What are some of your favorite Fall activities? Apple picking is so enjoyable and relaxing, it’s easily one of things I look forward to most during the season; especially when the colors are popping. I’ve been very fortunate that the days I scheduled to pick at Crane Orchards the past few years have turned out warm and sunny! You can never be too confident with the weather. Spending at least one day at Crane’s is a must every Fall!
Crane U-Pick Orchards
I look forward to my yearly visit to Crane Orchards in Fennville, MI because it offers so much more than apple picking! There’s also Crane’s Winery, restaurant, and Pie Shop right next door to the orchards. It’s easy to spend a full day in activities with family and friends.
The orchard is only 2 hours from Chicago. The drive is easy and peaceful with colorful trees lining the highway.
There’s over 17 different varieties of apples at Crane Orchards, therefore, everyone can find a favorite! In addition, you’ll find ten varieties of peaches and sweet cherries for your choosing, and the scenery is beautiful and calming.
We always start our time off in the orchard doing apple tasting.
Some of the varieties I was previously unfamiliar with such as Mutsi and Cameo have become my favorites.
The staffers are very knowledgeable and will answer all of your questions.
The apples are spread out, but the directions are clear. If the walk is too much there are golf carts for pickers to ride in.
After tasting so many good kinds of apple; I wanted them all! I got a little carried away with the picking.
All varieties are $1 a pound. Make sure to start with a wagon in addition to your bag so that you’re not carrying all of this from the orchard like me!
Spotted these mums while walking through the orchard and I couldn’t pass them up! Only $10! The pumpkins are $0.45 a pound.
Restaurant and Winery
After we finished picking, we headed next door to Crane’s winery and restaurant. Live music is offered on the patio from July through the end of October.
Be warned, the restaurant usually has a wait, but it’s worth it. The inside is like a mini museum with a lot of antiques and newspaper clippings bringing back the good memories of yesteryear. We had an hour and 15 minute wait but it wasn’t a problem, there’s plenty to enjoy while waiting for your table.
We hung out on the patio during our wait, there’s a walk-up with a limited food and drink menu if you need something light to keep hangriness at bay!
The cider donuts are the bomb! Also had a wine slushy which was amazing. I know that wine slushies and donuts aren’t the usual pairings; I think we should make it the new normal!
The patrons at the orchard are usually laid back and friendly, maybe because they’re enjoying wine and cider flights. Communal seating is always fun allowing for chit chatting with your neighbor and getting to know them a bit. I usually discover that a large number have also made the drive from Chicago for the day.
Wine & Cider Tastings:
Inside the restaurant, you’ll find the bar for flights and tastings from Crane’s Cider Winery! I’ve recently become a fan of cideries, preferring the dry and semi-dry. I learned that Michigan has 66! The ciders here are solid.
The restaurant offers soups, salads, and sandwiches served on fresh homemade bread.
I usually have their Famous Sloppy Joe served on their homemade bun. I know, who goes out to a restaurant and orders a Sloppy Joe? Normally, not me, however, I’ve been hooked on their Sloppy Joe every since I tried it at Crane’s In the City, their second restaurant in downtown Holland. It’s just the right amount of sweet and savory. The spicy peppers are a nice touch too.
Crane’s Pie Pantry
After eating stop in the store and take home some of Crane’s famous apple crisp. They also have their award-winning ciders for sale.
Crane U-Pick Orchards is an enjoyable way to spend the day without breaking the bank. I’m always surprised at how little money I spend for an all-day venture.
In case you’re wondering what I do with all of those apples, scroll to the bottom. YUM! If you want the recipe to the most incredible homemade apple pie that I’ve ever had, click here for the recipe!
Make sure Crane U-Pick Orchards is on your Southwest Michigan Fall bucket list!
Know of another exceptional orchard, tell me in the comments.
Click here for other Southwest Michigan places to visit.
Crane Orchards is located at 6054 124th Ave, Fennville, MI 49408