In my humble opinion, cider mills and everything that come with them are the best part of fall. Cider and doughnuts are great on their own, but fall in Michigan has something special about it. These Michigan cider mills come fully equipped with fall colors, cool air and the Mitten state’s natural beauty.
1. Yates Cider Mill – Rochester Hills, Michigan
Yates Cider Mill in Rochester Hills is the perfect mix of everything that makes a Michigan cider mill great. These cider and doughnuts are super affordable and my favorite on the list.
Yates has a river trail that leads away from the building (and the city) that’s perfect for exploring fall foliage. Grab your cider and doughnuts and take snag a spot by the river to enjoy your fall treats. At the end of a long day of work or school, Yates is a great place to unwind and enjoy Michigan’s outdoors.
2. Franklin Cider Mill – Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Franklin Cider Mill shares its birth-year with Michigan – it has been open since 1886 – and is regularly recognized as one of Michigan’s favorites.
What makes Franklin’s doughnuts some of the best in the state? They’re served hot. They also offer gluten-free doughnuts, a huge plus for cider mill-goers. While you’re waiting in line, check out the building’s inside – it exposes the equipment used to make the cider. Franklin’s is a smaller place with minimal seating outside, but there’s a cute little river where ducks like to visit where you can grab a seat.
3. Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill – Armada, Michigan
If a cider mill and an amusement park were to combine, Blake’s would be the result. If you have kids, this is one of the best cider mills in the state to visit. Blake’s offers food, a petting zoo, hayrides, apple picking and a “Funland” area where kids can play. Parents: Blake’s has a hard-cider and winery bar on-site.
Though you’ll probably have to wait a while for cider and doughnuts, they’re worth it. There’s also plenty of places to sit or walk around outside. Because of everything there is to do and the variety of food and drink, it’s easy to make a day of visiting this cider mill, which makes it well worth drive.
4. Plymouth Orchards & Cider Mill – Plymouth, Michigan
Buy your apples and learn about them, too. Plymouth Orchards & Cider Mill is a quaint cider mill that offers apple education and wagon tours. It’s the perfect family-friendly spot. Before (or after) you snack on doughnuts and cider, pick out your seasonal pumpkin or listen to some live music. Organic produce is also available for purchase.
Unfortunately, fall only lasts a short-while here in Michigan, so get out and enjoy it (and enjoy those doughnuts, too).
Shelby Tankersley is an Oxford-based journalist who can’t wait to get some hot cider with warm plain doughnuts this fall.