Flash Back Friday – Michigan Driving Tour – Fall Color & Lighthouses







Autumn in Michigan

    Welcome to Flashback Friday – Where we share previously published articles which were reader favorites. Hope you enjoy this Friday’s article, originally published in 2011, about exploring Michigan’s Western Shoreline in the Fall.

Michigan Driving Tour

Fall Color & Lighthouses

Autumn in Michigan is a bit magical. Crisp cool weather and blue skies dotted with fluffy white clouds provide the perfect backdrop for the explosion of Fall colors in Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. It’s harvest time and the ideal time for a quick road trip to take some great photos and refresh the spirit. If you plan your outing as a scenic drive along the Lake Michigan Coastline you can also visit many of Michigan’s approximately 116 wonderful lighthouses. Fall Color – Lighthouses – Lake Michigan – well, let me just say that it’s a trip worth taking.   The drive along Michigan’s West Coast winds through a variety of landscapes and vistas. Quaint waterside towns offer great food, arts and crafts stores, and outstanding antiquing. There is also some good wine country along the way. The coastline was the main draw for me, however, and my camera was kept very busy. Fall colors area everywhere. But color is related to climate and the peak season can vary according to conditions. Generally, peak color is seen as early as Mid September in extreme Northern Michigan and higher elevations, with great color coming as late as mid to late October along the coastline. You can check the current fall color conditions and even sign up for a “fall color report” and update at: http://www.michigan.org/Places-to-Go/Tours-and-Trails/Fall-Color-Tours/Default.aspx


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The Grand Traverse Light House is located at the entrance to Grand Traverse Bay from Lake Michigan. It was built in 1859 and is now open to the public. It’s located close to Traverse City which is a great destination in itself. Right on Grand Traverse Bay, it’s a great stop where you can have lunch or sip a coffee while watching all the boating activity on the bay. GPS directions to the lighthouse: Latitude: 45.2102, Longitude: -85.54996.


Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore lies just South of Traverse City. Natural coastlines don’t get much more beautiful than this. In fact, the area was voted “The Most Beautiful Place” by viewers of ABC’s Good Morning America.

The Upper and Lower Penninsulas of Michigan are joined by the Mackinac Bridge. This impressive and beautiful piece of engineering spans the Straits of Mackinac. Located at the southern end of the Bridge at the tip of the Lower Penninsula, Mackinaw City is home to Colonial Fort Michilimackinac as well as the Mackinac Point Lighthouse. GPS: Latitude 45.78749, Longitude: -84.72921.


The West Coast of Michigan if full of fun and surpises . Fall is a great time to visit. What are you waiting for?  Time to hit the road!

Autumn in Michigan ……….. Enjoy The Adventure!

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© 2018, Bruce W Bean, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

Photographing and wandering the world - close to home and far away. Enjoying life's adventure.
Bruce W Bean, Ph.D