Yay! Fall colors have really started to poke through the green as we start our goodbyes with summer. I’m ready and excited to wake up and find I need my fuzzy slippers and comfy robe. How about you? A lot of my friends hate to see summer go, and while I do love tooling to the beach with my car windows wide open (and sure wouldn’t mind a few more of those days), the call of fall color, soups bubbling on the stove and a blaze in the fireplace is beckoning to me.

Hiking where I can kick up the leaves as they snap, crackle and crunch is one of my favorite ways to pass a fall day. I also love the farm markets – I don’t honestly know if it’s the tastes, colors, smells or just the overall feel of autumn that envelops me when I’m there, but I’m ready to start making my rounds.

Here are some of the places I’ll be visiting. Maybe you’ll want to check them out, too.

The Pumpkin Barn, 1958 West Sturgeon Bay Trail, Levering – Nothing fancy here, but the historic barn (120 years old!) gives a nod to tradition and while kids will love the huge selection of pumpkins, I think the delicious jams, cheese and handmade crafts are a terrific added touch.

Pond Hill Farm, 5699 S. Lake Shore Drive, Harbor Springs – In addition to canned goods, beer and wine, a huge pumpkin display, gourds, and a few farm animals, Pond Hill knows how to entertain kids with Fall Fest activities like pumpkin bowling and pumpkin smashing. The sound of a child’s laugh mingled with rustling leaves is sweeter than any wind chimes you’ll hear.

Uncle Frank’s Apple Town, 4391 US 31, Brutus – Anyone who can leave Uncle Frank’s without sampling a freshly made donut either has never tried them or has amazing willpower because the aroma is like an aphrodisiac for the nose. Explore the orchard and then take home a golden-brown apple pie.

Bill’s Farm Market, 4450 East Mitchell Road, Petoskey – This super well-stocked market transitions from veggies, corn shocks, pumpkins and apples to wreaths and trees for the holidays. Owner Bill McMaster is hands-on and may well direct you to just what you’re looking for at this Centennial Farm.

Coveyou Scenic Farm, 4160 US Hwy 131, Petoskey – Scenic just begins to describe this market with a stellar view of Walloon Lake from the spacious deck. Sit, soak up some relaxing vibes, and nibble an apple or other organic produce. Take home a gorgeous mum plant to brighten your own deck, a hand crafted birch basket or other locally made craft – anything that will remind you of this very special place where buying produce is, quite simply, a memorable  experience.

Some of these farm markets usually offer hayrides in the fall. Due to the coronavirus, social distancing is being observed, so no rides this year. Masks also need to be worn inside the markets. But hopefully next year things will be back to normal.

Don’t miss the top-notch Saturday farmers markets in Boyne City and Harbor Springs, too. You’ll find a big array of products from a wide variety of vendors. You can leave either of these markets and wander the downtowns, too – maybe even have lunch – to make it an even better fall day.

Maybe I’ll see you at one of these markets. I’ll be the one who looks like she’s shopping for an army – and loving it!

Fall is such a beautiful time of year, but it comes and goes quickly. To make the most of your visit, why not stay a couple nights? We have lodging that’s comfortable, convenient and perfect for relaxing after a day outside.

Fre Petoskey Area Fall Color Guide

About the author

Diane Dakins is passionate about all the lakeside communities that comprise the Petoskey Area of northern Michigan: Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor and Boyne City. As assistant director of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, she has “been there – seen that” when it comes to virtually every area attraction. Her blogs give potential visitors the scoop on planning a northern Michigan vacation.