Fall is one of the best times to visit the lakeshore. Here are some ideas for fall things to do in West Michigan to get you out and enjoying the season.
Visit an Orchard
West Michigan is one of the top fruit-producing regions in the state. From apples to peaches to pumpkins, Michigan fruit is sweetest under the fall sun. Although peach season is winding down, orchards are shifting into full gear to prepare for the apple picking crowds and stocking pumpkin patches for the end of the growing season. It’s a great time to plan a trip to a local farm in West Michigan, full of things to do for families, couples, and kids of all ages.
At West Michigan’s orchards, you can pick your own apples, choose a pumpkin to carve, and say hello to farm animals. Don’t forget the hayrides, hot cider, and fresh donuts. Bring your family and friends to a farm or orchard along the lakeshore to enjoy the fall weather and bring some of the harvest home with you. Here are two of our favorite fall farm spots.
Located near Saugatuck, MI, Crane Orchards is the place to go for everything apples. They have U-pick fruit available with many varieties of apples to choose from. They also have a corn maze and cow train rides for kids, with hard cider to sample for grown-ups.
Bethke Farms is the popular pumpkin patch near Grand Haven. Offering hayrides, a corn maze, and other fun activities for kids, this is a great place to spend a fall afternoon with your family.
The West Michigan lakeshore is an idyllic location for fall camping trips. The bright blue waters and contrasting forest make an impressive backdrop for your outdoor adventure. Most campgrounds along the lakeshore are open late into October but aren’t as full as during the summer months. It’s a great time to load up the car with your tent and plenty of blankets for cool nights. Be sure to pick a spot with a clear view of the sky — the stars reflecting over the vast dark lake at night is an impressive thing to witness.
Spend a night or two on the West Michigan lakeshore and enjoy fall things to do including bonfires and smores, walks along the beach, hiking, relaxing at the campsite, and more! Oh, and don’t forget to bring the marshmallow skewers this time.
Grand Haven State Park
Open until October 24th, the Grand Haven State Park has 174 sites available for RV and tent camping. This campground backs up to the Harbor and Lake Michigan and is just steps from the beach. Reserve your campsite here.
Muskegon State Park
The Muskegon State Park has two campgrounds to choose from for RV and tent camping. The northern campground is open year-round and has 105 sites available. It’s located on a bluff with stairs leading down to the beach and Lake Michigan. The other campground is further south and has access to inland Lake Muskegon. This campground closes during the winter but is open until October 20th.
Enjoy a Meal Outside
When the days are warm and the evenings are cool, it’s the perfect weather for enjoying a warm meal out-of-doors. Many restaurants and local breweries in West Michigan lakeshore towns offer outdoor dining on patios, sidewalks, and decks. It’s a romantic place for date night, a fun atmosphere to gather with a few friends, or a great location to catch up with family.
Fall is also a great time to pack a picnic or bring takeout to a spot with a view! Find a secluded spot on the beach or spread out a blanket at a park to make the most of the fall weather.
Explore Local Trails
Fall is the best time to go hiking, especially in West Michigan. The cooler weather makes it easier to exercise, the summer crowds have subsided, and there’s something about that fall sunshine that makes everything a little more golden. If you’re looking to get outside, find a great hidden gem hike near the lakeshore to soak up the sun, enjoy the crisp fall air, and take in the changing colors.
A visit to the beach is a must while you’re looking for fall things to do on the West Michigan lakeshore. While it might not be optimal weather for swimming, fall is the perfect time to hang out on the beach with friends to have a bonfire, throw the frisbee, and explore the shore. This time of year, beaches will be far less crowded and will have more opportunities for you to bring your dog.
Go for a Drive
Another enjoyable fall activity in West Michigan is to take a scenic drive along the lakeshore. Plan a route that takes you through some of the most vivid fall colors and be sure to make stops in the bustling lakeside towns of Grand Haven, Saugatuck, and Muskegon.
A great place to start is Interstate 196 from South Haven to catch US Highway 31 in Holland. This route follows close to Lake Michigan all the way to Traverse City. Of course, you’ll want to make some detours to explore backroads. The best views can be found along secluded Michigan roads. The further north you travel, the more dramatic the colors will be, especially early in the season.
From fall colors to fresh-picked apples, there’s something for everyone this season in West Michigan. If your family is considering moving, you can enjoy the fall fun year after year in a beautiful West Michigan home. For more information about available listings in your desired communities, reach out to the team at BlueWest Properties.