After a long, toasty summer, fall is finally creeping in... and that means dozens of new ways to sip, savor, and adventure as you find your own favorite fall ways to Go Great Lakes Bay. Our farmers markets are in full swing, our self-serve farms, orchards, and pumpkin patches are soon to be ripe for the picking, and the only thing missing is your fall bucket list for how to tackle the season's freshest and finest!
Meet 11 of our favorite fall ways to taste, tour, pick, and play your way through Pure Michigan's Great Lakes Bay Region this season:
Downtown Bay City Restaurant Week - October 19-25
Get an overload of seasonal flavor without the spend when you tour our Downtown Bay City restaurants to get a taste of their best seasonal dishes. (Did we mention they have Buy One Get One Half Off Specials?)
Trot along for a night tasting where you'll stroll the European marketplace-themed streets of Frankenmuth for beer and wine sampling at 12 (yes, 12) different local hotspots.
Fall Color Tours Aboard Bay City's Appledore IV Tall Ship
Nothing says fall like hot cider, warm chili, freshly-baked cornbread, and cozy quilts... especially when you're aboard a Tall Ship, sailing Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay! Experience it all with a 2-hour Autumn Color Tour Cruise on the Appledore, complete with fall colors galore (and probably even a few Bald Eagle and Snowy Egret sightings!) Check out the Autumn Color Tour sailing shedule here.
Fall Color Tours With Johnny Panther Quest Adventure Trips
There's no better time to search for brilliant fall colors than when you're tucked within nearly 10,000 acres of National Wildlife Refuge. So, lose yourself (without actually getting lost) as local ecology, wildlife, and waterway expert Wil Hufton III (better known as Johnny Panther) guides you along The Perfect Pure Michigan Fall Color Tour.
Fall Color Tours With Ike's Mobile Kayak Rentals
With just yourself, a kayak (and maybe some friends and family), nothing will stand between you and the awe-inspiring autumn scenery when you drop in for a color tour with Ike's Mobile Kayak. You'll forge your own path to finding the best fall foliage (and can even pick your own pick-up and drop-off point!) We recommend a route that passes under Midland's incredible (and quirky!) 3-way footbridge, The Tridge.
Johnson's Giant Pumpkins
A truly massive pumpkin farm featuring... massive pumpkins! Between the animal petting farm, pony and barrel train rides, and corn mazes, your little ones won't know what to get into first!
Bayne's Apple Valley Farm
Cozy up to one of the Great Lakes Bay Region's most warm and welcoming fall hotspots - Bayne's Apple Valley Farm. They're known for having the area's best cider donuts and caramel apples (in fun, over-the-top varieties). Bayne's also features an on-site cider mill where you can watch the pressing process firsthand, along with orchards, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, a fruit farm, bakery, and even a retail shop with festive fall decor.
Costume up your kids and head to Saginaw's Children's Zoo At Celebration Square for the annual Zoo Boo. Kiddos can load their treat bags with goodies from spooky (not scary!) vendors and watch as Dr. Slime, the mad scientist, puts on a mysterious, scientific show!
Hop aboard for a 2-mile train ride filled with pure Halloween thrills and chills from the live spooks who are dying to entertain you and yours.
See scarecrows on display throughout Frankenmuth, and celebrate the harvest season with family at Frankenmuth River Place Shops. The kids will be entertained all day with inflatable bounce houses, face painting, pumpkin painting, pumpkin bowling and catapult, trick-or-treating, and even a straw bale maze!
If you dare... step through the creaky doors of The Village of the Living Dead (St. Charles' own acclaimed haunted house) this October as they celebrate 30 Years of Fears. As one of the top-rate haunted houses in all of Michigan, it's sure to deliver a great scare.
Whether you plan to taste, tour, pick, or play your way through autumn, we're sure there's more than enough of Go Great Lakes Bay goodness to round out your perfect fall bucket list. Still ready for more ideas? Check out our list of U-Pick Farms, Orchards, and more and test out some Tips For Planning The Perfect Pure Michigan Fall Color Tour, straight from our local experts!