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Michigan Fall Colors Map: See Michigan Peak Fall Foliage
Autumn in Michigan 2023: Use the Michigan Peak Fall Colors Map (UPDATED)
We’ve got some great news if you’re looking for Michigan fall colors.
The 2023 Michigan Peak Fall Color Map is here and updated just in time to give you a bigger window for planning your Michigan leaf-peeping trips. Please note that it’s little different than last year. Pay attention to Michigan weather reports as you try to pinpoint your best opportunities to catch a glimpse of Michigan’s amazing fall foliage.
Michigan Fall Color Report: Michigan Fall Color Season 2023 Predictions
It appears that the Michigan Fall Color Season might kick off a bit early this year, thanks to warm days and rainy weather predicted by the esteemed Farmer’s Almanac. Their predictions for Michigan’s 2023 hard winter and wet spring were right on track, so we’re giving them the benefit of doubt.
We’ve combined those predictions with what we know about how the heat and rain affect the changing leaves. We’ve also factored in other past peak fall color prediction maps from the TheSmokyMountains.com, the ultimate fall color guide in the United States. We also used our very own experience as lifelong Michiganders to develop our best estimate of peak fall color time.
More Vibrant Michigan Fall Colors in 2023
One thing is certain: Michigan’s fall weather means a spectacular leaf peeping season in 2023.
The warm weather predictions also mean a more vibrant color palette for Michigan leaves: think bright golds and oranges, combined with deep reds.
Read on for your Michigan fall color update and start planning your fall color adventure now.
Where & When to See Fall Color in Michigan: Fall Color Update 2023
With the Michigan Fall Color Report in, and its clear that the fall foliage viewing is going to be spectacular this year. For near peak and peak conditions, use our updated Michigan Fall Color Map to guide you as you travel Michigan in search of the red, yellow and oranges that make our autumns so beautiful.
We’re sharing some of our favorite spots to view Michigan fall colors with an easy map to help you find the best spots for your autumn color tour.
How to Use the Michigan Fall Color Map
It’s important to remember that predicting the exact dates that Michigan’s fall colors will peak is not an exact science, and the dates are subject to change based on local weather patterns.
These dates are for fall color change predictions based on meteorological forecasts and subject to change. As September nears, keep your eyes and ears open for Michigan weather predictions. Watch for forecasted changes in temperature and precipitation. This will help you see the best fall color in Michigan.
Places to See Fall Color in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
You’ll find more than 60,000 acres of pristine fall color here, in Michigan’s western upper peninsula. A fall getaway at Porcupine Mountain means riding through vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows, watching the leaves transform from a chair lift. You can also catch a glimpse of stunning colors at the Lake of the Clouds Overlook. This is fully-accessible overlook is one of the most popular spots in the UP to catch a glimpse of changing foliage. Be sure to bring your camera.
IF YOU GO: Your best bet for accomodations include Peterson’s Cottages, a collection of very clean and comfortable one-and-two bedroom cottages and chalets. Located about a minute away from the Lake Superior beach, this is perfect spot for both familes and couples. If you’re traveling with a family or group, consider this clean and updated four-bedroom home in a quiet neighborhood. You’ll find comfy beds and the location is a perfect spot for exploring the Porkies, just 25 miles away.
Jutting out into wildly beautiful Lake Superior, this small town in the Keweenaw Peninsula packs a ton of beauty into this relatively small area. If you’re feeling really adventurous, look into a trip over to Isle Royale. You’re at the top of Michigan here, but the amazing natural beuaty will have you feelign ke youre at the top of the world. Don’t miss the Copper Harbor Lighthouse or Brockway Mountain.
IF YOU GO: The Lake Fanny Hooe Resort is a cozy, two-bedroom condo with wide Copper Harbor vistas. It’s beachfront, so you can dip your toes in or simply enjoy the natural beauty.
When the leaves change and the air turns cool, Pictured Rocks becomes an entirely new world: towering limestone cliffs topped with bright fall leaves against as wild and wonderful Lake Superior. There’s more than 34 miles of Pictured Rocks coastline to explore, filled with sand dunes to climb; waterfalls to explore and endless hiking trails.
