West Michigan Tourist Association Presents New Online Portal: All Things Autumn

West Michigan will delight visitors with its fall color show. The West Michigan Tourist Association celebrates the change of seasons with an online portal “All Things Autumn.” "All Things Autumn" offers visitors a comprehensive way to plan their fall color tour trips.

Grand Rapids, MI, September 10, 2008 --(PR.com)-- Autumn is here in Michigan and the West Michigan Tourist Association (WMTA) has created a resource for visitors planning their fall color trips. In a campaign to celebrate this colorful season in West Michigan, WMTA’s “All Things Autumn” is a comprehensive, online portal of color tour routes, fall-season FAQ’s, harvest festivals, and weekly color updates.

“All Things Autumn” can be found by logging onto www.wmta.org and access the Travel Maps section at the top of the homepage.

“During September and October, visitors have a chance to see splices of color in various regions of West Michigan, depending when and where they travel,” stated Sarah Hayes, Director of Marketing for the West Michigan Tourist Association. She stressed that just because summer is over, it doesn’t bring West Michigan tourism to an end. “In fact,” emphasized Hayes, “the autumn fireworks create their very own travel itinerary in West Michigan and WMTA has established an ‘All Things Autumn’ to guide color-seekers along the way.”

Development of West Michigan’s Fall Colors
Generally, the annual seasonal show peaks in stages, beginning at the top of the state in the Upper Peninsula (where it gets cooler first) then moving southward. Peak color is usually found in the U.P. between mid-September and early October; in the northern Lower Peninsula between late September and mid-October; in mid-Michigan from early to mid-October, and in southern Lower Michigan from mid- to late October. Color patterns, however, depend greatly on the weather as well as other factors including lake effect warming, which delays color changes near the Great Lakes and inland water shorelines.

Keep track of the most current fall color conditions by logging onto “All Things Autumn” at www.wmta.org, or calling the West Michigan Tourist Association conditions hotline at 800-442-2084, ext. 304. The recorded line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week with AAA Michigan’s statewide fall color updates. Conditions are updated each Thursday starting at the beginning of September.

Color Tours in West Michigan
There is no single best way to enjoy the fall color display. West Michigan travelers have a plethora of ways to enjoy the show, either by car, train, boat, bicycle, horseback, at festivals, hiking, on golf courses and luxury resorts, or historic highways. Many of these “old roads” cut through great forests of hardwood and pines and make perfect color tours, and some are state-designated scenic routes.

Color seekers can find these 26 scenic driving tours on WMTA’s online feature “All Things Autumn” at www.wmta.org and print detailed directions for each route. From 40 miles to 140 miles, there’s a day trip perfect for everyone.

Many West Michigan areas & resorts offer special color tour packages during the fall. Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort, Traverse City, will host a Special “Microbrew” Color Tour Package September 26-28. (231-947-2770, www.timberridgeresort.net)

Harvest Festivals Celebrate the Season
“All Things Autumn” also highlights the many Harvest Festivals happening around West Michigan. September and October are two months jam-packed with events focused on pumpkins, fall foliage, and Michigan’s seasonal bounty. An extensive listing of harvest festivals and fall-fun events throughout the region can be found online at “All Things Autumn.”

Apple Time in West Michigan
And how can we mention fall without giving credit to Michigan’s largest agricultural commodity – apples. Visitors will be reminded of the taste of autumn when they “Check into Michigan Apples” at one of nearly 250 Michigan lodging properties – from New Buffalo to Detroit to Mackinaw City and the Upper Peninsula.

In a promotion organized by the Michigan Apple Committee (MAC), each of the participating lodging properties will receive a ¼-peck basket filled with Michigan apples and a display rack full of Michigan Farm Market & U-Pick Directories to distribute to guests. The focus of MAC’s “Check into Michigan Apples” promotions to increase visits to local farm markets and u-picks as well as boost awareness of Michigan apples.

In support of this campaign, the West Michigan Tourist Association’s “All Things Autumn” portal includes a list of fascinating Michigan Apple Facts and Apple Driving Tours, courtesy of the Michigan Apple Committee.

For more information about “All Things Autumn” in West Michigan, log onto West Michigan Tourist Association’s website at www.wmta.org, or contact WMTA toll-free at 800-442-2084.

Founded in 1917, WMTA is the oldest continually operated regional tourist association in the nation. Representing 41 counties from the Michigan-Indiana state line to Mackinac Island and covering the entire west half of the Lower Peninsula, WMTA is dedicated to proving that “We Know West Michigan!”

West Michigan Tourist Association
Sarah Hayes
616-245-2217 x 105