The fall season in Michigan holds a special place in my heart. I look forward to fall for so many reasons. However, one in particular is my favorite. Eating my way through the best cider mills in Michigan. Those freshly baked warm, soft, homemade cider mill donuts. My fingers covered in delicious cinnamon sugar. Washed down by a refreshing (or warming) cup of freshly made apple cider.
Here’s my list of the best Cider Mills in Michigan!
What is a cider mill?
A cider mill is where they mill, grind, and press apples into apple cider! The “mill” is the equipment used to crush the apples, ferment, store, and ship apple juice products. Cider mills are mostly found in Michigan and other midwestern states in the USA. They sell apple cider, and a variety of flavored donuts. Each Michigan cider mill is unique, and locally owned, serving it’s own version of the cider donut combo.
Most are located on orchards, where you can pick your own apples or pumpkins. Others have hayrides, haunted houses, and corn mazes for entertainment. Some cider mills have a shop inside where you can purchase a variety of apple and fall goods such as jams, pies, fresh fruits/veggies, wines, and more.
Blakes Farm & Orchard
17985 Armada Center Rd, Armada, MI 48005
Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill opened in 1946 and was the first pick-your-own orchard in Michigan. This local favorite is located in Armada and makes for the perfect family outing. Blake’s market inside offers fresh pressed cider, donuts, plus rooms full of homemade bakery items to choose from. Take a hayride to the pumpkin patch or apple orchard and enjoy picking your own!
Paint Creek Cider Mill
4480 Orion Road, Rochester, MI 48306
Paint Creek cider mill is a historic mill powered by the paint creek river that it resides by. The locals favorite, and one of Michigan’s best cider mills just minutes from my home. They offer cider, handmade donuts & light lunches. Bring your bike, and work off all the cider and donuts as you ride down the paint creek trail. Take a stroll along the scenic trail and find a spot on the paint creek river to enjoy your donuts. Or you could always head over to Goodrich Cider Mill, which is right down the street. You know… to compare whose are better.
Goodrich Cider Mill
4295 Orion Rd, Rochester, MI 48306
Yates Cider Mill
Yates Cider Mill1950 E Avon Rd, Rochester Hills, MI 48307
2375 Joslyn Ct, Lake Orion, MI 48360
Yates Cider Mill is also located in Rochester Hills just down the road from Goodrich & Paint creek cider mills. Yates cider mill has been water-powered from the Clinton river since 1863 and presses 300 gallons of fresh blended apple cider per hour. Fresh handmade treats for sale including donuts, apple pies, cider, fudge, apple crisp, jams, and more.
5565 Merritt Rd, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Franklin Cider Mill
7450 Franklin Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301
The Franklin Cider Mill opened in 1837 as a gristmill and is located in the Franklin Historic District north of downtown Detroit. It has been pressing apples into cider since 1895, and today, all 21 varieties of apples used are hand-picked fresh and 100 percent organic. For a special taste sensation, visit in late September for Honey Crisp cider. Take home apple pie or sugar-free apple pie or a bag full of the signature cinnamon spice donuts.
61475 Silver Lake Rd, South Lyon, MI 48178
Spicers Orchard & Winery
10411 Clyde Rd, Fenton, MI 48430
Dexter Cider Mill
3685 Central St, Dexter, MI 48130
Historic Dexter Cider Mill near Ann Arbor is the oldest continuously operating cider mill in the state. Today the cider mill keeps its more than 120-year old cider making tradition by using an oak rack press and blending three to five different locally grown apple varieties in every pressing.
I hope you enjoyed my list of the Best Cider Mills in Michigan! If you did, share it with your friends!
Looking for more to do in Michigan this fall? Check out my post on where the best scenic fall foliage drives are as you visit the cider mills!
North Cascades National Park covers more than 2 million acres, of federally designated wilderness, making it one of the largest parks in the lower 48 states. I’ve put together this ultimate hiking & camping guide to help you plan your North Cascades National Park getaway and make the most of your time there.
