Fall is hands-down my favorite season, and it's a ridiculously gorgeous time to be in Michigan. Whether you're in the Keewenaw (the tippy top of the state's Upper Peninsula) or along the southern border of the Mitten State (or anywhere in between), at some point during the fall season, there's bound to be a spectacular color change display.
My birthday falls right before Halloween, which typically aligns with dramatic seasonal weather. (When it comes to late October in the Midwest, you can expect anything from snow flurries to sunny days in the 70s.)
While I celebrated this year in Northern California, I've been meaning to share these photos from last year's birthday weekend getaway - the highlight of which was a walk through the woods and a beach picnic at Saugatuck Dunes State Park, located on Lake Michigan. (Note: I did last year's birthday up big - the festivities also extended into a roadtrip to Big Sur.)
I spent the weekend on the West Coast (of Michigan) with one of my dearest friends, who I've known since middle school. We spent most of the day drinking coffee, lounging by the marina, and strolling the town of Saugatuck, then packed some blankets, treats (including my hammered copper moscow mule mugs - a bday gift from my friend Jamie), layered up, and headed to the park.
There's something really peaceful about a Michigan beach in fall - with cooler weather, we had the place to ourselves, and stayed planted until well after sunset. (Which made the trek back through the woods a little interesting, as we neglected to bring flashlights and I watch far too many murder/crime shows.) Regardless, it was an awesome weekend, and if you're looking for a simple, low-key, and cheap day or weekend getaway in West Michigan, definitely consider throwing Saugatuck Dunes into the mix.
If you're looking to visit Saugatuck Dunes State Park, there is a day use fee - but if you're a Michigan resident and you own a car, it makes sense to get the Recreation Passport when renewing your registration. (I'm all about the parks and public lands - can you tell?)
Wherever you're spending this fall season, I hope it's beautiful! Happy trails.