Before my favorite season ends, I’m bringing you one of my biggest joys: FALL FOLIAGE!!! Every year, I get so excited when October is getting closer. October really is the prettiest month, don’t you think? One of the best fall drives has got to be in Northern Michigan, near and around Traverse City.
I love fall because the temperatures start to drop to that (usually) perfect level, where it’s cool enough to wear your fall jacket, and finally order that hot chocolate. I just love the “cozy” feeling and look forward to it always.
But of course, the absolute best thing about October is the foliage. The abundance of color that takes over the towns is just stunning. I forever want to take as much of it in. So that’s why I plan these life-giving getaways. It gives Jorge and me a chance to relax, enjoy nature at its prettiest, and explore a new city.
This year we stayed a little bit closer than the Smoky Mountains, but we were still blown away by the experience! Highly recommending Traverse City and the surrounding areas for next October.
Where to Stay
We stayed 20 minutes away from Traverse City in Kingsley, Michigan. Let me tell ya, it’s slim pickins in Michigan during this time, but we were really happy with our stay! We booked the Fireside Lodge and Cabins (more like small homes, less like cabins). However, the inside decor was unique, and the place was spotless. The area was great, quiet, and peaceful. I slept wonderfully that weekend. It was so relaxing to get away from the noisy city even if only for a few days.
Where to Eat in Traverse City
Mama Lou’s- It’s a modern-day taco shop. Usually, I’m kind of turned off by these type of places, but the reviews were excellent so we gave it a shot. All the food we had was delicious! So much so that we went back the next day (for takeout lol). Their tacos change often but don’t miss the street corn, it’s some kind of wonderful.
Morsels Espresso + Edibles- Definitely get their biscuit sandwiches!! And, don’t leave without getting some of their morsels. They’re bite-size pieces of goodness (think tiny cupcakes).
Higher Grounds- Jorge is always seeking out the best coffee shops in any city, and he definitely loved this one!
Trattoria Stella- We didn’t get a chance to try this place, but we want to if we head back to Traverse. It’s a well rated Italian restaurant inside a former insane asylum. Interesting right?
Our Route in Northern Michigan
After checking into our cabin, we drove from Kingsley to Sleeping Bear Dunes but had a hard time finding anywhere to pull over for photos. The drive sure was beautiful though. We then drove up to the town of Leland, and back down and around Lake Leelanau.
If we had more time we would’ve driven up to Northport and down past Sutton Bay as well.
You Don’t Want to Miss the Peninsula
My favorite part of the whole drive has to be the Old Mission Peninsula. It’s just a straight shot up M-37 from Traverse City, and you can probably drive the whole road in 20 minutes.
However, it took us hours.
I couldn’t stop taking photos. It’s a good problem to have.
Best part of the road? It’s lined up with a ton of different vineyards you can visit to do tastings!
Bowers Harbor Vineyards- We started off by supporting this dog-inspired vineyard. They have different wines named after all of their dogs, and tons of dog-loving stuff in their shop. We tried cider for the first time and bought one too many bottles of wine to bring home.
We even brought back a treat for our good friend Wallace (a terrier mix we’re both kinda in love with). The lovely lady who was teaching us about the wines also told us about the views at Brys Estate Vineyards, so we had to head over there as well!
Brys Estate Vineyards- She wasn’t lying about these views.
We ordered some drinks, a cheese platter, and just sat back to take it all in. It was the perfect end to our foliage-filled weekend.
pin for later