Memorial Day to Labor Day is considered the “high season” when it comes to RV travel and camping. It’s easy to see why when it comes to Michigan: beautiful scenery, endless beaches, and fresh water to swim in, not to mention the plethora of activities that can be enjoyed when the weather is warm. Whole families can get together because kids are out of school and workplaces somewhat expect their employees to take some time off to take advantage of the season.

But fall camping has its own allure, and more people are recognizing it. Here are some reasons why fall camping is the best idea ever…

  1. You can still enjoy the water. Perhaps not in October, but you can definitely swim in inland lakes in September and perhaps enjoy a swim or two in one of the Great Lakes. Our Septembers have more or less turned into an extended summer. Even if you don’t feel like going for a swim, you can still enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing, pontooning, and fishing.
  2. You can admire fall foliage. Michigan is resplendent this time of year – and it’s a favorite time of year for many. Depending on where you are in the state during the fall, you’ll see incredible fall colors. It’s the perfect time to go on a fall color tour, such as this one in Southeast Michigan. There are other places that are ideal to visit during the fall, namely the Ausable River, the Tunnel of Trees, and Tahquamenon Falls, to name just a handful. Generally, the colors peak in the Upper Peninsula and inland, first, then moves south and toward the coastlines. Peak colors last two or three weeks. There’s nothing more picturesque than a flaming orange maple reflected in water, to mimic the incredible blazing sunsets.
  3. There are fewer people. Since the high season is pretty much over, you’ll encounter fewer people during your activities and at the campgrounds. This is especially true if you camp during the week instead of the weekends (although if you have kids in school, weekend trips are understandable). There are a couple exceptions: fall festivals still draw in crowds and Michigan wineries are generally still crowded because folks like to combine vino with a color tour.
  4. More comfortable temperatures. Although many days can still get quite warm in September and even October, the night temperatures allow everything to reset. This allows you to sleep more comfortably and to enjoy a cozy campfire outside – often without the added nuisance of bugs. Not only that, but if you like hiking or biking, the still-warm-but-not-burning-hot day temperatures make those activities easier to do and enjoy. Maybe try hiking the dune climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes and walk all the way to Lake Michigan – and back. It takes several hours but it’s one of those bucket list items for many campers, and fall is the perfect time to accomplish it.
  5. You can save money. Many campgrounds have reduced rates for RVers when fall rolls around. Not only that, but gas prices are generally a little kinder to the wallet and help you stretch your dollar further. Farmer’s markets are still operating and you can help support the local farmers and local economy. And if you’re in the market for a new RV, the fall can be an ideal time to purchase “last year’s” models for a discounted price. And, the new models are available to see!
  6. There’s better stargazing. The earth turns red, yellow, and orange, but the night sky puts on a show as well. The shorter daylight hours means more time to view the night sky in all its splendor. West Michigan has some wonderful stargazing spots, or if you’re feeling adventurous, go star walking.