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The area is referred to as a complex, and is comprised of three National Park Service units- North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, + Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. In addition, other protected lands including several national forests and wilderness areas surround the park.
Rugged mountain peaks of the North Cascades Range, the most expansive glacial system in the contiguous United States, and numerous waterways. Go camping in forests with the highest degree of flora biodiversity of any American national park.
Listen to cascading waters in forested valleys. Go hiking through landscapes filled with life that have adapted to moisture in the west and recurring fire in the east. The jagged mountain peaks are crowned by over 300 glaciers. This fragile landscape is especially sensitive to our Earth’s climate change.
There are a number of options for accommodations while visiting the different areas within the complex. Camping is the most budget friendly, and is my preferred accommodation type when visiting national lands. Campsites at Colonial Creek, Goodell Creek, and Newhalen Creek campground are $16 per night. Gorge Lake is $10 per night. Hozomeen campground is free. Backcountry camping (boat-in and wilderness) requires a free permit. More Information on Camping
Pro Tip: Go camping at Colonial Creek campground. The campground is by the Visitor Center + the only area with cell service. However bring an extra battery charger because the sites are rustic. There are hiking trails within walking distance. Pyramid Lake trail is shorter, and the Thunder Creek trail which is longer.
Blue Lake trail is an extremely beautiful hike that takes you through alpine forests, a wild flower filled meadow, and towering mountains. You’ll end at the iridescent blue lake with crystal clear water below the glacier.
Length: Moderate, 5.3 miles (8.5 km) roundtrip, elevation gain 958 ft (292 m).
Location: North Cascades — Stehekin, Washington
Getting There: From Burlington, drive east on Hwy 20, the trailhead will be located at mileposts 161 + 162 on the south side of the road.
Rainy Lake Hiking Trail
Length: Paved & Easy, 2.0 miles (3.2 km) roundtrip, elevation gain 124 ft (38 m).
Location: North Cascades — North Cascades Highway – Hwy 20
Getting There: To go hiking from Marblemount follow Hwy 20 east for 20 miles to Gorge Lake Bridge. Continue for another 0.75 mile to the trailhead, on your right. You will see parking across the street from the trailhead.
Thunder Knob Trail
Look up and see the ridge of Sourdough Mountain and the snowfield of Davis Peak. A short trail leads to another viewpoint, looking across toward Jack Mountain and down toward the narrow channel of Diablo Lake.
Length: Moderately Easy, 3.6 miles (5.8 km) roundtrip, elevation gain 425 ft (130 m).
Location: North Cascades — Colonial Creek Campground
Getting There: To get there, take State Route 20 to milepost 130, Colonial Creek Campground is 24 miles (39 km) east of Marblemount. The trail head is at the entrance to the campground on the north side of the highway. **Bonus if you’re camping here!
Pyramid Lake Hiking Trail
The hiking trail starts beside Pyramid Creek and a beautiful cascading waterfall. Catch some cool breezes, and then almost immediately you’ll get to work ascending. The hiking trail is difficult and slow, covered in large roots, loose rocks, some scrambling, and up hill most of the way. When under the thin canopy of lodgepole pine, you’ll hear the silence of the woods and the trees creaking as they sway in the wind.
Length: Moderate, 4.5 miles (7.2 km) roundtrip, elevation gain 1500 ft (457 m).
Location: North Cascades — North Cascades Highway – Hwy 20
Getting There: From Marblemount follow Hwy 20 east for 20 miles to Gorge Lake Bridge. Continue for another 0.75 mile to the trailhead, on your right. You will see parking across the street from the trailhead.
Big Sky is a community within theRocky Mountainsof southern Montana. Located halfway between Yellowstone & the city of Bozeman. The area has no local government (which is why it is considered a “community” not a town- neat, right?), so the community is primarily supported by locals and tourism.
Big Sky is known for it’s incredible mountains and ski slopes. Hike to frozen waterfalls, snow shoe up a mountain, or take a sleigh ride. Big Sky Montana has something for everyone.
