Benzie County, Michigan is one of the Top Places in the US to Visit in the Fall Based on a Current USA Today's Readers' Choice Contest for "Favorite Scenic Autumn Drives"

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Benzie County, located along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and with one of the most beautiful fall drives in the USA – M-22, will be gearing up to entertain visitors throughout the month of October with fall festival events, a craft beer festival and an international film festival according to the Benzie County Visitors Bureau.

With the hint of fall weather in the air and October just around the corner, it’s time to plan a visit to one of Northern Michigan’s most beautiful locations - Benzie County -- Mary Carroll, President of Benzie County Visitors Bureau

Benzie County, located along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and with one of the most beautiful fall drives in the USA – M-22, will be gearing up to entertain visitors throughout the month of October with fall festivals, a craft beer festival and an international film festival. Taking center stage all month long will be brilliant trees that blanket the landscape in Benzie County along the hilly terrain leading through Benzie County’s main roads – M-22, M-115 and US-31 – as well as numerous back roads.

USA Today 10Best travel experts selected 20 of their favorite fall foliage-lined stretches of pavement as nominees for the title of Best Scenic Autumn Drive in the United States. Highway M-22 which runs through Manistee, Benzie, Leelanau and Traverse Counties is in the running for the top spot based on the USA Today reader's choice competition which will end on September 28, 2015, after which the winner will be announced.

"With the hint of fall weather in the air and October just around the corner, it’s time to plan a visit to one of Northern Michigan’s most beautiful locations –Benzie County ", says Mary Carroll, President of the Benzie County Visitors Bureau.

Each weekend in October, activities and festivals within Benzie County’s quaint towns create a lively location for families and couples to congregate. Highlights at the Beulah Fall Festival on October 3 and Frankfort Fall Festival on October 10 include giant sized pumpkins created by famous master carver Ed Moody - or - wild gourds carved by “Lord of the Gourd” Pat Harrison, parades, and many children’s activities which include horse drawn wagon rides, art, games, food, pumpkin pie eating, pumpkin-looking, and much more.

Visitors to Benzie County can explore places such as St. Ambrose Cellar for wine and mead sampling, Michigan Legacy Art Park 30 acres art walk, Point Betsie Lighthouse (tours on 10/2 – 10/5 & 10/9 – 10/12), Crystal Lake Alpaca Farm & Boutique, Gwen Frostic’s Print Shop, and beauty stops along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Scenic chairlift rides with views of 3-counties (open on 10/3, 10/10 and 10/24) and The Haunted Forest (open on 10/17, 10/23, 10/24 and 10/30) are featured activities at Crystal Mountain along with the Founders Peak2Peak Mountain Festival at Crystal Mountain taking place October 16 - 18.

Frankfort Craft Beer Week which takes place October 5 - 10 bridges the two festivals in Benzie County and includes beer dinners, beer tastings, specialty brews at Storm Cloud Brewing Company and more. Later in the month the popular Frankfort Film Festival will take place from October 22 - 25 featuring winning independent films from international film festivals from around the world.

Vacationers who register online at http://www.visitbenzie.com and stay at any one of 25 participating lodging locations listed for two or more consecutive nights are eligible for the “Benzie Treasure Trove” running through October 31, 2015. The “Benzie Treasure Trove” Getaway Package includes over $250 worth of free or value-priced recreational activities, food and gift items from various restaurants and businesses throughout the county. Visitors should sign up for the promotion online in order to receive the “Benzie Treasure Trove” validation form to redeem the package.

Information About Benzie County
Benzie County is known as the gateway to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with over 30 miles spanning the Lake Michigan coast. Benzie County is filled with millions of trees, making it one of the most beautiful locations in the United States to enjoy the changing fall color. Take a trip along M-22, which runs along the Lake Michigan coast in Benzie County through the Leelanau Peninsula where wineries are plentiful and are an easy day trip from Benzie County resorts, inns, cottages, and cabins.

Salmon running on the Platte River, the first river in Michigan to be planted with salmon in 1966, draws hundreds of fishing enthusiasts and tourists to watch the salmon make their way up the river to spawn.

Fall is also a great season for surfing and paddle boarding along the Lake Michigan Shore. Scores of surfers can sometimes be seen along the Frankfort pier and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

For more information on Benzie County lodging, restaurants, outdoor recreation and events contact Benzie County Visitors Bureau at 800-882-5801 or see visitbenzie.com.

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Sally Zarafonetis

Mary Carroll
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