Fall break at Michigan State University is almost upon us. At MSU, this break officially begins on Oct. 21 when the weekend hits. It extends into Oct. 23 and Oct. 24 the following week. Some students are choosing to head out of state to places like Chicago or New York for a few days. Others are staying home or going somewhere close such as Traverse City, Michigan or places further north.
Today, we’ll dive into the best places to travel for fall break if you’re a student at MSU, regardless of what you enjoy out of vacations.
M-22 and the Leelanau Peninsula
The Leelanau Peninsula looks beautiful this time of year. Start on M-55 in Manistee, known for its fruit, and follow the road north until you reach M-22. Take that north and you’ll pass by Okenama and Portage Lake, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Leland, a small coastal town between Lake Michigan and Lake Leelanau.
On the way back, admire the views of the west side of the Grand Traverse Bay on your way back towards Traverse City, the largest city in northwest Michigan.
If you have time, stop by the Leelanau State Park near Northport. Once you arrive, you’ll find plenty of hiking trails, beaches and the brilliantly white Grand Traverse Lighthouse.
US-31 to Petoskey
If further north is your vibe, head on US-31 north of Traverse City. Keeping your eyes on the road might be tough. Turquoise-blue Lake Michigan will be to the west and awe-inspiring autumn foliage to the east.
Find an excuse for a bite to eat in Elk Rapids, a small resort town between the Grand Traverse Bay and Elk Lake. Or fancy a meal at Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant in Charlevoix.
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
It’s quite far, but these are the only mountains in Michigan. In the western upper peninsula, the Porcupine Mountains occupy the Lake Superior shoreline. Beautiful forests are mixed with incredible hiking trails. This is a great place for a getaway any time of the year, but especially autumn.
One of Michigan’s largest cities, Grand Rapids is a great quick place to visit for a few days. A few must-goes: Love’s Ice Cream and Madcap Coffee. Love’s is an absolute must if you’re vegan because they have more options than anyone I’ve ever seen. I also struggle with local coffee shops and smaller chains because I am so partial to Tim Horton’s. But I stop at Madcap every single time I step foot in Grand Rapids. Founders Brewing Company is another great place to stop.
Another place I like to go is the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. They have a replica of the Oval Office, quotes from Ford’s presidency and tons of stuff from his presidency.
A quick four-hour drive is the city of Chicago where there is plenty to do. Of course, you could go see the Bean. Maybe the No. 1 thing to do is find a Chicago-style pizza restaurant.
If you’re not afraid of heights unlike myself, go to one of the tallest buildings at The Ledge, an all-glass balcony at Willis Tower. You can also find an observation deck at the former John Hancock Center. Grant Park is also beautiful.
Not to mention, it’s hockey season. The Chicago Blackhawks are home to famed rookie sensation Connor Bedard. On Saturday, Oct. 21, the Blackhawks take on Vegas at 7 p.m. CT.