IF YOU GO: We really like the Comfort Inn and Suites Munising, a clean and fresh lakefront hotel overlooking South Bay. In addition to comfortable standard rooms, there’s lakefront suites and a fitness center. We’re also fans of the Pictured Rocks Inn and Suites, one of our favorite places to stay when visiting this amazing national park. Conveniently located just steps away from the Pictured Rocks in downtown Munising, they are within walking distance to great shopping, restaurants, a brewpub, grocery, a fabulous beach and the Pictured Rocks Boat Tours.
Tahquamenon’s title of “Root Beer Falls” works perfectly in the fall when shades of orange surround the cascades of water in an effortless display of Michigan beauty. The biggest waterfall east of the Mississippi, this is a Michigan autumn must-see.
IF YOU GO: The Paradise Cottage with Lake and Trail Access Onsite is a perfect spot to stay anytime of the year. We’ve stayed their in summer, fall and winter, and have been very happy with this clean, comfortable and charming three-bedroom cottage. You’ll find a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and microwave, too. It’s really a prime location for exploring the Tahquamenon Falls area.
Autumn is our favorite time to visit this vibrant, hip city on the shores of Lake Superior. It’s unique proximity and coexistence with the nature that surrounds it makes it the perfect spot to visit if your into outdoors activities like hiking and biking. Don’t miss the amazing vistas from Marquette’s Black Rocks Cliffs.
IF YOU GO: We have three favorite spots in Marquette, all exceptionally clean and comfortable, and each with a special feature. The Hampton Inn Waterfront is located on Lake Superior with stunning views. The Ramada Inn is spacious and dog-friendly, and the Holiday Inn has a great fitness center and indoor pool.
Best Places to See Fall Color in Northern Michigan
Michigan’s Tunnel of Trees is a perfect spot for Michigan fall color tour, and it’s worth exploring in the summer and winter months, too. Drive 22 miles under a leafy canopy of reds, yellows and golds alongside stunning views of Lake Michigan.
Set between two lakes: Lake Michigan and Round Lake, charming Charlevoix the Beautiful comes alive in the autumn when the fall trees surrounding the lakes light up with color. Fall flower baskets filled with brightly-colored mums spill from planters, adding to the beauty of the downtown area.
You can’t help but fall in love with Petoskey, especially in the fall. Nestled comfortably on the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay, this pretty “city by the bay” lights up with fall color and charm in autumn.
IF YOU GO: The Cottages at Bay Harbor are simply lovely: clean, comfrotable and beautifully decorated, too. The cottages include full kitchens, too, which is nice when you’re traveling with a family. Staffords Bayview Inn is equally charming. The lovely grounds here and amazing food have made it a favorite fall destination for autumn foliage tours.
Just 18 miles long and about 3 miles wide, this gorgeous sliver of land in Traverse City is home to some of Michigan’s most stunningly picturesque land. Come autumn time, it’s the stuff that travel dreams are made of: pristine bay waters of varying blues and hilly terrain that rises and falls in just the right places.
IF YOU GO: Hotel Indigo is the newest addition to the Traverse City hotel scene, and it is stunning. Located right in the heart of downtown Traverse City on West Bay, this beachfront hotel is the perfect loction for exploring Old Mission. We also have a special place in our heart of the historic Park Place Hotel, where we spent our honeymoon! It’s a luxurious boutique hotel with a fabuous restaurant, Minerva’s, located on site.
Set directly on the west bay shoreline, Suttons Bay lights up with vibrant colors in autumn. The green leaves change to startling reds and golds, and even the bark on age-old birch trees seems whiter against a backdrop of brilliant blue sky.
Set on a tiny bit of land between Lake Michigan and Lake Leelanau along the scenic M22 Michigan highway offering magnificent views, Leland is especially pretty in the fall when the trees lining to shoreline light up with color. It’s also fun to explore the boardwalk and duck into the cute shops in the cool weather.
You’ll find some of Michigan’s most spectacular scenery in Glen Arbor, and it’s not just the views from the gorgeous Lake Michigan beaches. Plan your leaf peeping trip to Glen Arbor carefully: there is so much spectacular scenery that you need to be sure and leave yourself time to savor each spot.
IF YOU GO: The Sylvan Inn Bed and Breakfast is peaceful, clean, and comfortable, with a wide front porch for sitting in and taking in your pure Michigan surroundings.
While Sleeping Bear Dunes is a great summer destination, the natural beauty continues all year round, especially in autumn. The rolling terrain lights up in the fall when the leaves start to change color with a turquoise Lake Michigan in the background.
