Sweater weather is upon us. Don’t let winter come before you take in the autumn sights.
Whether you’re coming into Battle Creek on M-89 or following Old US Highway 27 into Marshall, here are some stops for your fall color tour:
Enjoy the fall colors
If you can’t hear the crunch of leaves under your feet, then it’s not really autumn. So get out of your car to take a walking tour in Battle Creek.
Leila Arboretum is a carefully cultivated park. Two great vantage points are the steps of Kingman Museum and the Fragrant Hill Pavilion to see the trees spread out in all their colorful glory.
Historic Bridge Park is the home of trestle bridges that have been relocated next to the Kalamazoo River. Admire the river or go for a walk in the woods on a paved trail.
Oak Hill Cemetery might seem like an unusual pick, but the old cemetery has beautiful golden foliage. It’s also a chance to see a little Battle Creek history, as famous citizens are remembered here: the Kellogg brothers, C.W. Post, Sojourner Truth, Junior Walker, Ellen White and more.
If you want more of an adventure than a walk in the woods, try kayaking the Kalamazoo River. The tree-lined river is beautiful in the fall, with the colors reflected in the water. If you don’t have a kayak, Marshall Recreation rents them out.
It’s not unusual to see people shopping with a glass of wine in hand at Horrocks Farm Market in Battle Creek. There’s a small bar in the back, if you can get there without being distracted by the large selection of wine bottles and craft beer. Samples and flights are available, too.
Settle in for a full meal or just some appetizers at Zarzuela, a tapas restaurant in Marshall. They also have a full wine menu that includes sangria (it is a Spanish restaurant, after all).
Warm up with a glass of mulled wine at Rosé, a flower shop in Marshall with a wine room. You can get a flight or a glass of wine. Since it’s fall, they’ll have hard cider, too. They serve Warner Wines, which comes from Paw Paw.
What would fall be without fresh doughnuts coated in sugar? Station 66 serves up pumpkin doughnuts and apple cider at its small cafe. They also host hay rides on the weekends, beginning Sept. 28. It’s right on M-66, which connects Battle Creek with Ionia and Nashville.
Pick a pumpkin at Bosserd Family Farm. The working farm has a gift shop and other fall activities, such as a petting zoo.
Go antique shopping
Downtown Marshall doesn’t have as many antique stores as it used to, but there’s still good shopping to be found along the classic small-town main street. One fun one includes the colorful Amazing Grace Antiques.
If you like Shipshewana, check out Timeless Furnishings, Antiques and Consignments, or Vint Edge in Battle Creek.
Yesterday’s News isn’t an old newspaper stand in Albion — find an eclectic mix of vintage items in an uncluttered shop.
Be ready for Thanksgiving
When the leaves turn colors, that means Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
Cornwell’s Turkeyville has the advantage of being right off of N Drive North, one of the area’s best fall drives. The restaurant serves up a classic turkey plate. If you don’t think you’ll have time to cook this Thanksgiving, you can also reserve a take-home turkey meal for the holiday. Once November hits, lots of people start gratitude journals to remind themselves of what they have to be thankful for. In Marshall, you’ll find a super cute stationary store called Paper & I. You’ll find not only journals but lots of things to help you decorate the pages.