24 hours in metro Detroit: Best and safest cider mills to visit this fall

There’s nothing like a great visit to a tried-and-true favorite cider mill to make the most out of fall in Michigan. Lucky for us, cider mills are aplenty in the metro Detroit area, many of which have remained family-owned and operated for generations, staying true to decades-old recipes and traditions that make them that much more charming.

As we now navigate COVID-19, many cider mills are pivoting their business practices and ordering structures to create safe, health-conscious environments while continuing to provide the products and atmospheres they pride themselves on most. This fall, visit these 5 local cider mills that we’ve ranked as some of the best (and safest) in the area, and learn more about what they’re doing to implement new COVID-19 measures.


Franklin Cider Mill

Bloomfield Hills

Nestled in the heart of Bloomfield Hills on a quiet road, Franklin Cider Mill has been serving up piping hot donuts for decades that follow a 100-year-old German recipe consisting of cinnamon and spice batter. Opened in the 1830s, the historic mill has stayed largely unchanged in its appearance and has drawn generations of Michiganders who continue to come back for Franklin’s family-first atmosphere. “The best tradition is families sitting by the water wheel and sitting by the river feeding the ducks,” Laura Peltz, co-owner of the mill, says.

Families are also drawn to the vendors who serve up everything from hot dogs, to homemade jams and salsas, to bags of crisp apples straight from the farms. Donuts are made fresh daily before 8 a.m. and cider comes in many forms including hot cider and cider slushies. This year, Franklin has moved all operations outdoors and is offering online ordering and curbside pickup, along with delivery via GrubHub.


Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill


Since 1873 (and one rebuild following a fire), Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill has been known for their pillow-soft cinnamon sugar donuts and equally sweet apple cider. Also available in a plain spiced variety for those who don’t prefer the sugary alternative, this Northville Cider Mill is hailed for having some of the most delicious donuts in the area.

In recent times, they’ve pivoted their product offerings to also include a wide variety of honey and honey sticks, sweet and savory donut chips, bourbon maple syrup and caramel apples in every flavor imaginable. In better times, visitors are able to enjoy the fresh air and sitting area by the creek, but Parmenter’s has now developed one of the most creative and convenient operational structures to manage COVID-19, which consists of drive-thru only with optional order-ahead available online. The process is seamless, moves quickly and is perfect for those who crave hot donuts and cider on the fly.

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