In Wisconsin, apple orchards are an indispensable part of the fall season. They evoke a sense of nostalgia and celebrate simplicity, and it’s this feeling that makes a day-trip to an orchard an excellent opportunity to reconnect with your partner or catch up with friends.
These orchards go beyond the standard kid-friendly activities, and offer events and experiences for the more grown-up among us – including wine tastings, beer gardens, art festivals and more. Read on for where to find fall fun this season!
This apple orchard offers the full fall experience, with ample varieties of apples available for picking. Be sure to try their award-winning wines, which are available for sampling in the on-site wine tasting lounge, and enjoy your wine with a fan-favorite apple cider donut!
There are few things quite as wondrous as enjoying a cold fall beer as you sit outside, surrounded by colorful trees. If this sounds magical to you, then be sure to plan a visit to Ecker’s Apple Farm, which features the simple but beautiful Hog’s Back Beer Garden. While you’re there, pick up some mulling spices from Wildwood Specialty Foods so you can whip up a perfect batch of mulled wine.
For the state’s best fall breakfast, you’ll want to visit Whispering Orchards & Café. Their menu features homemade bread and jams and a variety of locally sourced breakfast meats. The most popular item on their menu is the affectionately-named Grain Shocker, an impressive and delicious plate of four varieties of French toast – raspberry, apple, blueberry, and apple pocket! Don’t forget your appetite.
When it comes to locally-made specialty goods, you can’t beat Lautenbach’s Orchard Country. Beyond the usual fare, here you’ll find gourmet items like apple cinnamon barbecue sauce and a variety of unique mustards. Lautenbach’s also has a winery on site, which offers both complimentary wine tastings and guided winery tours. Their Fall Harvest Fest in September is a favorite among locals.
If you’ve never tried a traditional English still cider, then the Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery is the perfect spot for your next fall day trip. This beautiful and secluded orchard offers some of the most unique local ciders you’ll find in the entire Midwest. Be sure to call ahead and book a tour and tasting session, which Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery will customize to your interests. Oh, and if they haven’t sold out of their “Scrumpy” cider, make sure you try some. You won’t regret it!
This Northwest Wisconsin orchard is located about an hour and a half from Eau Claire and offers a number of outdoor attractions in addition to the apple trees. You can hike one of Baker Orchard’s many hiking trails, explore their boulder park, or reflect in the shade of their garden’s giant sunflowers. Baker Orchard also has an art gallery on site, and partners with the local restaurants like Café Wren for their annual Fall Art Festival.