USA Today Readers’ Choice – Top 10 Fall Foliage Destinations (again!)

Posted on September 11th, 2020

#1 Fall Foliage Destination in the U.S. (again!)

For a 2nd year, USA Today readers voted Michigan’s Upper Peninsula the Number One Destination for Fall Foliage. From mid-September to mid-October, there isn’t a part of this magnificent peninsula that’s not a feast for the eyes. The U.P.’s seven million acres of hardwood and pine forests are drenched in fiery hues of yellow, orange and red mixed with rich greens and russet. Autumn is exhilarating.

Finding the best vantage points is easy with these 10 fall color tours. They will take you up to mountain tops, to the edge of thundering waterfalls, along leaf-strewn trails and multi-colored rocky shores. Everywhere you turn, you will swear the vista is more beautiful than the one before.

Nature, of course, chooses its own time to showcase its leaf displays, so check our weekly reports to know when and where to come. Updates are every Wednesday beginning the last week of September until the second week of October.

Driving our fall color routes is soul-stirring. However, even they cannot rival the up-close leaf views that hiking, biking or ATVing along our tree-canopied trails offer. The cool temperatures by day are perfect for motorcycling along twisty back roads. Golfers can get their preferred tee times on courses whose biggest distraction is the scenery. And rivers and lakes mirror the blazing tree colors and brilliant blues of the sky as you paddle for miles past wildlife gathering along the banks.

Three Great Lakes, Michigan, Huron and Superior, lure you to their sandy beaches, towering dunes and rocky shoals. Their roaring surf or glass-like calmness will mesmerize you. Combing our coasts, you can see 40 lighthouses, giant freighters and awe-inspiring sunrises and sunsets.

This time of year, you can watch thousands of songbirds, raptors and waterfowl wing their way south on ancient flight paths. Or see hundreds of colorful monarch butterflies flutter on the Garden and Stonington Peninsulas as they catch their breath before flying to warmer winter climates.

This wilderness is a favorite of hunters and anglers, too, who bring back trophies and boasting rights that they share over locally crafted beers and spirits.

Restaurants serve up hearty pasties and piping-hot meals made from Old World recipes handed down for generations. Thimbleberry jams, whitefish dips, monk-made loaves of bread, creamy fudge and hand-dipped chocolates are local fall favorites.

The U.P.’s fall colors are stunning at night, too, as the Northern Lights swirl across the sky in October and November. Stay awhile. There’s plenty of space for you.

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