Here's what to do Sept. 20 through Sept. 27 in West Michigan

An ideal, fall-themed week in the region

Photo of Angela Mulka
Pictured is the flyer for National Alpaca Farm Day at Cotton Creek Farms.

Pictured is the flyer for National Alpaca Farm Day at Cotton Creek Farms.

Photo provided/Cotton Creek Farms

Autumn calls for time to take in the stunning foliage, celebrate the fall harvest, tour Michigan’s unique wineries and craft breweries and attend seasonal festivals.

Whether you live in West Michigan or are visiting the region, bringing the whole family or just you, think of this as your one-stop shop for a current event guide that’s slightly off the beaten path. Look out for more "ideal week" guides in the coming weeks.

Here are five things to do for an ideal week in West Michigan to get you in the fall spirit.

Take a fall color drive on M-22 from Traverse City to Empire

Pictured is Save Michigan Highway M-22 in Autumn.
Pictured is Save Michigan Highway M-22 in Autumn.
Getty Images

Trace the coastal edges of the Leelanau Peninsula, where you’ll find wineries, galleries, farm stands, overlooks and lots of small towns to explore. Start in downtown Traverse City, heading north on M-22 to Northport, then head south again to Empire. Take M-72 back to Traverse City, or extend your trip and drive farther south into scenic Arcadia and Manistee.

The travel time is estimated at two hours. And, a must-stop spot on the journey is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Attend a courtyard concert on Sept. 21 in Ludington

Pictured is the flyer for Ludington Area Center for the Arts' 2021 Courtyard Concerts series.
Pictured is the flyer for Ludington Area Center for the Arts' 2021 Courtyard Concerts series.
Photo provided/Ludington Area Center for the Arts

Madeline Cooper will perform Tuesday, Sept. 21, as part of the Ludington Area Center for the Arts' 2021 Courtyard Concerts series beginning at 7 p.m.

Tickets for this intimate, outdoor concert are $5 and are available to purchase in person at the LACA gift shop by calling 231-845-2787 or online here. The concert requires you bring your own chair. Attendees are expected to be surrounded by fall color foliage.

Join Benzie County's spring roll business "Roll Model" in Traverse City on Sept. 22

Pictured is a spring roll from Roll Model.
Pictured is a spring roll from Roll Model.
Photo provided/Roll Model

Benzie County’s handmade, healthy, spring roll and rice bowl business is doing a pop-up shop in Traverse City at Left Foot Charley starting Sept. 22 and recurring weekly on Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Enjoy weekly pairings of Roll Model's vegan spring rolls and Left Foot Charley wines. Thanks to all of the hardworking farmers in Northern Michigan, the businesses can serve local veggies on these fresh, vegan spring rolls and pair them with locally grown grapes made into Left Foot Charley wines.

Octoberfest in Downtown Ludington kicks off on Sept. 24

A Chili Walk is scheduled to start the festival from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., which allows you to visit up to 30 downtown businesses for tasting.
A Chili Walk is scheduled to start the festival from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., which allows you to visit up to 30 downtown businesses for tasting.
Getty Images

Ludington’s Octoberfest kicks off on Sept. 24 at North James Street Plaza. A Chili Walk is scheduled to start the day from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., which allows you to visit up to 30 downtown businesses for tasting. This is a free event, which will be followed by craft beer from Bell’s and Ludington Bay Brewing, live music, German-style food, lawn games and kids activities in the North James Street Plaza from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased for the beer festival and pub crawl here.

Hang out with alpacas on Sept. 25 in Thompsonville

Pictured is the flyer for National Alpaca Farm Day.
Pictured is the flyer for National Alpaca Farm Day.
Photo provided/Cotton Creek Farms

Join Cotton Creek Farms for a free family event as it celebrates National Alpaca Farm Days. The organization is opening up its 27-acre farm to the public and it's going to have oodles of fun activities for alpaca lovers of all ages starting at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. This is an event you don’t want to miss in the beautiful fall weather. Below are the activities slated for Saturday, Sept. 25.

  • Meet all the 50+ alpaca boys and girls.
  • Say hi to all of the farm’s nine alpaca babies.
  • Feed the alpacas.
  • Take selfies with the alpacas.
  • Learn how to make alpaca rugs with Kathy.
  • Learn how to spin alpaca fiber with Renee.
  • See Grandma Lil (the farm’s famous hat maker) in action.
  • Shop for alpaca products in our 1,200 square foot store.

Note: Since it is a working farm, dogs are not allowed on the farm. The farm cannot have dogs on it due to the stress they cause alpacas.