Well guys, today was going to be a Fall Color Tour post but there is seriously barely any color yet in Michigan! It’s been so warm most of the trees still seem to think it’s summer time. Fingers crossed the colors will start popping this weekend so I can share it with you next Monday!
But as it turns out… not quite enough fall color yet is good news for you! Why might you ask? You still have time to plan a quick weekend getaway north. And even luckier for you, I’ve got the DL on all the best places to book a weekend getaway! Whether you’re looking for family fun, romance, or a little something in between, Northern Michigan is the perfect spot to get away from your every day life and enjoy yourself this October.
For The Family
Looking for a fun way to spend a weekend with your family? I will ALWAYS suggest heading the the Leelanau Peninsula. It is absolutely STUNNING this time of year, and there is a little bit of something for everyone.
What to Do: Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. Your little ones will love to play at the dune climb, and your older kids will love a short hike or two. The beautiful blues of Lake Michigan and the sharp colors of the fall trees make for some of the prettiest views in the state. You can read a little bit more about everything I love about the Dunes and the Peninsula here and here.
Where to Eat: You can’t head to the Sleeping Bear Dunes area without eating at Art’s. It’s my favorite all year round, but I especially love it in the fall. One of my favorite fall foods of all time is grilled cheese, and I’m telling you, Art’s has the absolute best! I talked about Art’s earlier this year. Check it out here.
Where to Stay: The Homestead Resort. I know. I talk about this place all the dang time. But it’s because I truly love it here. It’s in the perfect location, the staff is so friendly, and there is SO much to do on the resort property. It’s super family friendly and a great hub for exploring the area. Plus, their rooms are WAY discounted in the Fall. Most come with woodsy decor and fireplaces. I mean, what is more fall than that?
Special Events: This upcoming Friday just so happens to be the 46th Anniversary of The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore. They are celebrating with their final Star Party of the year. And if you’ve never seen the stars in Northern Michigan, you have got to go check them out. This weekend is also Pumpkin Fest in downtown Glen Arbor.
Maybe you’re up for a little fall romance? Head up to Mackinac Island. Fall is the best time of year to visit one of Michigan’s favorite vacation destinations. It’s infinitely less crowded than the summertime, and there are insane discounts at some of the best places to stay on the island.Take a romantic stroll through downtown, watch the sunset while you sip on wine and feel like you have the island all to yourselves. Also. Fudge. I mean… I’d be convinced at just that word alone.
What to Do: Everything. Do absolutely everything you can on the island. I have an entire post about the things I love most about Mackinac Island here. See how pretty everything is? Yeah… well imagine it a million times prettier with all the fall colors.
What to Eat: Again. I’m going to link you back to my original post. Because I raved about the Pink Pony in it, and that’s where I’d tell you to go again. I love the Pink Pony and will always choose to eat there over anywhere else on the island. However, I know there are so many other spots that people love! Don’t just take my word for it. Be sure to check out Trip Advisor and see what other people love too!
Where to Stay: While there are tons of perfect little B&Bs on the island, I have to say, I would choose The Grand Hotel. If you can’t quite swing the steep prices at America’s Summer place, you’ll like the prices in the Fall so much more. They’re offering 3 amazing packages right now. The Fall Bed and Breakfast, The Somewhere in Time Weekend (still a bit steep, but perfect for movie lovers!), and of course, their annual Close the Grand weekend, where they say goodbye to another successful season, and close the doors for the Winter. (Side note… my Dad was there when he was a little boy and they were filming Somewhere in Time. Christopher Reeve ran into him because he was running late for filming and now my dad likes to tell the story of the time Superman hit him with a bike. HAHAHA)
Special Events: It should be mentioned that October is really the last month for visitors on Mackinac Island. The ferries stop at the end of the month, and the hotels all close up. The last big event on the island is their Halloween celebration. This year, it’s actually this upcoming weekend. So if you want to go… you better book yourselves a room somewhere STAT. You can learn more about the weekend here. And if it’s a bit too last minute to book on the island now for their Halloween celebration, you can always stay in Mackinaw City and ferry over for the day!
A girls getaway and “wine weekend” have the same definition in the dictionary… right? If you’re looking to get away with your closest friends, you need to do it in Traverse City.
What to Do: Visit the wineries. Duh. There are SO many. And they are at their best in the fall. Check out this handy little guide to learn more about each individual winery. After a day of drinking, spend your evening down town Traverse City enjoying the shops, bars and restaurants.
Where to Eat: Honestly, there are so many amazing places to grab food in TC that I couldn’t tell you my favorite. I have an entire blog post about ones that I love here. These are my personal favorites, but here are some honorable mentions: Amical, Firefly, Bubba’s and Grand Traverse Pie Co.
Where to Stay: Tamarack Lodge. I mean. It’s a lodge, and if you ask me that word screams fall and winter! Plus, it’s super beautiful, and right on the bay. Or, check out rentals in the area. There are hundreds!
Special Events: Okay. So this isn’t technically in TC but I wanted to mention it anyways. If you’re looking for even more wine, head over to the Leelanau Peninsula (not far from TC at all) and check out The Hunt for the Reds of October. I mean, how cute is that name?! You can learn more about the wine trail here!
Now something for the guys. According to my husband, he and his friends don’t have to have a whole bunch of plans to entertain themselves. But do you want to know what they do need? Beer. They always need good beer. And also a little bit of nature and a little bit of peace and quiet. My recommendation? Head to Frankfort.
What to Do: Relax. Take a drive up M22. Take a hike. Do some fishing. Or just enjoy some peace and quiet. Then, head to Stormcloud Brewing to get your craft beer on.
Where to Eat: Dinghy’s. It’s bar food at it’s best. You can’t find anything there that you won’t like. Just know, the place is standing room only on fish fry nights, even in the off season. And don’t worry. They have TVs if you’re looking for a place to catch a game on Saturdays.
Where to Stay: Personally, I’d skip the hotels in Frankfort. There are so many great rentals out there. Check our places like airbnb and VRBO. The rentals in Frankfort go from luxurious to cozy.
Special Events: Being a small town, there isn’t a whole lot going on these next few weeks (besides the Frankfort Film Festival.) However, Frankfort is close to so many great things in Northern Michigan, so if you’re the type of guys that want to get out and do something, your less than an hour from Traverse City, and just a short drive to many other small towns in the area. Traverse is full restaurants and bars. Arcadia Bluffs is a short drive up the road if you’re looking for a quick last minute round of golf. Crystal Mountain isn’t far, and Manistee is literally just down M22.
UGH. Guys. I just want to get my butt Up North so dang bad. Can you tell?? I think you should too. Too much time in the city is bad for you… you need some fresh air and quintessential fall fun 😉
I hope you’re having a fantastic Monday! I’m off to claim my spot on the couch before Dancing with the Stars starts!