MICHIGAN, USA — The end of summer is upon us.

Luckily, we do still have a few more weekends of warm weather after Labor Day which means you have time to hit the beach as water temperatures will stay warm for a while. The air temperatures have cooled slightly but it's still perfect for a day walking the beaches.

There are some other fun ideas to try before the end of summer. The DNR says there is camp availability around the state. There are also a number of festivals happening in September including the South Haven Jazz Festival from Sept. 13 to 14 and the Michigan Bluesfest from Sept. 20 to 21 in Lansing.

Saying hello to fall

There are a number of color tours around the state as leaves begin to shift and show off those fall colors.

Some of the most popular fall foliage drives include:

  • M-22 along the Lake Michigan shoreline of the Leelanau Peninsula
  • The Tunnel of Trees along M-119 starting near Harbor Springs
  • Brockway Mountain Drive in the Upper Peninsula's Keweenaw Peninsula
  • The historic Heritage Route along US-23 from Bay City all the way to Mackinaw City
  • Red Arrow Highway in the St. Joe area with u-pick farms and small towns

Beyond just the beautiful leaves, Michigan also has delicious harvest apples, sweet corn, pears and pumpkins in season. There are various u-pick farms, farmers markets, orchards and cider mills where you can experience the deliciousness first-hand. There are more than 100 cider mills in Michigan to explore, many of them historic and featuring family-friendly activities including corn mazes and hayrides.

The hidden gems of Michigan

Pure Michigan recommends visiting the "thumb" of the state, including the Port Austin and Lexington areas. They are great quiet towns. There is also Michigan's oldest lighthouse -- Fort Gratiot in Port Huron.

Pure Michigan also recommends The Canopy Walk at Down Gardens in Midland. There will be beautiful leaves to see as well as plenty in the area including tours of Mid Century homes.

Fun Michigan Facts:

  • Michigan has 11,000 inland lakes and 36,000 miles of rivers and streams.
  • Michigan has more than 2,700 miles of rails-to-trials, 3,000 miles of water trails and 3,100 miles of off-road vehicle trails.
  • Michigan has the world's largest freshwater coastline as well as the second-largest coastline in the U.S. next to Alaska.
  • Michigan has 129 lighthouses, more than any other state in the U.S.
  • There are more than 6,000 shipwrecks on the bottom of the Great Lakes, some dating back to the late 1600s.
  • Michigan is fifth in the nation for the number of breweries. There are 379 throughout the mitten. Michigan also has more than 100 wineries and 20 distilleries.

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