IF YOU GO: The M22 Inn Empire is set right in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and offers Victorian-style inn and mid-century motel accommodations. It’s clean and cozy, and located on the south shore of Little Glen Lake. The Empire Lakeshore Inn is right downtown in Empire and is exceptionally clean and comfortable. You’ll find rooms with balconies or patios, and each room has a refrigerator.
This is one of the state’s best-kept fall secrets, quietly rushing waterfalls surrounded by a pristine hardwood forest. Not only is Ocqueoc Falls the largest waterfall in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, it also is the ONLY universally-accessible waterfall in the United States.
Presque Isle is located in Michigan’s northeast corner, is a must-see destination for lighthouse-lovers. With two lighthouses within a mile of each other, it’s easy to visit these spots and enjoy the pretty views of Lake Huron: the shallow bays in the area give the water a pale turquoise look. Set against the strikingly bold fall foliage, the effect is just beautiful.
Set on the shores of Lake Huron’s picturesque Thunder Bay, Alpena is a paradise for outdoor adventure lovers in the fall. Surrounded by pretty inland lakes, natural harbors, thickly forested natural preserves and the sparkling clear Lake Huron water, you can hike, bike, kayak, fish or just sit back and take in the spectacular scenery.
IF YOU GO: The Days Inn is clean and updated here, with spacious comfortable rooms and an indoor pool. You can also try the Holiday Inn Express. The clean room are fairly large and it’s just a 10-minute walk to the beach. There’s also an indoor pool and a free, hot breakfast.
Every year, the fall foliage colors and fun autumn opportunities burst at the seams in north east Michigan’s Au Sable River near Oscoda, and the picturesque landscape of color change, reflects in the river’s surface.
Best Places for Fall Color in West Michigan
This is a perfect stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline with wide open vistas of bright, blue Lake Michigan: a perfect backdrop for the brilliant fall foliage. With three scenic and picturesque lighthouses in the area, this is a must on your Michiugan fall bucket list.
IF YOU GO:
Gorgeous Grand Haven maintains its top Michigan beach town status even in the autumn months. There’s nothing quite like exploring the downtown shops and then heading over to Grand haven State park of the city beach to watch the wild whitecaps of Lake Michigan in the fall roll in. If you’re lucky, you might catch a kite surfer or two riding the waves .
The expansive beach at Holland State Park opens to sweeping views of the Lake Michigan bluffs to the north. Climb Mt. Pisgah, overlooking Holland’s Lake Macatawa, and take in the windswept bluffs swaying in the breeze off the lake.
Things to Do in Michigan in Fall
Fall in Michigan is simply stunning.
It’s one reason why travelers from across the country put Michigan right at the top of their MUST-See’s every autumn…for some, it just wouldn’t be fall without a Michigan Fall Color Tour during peak fall color time.
Michigan’s vibrant peak colors demand an audience, and our fall foliage map will help you plan your scenic drive, outdoor adventures and autumn weekend getaways for a pure Michigan fall of fun.
Cider mills, apple orchards, corn mazes and pumpkin patches all seem to spring up out of nowhere during autumn in Michigan and the colorful foliage seems even brighter against the backdrop of a clear, blue Michigan sky.
View Fall Foliage in Michigan: The Foliage Map
The sight of the bright reds and yellows against the brilliant blue of the sky and the lakes are a striking sight, whether you’re viewing them from southwest Michigan, northern lower Michigan or atop a cliff in Porcupine Mountain State Park in the western U.P.
Just catching a glimpse of this fantastic color explosion is an annual rite-of-passage for many state residents and travelers to Michigan.
It’s important to catch these fall colors when they are at their best, you don’t want to wait until they’re past peak viewing, so be sure to use the 2023 Foliage Map as your guide to fall in Michigan.
Best Time to See Fall Color in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula
Peak fall foliage color viewing for this area is roughly October 1 – October 18, 2023.
This area includes places like Marquette, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Tahquamenon Falls and Kitch-Iti-Kipi in the upper peninsula; and spots like Petoskey, Charlevoix and Mackinac Island in the lower peninsula.
Best Time to See Fall Color in Northern Lower Michigan
Peak times color for northern lower Michigan, which is roughly Traverse City, the Leelanau Peninsula, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Frankfort, Manistee and Ludington on Lake Michigan and Cheboygan, Harrisville, Oscoda, Tawas, Caseville and Port Austin on Lake Huron, is estimated for October 3- October 20, 2023.
