Experience the very best of fall at these Vermont orchards, where you can pick apples and drink cider. Plus, they're the best places to get apple cider donuts!
Sometimes—a lot of the time, actually—the best food adventure ideas come from my friends. This round-up is one of those ideas!
- An apple cider donut quest
- What is an apple cider donut?
- Tracking down orchards with apple cider donuts
- Great Places To Get Apple Cider Donuts not too far from Burlington
- 1. Stine Orchard, Monkton
- 2. Vermont Orchards, Enosburg
- 3. Yates Family Orchard, Hinesburg
- 4. Peck Farm Orchard, East Montpelier
- 5. Champlain Orchards, Shoreham
- 6. Shelburne Orchards, Shelburne
- 7. Burtt's Apple Orchard, Cabot
- 8. Chapin Orchard, Essex Junction
- 9. Douglas Orchards, Shoreham
- 10. Vermont Orchards, West Swanton
- 11. Hackett's Orchard, South Hero
- 12. Woodman Hill Orchard, Vergennes
- 13. Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Waterbury Center
- How to warm up apple cider donuts
An apple cider donut quest
My friend Mary told me about her favorite place to bring her family for apple cider donuts, and suggested that I share with folks about other spots to find even more.
Hit the road to sample oodles of cider donuts? Um, yes, please! And if you're wondering what state is famous for its apple cider donuts, the answer is Vermont.
Apple season in Vermont officially gets underway soon after Labor Day. Apple picking is the perfect activity to pair with catching some of that famous Vermont fall color, enjoying cooler fall temperatures, and taking a drive on the beautiful country roads.
Somehow my family's apple picking always happens during a rainstorm, but that just makes the hot cider and warm donuts even more rewarding!
Here's another recent quest of ours: for sweets in Montreal!
What is an apple cider donut?
A fall favorite, cider donuts are made using real apple cider that's boiled down to thicken it and concentrate the flavor. The donut batter gets its light texture from baking powder and sweetness from brown sugar. The spices in these donuts are classic apple pie spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
Fried cider donuts have a deep brown color. They often have a sparkly coating of sugar or cinnamon sugar, or they may be left plain. Everyone agrees that apple cider donuts taste the very best when they're warm, but they're delicious even when cool.
Save some of your donuts to make this Apple Cider Donut Icebox Cake!
Tracking down orchards with apple cider donuts
If you're wondering, "Where can I get apple cider donuts near me?" just check out the orchards listed below!
The donuts on this list are the ones my husband and I sampled at apple orchards in our area. They're all within an hour or two from Burlington.
I go by this criteria when seeking out apple cider donuts:
- They have to be at a pick-your-own apple orchard or apple cidery
- They have to be made fresh on site
Keep in mind that the length of apple season varies depending on many factors: the weather, the number of fruiting trees, and whether it's been a good growing year. Sometimes orchards get picked clean in just a couple of weeks!
Make your apple orchard plans now, and don't wait too long to go apple picking.
Use your fresh-picked apples to make an Apple Blackberry Crumble, or 10 Minute Warm Spiced Apple Topping. Or, this Irish Apple Blackberry Cake with Whiskey Hard Sauce!
Great Places To Get Apple Cider Donuts not too far from Burlington
Links to each of these orchards are included here: double-check their hours and season status by visiting their websites, checking social media posts, or giving them a call.
1. Stine Orchard, Monkton
Formerly Boyer's Family Orchard, the Stine Orchard is a lovely spot in Monkton with loads of apples for picking, plus mums and pumpkins on display as you pull into the parking area.
Much to our delight, we could smell the freshly fried donuts from our car. Walking in, the donut-making area is in full view, with little rings of donut dough falling into the hot oil. Once browned, they roll out on a little belt to get coated in sugar.
They're made with the orchard's own, fresh apple cider: you can watch the press working inside the store.
At Stine, we had our first experience trying donuts so fresh they were still hot from frying.
Our new favorite person, Ernest, spotted us sitting on the porch taking photos and decided to surprise us with two hot, sugar-coated cider donuts.
Can I just say, "WOW." The outside was delicately crisp, and when we bit into them the donuts practically melted in our mouths. The insides were so creamy. That was the best donut experience of my life!
