Fall in West Michigan is one of the most beautiful times of the year. The West Michigan Lakeshore offers a wide range of fall activities, including extraordinary fall color tours through the natural landscape, apple picking, cider tours, hayrides and more. The robust red, orange, and yellow canopy over the fall trails and the historic West Michigan Pike makes this one of the best Michigan fall road trips. Start planning your trip at Michigan Beach Towns to find the best places to visit in Michigan in the fall.
Silver Lakes Sand Dunes / Hart
At the end of your Lake Michigan fall color tour, you’ll arrive in the Silver Lakes Sand Dune region, home to a number of charming towns, including Hart, Pentwater, Montague and Silver Lake. Eight beautiful beaches, including the expansive Silver Lake State Park, host some of Michigan’s most striking sand dunes. This area is a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts looking to enjoy the crisp fall weather. You’ll find outdoor adventures here across the sand dunes, including tours and dune rides, as well one of Michigan’s best fall trails. Walk or bike any section of the 22 mile trail from Hart to Montague, or make the full trip, and you’ll be surrounded by Michigan’s autumnal beauty.
Named one of “America’s Prettiest Towns”, Holland showcases many of the best aspects of fall in West Michigan. Climb Mt. Pisgah, a towering dune overlooking Holland State Park, for a birds eye view of Lake Michigan and our “Big Red” Lighthouse. Visit our downtown Farmer’s Market (Wed & Sat) for the freshest seasonal produce or pedal your way across 150 miles of paved bike paths along city streets and scenic byways. And be sure to check out Windmill Island’s Harvest Fest, (October 5), and downtown Holland’s Fall Festival, (October 11 & 12), complete with professional pumpkin-carving and hayrides.
As you head north, the next stop on your Michigan fall color tour is South Haven. The nearby Casco Township Nature Preserve offers spectacular fall color viewing, with trails and overlooks that lead you straight into the autumnal canopy. You’ll find a wealth of picturesque photo spots at any one of the ten nearby beaches, where you can capture Michigan fall colors against the backdrop of the great Lake Michigan. In October, take part in a special Cranberry Harvest Day hayride to explore one of the few cranberry bogs in Michigan. While you’re there, visit for the fun and festive Haven Harvest to enjoy local favorites and one-of-a-kind Michigan-made food, drinks, and crafts. Stop into any of the pick-your-own apple orchards, cider mills, craft breweries, tasting rooms or wineries to get a great sampling of West Michigan fall activities.
As you head north on your Michigan fall color tour, you’ll come to the scenic town of Grand Haven. Famous for its beautiful sand dunes and, of course, idyllic beaches, Grand Haven is a great place to rest and unwind. Take a walk along one of the area’s seven beaches, or explore further inland to see colorful fall trails. Visit the shops in the charming downtown area, and bring home a one-of-a-kind souvenir. Enjoy one of the many wineries, microbreweries, bakeries and eateries all over town to get a taste of West Michigan.
Muskegon’s sunny, summertime beachside scenes burst with color in the fall. Visitors from near and far make their fall getaways to Muskegon to see these exceptional views. Whether you’re planning your last camping trip of the year with your family, you want to escape to the lakeshore for a relaxing vacation, or you’re visiting for end-of-the-season sailing, Muskegon is vacation destination that is both exciting and relaxing.
St. Joseph, located in southwest Michigan near the start of the West Michigan Pike, is one of the most idyllic fall getaways in Michigan. Berrien County, which surrounds the area, was even named one of America’s top 10 Fall Color Destinations in America by USA Today. With seven beaches, over a dozen nearby parks and trails, and a wealth of farmer’s markets, orchards, wineries, art galleries, and more, St. Joseph offers something for everyone. Do some apple picking at a local orchard in the morning, take a stroll under the beautiful fall foliage in the afternoon, and wind down with hard cider, Oktoberfest beer, or red wine while you watch the sunset on the beach in the evening.
Fall Color Tours on Lake Michigan
The historic West Michigan Pike connects Michigan Beachtowns to create an unforgettable fall color tour. Make the full journey heading north or south for an epic road trip along scenic Lake Michigan, or make a visit to any one of the towns for a picturesque and relaxing fall getaway. Nestled on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan, the Beachtowns boast natural resources and West Michigan fall activities that are perfect for a late-season vacation. While in the rich red, orange, and yellow shades of autumn, you and your family and friends can enjoy apples and cider, pumpkins, gourds, hayrides, award-winning restaurants, luxurious resorts, and quiet campgrounds. Whatever type of fall color tour you have in mind, you’ll find it along the West Michigan Pike.
Wine, Apples & Cider Tours
West Michigan has truly embraced its natural resources, and grown into a genuine winery, brewery, and cidery must-see. When it comes to Michigan wines, true sommeliers, new enthusiasts, and everyone in between comes to West Michigan wine country to try award-winning vintages. With over 43 beer, wine, and spirit-makers in Barrien County alone, you’ll be sure to discover a rich and flavorful beverage that will also remind you of a gorgeous Michigan fall. As you make your trip, sample crisp hard ciders, robust red wines, and warm, aromatic cocktails at some of Michigan’s oldest, most famous, and most beloved cideries, breweries, and wineries.