Well, Spring Break was a bust with the outbreak of COVID-19 and the virus altered many summer vacation plans, too. While life isn’t completely back to normal yet, there are some things you can do to make this fall feel as ordinary as possible.
And by ordinary we mean fabulous, because that’s exactly how to describe the bounty of fall in Traverse City. Whatever craziness has characterized your life over the past five months, you can count on a Fab Fall in Traverse City with the usual opportunities to enjoy the familiar comforts and blessings of fall in Michigan.
In case you’ve forgotten what life was like last fall before the pandemic, take a look at these pictures of autumnal bliss:
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore gets a little sleepier in the fall when summer crowds fade. It just means there’s that much more space for you to find our own little slice of paradise, maybe high above Lake Michigan on the Empire Bluff trail or at one of the overlooks along the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. The cooler fall temperatures make for glorious hiking and biking through the 71,000-acre park, and there are miles of quiet shoreline for a relaxing stroll by the water, too.
Fall brings an abundant harvest of fresh fruits and vegetables in the Traverse City area. You can make a day of it searching for crisp, juicy apples at a U-pick farm or pull over to the side of the road and sample the produce at one of the area’s countless farmers markets and roadside stands.
Fall brings pumpkin patches, too, and the popular pastime of browsing for that perfect jack-o-lantern. Plus, corn mazes where you can get lost for awhile amid the towering stalks as you find your way out.
A leisurely drive through the Traverse City area’s country roads offers ample opportunity to see gorgeous fall color most anytime from late September through October. Some scenic drives come highly recommended, as do some vantage points including the top of Summit Mountain at Shanty Creek Resort. A scenic chairlift ride at Shanty Creek in Bellaire or at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville is a fall activity that should be on every Michigander’s bucket list.
While a scenic chairlift ride is something everyone should do at least once, a tour of the Traverse Wine Coast should be an annual endeavor. With more than 40 wineries across the region, you’re sure to find plenty of new tastes to savor along with some familiar favorites. Fall is a great time to explore the area’s wide variety of hard ciders, too. And, of course, there’s no shortage of craft breweries in Traverse City, either.
The Traverse City area offers four seasons of great outdoor recreation and fall just may be the best time of the year. From biking in the crisp air on dirt tracks through woods full of stunning fall colors to hiking along one of the area’s many incredible trails to fishing cool streams full of trout, fall in Traverse City puts a special touch on your favorite outdoor activities. For a family affair, climbing up and running down the Dune Climb gets the fall air flowing through your hair and creates picturesque photo ops of both Glen Lake and Lake Michigan.
Let’s not forget kayaking through the quiet beauty of an inland lake surrounded by trees in brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red.
As for fall golf Up North, it’s hard to get upset about a 3-putt when you’re spending a few hours in a setting like this.
Fall is quieter throughout much of the Traverse City area, making it a fine time to explore a new place. The region is full of cute small towns such as Bellaire and Frankfort. You can spend the afternoon strolling down Main Street and happen upon memorable restaurants and unique boutiques.
Places to stay such as Grand Traverse Resort & Spa take on a special character in fall, too. Many Traverse City-area resorts, hotels and B&Bs offer Fab Fall packages from Sept. 8 through Dec. 11. In addition to deals on lodging, you’ll get a digital coupon book with money-saving offers on dining, shopping, wineries, spas and more. Traverse City is committed to being a safe destination for your fall getaway, with places to stay and other area travel partners adopting extensive COVID-19 precautions.