I like your first choice and the way you plan on handling it. More as observation.
I am all about less intrusion early on. When the season picks up and the deer movement is a little more erratic I tend to move into transition corridors.
Those areas that JPH described would be great for later in Oct or early Nov, but your season admittedly starts on Thursday. Gotta get out there just for the sake of saying you did.
Good luck with it!
Hunting the Michigan Thumbs agricultural mecca...farm country bucks taste the best.