We asked locals to suggest their favorite things to do with family and friends in Southwest Michigan during the crisp, colorful days of fall.
- Get the largest, grossest, weirdest-looking gourds at one of Southwest Michigan's pumpkin patches or farm markets. Assemble them to look like an alien or monster and decorate your doorstep. [Share your creations on Instagram and Facebook.]
- Buy apples from a Southwest Michigan orchard and make shrunken heads and zombies.
- We love picking apples and getting cider from Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm, Nye’s Apple Barn and The Jollay Orchards Farm
- Buying and planting mums
- Taking a nature walk at Riverview Park, Grand Mere State Park and Warren Dunes State Park
- Get caramel apples at Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm
- Bake apple pie with apples from Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm
- Do a corn maze
- Fall is a great time for surfing on Lake Michigan. The wind tends to kick up from the north creating great waves.
- Get doughnuts and cider at Grandpa’s Cider Mill
- Mull around the pumpkins at Jollay Orchards
- Drive down Shawnee Road or M-63 to see fall color
- U-pick at Lemon Creek Winery and Farm Market (there’s wine tasting for the adults)
- U-pick and hayrides with the kids at local orchards.
- Driving past the vineyards. The smell of the grapes is divine!
- Waffles at Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm. Enough said! (Erika seconds that idea!)
Beginning this month through early November, nature splashes, then drenches our dunes, forests, vineyards, orchards and fields in ruby reds, citrine yellows, garnet oranges and emerald greens. Paddle our rivers. Walk along tree-lined sidewalks. Pick up wave-smoothed stones and beach glass strewn along our shore. You’ll find breathtaking color displays everywhere you go in and around St. Joseph!
We’ve listed six of our favorite routes in this downloadable Fall Color Guide. Be sure to share on Facebook and Instagram where you enjoy leaf watching in Southwest Michigan. And do plan to stay over. Our autumn sunsets are amazing.
Insider Tip: Come to stay during the week; all of our places to visit and stay are less crowded.
Southwest Michigan offers a month-filled with events to include in your fall color tour itinerary:
- Sept. 6-9: Antique Engine and Tractor Show
Michigan Flywheelers Museum, South Haven
- Sept. 11: Gallery Tour at the Box Factory
6:30-8 pm, Box Factory for the Arts, St. Joseph
- Sept. 15: Black River Open Paddle
10 am-Noon, Michigan Maritime Museum, South Haven
Artoberfest and PechaKucha
Noon-11 pm, Arts District, Benton Harbor
- Sept. 21 & 22: 387 Paranormal Investigation
7:30-10:30 pm, Eden Springs Park, Benton Harbor
- Sept. 22: 4th Annual Pappy’s Harvest Festival
1-7 pm, Vineyard 2121, Benton Harbor
- Sept. 29: Easy Riders and Pork Sliders
11 am-7 pm, Round Barn Winery, Distillery & Brewery, Baroda