Big Sky is home to epic ski resorts, a historic dude ranch, and incredible outdoor adventures. All bringing plenty of excitement to this friendly community year round.
This winter I set out to explore the community and its surrounding area with some girlfriends. We spent the perfect winter weekend exploring the high summits and beautiful surrounding nature. Here’s my tips and recommendations for the perfect Big Sky Montana winter adventure!
Getting to Big Sky
The nearest airport to Big Sky Montana is Bozeman Yellowstone International airport (BZN). The quaint airport is warm and welcoming with beautiful stone fireplaces and wood accents throughout the halls.
Where to Stay & Get Cozy After Adventures
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Another AirBnb for the win for Big Sky. Our condo was super cozy with a warm stone fireplace in the group gathering area. The condo was in an alpine valley surrounded by rivers and panoramic mountain views named the “Meadow” area of Big Sky.
The U.S. state of Michigan is made up of two major peninsulas. The Upper Peninsula (UP), is the northern of the two.
Locals of the Lower Peninsula will often say I’m going “up north” for the weekend. Which could be anywhere north of their local county. Memorial Day weekend, my boyfriend and I took our fur babies camping up north to Michigan’s UP to welcome the beginning of the summer season. “Up North” for the weekend took us 6 hours north of Detroit straight up I-75 to the central region of The UP.
The summer months (Late May- August) are best for tent camping in The UP. Temperatures range from mid 70’s to low 90’s, depending on how close to the waters you go. Lake Superior touches the northern part of the region, while Lake Michigan/Huron (depending on what side of the Mackinac Bridge you’re on) border the southern region.
Where To Camp
Indian Lake State Campground
We left right after work Friday to make the most of our three-day holiday weekend. Arriving to our campsite at night per usual (we’re getting SO GOOD at setting up camp in the dark). We camped at Indian Lake State campground for the weekend, it was centrally located for all the activities we had planned. Michigan has some INCREDIBLE state campgrounds, I would recommend booking early, as most fill up quickly during the summer. Our camp site for the weekend was right on the lake! Check out my packing guide for what gear I use. *Note* If the state parks are all full, there are private owned campgrounds in the area as well as cabin rentals.
Kitch-iti-kipi known as “The Big Spring” is another gem in The UP’s crown. The 40 ft. deep spring pumps over 10,000 gallons of water a minute! Be sure to ride the self-operated observation raft across the spring, it offers a unique perspective, providing striking views to the bottom.
Big Spring is located inside Palms Book State Park, beautiful all year round… Big Spring doesn’t freeze! Visiting in the winter to see the crystal clear blue waters surrounded by a winter wonderland would be an epic adventure. (Mental note made)
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is 40 miles of breath taking lakeshore along Lake Superior. There are nearly 100 miles of hiking trails winding through dense forest that will take you to waterfalls, pristine beaches and other secluded beauty.
Take A Hike
Deciding which hike to do will be tough, there are so many things to explore! I would recommend doing a couple hikes inside this bubble of national protected land to best see the beauty the UP has to offer. Michigan is so incredible! As we hiked along lakeshore north country trail the trail suddenly went from dirt to boardwalk as we crossed over some swamp lands. As we continued further, I looked around… we were completely surrounded 360 degrees by bright yellow flowers.
Relax at Chapel Beach
Explore the beach area and hike to the waterfall nearby!
Take A Dip
At the end of the hike there was the opportunity to cool off in a bath of crystal clear ABSOLUTELY FREEZING Lake Superior water. I wouldn’t recommend swimming for too long, while the surface temperature of Lake Superior varies seasonally, the temperature below (660 ft; 200 m) is 39 °F (4 °C) I dipped my toes in and decided that was enough for me! 😊
For more on what to do in Michigan’s U.P check out my post on the Eastern Region!
Iceland is full of sharp contrasts. This is a country with fire and ice co-existing. Where the winters are long and dark, but the summer’s midnight sun makes up for it, making the day’s feel much longer in summer.
