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Fall Colors in Charlevoix, MI

Autumn in Charlevoix is stunning, charming, relaxing, and all yours.

There is no better place to be during the fall season than Charlevoix, in fact, Expedia recently named Charlevoix as the best place to travel in October. The fall colors are ablaze, the night sky is brilliant, colorful trails await, and Northern Michigan is full of delights. Learn more about Charlevoix recreation opportunities here.

Fall time vibes

There is something to look forward to with the colors changing and the opportunity of exploring Charlevoix during this season. When you visit during fall, you will find a peaceful air about the town. Enjoy minimal waits at attractions and restaurants, great savings on last season’s merchandise, and discounts on weeknight room rates. The fall colors are calling and it’s time to experience that small-town vibe perfected in Charlevoix.         

The colors are waiting, so get on your way

If you’re out for a drive on Charlevoix’s scenic back roads, the surrounding countryside is full of gently rolling hills and abundant foliage that’s sure to satisfy that fall color trip you’ve been waiting for.

Around Lake Charlevoix

Enjoy the views of Lake Charlevoix. The drive around Lake Charlevoix is a great color route; this journey will take you through East Jordan, Boyne City, and Charlevoix.

The Breezeway

Rolling hills, picturesque Michigan farms, and the south arm of Lake Charlevoix are highlights of this tour. Beginning in Atwood, pass through Ellsworth and East Jordan, and finishes in Boyne Falls.

Torch Lake Tour

Head south out of Charlevoix toward Eastport. This scenic drive will take you along Torch Lake. There are sure to be great fall colors. Enjoy craft beer, food, and live music at Shorts Brewery on Bridge St. downtown Bellaire.

Jordan River Valley

Be sure to enjoy the scenic overlooks including the spectacular Jordan River Valley. From Charlevoix, head south toward East Jordan. Travel through Boyne Falls and Boyne Falls before returning to Charlevoix for an evening on the town.

Tunnel of Trees

Rated one of the most scenic, winding roads in America, especially for motorcyclists, take a day trip north and check out the M-119 Tunnel of Trees.

You’ll see great sights, whichever path you choose

Little Traverse Wheelway     
Stretching 26 miles, from Charlevoix to Petoskey, the Little Traverse Wheelway weaves along Lake Michigan. Set course along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, there are numerous places to take great photos of the fall colors.

Ransom Nature Preserve     
Ransom Nature Preserve has spectacular views of Charlevoix, Beaver Island, and the Leelanau Peninsula. This place is every photographer’s paradise. There are numerous trails to explore and photo opportunities awaiting you.

Mt. McSauba Recreation Area     
Winding through a diverse 27-acre dune and wooded area, the trails offer opportunities to enjoy the forest, open and wooded dunes, and 2,800 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline. The trails provide access to the beach and wooded back dunes. This diverse recreation also boasts of a challenging 18 hole disc golf course that's perfect for testing your skills. 

Fisherman's Island State Park     
Located just a few miles south of the City of Charlevoix, Fisherman's Island State Park is not actually just an island, but a 2,678-acre park with five miles of unspoiled Lake Michigan shoreline. The park encompasses a tiny island, Fisherman's Island, currently connected not to the mainland, due to high lake levels.     

Waterway Tours     
If you’re feeling up for an adventure, rent a raft or kayak from Jordan Valley Outfitters and set a course down the Jordan River. This is one of our favorite ways to take in the fall colors. Launch your boat and cruise along the shores of Lake Charlevoix for a breathtaking color tour.


The Charlevoix area is home to many species of fish including trout and salmon to name a few. With different types of bodies of water, including Lake Michigan, Round, Lake, Lake Charlevoix, inland lakes, rivers, and streams, the fishing opportunities in Charlevoix are excellent. Book a fishing charter or bring your own boat to experience world-class fishing. 

Wildlife Watching     
Antrim, Charlevoix, and Emmet Counties host a wide variety of protected areas and habitats that attract a large number of Michigan’s over 400 bird species. Whether it is a pair of nesting, federally endangered Piping Plovers, a Snowy Owl visiting for the winter, or the many warblers and waterfowl that pass through the area on their way to and from their breeding grounds, the tip of the Northwest Lower Peninsula offers exciting birding opportunities. Local parks, nature preserves, and natural areas make prime birding locations easily accessible and also highlight local conservation efforts. Click here for more information about the Sunset Coast Birding Trail trails. 

Equipment Rentals     
Charlevoix has lots of great hiking, biking, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboard opportunities. Whether you want to try something new or can't bring your equipment, the Charlevoix area has lots of equipment rental available to you. 

After a day of exploring Northern Michigan, stop downtown Charlevoix for dinner, a craft beer, or a tasty treat. Explore downtown boutiques for amazing fall discounts and one-of-a-kind merchandise. Just before the sun sets, stroll along the pier toward the lighthouse and enjoy the sunset on Lake Michigan. Click here for a fall color tour map. Northern Michigan is home to lots of great wineries, distilleries, and craft breweries, here's a map of all of the great places you should visit this fall. 


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