Fall is in the air whether we like it for not. I’m choosing to embrace all that the change in season brings, from changing leaves to fall flavors. While other folks freak out about putting pumpkin flavor in everything, I’m already dreaming about all things apple cider. The very best thing about heading to an orchard this time of year is getting to nibble on freshly-made, still warm apple cider donuts. They’re cakey and flavorful, cinnamon-covered and delicious. These little bits of fall joy are reason enough to start unpacking the sweaters and putting away the sandals. Here are 11 great spots all across the state where you can stock up on all things apple and treat yourself to apple cider donut goodness:
1. Lautenbach's Orchard Country — Fish Creek
Fall is a great time to explore Door County and Lautenbach's is a great option because, in addition to fresh fruit, you'll find wine and hard cider plus the most delicious donuts you've ever had. They're open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, and are located at 9197 WI-42, Fish Creek, WI 54212.
2. The Apple Barn Orchard Winery — Elkhorn
Another spot that ferments their fruit for some delicious wine, you'll also find a bakery and a lovely gift shop. They're closed on Mondays. Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located at W6384 Sugar Creek Rd, Elkhorn, WI 53121
3. The Apple Hut — Beloit
You'll find 17 different varieties of apples here as well as the tons of products and bakery. Closed on Mondays but open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. the rest of the week. Located at 1718 W Walters Rd., Beloit, WI 53511.
4. Oakwood Fruit Farm — Richland Center
These folks grow more than 20 varieties of apples on 200 acres. They're open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until the end of October and then they only stay open til 4 p.m. until the end of Novemner. Located at 31128 Apple Ridge Rd., Richland Center, WI 53581.
5. Wood Orchard Market — Egg Harbor
In summer you'll find cherry donuts, but right now the bakery is churning out all things apple and the smell permeates the air. Hours vary, from July thru mid-October, they are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Late October 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and November weekends 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Located at 8112 WI-42, Egg Harbor, WI 54209
6. Basse's Taste of Country Farm Market — Colgate
Make sure to check their website for fall Pumpkin Fest activities. They're open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day.
Located at 3190 County Rd Q, Colgate, WI 53017.
7. Sunrise Orchards — Gays Mills
You might consider heading here September 15th and 16th for their Honeycrisp Celebration where the donuts are made from this tasty fruit. They're still great on other weekends, as well. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located at 48340 WI-171, Gays Mills, WI 54631.
8. Appleberry Farm — Cross Plains
You'll find 225 acres and 24 varieties of apples at this delicious stop in the Driftless Region. Come hungry! Open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Friday through Sunday 9 a.m.to 5 p.m. Located at 8079 Maurer Rd., Cross Plains, WI 53528.
9. Shihata's Orchard — Prairie du Chien
You know it's a worthwhile trip when the orchard has their own bakery barn! These folks are family owned for 50 years. They're open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you can pick your own apples. Located at 61549 Limery Rd., Prairie du Chien, WI 53821.
10. Erickson Orchard — Bayfield
Bayfield is known for its apple festival and legend says Erickson's and a flat tire are responsible for it. You know they take growing them seriously up here. These folks pasteurized their own cider to make their famous cider donuts. Serving up deliciousness since 1954, this spot is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Located at 86600 Betzold Rd., Bayfield, WI 54814.
11. Maple Ridge Orchard — Cashton
You'll find goats, alpacas, sheep, pigs, chickens and more at this spot that the owners say is more home than business. They welcome you in with open arms and you get to feel like family. Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Located at 6675 Maple Ave., Cashton, WI 54619.