Whether you call them apple orchards, pumpkin patches, or cider mills, you probably don’t need me to tell you why you need to visit one (or ten) this Fall season. However, since this is my favorite Autumn pastime (besides watching the Michigan Wolverines win football games) I am going to share with you my top 5 reasons to visit a cider mill this Fall.
- Apple Picking
One of my top reasons to visit a cider mill this fall is for the apple picking. There is just something special about picking your own fruit. I swear it always tastes better. While apple picking, my Type-A personality really enjoys walking up and down the neat rows of apple trees, separated by type. Even reading the names of the apple varieties already gets my mouth watering; Golden Delicious, Fuji, Macintosh, Royal Gala, Honeycrisp! I prefer the sweet and juicy type of apples. Apple picking is almost like a game. Who can find the roundest, reddest, most perfectly ripened apples first? Then, once you find the tree with the coveted fruit, plucking the apple from the branch and hearing that satisfying snap let’s you know that you have just found a perfect little gem for you to enjoy. I always pick WAY too many apples, so I am left using my imagination creating apple treats. I always make apple nachos, apple dumplings, and snicker’s salad. What apple treats do you most enjoy?
2. Cider and Donuts
Although there are countless reasons to visit a cider mill in the Fall, cider and donuts are obviously the MOST important reason. Depending on the weather, if I am visiting a cider mill earlier in the season, and the sun is still warm, I will opt for cold apple cider, or even an apple cider slushy. If the leaves are turning and the air is cooler, I will choose warm apple cider. Either way, the cider is just a sidecar to the donuts. Although I have a major sweet tooth, donuts in general are not my favorite treat. The exception to this of course, are fresh baked cinnamon sugar donuts! I love them plain, covered in cinnamon sugar, apple spice, pumpkin flavored, you name it! Warm those babies up and dunk them in your cider, and you have a little piece of heaven right there.
If you follow me on instagram then you already know how much I love color. And, orange is undoubtedly the color of Fall. The color and feel of autumn orange is represented best by pumpkins! I love how pumpkins come in so many different shapes and sizes. There are even contests for the biggest giant pumpkins! Personally, I like the little pie pumpkins best. Then again, I am always obsessed with miniature, cute, bitty things. After choosing my pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, I decorate my front porch in an autumn tableau until it is time to carve them into jack-o-lanterns right before Halloween! Don’t even get me started on roasted pumpkin seeds.
4. Hay Rides
When I was a kid, my family visited cider mills every Fall season. I still have such fond, vivid memories of bumping along on a tractor hay ride through the apple orchard. Of all the time spent at cider mills, the hay rides leave me with the most lasting impression in my childhood memories. Now that I am an adult, I still get a childlike thrill from the hayrides! I think that it is just the combination of the simplicity of this mode of transportation, with the open air, and the connection to the land and the surrounding nature that makes hay rides so special.
Another big reason to visit a cider mill this Fall is to see the animals! I am a huge animal lover. For some reason, the magical fascination with animals never left me as I left childhood. I still get just as excited to see animals of all kinds. Much of the time while visiting apple orchards and cider mills you will see different barn animals. Never feed animals unless given express permission to do so, and even then use your best judgment. If the animals look overfed, you probably don’t need to give them extra snacks, no matter how convincing their little puppy dog eyes may be. That being said, goats are probably my favorite of the barnyard variety. They are just so playful and interactive! They wag their tails just like dogs, and their bleating never fails to make me giggle.
Sometimes, if you are very lucky you may stumble upon some beautiful flowers or photo ops like I did at Plymouth Orchards and Cider Mill I searched all summer for a good sunflower field for photos, but never found anything too spectacular. Wouldn’t you know, when I stop looking I find these 8 foot tall sunflowers at an apple orchard…just look at these beauties!
That wraps up my top 5 (OK, 6) reasons you MUST visit a cider mill this fall! Don’t let the autumn season pass you by without at least one stop at a cider mill. Living in Michigan my entire life, cider mills and apple orchards are a way of life during the fall, but I am curious…are there cider mills and apple orchards outside of the Midwest? Outside of the U.S.? What are your favorite fall activities? Let me know in the comments below!
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Leah Little has a full time job as a social worker, and has managed to travel the world while wearing beautiful clothes by knowing how to score deals in travel and fashion. Learn more about her journey here. Join the Leah Little Travel and Fashion tribe by entering your email to subscribe to be the first to learn new ways to enjoy the best in travel and fashion for less. Say hi and send her a message! Contact