Hi.

Welcome to my blog where I share some of my favorite things from the Midwest cities along Lake Michigan.

How to Spend a Day at Cranes U-Pick Orchards

How to Spend a Day at Cranes U-Pick Orchards

What are some of your favorite fall activities?  Apple picking is so enjoyable and relaxing, it's easily one of my favorite fall activities; especially when the colors are popping.  I was super excited when the date my friends and I recently scheduled to pick turned out warm and sunny!  You can never be too confident with the weather these days.  

22491631_1640999345952312_4732265250714194752_n (2).jpg
IMG_8246.jpg
IMG_8231.jpg

I’d chosen Cranes Orchard in Fennville, MI because it offers so much more than apple picking!  There’s also Cranes Winery and Cranes Restaurant and Pie Shop right next door to the orchard.

You could easily spend a whole day here with family and friends!

IMG_8282.jpg

With over 17 different varieties of apples, Cranes is worth the trip!  There are also ten varieties of peaches and sweet cherries for pickers to choose from, and the scenery is beautiful and calming.

IMG_8243.JPG

The orchard is only 2 hours from Chicago.  The drive is easy and peaceful with colorful trees lining the highway.

We always start our time off in the orchard doing apple tasting.

Some of the varieties I was previously unfamiliar such as Mutsi and Cameo have become my favorites.

The staffers are very knowledgeable and will answer all of your questions.

22539681_1640999419285638_4976349054175829714_n (2).jpg
22688405_1640999415952305_3500174193324016838_n (2).jpg

The apples are spread out, but the directions are clear.

 If you don’t feel up to walking, you can catch a ride on one of the golf carts.

After tasting so many good kinds of apple; I wanted them all!  I got a little carried away with the picking.  

giphy (2).gif

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!

IMG_8220.jpg
IMG_8216.jpg
22539759_1640999412618972_347224822826728575_n (2).jpg

Spotted these mums while walking through the orchard and I couldn’t pass them up!  Only $10! They’re so full and look beautiful on my porch.  The pumpkins are $0.45 a pound. 

IMG_8223.jpg
IMG_8239.jpg

After we finished picking, we headed next door to the winery and restaurant.  Live music is offered on the patio from July through the end of October.  The band that we had the pleasure of seeing was Delilah DeWylde.  They were fantastic!  Look them up, they're a talented trio!!!

Delilah DeWilde

Delilah DeWilde

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.

IMG_8286.jpg
IMG_8254.jpg

We hung out on the patio while we waited, there is a patio 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!  I 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 other patrons at the orchard are all laid back and friendly, maybe because they’re enjoying wine and cider flights.  The communal seating is always fun allowing for chit chatting with your neighbor and getting to know them a bit.
 

22491745_1640999352618978_6037614237616494391_n (2).jpg

Wine & Cider Tasting:

Inside the restaurant, you’ll find the bar for flights and tastings from Cranes Cider Winery!  I’ve recently become a fan of cideries, preferring the dry and semi-dry.  I learned that Michigan has 66!  Their ciders are solid.

IMG_8301 (1).jpg
IMG_8291.jpg

The restaurant offers soups, salads, and sandwiches served on fresh homemade bread.

I knew I was having their Famous Sloppy Joe served on their homemade bun before I'd even arrived.  I know, who goes out to a restaurant and orders a sloppy joe?  Not usually me, however, on a recent visit to Cranes in downtown Holland, I had the sloppy joe and I’ve been thinking and talking about it ever since.  It’s just the right amount of sweet and savory.  The spicy peppers are a nice touch too.  

IMG_8312.jpg

After eating we shopped in the store and took home some of Crane's famous apple crisp as well as some of their award-winning Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cherry Hard Cider.

All in all a chill and enjoyable day and I didn't break the bank.  I was shocked at how little money I spent for an all-day venture.

In case you're wondering what we did with all those apples, scroll to the bottom.  YUM!

This place is a must!  Make sure you stop by soon

Tell me what you enjoyed in the comments.

Cranes is located at 6054 124th Ave, Fennville, MI 49408

22489728_1641090762609837_3573487459747092221_n.jpg
22528152_1640999355952311_214050886811716306_n (2).jpg
Chicago Names its Cocktail of the Year

Chicago Names its Cocktail of the Year

New Buffalo:  Why This Small Resort Community Should be on Your Travel Radar!

New Buffalo: Why This Small Resort Community Should be on Your Travel Radar!