Best Time to See Fall Color in West Michigan and Mid-Michigan
October 5 – October 22, 2023 is predicted to view Michigan’s fall color show in places like Grand Haven and Holland on Lake Michigan; Midland and Frankenmuth in mid-Michigan; and Lexington and Port Huron on Michigan’s Thumb Coast.
Best Time to See Fall Color in Southwest and Southeast Michigan
October 5 – October 2023 is estimated peak fall color in places like New Buffalo, St. Joseph, South Haven and Saugatuck on Lake Michigan and Ann Arbor, metro Detroit and Belle Isle in southeast Michigan.
Explore Beautiful Michigan in Autumn
Before we go on, let us tell you a little about WHY we think autumn in the BEST season in Michigan.
Maybe it’s the crisp air that feels so good on your skin; gone are the steamy, muggy and melting days of August and here are the cool, brisk mornings that slowly warm to sunny afternoons as the day wears on.
There’s a faint feeling of celebration, too, owing perhaps to the anticipation of fall harvest in throughout this farm-rich state.Corn mazes and pumpkin patches spring up on local farms, cider mills and apple orchards fill the air with the scent of cinnamon. It’s pure Michigan fall fun in a red-yellow-gold explosion.
We think fall colors tours, whether a long, meandering trip or just short driving tours, are a great way to experience the beauty of Michigan in the fall.
Michigan in the Fall: Color Drives
There’s one word for the Michigan fall foliage viewing season in 2023, and the word is VIBRANT.
The entire state takes on a richer hue as the days become shorter and the waves on the Great Lakes become wilder: Michigan truly comes alive in the fall. Fall color drives are a great way to take in nature’s show: throughout the state you’ll find spots that make you pull over to the side of the road for photos.
We’ve shared some our favorites spots here, in our post on Michigan Fall Colors: 36 Spots to See Michigan’s Changing Leaves at Peak Color .
In these posts, we share some of our favorite spots to catch pure Michigan’s gorgeous colors, spots like Harbor Springs and Petoskey on the shores of Little Traverse Bay, Belle Isle Park in southeast Michigan, Ocqueoc Falls just north of Alpena and many more.
Experience Michigan Fall Color
The time for catching Michigan at 2023 Peak Fall Color is quickly approaching.
Use our Michigan Peak Fall Color Map to plan your fall foliage viewing and view Michigan color at its best, and use the comment section below to let us know YOUR favorite spot for viewing Michigan’s beautiful fall leaves.
Michigan Peak Fall Color Questions and Answers
A. You can see fall color just about anywhere you can find a tree in Michigan during the months of September and October. The color change in Michigan gradual, starting from the northern-most parts of the Michigan (the Upper Peninsula and norther Lower Peninsula) and working its way south as the weeks progress.
A. The best time to see fall colors in Michigan depends on where you are in the state. If you are in (or traveling to) the northern parts of the state, you’ll see the fall foliage start to change earlier, in mid-to-late September. The southern parts of the state state will experience the fall color change a little later in the season, even extending into late October in some areas.
A. It depends on WHEN you are reading this. You can use our Peak Fall Color Prediction Map to determine where the leaves and fall foliage in Michigan are at their peak color.
A. Yes, it’s the glorious autumn season and the leaves have started to change.
A. The leaves generally stay at peak color for about two weeks. That provides a nice window for planning your fall color-peeping road trips. This year, the season is extending in late October, which provides us more time to plan your fall color tours and scenic drives.
More Things to See and Do in Michigan in Fall
Enter the Michigan Fabulous Fall Golf Getaway Sweepstakes
Use the form below to enter the My Michigan Beach Fabulous Fall Golf Getaway Sweepstakes from 9/24 – 9/30/23. First prize includes a one night stay midweek stay for two with breakfast included at Cadillac’s Evergreen Resort; 18 holes of golf at Evergreen; 18 holes of golf at Eldorado; 9 holes of golf at Caberfae and a $100 in CAVB gift certificates for dining, shopping, or lodging in the Cadillac area. Second prize is $100 gift certificate to the Michigan Beach Store. Contest is open to US residents ages 21 and up; winners will be chosen randomly and notified via email. Please be sure to tell us about your favorite spot to see fall color in the entry form!