Great Lakes Bay Area

1.) Spot the beautiful foliage from the view of the trees themselves!

While you can “ooh” and “ahh” at fall’s finest oranges, reds, and golds from any passenger’s seat or bike seat, where better to find fall’s most mesmerizing foliage right at your fingertips than inside the soon-to-be Forest Canopy Walk at Dow Gardens Whiting Forest? This jaw-dropping gem was made to be experienced in the full swing of fall when a vibrant canopy of trees (and the wildlife within!) are all at arms’ reach as you explore five stories above the forest floor. What’s more, the peaceful pathway will span 1,400 feet of Dow Gardens’ Whiting Forest, making it the longest fully-accessible, year-round canopy walk in the country! And while the partial opening won’t happen until 2018, we’re sure you’ll want to plan all the ways to unwind and adventure among the treetops long before its launch. Want to see Pure Michigan from atop the trees before the Forest Canopy Walk opens in 2018? Get to the Frankenmuth Aerial Park, where you can zip and climb your way through the forest in full-on autumn beauty!

2.) Let’s get on the water!

Cozy up dockside and cruise for fall color aboard a true tall ship? BaySail’s Appledore IV tall ship schooner docks in Downtown Bay City, offering fall river cruises perfected by the promise of cozy quilts, chili, and cornbread served on board (the mindblowing fall foliage you’ll find is just a plus!). Check out when their autumn color cruises set sail and prepare to experience the season like never before. BaySail’s Appledore Tall Ship isn’t the only way to Go Great Lakes Bay by boat this fall! Climb aboard Bay City Boat Lines for a narrated history tour or sip & swirl cruise (and experience fall’s best as a backdrop to the festivities), hop on with Frankenmuth FunShips, where fall scenery comes with well-paired wine & chocolate tastings on board, or join local legend Wil Hufton III on a Johnny Panther Quests Adventure Tour, where the breathtaking scenery inside almost 10,000 acres of Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge (and the storied and studied knowledge of the tour guide himself!) are what set this tour through the “Everglades of Michigan” entirely apart. Rather set out solo (or tandem)? Rent a craft from Ike’s Mobile Kayak and get ready to get dropped off – and picked back up promptly – amongst Midland’s scenic landscapes and landmarks (think: The Tridge, Midland’s one-of-a-kind three-way footbridge, found at the confluence of two rivers!).

3.) Our Pick At The Peak Of Freshness

Baynes Apple Orchard in Freeland Michigan

If spiced cider donuts, decadent, hand-dipped caramel apples, and warm, soul-soothing fresh-pressed cider aren’t your thing, stop right here. Because, when you visit Bayne’s Apple Valley Farm in Freeland, these fall favorites are exactly what you’ll find: made to perfection, and made-to-wow (including gourmet caramel apples coated in pecan halves then drizzled three layers deep in chocolate!). Dive in here at Bayne’s (again… and again), or set your sights on a mammoth patch of fall pumpkins and gourds, all yours to explore at Johnson’s Giant Pumpkin Farm, where a petting zoo, blacksmith barn, corn maze, and horse rides all set the stage for family fun.
For more information on the Great Lakes Bay area, visit >HERE
A blog from Blair Cook / Blair Cook, a Go Great Lakes Bay native, is the Founder + Creative Director at Brandscape, a boutique marketing and branding firm that helps Pure Michigan businesses build their brands with 100% handspun, original content.
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