Iceland has been a dream of mine for about 5 years now. The first time I saw pictures my jaw dropped. Who knew the country with “ice” in the name was so stunning with such a diverse landscape? Not me. Iceland immediately jumped to the top of my list. I started researching how much a trip to Iceland would cost me… and my jaw dropped again. There was nooo way I could afford that! Or was there? *Puts on thinking cap*
Here’s my 8 Day Itinerary for Iceland’s Ring Road!
How to Get to Iceland
Fly into Reykjavik International Airport (KEF). Flights are typically one of the largest expenses when traveling. I fly on budget airlines frequently, especially if it’s going to end up saving me a couple hundred dollars a flight. We flew direct into Iceland on the budget airline WOW. *WOW IS NO LONGER IN BUSINESS*
How to Get Around Iceland
Once we arrived in Reykjavik, we took the Airport Direct bus into the city (we found that to be the cheapest way into the city without a rental car). The bus had WIFI, and put public transportation buses in the US to shame. We were dropped off within walking distance to our AirBnB and the city’s attractions. Reykjavik is extremely walkable, so I’d recommend exploring on foot!
A rental car is necessary if you plan to explore Iceland’s ring road or outside the city of Reykjavik. You can pick up your rental right at the airport or take the bus into the city and get your car when you’re ready to leave the city.
Perhaps the most iconic building in Reykjavik, Hallgrímskirkja is a beautiful Lutheran church standing at 244 ft high. The height of the church makes it the largest church in Iceland, and one of the tallest structures in the country!
The Sun Voyager is a sculpture created by Jón Gunnar. The Sun Voyager sits along the coastline of the city and has a cool history. In 1986 Gunnar’s design for Sun Voyager won best outdoor sculpture in a competition funded by the city. The competition purpose was to create a sculpture that would commemorate the 200th anniversary of the city.
Taste the local cuisine …
Snacking on the traditional Icelandic food was… interesting. Logan tried things where I drew the line, such as fermented shark and dried pounded fish. The rye bread ice-cream however, I could eat in gallons.
Icelandic hot dogs are not like ordinary hot dogs, because they’re made mostly from Icelandic lamb, along with a bit of pork and beef. we ordered as most Icelanders do and were served a hot dog on a warm, steamed bun topped with TWO kinds of onions- raw white, and crispy fried onions, finished off with ketchup, sweet brown mustard called pylsusinnep, and remoulade, a sauce made with mayo, capers, mustard, and herbs. It was delicious, and much preferred by locals over the fermented shark.
SO MUCH COFFEE. Iceland knows coffee, every cup I had was exceptionally delicious. Which is GREAT, because it’s cold and rainy almost all the time, and coffee is a requirement for me to become a functioning human in the mornings.
Everything about Iceland is expensive. Including the food. We easily spent around $25-50 per person a meal while in the city. Before we drove to our first cabin we went grocery shopping at the local Bonus.
The Golden Circle
We headed east towards Thingvellir National Park where our next AirBnB was. The road trip had officially begun! Make sure to check the road conditions (here) during your trip, the weather in Iceland is unpredictable, in one hour we saw sunny clear warm weather turn to hail and wind blown frost.
Spend Two Nights
GUYS. If you haven’t yet used AirBnB to travel, you’re missing out on some amazing deals. AirBnB and Skyscanner are my two KEY TOOLS I use when planning and budgeting for my trips. What are the two largest expenses for travel? Accommodation, and flights. So where do you want to maximize your savings and cut costs? Accommodation, and flights. But seriously… check these out.
We spent two nights in this stunning cabin. Like most cabin’s in Iceland, this one came with a hot tub and was in great proximity to all the major attractions we wanted to see in The Golden Circle!
Golden Circle Activities
Chase breathtaking Icelandic waterfalls like the ones below
Enjoy breathtaking views as you drive the Golden Circle
Explore Thingvellir National Park, where tectonic plates meets
Witness the wonders of the Strokkur geyser, it erupts every 5 minutes!
