Making a date with the state

From archaeology and astronomy to harvest fare and haunted fun, autumn in Michigan brims with things to do and places to go.
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harvest grapes

Spirit up to Northwest Michigan for supernatural stories and fun

Share some shivers at the Little Traverse Bay Parafest, Oct. 17-19, in Petoskey. Visitors at the historic and reportedly haunted Terrace Inn take part in a weekend of paranormal lectures, walking tours and other haunting activities. Syfy channel star Tim Maile is among more than a dozen special guests and professional ghost hunters who will share their stories about unexplained encounters, including insights into how these experiences are recorded and broadcast on television (231-631-7614; theterraceinn.com; littletraversebayparafest.com). 

Graveyard with blurred vision

Pedal into Southwest Michigan for a one-day century bike ride

The Apple Cider Century Bicycle Tour, Sept. 28 in Three Oaks, welcomes more than 5,500 participants each year who travel from 15 to 100 miles along Southwest Michigan’s orchards, forests and vineyards. First held in 1974, this sensory-rich weekend features an ice-cream social at historic Dewey Cannon Park on Saturday, with all rides scheduled for Sunday. Visits to the Bicycle Museum are also encouraged during the weekend (888-877-2068; applecidercentury.com).

michigan lighthouse

Shed light on Michigan’s rich maritime history in Northeast Michigan

Celebrate the 19th Annual Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival, Oct. 9-12, a four-day, Alpena-based festival featuring all things nautical, from lighthouse tours by air and boat to specialty vendors and live entertainment. While in the area, plan a visit to “Shipwreck Alley” and the Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, where 100-plus ships dating as far back to 1849 are estimated to rest in the darkened depths (586-566-1603; alpenacvb.com; lighthousefestival.org).

Ghoultide Gathering

Tricky Halloween Headline Text

Uncover a treasure trove of truly unique Halloween décor during the Ghoultide Gathering, Oct. 4, at the Chelsea Community Fairgrounds. This magical, mystical bazaar of bewitching art brings out more than three dozen creators who have crafted dolls, soft sculptures, ornaments, wood carvings, paper-mache sculptures and paintings plus repurposed or found
creations. Wrap up mischievous pumpkins, whimsical witches, dancing ghosts and other eerie characters for home holiday fun during this eclectic juried show (269-553-1852; ghoultidegathering.com). 

autumn leaves covered path

Journey out on a freshwater sea for harvest splendor in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Indulge in vibrant autumn hues during the 6th Annual Fall on the Island Festival, Oct. 10-12, on Drummond Island. Celebrate the changing seasons as bold yellows, oranges and reds contrast against Lake Huron’s blues. Each fall, visitors flock to this remote island for a weekend of traditional seasonal fun including an artisan fair, “Taste of Drummond” harvest fare paired with locally-produced wines, a golf outing, 5K run and pub crawl (800-737-8666; drummondislandfallfestival.com).

fresh apples and juice


Excursions legend – Commonly requested tourist information listed below:

Travel Michigan: Michigan.org

Upper Peninsula Tourism & Recreation Association: UPTravel.com

West Michigan Tourist Association: WMTA.org

Southwest Michigan Tourist Council: SWMichigan.org

Michigan’s West Coast: MichigansWestCoast.com

Sleeping Bear Dunes CVB: SleepingBearDunes.com 

Traverse City CVB: VisitTraverseCity.com 

Northern Michigan Tourist Association: TravelNorth.org 

Boyne Country CVB: BoyneCountry.com

Mackinaw Area CVB: MackinawCity.com

Michigan’s Sunrise Side: MiSunriseSide.com

Blue Water Area: BlueWater.org

Detroit Metro CVB: VisitDetroit.com 

Calendar items may be submitted to lisaj@geminipub.com two months prior to publication of the intended issue. Michigan BLUE is a quarterly magazine. 

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