Now to be clear, I can't guarantee that hot donuts will be available here. I'm just saying that should the opportunity present itself, don't ever say no to a fresh, hot donut!
Stine Orchard 1823 Monkton Road, Monkton, VT, 05469. Hours: Tues-Sun 10:30 am-5:30 pm during the season
2. Vermont Orchards, Enosburg
Take a beautiful drive to this orchard that's tucked away off a dirt road and up a long, winding drive. Formerly known as Northcourt Orchards, this is one of two orchards owned by Kevin Lawyer and his family.
The day we went there we met Kevin's father Larry, who proudly shared how many hundreds of trees the orchard boasts as well as how many new trees get planted every year. He also told us that all their cider donuts are hand-made by his son.
We had a choice of plain or sugar-coated donuts. They smelled so good, and we were so hungry that we quickly wolfed down several donuts between gulps of fresh, cold apple cider.
Vermont Orchards has lots of apples to pick, with more varieties coming later this season, plus other goodies like gallons of cider, honey, and maple syrup. We also found maple cotton candy and maple popcorn from JJ's Maple.
Vermont Orchards—Enosburg 499 Kendall Road, Enosburg Falls, VT 05450. Hours: Thurs-Sun 10 am-6 pm during the season
3. Yates Family Orchard, Hinesburg
This is the orchard that my friend Mary loves to go to with her family, and it's easy to see why. When I visited Yates Family Orchard there were couples lounging, kids playing, and dogs relaxing. It was a wonderful, friendly atmosphere.
The popular fall spot has apples for picking, along with a market to buy flowers, pumpkins, and produce. There are lots of grassy areas to sit in and listen to live music.
Yates cooks their apple cider donuts fresh to order. With their craggy, crispy edges and soft insides, they remind me of apple fritters. They're very yummy. And you'll love this: Yates is the home of the Dreamee, an apple cider donut topped with a creemee!
(For you flatlanders, a creemee is Vermont's version of soft-serve ice cream.)
Yates Family Orchard 1074 Davis Road, Hinesburg, VT 05461. Hours: Daily 9:30 am-5:30 pm during the season
4. Peck Farm Orchard, East Montpelier
Take a scenic drive into East Montpelier to visit this lovely apple orchard called Peck Farm Orchard.
Although it's young compared to many orchards (they've been open for pick-your-own apples for six years,) there are plenty of apples for picking: Winecrisp, MacIntosh, Honey Crisp, and many more.
At the little shack standing by picnic tables loaded with pumpkins, there are cider donuts for sale along with regular and two kinds of hard cider: Orchard Blend and First Light.
Plus they have a special dessert: Kingdom Creamery ice cream served with a cider donut and drizzles of Peck Farm's own maple syrup!
We found these sugar-crusted donuts to be exceptional: really soft with a light crispness on the outside edges. Owner Layla, told us that they're made on site with Peck Farm cider and pointed to Ruby in the back who was right in the middle of making a fresh batch!
And that sundae? The donut alongside the rich, vanilla ice cream was ah-mazing.
So what else can you do at Peck Farm Orchard?
Well, they have lots of pumpkins for sale, a corn maze to get lost in, and a neat, little, underground slide for kids. It's a beautiful spot for the whole family to visit.
Peck Farm Orchard 750 Sibley Road, East Montpelier, VT 05651. Hours: Weds - Sun 9:00am - 5:00pm during the season
5. Champlain Orchards, Shoreham
Head to Shoreham to pick apples and eat donuts at Champlain Orchards. The nearly entirely solar-powered farm boasts 146 varieties of apples.
Champlain Orchard also has an extensive line of hard ciders to choose from. We took home a six-pack of the Honeycrisp semi-dry and it was fantastic. Very appley and not too sweet, just the way I like it.
There are lots of autumn goodies to take home, like pumpkins, fall mums, and of course—their cider donuts!
The donuts are made on-site and bagged up, so they're easy to grab and go. They offer the cider donuts plain or with sugar. They're soft and taste wonderful, full of apple and spice flavor.
Champlain Orchard 3597 Route 74 West, VT 05770. Hours: Weds - Mon 9:00am - 4:00pm during the season
6. Shelburne Orchards, Shelburne
Shelburne Orchards is open and in full swing with apple picking, live music, kids' events, and brandy tastings. They have cider donuts too, of course!
