Yes I’ve said it before and I will say it again! I have a bit of a fall obsession, what else is new? lol. Hence, Kevin and I have decided to take a yearly fall road trip or trip whenever possible. One of my favorite things of living in Chicago is that you can be in 4 different states between 90 minutes to 5 hours , and in two more from 6 to 7 hours. When you come from a state that takes 6 hours just to get out of it, hearing this makes taking weekend road trips a lot easier, and I just can’t believe how many people underestimate that! So for our first foliage road trip, we decided to go to Michigan. I’ve only heard the best things about Michigan for city escapes, from the Upper Peninsula, to Traverse city, to Mackinac Island, to the famous M22 scenic drive, to quaint little cities like Ann Arbor, Michigan has a lot to offer, and trust me I will be back for more city escapes!
On our first trip to Michigan, we decided to go to the famous or not so famous but beautiful Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes located in Traverse City. The Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes is considered a National Lakeshore, located along the northwest coast of the Lower Michigan Peninsula. The park covers about 35 mile long of stretch of Lake Michigan’s eastern coastline, as well as North and South Manitou Island (which you can take a ferry to if you wish to.) The park has some outstanding natural features, including forests, beaches, and dune formations. The park won the title “The most beautiful Place in America” from Good Morning America. Well, I think that is enough of my Wikipedia instead let me tell you more about our visit.
Kevin and I decided to do a one day visit since we knew we would be coming back, the drive was 5 hours from Chicago (trust me coming from Florida we have done longer day drives.) Once we got to the park, we paid to take the scenic drive, in which there are about ten spots for panoramic views of Manitou Island, Lake Michigan, the sand dunes, foresty areas, etc. After doing the scenic drive, we thought we should probably do a short hike. If you only want to do the hike, you do not have to pay a park entrance. Some of the hikes include hiking the dunes from bottom up, some hikes take you to some pretty foresty areas. We decided to do the Alligator Trail since it takes you through the forest, and it would be perfect for fall pictures. If you interested on the hikes offer check here Even though we could not finish the whole hike, Kevin and I made the best of it. If you have more time in the park, the park also offers kayaking, canoeing, biking, and obviously hiking.
After a visit to the park, we decided to start another fall tradition what no other thing than apple picking, we stopped at a farm market and also grabbed some apple cider ( my newest obsession!) Although we didn’t have much time to explore the town of Traverse City, it looked like my perfect type of town as we drove through it and for sure I will be back. I can’t wait to be back for a longer stay! oh Michigan now I know why you are so pure! Now tell me, do you also plan a foliage road trip? DO you have a favorite foliage escape in the Midwest? I would love to hear!