Updated by April Huard for 2018.
Fall in Michigan encourages tugging on a warm sweater, kicking the leaves and heading to a favorite cider mill. Southeastern Michigan is home to an abundance of apple farms, so finding the best cup of cider and tastiest homemade donut at area cider mills is a divine way to spend an afternoon.
Here is a roundup of the best local cider mills and their claims to fame.
Dexter Cider Mill
3685 Central St, Dexter | dextercidermill.com
Perched overlooking the Huron River, this historic cider mill is the oldest continually operating in the state, and it is a top pick for those looking for a classic, no-frills setting. Along with hot donuts, the mill sells candy apples and baked goods on the weekend. Customers can also watch the mill pressing fresh batches of cider.
Open: Wednesday-Sunday 8am-5pm
Best for Kids
Three Cedars Farm
7897 Six Mile Rd, Northville | threecedarsfarm.org
In addition to cider, this family-friendly farm offers hayrides, train rides, a seven-acre corn maze, barnyard play land, and u-pick pumpkins. Many of the activities are free at this wildly popular destination for families and school groups looking for outdoor fall fun.
Open: Starting the Friday of Labor Day weekend. Sunday-Monday 10am-8p, and Friday-Saturday 10am-10pm
Best U-Pick Apples
Wasem Fruit Farm
6580 Judd Rd, Milan | wasemfruitfarm.com
While you may have tasted their apples at Ann Arbor’s Farmer’s Market, Wasem offers tasty cider and even more of homegrown apples at their Milan farm. Don’t miss their pears, late-season raspberries, pumpkins and large selection of homemade donuts.
Open: Daily from 9am-6pm during peak apple season; see the Facebook page for seasonal changes to their hours.
Best Country Drive
Alber Orchard and Cider Mill
13011 Bethel Church Rd, Manchester | alberorchard.com
Situated on a winding, picturesque road in southwestern Washtenaw County, Alber’s offers cider and plenty for families to do. They have tractor-drawn hayrides, a seven-acre corn maze, u-pick pumpkins, kid play area, farm animals to view, and a free straw maze.
Open: Starting September 5. Tuesday-Friday 12-6pm, Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 10am-6pm; closed Monday.
Best Apple Cider Slushie
Plymouth Orchards and Cider Mill
10685 Warren Rd, Plymouth | plymouthorchards.com
In addition to traditional donuts and cider, Plymouth Orchards has a tempting cider slushie. Amusements abound with tractor wagon rides, a pumpkin patch, petting farm, and straw bale maze. A large variety of apples are sold on site, too.
Open: Starting September 1. Daily from 9am-7pm.
Friendliest Farm Animals
Erwin Orchards and Cider Mill
61475 Silver Lake Rd, South Lyon | erwinorchards.com
This third-generation family farm has been around for 97 years. The Erwins have u-pick apples, raspberries, and pumpkins and also offer wagon rides, a corn maze, paint ball, and a chance to pet and feed their friendly Nigerian dwarf goats.
Open: August 17 through November 4. Daily from 6am-7pm.