Head south from the Golden Circle to continue your journey along Iceland’s Ring Road. The two hour drive will take you to Vik, where we took a tour with Arctic Adventures.
Our tour guide was awesome, enthusiastic and a slightly crazy driver. Our group drove through scenic landscapes to the volcano Katla in a tour van. Once there we were provided safety gear such as helmets, and crampons. These are required to be worn during the ice cave tour, trust me – you’ll want them.
Katla Ice Cave Tour
After the tour we still had plenty of time to explore until it got dark out…
There were a couple attempts to go behind the waterfall…
After the successful attempt at getting soaked- we went inside a local restaurant next to the waterfall parking lot to warm up with some delicious lamb stew.
Thanks to that summer midnight sun! The picture above was taken around 11:00 p.m. Remember that in May, the day’s in Iceland are long, and the sun never fully sets at night, at midnight you’ll still see the sun on the horizon.
This meant a couple things, 1. We weren’t going to be seeing the northern lights (huge bummer, huge) 2. Sleeping at “night” became a challenge. Without black out shades/curtains and no sleeping mask, it was difficult to fall asleep and confusing when you woke up (I never knew what time it was). We talked to a couple locals about it and they laughed, and said we’re used to it, it’s all they knew! I would recommend bringing a sleeping mask if you’re visiting in the spring/summer months.
The south coast of the island is unbelievably beautiful. On our way to the glacier lagoon we came across what used to be a giant farm. Back in 894, the first recorded volcano eruption of Katla (yes, the same one we went under to get to the ice caves) destroyed the entire farm.
Laufskálavarða, is a lava mound that was named after the farm. In memory of those that were lost, it is surrounded by stone cairns. Travelers crossing the desert of Mýrdalssandur for the first time would pile stones up to make a cairn, which was supposed to bring them good luck on their journey. The tradition continues to this day, leave a stone when you drive by!
Secret Glacier Lagoon
As we continued our drive along the coastline we came to our next stop, the “secret” glacier lagoon. We found it thinking it was the main glacier lagoon we were trying to get to… it wasn’t. Looking around, we had the place to ourselves. We realized we had found “the secret lagoon” the local’s told us about.
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
We were greeted immediately by the reindeer grazing in a clearing when we pulled in to park. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is a must visit destination on your trip to Iceland. Boat tours are available on the lagoon to take you further into the glacier water. We were shocked that despite the freezing water of the lagoon, it was full of wild life.
We watched the sea lions play in the lagoon while we sat and listened to the sounds of the ice moving in the water.
After we’d had our fill of adorable animal friends we headed out of the lagoon and across the street.
The ice from the glacier lagoon washes ashore the black sand beach. Scattered across the beach were giant chunks of ice, giving the beach the famous name “Diamond Beach”.
When we could no longer handle the cold beach in our wet clothes, we headed back to our cabin for the night, where more amazing scenery awaited.
Our next cabin had a sheep farm in the back yard, and it was spring. That means BABIES. And in my opinion, there are few things cuter in this world then baby animals. I sat on my bed while I watched them play outside my window. With the window open, I could hear them BAAAing at each other and feel the crisp salty air blowing in off of the sea. (BLISS)
Two Nights: Northern Iceland
We got up early and took advantage of the complimentary breakfast the cottage offered. It was a 5.5-hour drive north to get to the city of Akureyri, Iceland’s second most populous city. We spent 2 nights in the northern part of Iceland, chasing waterfalls and exploring the Lake Myvatn areas.
Krafla Vita Crater
Last Day: Blue Lagoon
It was another long drive from Akureyri to Reykjavik. We had an appointment at the Blue Lagoon in the afternoon we were trying to make. The national speed limit of Iceland is 90 km/h on paved rural roads… which is REALLY slow when you’re driving around the entire country. Which is probably why we got pulled over in the middle of nowhere and received a speeding ticket. Trust me guys, you DO NOT want to get pulled over for speeding in Iceland- like everything else, the tickets are outrageously expensive.