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Ultimate Fall Drives to check out this season

Posted at 11:43 AM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 11:43:08-04

Ready for a road trip? If you missed out on taking one this summer, it's not too late! Fall is the perfect time to travel by car to view the beautiful autumn foliage.

Jennifer Weatherhead Harrington rounded up top local, national, and international fall drives for people to check out this season.

So right now and into late September and into early October, you’re going to want to head north.

From late September to mid-October the Traverse City-Northport-Frankfort areas are perfect for autumn hues! You’ll have more than 250 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline too and that mix of water and beautiful colors means you’ll get great pic opportunities. Take the M-22 takes along the shoreline. It’s also a good time to take a hot air balloon ride in the area too!

Then think about destinations more south for those bright colors later in October. Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo have great options, but also think of the Ironwood Silver City area too. The Western Upper Peninsula has breathtaking vistas, country roads, waterfalls, and a chance to walk on the Lake Superior shore.

For those looking to ride outside of Michigan, check out these locations:

New Hampshire

This state has some of the prettiest fall foliage in the country. In North Conway, you can get leafy views from a gondola, a zip line, hiking, dogsled, rollercoaster, or boat. Plus they have great scenic drives too.

Catskill Mountains, New York

They have incredibly beautiful drives through the southeastern part of NY State. And the Catskills Mountains make fall colors look incredible. Don’t miss the Catskills waterfalls, the Catskills Scenic Trail, Frick Pond Loop, Buttermilk Falls at Peekamoose, and Hunter Mountain Fire Tower.

Park City Utah

Ski towns are often overlooked in the autumn months, but they can be spectacular. Loads of hiking opportunities and driving options, plus Park City gets a gorgeous golden yellow color during the fall, making it picture-perfect. It’s also shoulder season in the fall, so you can nab good pricing!

Other international spots to add to your list for next year:


The best thing about a fall road trip in Germany? Castles! Chances are if you’re driving around the countryside in Germany you will see a few castles, some super famous and some smaller ones--all beautiful! If you’re planning for next year you can also try to fit in some Oktoberfest time too.


The eastern part of Canada has incredible fall foliage… so whether you plan on a visit this year (you can go as long as you’re vaccinated and have a negative test without a quarantine), head east to the Maritime provinces… Nova Scotia has one of the most famous fall drives in the world along the Cabot Trail.

For more travel tips, follow Jennifer on Instagram on @jennweatherhead and @travelstylemag.

Article and information provided by Jennifer Weatherhead Harrington.