Michigan is located in the midwest of the United States. The state is known for the Great Lakes, and it’s 3,288 miles (5,292 km) of surrounding fresh water lakeshore. Some of the best fall foliage drives in Michigan are among it’s pristine shorelines. Road trip scenic routes across the state to see the best fall colors.
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As a local, my favorite thing to do in Michigan is a fall foliage road trip. The gorgeous fall scenery attracts people from all over, wanting to experience the bursts of color Michigan becomes in October. Make sure to Check the Fall Color Map before heading out on your road trip to ensure colors are at their peak.
These are the BEST fall foliage drives in Michigan!
The U.S. state of Michigan is made up of two major peninsulas. The Upper Peninsula (UP), is the northern of the two. My favorite time to visit the UP is the fall season, when the trees are bursting with bright colors. A year ago, my boyfriend Logan and I went camping in the eastern region of the UP.
It was the end of the season in late October, we had JUST made it to see the fall colors. It was the last weekend the campground was open, and we were the only ones crazy enough to be camping there.
Find out why, in this edition of THE PERFECT WEEKEND featuring Michigan’s UP Eastern Region!
Where To Camp
We camped directly on Lake Superior at Brimley State Park, one of the oldest parks in the UP. In typical Logan/Chelsea fashion we arrived at our campsite in the dark. Setting up at night was never a concern of mine, in fact I kind of like it… waking up in a new place, really seeing it for the first time that morning. It’s like a surprise, or a present waiting to be unwrapped.
Our gift the first morning was waking up to a snow-covered tent… in October. Really neither of us were surprised…welcome to The UP.
Take a Drive
Freezing and in desperate need of caffeine we went in search of coffee. We fueled up and hit the road, enjoying the views as we sipped our way back to warmth.
Pro Tip: Take the scenic route along W Lakeshore Dr on your way to Tahquamenon Falls. This route will take you along Whitefish Bay giving you gorgeous lake views and the opportunity to see a lighthouse!
Point Iroquois Lighthouse
Just a short 15 minute drive from Brimley, this historic lighthouse is worth the stop. The lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic back in 1975. Its name meaning “Place of Iroquois Bones” derived from a battle fought back in 1662 by local Native American’s of the Chippewa and Iroquois. The lighthouse was closed for the season so we couldn’t climb the tower but we were able to explore the grounds.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park
Located in Paradise, Michigan- this state park is one you won’t want to miss. Experience one of the largest waterfalls this side of the Mississippi- Tahquamenon Falls. It’s beautiful rust colored falls are caused from leached tannins of the cedar swamps which the river drains. Explore the park, and stop into the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub for some local made beer!
Go on a Hike
There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails throughout the eastern region of the UP. Hiking in the fall is my ideal hiking conditions- beautiful fall colors, crisp air, lower temperatures.