Traverse City is already famed as one of the most spectacular summer vacation spots in the Midwest. (This year, National Geographic named it one of the world’s Top Summer Trips.) Fortunately, those heart-stopping views of sky, water and shore don’t just disappear after Labor Day – and lower off-season rates make it even more attractive!.

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    Cycling on Old Mission

    Cycling is one of the most popular fall activities in Traverse City. The Old Mission Peninsula (shown here) was just named Michigan’s best bike ride by Bicycling Magazine.

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    Fall Chain of Lakes

    Because of its higher altitude, the Chain of Lakes region just east of Traverse City often shows fall color by early September. This view is from the Summit Hotel at Shanty Creek Resorts.

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    Fall Kayaking

    Fall is the perfect time to explore the many lakes and rivers of the Traverse City area. This is Spider Lake (named for its shape) just south of the city limits.

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    Fall Shopping

    With over 150 cozy restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques and shops, downtown Traverse City is a great destination for a fall shopping adventure.

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    October Days

    The crowds may have thinned out, but Traverse City’s beaches are every bit as romantic in fall as they are in summer. This is West End Beach, near downtown.

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    Old Mission Light Fall

    A favorite spot for autumn explorers is the Old Mission Point Lighthouse, one of a half dozen lighthouses in the Traverse City area.

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    Sleeping Bear Hikers

    The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, voted “most beautiful place in America” by Good Morning America viewers, offers great hiking and color touring in fall. Shown here: the Sleeping Bear Point trail.

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    Winery Picnic

    Fall is harvest time in the Traverse City wine country. Autumn visitors love to combine their color tours with frequent wine-tasting stops at some of the two dozen wineries of the Old Mission and leelanau peninsulas.

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    Bikers in Leelanau

    Motorcycle riding is becoming an increasingly popular way to enjoy the colorful backroads of the Traverse City area in fall.

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    Blue Tractor

    Famous for the variety and tastiness of its cuisine, Traverse City has dozens of wonderful restaurants. And what better time of year to enjoy a delicious meal and a pint of locally brewed beer?