trackrun - The Best Michigan Fall Color Tour Road Trips

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Michiganders are as divided over the way we feel about winter as we are over team Michigan or Michigan State, but I don’t know a single one of us who doesn’t love the fall season. How could we not? The horizon catches fire as leaves turn to stunning shades of burnt orange and red. Each year thousands of natives and tourists alike load up their cars and flock to our major interstates on what we call a “Michigan Fall Color Tour.”

These road trips are best experienced over a long weekend and offer more than just gorgeous scenery. Along the way, road trippers will find scenic cities, historical light-houses, wineries, farm markets, sand dunes and breathtaking sunsets over the great lakes. Stay in quaint Bed and Breakfasts, locally owned hotels, or luxury spas from major hotel chains. Take it from a native, and try some of the best fall color tour road trips in Michigan.

3 of the Best Fall Color Tour Road Trips in Michigan

Grand Rapids – Grand Haven – South Haven – Kalamazoo

This 195 mile tour through West Michigan shares all of Michigan’s sights. From city scenes to sand dunes, wineries to farmers markets, wooded freeways to Lake Michigan sunsets – this is the best route to see it all in the month of October. 

michigan fall color tour

Traverse City – Northport – Frankfort-Ludington

Heading a little further up the coast, from late September to mid-October the Traverse City area is painted in fiery hues. The Grand Traverse area encompasses more than 250 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and offers numerous ways to take in the foliage. A few of the local favorites include kayaking tours from off the shore or hot air balloon rides to see the colors from up above. You can also ride aboard the twin-masted schooner Manitou for a sail across Grand Traverse Bay. In addition to the fall colors, you will find hay rides, corn mazes, cider mills, wineries, historic lighthouses, and Sleeping Bear Dunes. A few of our favorite area hotels include the Cherry Tree Inn  and the Grand Traverse Resort and SpaWe also recommend grabbing lunch at House of Flavors in Ludington.
michigan fall color tour

Mackinaw City – Petoskey – Charlevoix

Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island are one of the local favorite weekend getaway destinations. This Northwestern Michigan fall color tour includes hilly, forested countryside, resort towns nestled along Lake Michigan and incredible views. 

Interested in booking a road trip? Chase Ultimate Rewards® helps cardmembers explore trip suggestions through professionally curated travel guides available to Chase Freedom®, Chase Sapphire and Ink® cardmembers. Cardmembers also enjoy flexible rewards redemption options when booking through Ultimate Rewards.

What do you #LookForward to exploring in Michigan?

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