What I love most about the summer months is the idea that fall will follow quickly behind. There’s nothing quite as exciting as watching the leaves turn colors while enjoying hayrides and, at the end, a glass of hot (or cold) apple cider.
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As apple harvest time approaches, people from around the country will flock to local farms for a chance to pick their own apples and, if they’re lucky, see the cider press in action. Many will leave with enough fresh cider to stock their fridges for weeks – making it last as long as possible, knowing they won’t taste anything quite as sweet until the fall months roll around again.
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So where are some of the best places in the United States to get fresh apple cider? Check out some of these great spots:
10. White Mountain Cider Company – Glen, New Hampshire
The White Mountain Cider Company has long been a favorite amongst New Hampshire residents looking to enjoy the smells and tastes of fall. During the September Cider Fest event visitors can try to hand press their own ciders but if getting down and dirty doesn’t sound appealing you can just visit the country store and stock up on the premade goods. You’ll find not only cider but bakery items and crafts as well.
9. Cold Hollow Cider Mill – Waterbury Center, Vermont
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The Cold Hollow Cider Mill has been named a favorite in several magazines, including Gourmet, on more than one occasion. The cider made here is spectacular but the real draw is the mill’s fresh cider doughnuts. The secret recipe is locked away in a vault but what we do know is that the main liquid is the mill’s famous cider itself.
8. Hacklebarney Farm Cider Mill – Chester, New Jersey
The cider produced by New Jersey’s Hacklebarney Farm Cider Mill is amazing, as are the baked goods produced on site. If you’re looking to try something a bit different you’ll want to grab a hot dog from the lunch counter. It’s cooked in cider to provide a taste that’s definitely distinct.
7. Amish Acres – Nappanee, Indiana
The cider mill at Amish Acres is a mere two hour drive from the windy city of Chicago and it’s definitely worth the trip. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway you might want to make a trip out of this adventure, staying the weekend at the Inn at Amish Acres where you can sip cider in between buggy rides and peaceful walks in the woods.
6. The Apple Barn & Cider Mill – Sevierville, Tennessee
The Apple Barn & Cider Mill in Sevierville is like an amusement park for true cider lovers. Stop by the Cider Bar for a refreshing beverage before heading towards the Apple Pie Kitchen for a slice of pie or a dumpling. The kids will love exploring the Candy Factory and the Creamery ice cream parlor and if you have room left over you’ll all enjoy dinner at the Applewood Farmhouse Grill – only one of several restaurants on the property.
5. Apple Farm Inn – San Luis Obispo, California
A trip to Apple Farm Inn is an experience you’ll always remember. Upon checking you’ll find a gorgeous welcome basket in your room, complete with apple cider and an invitation to the manger’s reception later in the day. At the reception you’ll have the chance to enjoy some of the fine cider-based products made at the inn – including baked goods and more sparkling cider.
4. Cider Hill Farm – Amesbury, Massachusetts
Image Credit: Gaz (Yeat!)
If you’re a fan of PBS you may have seen the Cook family and Cider Hill Farm featured during the series known as “The Victory Garden.” The family runs Cider Hill Farm together and sells not only apples but other forms of produce as well. During the fall the children will enjoy hayrides, a hay jump, and a handful of other engaging activities.
3. Yates Cider Mill – Rochester Hills, Michigan
Visitors to Yates Cider Mill in Rochester enjoy much more than simple apple cider. The mill sits next to the beautiful River Walk Park where families can relax after visiting the apple tent or petting zoo. While the cider mill itself isn’t open year round, the ice cream shop is open during the summer to entertain those who visit during the off-season.
2. Louisburg Cider Mill – Louisburg, Kansas
The Louisburg Cider Mill in Kansas draws more than 10,000 visitors during Cider Fest weekend each fall. The mill is run by the Schierman family and features a series of distinct cider flavors as well as a collection of baked goods and kitchen wares. Visit any time during the fall but if you’re looking for real apple cider excitement you’ll want to visit during the festival.
1. Lattin’s Country Cider Mill and Farm – Olympia, Washington
The atmosphere at the incredible Lattin’s Country Cider Mill and Farm makes a trip here – at any time during the year – well worth the drive. The mill is not only famous for its decadent apple cider but for its amazing apple fritters as well. This mill is open all year round but celebrates with an Apple festival during the month of October. During festival weeks you’ll enjoy music, mazes, and even a haunted house.
While apple cider isn’t necessarily a seasonal treat, we all know that the best apple cider is the fresh cider purchased in the fall. Make sure you take advantage of any opportunity you have to visit one of these or any local cider mill. You’ll love the taste!