It’s officially fall! With the cornucopia of local farms and orchards (not to mention picturesque color tours), some argue fall is the best time of year in town. Whether you’re looking for fresh-pressed apple cider or to find the perfect pumpkin, we’ve found five places in Grand Rapids to celebrate the season.
Sietsema Orchards and Cider Mill is one of the most popular family-run operations in town. It grows 20+ varieties of apples, from the pear-like Cameo apple to the saccharine Sweet Sixteen apple. Whether you’re bringing the whole family for an apple and pumpkin picking party or spending an autumn afternoon full of friends, hard cider and donuts, you won’t want to miss this sweet spot. Check the website before you go, as hours vary by month. 8540 2 Mile Rd., Ada
A Grand Rapids staple for more than 100 years, Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery is one of the most popular locations on our list – and with good reason. From hayrides to pony rides, u-pick apples to wine tasting, they have something for everyone. Don’t forget to stop in at the Apple Haus for fresh pumpkin spice donuts and cold apple cider – we promise they’re worth the wait. 3142 4 Mile Rd. NE, Grand Rapids
Peruse the farm market with a donut in hand, sample different apple varieties and take a ride on a custom-made wagon. If you’re an apple hipster (is there such a thing?) stop by in November for the orchard’s limited supply of Evercrisp. It’s a new apple variety that’s a cross between a Fuji and Honeycrisp. Expect the hardness of a Fuji and the crunch and sweetness of a Honeycrisp. You can also find gallons of cider for sale, as well as local raw honey, jams and butters. 9009 Kenowa Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
For an experience that’s not so bucolic, stop in at Vander Mill’s Grand Rapids or Spring Lake locations. For the Grand Rapids spot, think tap room meets restaurant. Vander Mill just brought on Chef Peter Davidson to refresh the menu, but don’t worry – the popular ham and doughnuts remains on the menu! If you’re heading to the lakeshore, the Spring Lake location is a great pit stop to pick up cult-favorite cider and donuts. It’s open Thursday-Saturday, and hosts live music and food trucks on the weekend. 505 Ball Ave NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503 / 14921 Cleveland St., Spring Lake, MI
The Post Family Farm is known for its pumpkin donuts, so head there early to get a warm one. Until Nov. 4, stop in for weekday Farm Fun Days ($5 per person) or Saturday Farm Festival ($8 per person) to ride the pig train ride, pet the menagerie of farm animals and take a hayride to pick your favorite pumpkin. 5081 Bauer Rd., Hudsonville, MI
*Main photo courtesy of Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery