With fall approaching in Michigan, it won’t be long before we’re surrounded by sweet smells of pumpkin seeds baking in the oven and the sugary aroma of fresh apple cider. Fall in Michigan is one of the best times of the year, and it’s not complete without a trip to one of the many Michigan cider mills.
The Mitten State is home to many cider mills and apple orchards, but we’ve narrowed it down to a few of the best mills in the state worth visiting during the fall.
Dexter Cider Mill
Open: Late August through Mid-November
Located near Ann Arbor, MI is a historic cider mill that is the oldest running in the state. At this mill, you can taste and buy cider that is produced the same way it was made 120 years ago—using an oak rack press and mixing 3-5 different local apple varieties in each pressing with 100-year-old equipment.
While people come for the cider, Dexter Cider Mill also offers fresh apples and has an in-house bakery serving tasty donuts, caramel apples and apple nut bread. Their bakery variety is much more extensive on the weekends with apple pies made from scratch, apple strudel, apple butter and jellies, apple turnovers, and much more. This Michigan cider mill was also featured on the Food Network back in 2009.
Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill
Open: Mid-June through November 29th
With the help of 45,600 apple trees on their property, Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill is able to offer 42 different apple varieties and turn that into 19 different varieties of hard apple cider. This cider mill has been in the business since 1946 and was the first pick-your-own orchard available in Michigan.
Over the years, Blake’s as expanded to include Blake’s Big Apple location & Blake’s Almont Gardens with its orchard and cider mill. People come to Blake Farms to enjoy some fresh pressed cider with a freshly baked donut, but Blake’s is also very popular for its family attractions, including train rides, pony rides, hayrides, cornfield mazes and more. Blake’s is also home to Michigan’s top nighttime attraction: Blake’s Nighttime Haunted Hayride & Three Story Haunted Barn during the Halloween season.
Uncle John’s Cider Mill
St. Johns, MI
Open: May through December (with weekend events Sept. & Oct.)
Uncle Johns Cider Mill is an award-winning cider mill in Mid-Michigan featuring fresh pressed cider, baked goods, apple picking, and a hard cider tasting room. In the early 1900s, the cider mill was a cattle barn where the family raised cattle, sheep and draft horses.
Today, Uncle John’s continue to win awards for the way it makes cider, making pressed cider the old fashioned way. The mill features a gift shop and a 1.5-mile nature trail and guests of age can enjoy free hard cider and wine tasting.
Yates Cider Mill
Rochester Hills, MI
Open: Year-Round (hours vary by season)
Even on the weekdays you might find yourself waiting in a large line at Yates Cider Mill, but it’s well worth it for their delicious apple cider. This cider mill is a crowd favorite dating back to the 1860s. Of course, you’ll find fresh baked donuts at this location, but you can enjoy your fresh cider and donut on the hilly grounds or take a stroll through the river walk. There is so much to do and see at this cider mill, including a visit to the petting zoo, the ice cream and fudge shops, pony rides and more.
Adults only! Virtue Cider in Fennville, Michigan is a whole new cider tasting experience. This cider mill specializes in craft cider, making hard apple cider from barrel-aged apples. Enjoy a glass of hard cider in the tasting room or explore Virtue Cider on a Cidermaking tour to see how the professionals make great-tasting hard apple cider. This location also features a bottle shop and a farm market.
Friske Cider Mill
Friske Cider Mill has a lot of history behind it. Three generations have run the mill since the first generation bought what was a run-down, bankrupt, 240-acre farm near Charlevoix, Michigan in 1962. Friske’s offers award-winning apple cider and famous donuts. In addition to cider mill donuts, you can also find fresh fruit pies and pastries at the bakery.
What makes Friske’s stand out is its marketplace and general store where you can find just about anything—specialty foods, kitchenware, games, home décor, and more. Kids will love the Orchard Playland and you can enjoy a fresh hot sandwich at the café.