A Change of Scenery: Benzie County

Your bags are packed, and the gas tank is full. The road ahead is dotted with forests decorated in their autumn best, leading you toward quaint towns and crystal blue stretches of Lake Michigan. The bustle of city life fades into the rearview mirror as you enter Benzie County…and find yourself in a pretty great place.

The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive is Benzie is that mother nature reigns supreme. Vibrant forests and golden beaches, winding trails and peaceful rivers—this four-season playground has it all.

As fall color begins to paint the landscape, spend an afternoon hiking and biking along the trails that call Benzie County home. From the Betsie Valley Trail to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, you’ll find endless paved pathways and off-road tracks to explore. Or hop in a kayak to see the views from Benzie’s beautiful rivers and lakes, including Lake Michigan itself.

Meanwhile, fishing enthusiasts will be on the hunt for that secret spot to catch smallmouth bass, perch, and more. Golfers will hit the fairway on crisp autumn days, reveling in the slower season of play. And even those just out for a Sunday drive will find breathtaking views at every turn.

Your Benzie itinerary fills up fast when you discover the great outdoors are just the beginning. If you’re seeking a touch of culture, catch a late-season movie at the Cherry Bowl Drive-In or wander the outdoor sculpture trail at Michigan Legacy Art Park. Go back in time at a historic lighthouse, strolling the beach near Frankfort North Breakwater Lighthouse or visiting the Point Betsie Lighthouse just a few miles up scenic M-22. 

Fall is also the perfect time to explore destinations like Frankfort and Beulah, which overflow with boutique shopping, art galleries, and dozens of restaurants. Local beer, wine, and spirits can be sampled at tasting rooms…or enjoyed at just about any establishment. With outdoor seating, to-go options, and more, your fall getaway just got a whole lot easier.

When the day is done, you’ll need a place to rest your head. Whether you want to cozy up in a cabin by the lake or embrace the finer things of life at a world-class resort, Benzie County offers 22 distinct lodging experiences for you to choose from.

There’s always more to discover in Benzie County. Start exploring at