns and routes are some of the most iconic Northern Michigan fall color tours ever published in Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Camp in the Upper Peninsula, float down the Manistee River, drive the Tunnel of Trees, head to wineries with incredible views—there’s a fall color trip for everyone.

Northern Michigan Fall Color Map 2019: Where to See the Best Colors Right Now!

1. Upper Peninsula Fall Color Tour

Each fall, the colors of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula draw photographer Erik Olsen to roam the trails and byways of this storied land. In the fall of 2015, he decided to cover as much ground as he could in 14 days. He started in Newberry and headed west to Grand Marais, Munising to Marquette, with stops all over the Keweenaw and into Copper Harbor. These are the places you have to visit on a U.P. fall color trip.

2. Fall Views + Soul-Warming Food

Relish autumn’s reds, yellows and golds from hilltop vistas, covered bridges and tree-lined waterways at some of the North’s premier color tour destinations. Then feast at beloved local restaurants. Here’s your foodie fall color guide.

3. Color Tour Vistas

Come fall, nothing beats the inspiration of a grand view. Take in color panoramas from 10 of the North’s most dramatic bluffs, ridges, peaks and hilltops. These are some of the best fall color views in Michigan.

4. Torch Lake Color Tour

Experience five of Northern Michigan’s beautiful small towns on your autumn color tour this year by exploring Elk Rapids, Ellsworth, Central Lake, Bellaire and Alden—all along the shore of the Chain of Lakes. Take an afternoon drive, hike, paddle or bike ride and see Torch Lake fall color at its finest.

5. Mackinac Island Fall Color Tour

Discover a secret season on the island where autumn hues and quiet prevail (and so do deals galore). Tips for Mackinac Island fall vacations, along with advice and discounts on festivals, ferries, bike rentals, lodging and dining.

6. Old Mission Peninsula Fall Color Tour

Drive 10 minutes northeast of Traverse City’s bustling Front Street, and you will feel the call of a slender spit of land jutting into Grand Traverse Bay. Inconsequential on a state map, this lithe and lovely peninsula pulls you along gently, inviting you to participate in the deliberate pace of a place shaped by seasons and vineyards 
and orchards and shores. Bonus: Fall color day trips for wine lovers, history buffs and nature fans.

7. Historic Port Oneida Color Tour

Port Oneida, tucked in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, is filled with spectacular beauty any time of the year, and especially in fall. You’ll see preserved historic farms, hike to gorgeous overlooks and bike unforgettably scenic routes. Spend a day exploring this rural historic district on a fall color tour.

8. Manistee Fall Color Tour

The Manistee River Valley during peak fall color is a must-visit. You just have to decide if you want to float it, fish it, hike it or fly it. Here are four family-friendly ways to experience fall color on the Manistee River.

9. Leelanau County Color Tour

Cruise the county’s 40-mile west coast for lush views. Start your tour at the peninsula’s tip in Northport, 27 miles north of Traverse City, then stop in Leland and Glen Arbor. And, of course, make a pit stop at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Here’s your Leelanau fall color tour primer.

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