Every year when the leaves start to change colors in Traverse City, hundreds of “leaf peepers” make the trip up north to admire all of our beautiful fall colors. We love this time of year too, not only because of the beautiful foliage, but because it’s also the start of harvest time! After an exceptionally warm and sunny summer we are looking forward to a healthy and plentiful harvest.
When you make the trip to Traverse City we encourage you to take advantage of everything that fall has to offer. To help you get the most out of your trip to the Old Mission Peninsula we compiled a few of our favorite colorful places to enjoy fall.
Center Road Scenic Overlook
As you’re making your way out on the peninsula, pull off at the scenic overlook on Center Road – literally right before you would pass Chateau Grand Traverse. You’re guaranteed to find some fall-worthy pictures. The view is a favorite amongst visitors and locals alike. Is there anything more breathtaking than a rolling vineyard with fall foliage and West Grand Traverse Bay sparkling in the background? Didn’t think so.
Slow Drive to Haserot Beach
One of the best ways to see all the colors is to take a drive. We recommend that you stay on Center Road and head north towards Haserot Beach. On your way, make a stop at Bad Dog Deli to pick up some make-your-own-sandwiches and other picnic supplies – don’t forget a bottle of Late Harvest Riesling! From Bad Dog Deli, continue north on Center Road for a few more miles and then veer right onto Smokey Hollow Road.
Continue on Smokey Hollow road for a little over three miles. It winds along the bay and provides an awesome backdrop to the changing fall colors. When you reach the end of Smokey Hollow Road, take a right on to Mission Road. In less than a mile, take another right onto Old Mission Road. Once you’re on Old Mission Road, Haserot Beach is less than a mile away! The beach has plenty of picnic tables and sits directly on East Grand Traverse Bay. While you eat, soak up the sun, the fall colors and enjoy the waterfront view!
Hike It All Off
After a filling picnic, it’s time to pack it back into the car and journey to the very tip of Old Mission Peninsula. Here you’ll find the Mission Point Lighthouse. This historic site hasn’t been an active lighthouse since 1933, but it’s open to the public May-October. There’s a small gift shop and museum on the first floor that is free, but if you want to climb to the top, there’s a small admission fee.
After you explore the lighthouse, strap on your walking shoes and hike some of the magnificent, winding trails surrounding the lighthouse. There is an extensive trail system that encompasses both West and East Grand Traverse Bay and goes back as far as Ridgewood Road. Spend an hour or two getting up close with some fall color.
Here’s to You, Fall Colors!
Drive back down the peninsula on Center Road. Complete your afternoon of color touring by stopping in for a visit to our tasting room! Our tasting room staff will know exactly which wines and pairings to suggest. Purchase a bottle or two to take home with you and then sit back and relax with us to enjoy our view of fall – the patio is usually open until late fall! Raise a glass of your favorite fall wine to a successful day of leaf peeping!
Check out our fall visiting hours here to plan your next trip to Old Mission Peninsula!