Other items available to buy there are bagged apples, apple cider, the orchard's own Dead Bird Brandy, and gorgeous bottles of apple cider vinegar.
Their apple cider donuts are perfectly shaped, have a rich brown color, and are thoroughly coated in sparkling sugar. They're soft, fragrant, and delicious.
Shelburne Orchards 216 Orchard Road, Shelburne, VT 05482. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm; Mondays Noon-5:00 pm during the season
7. Burtt's Apple Orchard, Cabot
We had lots of recommendations to stop by Burtt's Orchard in Cabot. While visiting Peck Farm Orchard, the owner there told us that the folks at Burtt's were a tremendous help to them when they started their orchard.
There is such a great community and support system among apple growers!
Burtt's keeps their website updated with the week's apples available for pick-your-own, including Gingergold, Wolf River, and Jonamac.
Inside the barn, there are lots of goodies to buy, including their cider, maple syrup products, cider vinegar, and—you guessed it, apple cider donuts.
There's a large kitchen behind the registers where the donuts are made all day, and bags of them are lined up on counters so that no donut fan is disappointed.
Their donuts are yummy for sure, with a sugary coating and flavor of nutmeg.
Burtt's has pumpkins to bring home plus a playground, tether ball pole, apple sling shot, and a corn maze. So head there for donuts and some fun.
Burtt's Apple Orchard 283A Cabot Plains Road, Cabot, VT 05647. Hours: Daily 9:00 am-5:00 pm during the season
8. Chapin Orchard, Essex Junction
One thing I love about Chapin Orchard is the huge, high-ceilinged red barn that sits on the road with the apple orchard sprawling out behind it.
Inside the big barn, you can find cider, pumpkins, gourds, Vermont products, and of course, apple cider donuts!
The cider donuts are made fresh throughout the day, then bagged up so they're ready to grab and go.
The donuts are plain, and although I usually prefer them with a sugary coating Chapin's are still delicious, full of fragrance and flavor from the apple spices.
Chapin Orchard 150 Chapin Road, Essex Junction, VT 05451 Hours: Daily 9:30 am-5:30 pm during the season
9. Douglas Orchards, Shoreham
Not far from Champlain Orchard in Shoreham is Douglas Orchards, for pick-your-own apples as well as pumpkins, plants, cider tastings, and goods inside the store.
There's a hand-printed sign inside that details the four generations of Douglas family members that owned and operated the orchard and farm, beginning in 1898.
In 2020 the last generation of the Douglas family was ready to retire, so Champlain Orchards purchased the property, ensuring that it would continue to be a working orchard and cidery.
There are donuts to purchase at Douglas, and we learned that they're made in the kitchen at Champlain Orchards just down the road.
That was great news for us: between the two orchards we picked up both the plain and sugared varieties.
It's a picturesque spot for picking and donut eating. Just watch for these cute road signs and you'll know you're there.
Douglas Orchard 1050 74 West, Shoreham, VT 05770 Hours: Wed - Mon Daily 9:00 am-5:00 pm during the season
10. Vermont Orchards, West Swanton
This is the other apple orchard owned by Kevin Lawyer and his family, and we got to meet Kevin when he stopped by. (We had just seen his father Larry at their Enosburg location.)
The West Swanton Orchard is easy to get to from downtown Swanton and is close to both the Canadian border and the Champlain islands. It's also easy to drive from here to Rouse's Point, New York.
Head to Vermont Orchards to pick apples, try freshly-pressed cider, pick up local products like Vermont maple syrup and Bees On Broadway honey, and of course, for the apple cider donuts.
Kevin shared that he makes thousands of cider donuts by hand each season to stock up both of his orchard locations. We're so grateful that he does—and you will be, too!
Vermont Orchards—West Swanton 752 North River Street, West Swanton, VT 05488 Hours: Saturday and Sunday 10 am-6 pm during the season
11. Hackett's Orchard, South Hero
Hackett's is a fun orchard to go to with your family, and a great excuse to take the scenic drive up to the Champlain Islands. If you're taking the ferry from New York, it's an easy drive to this spot.
Along with the apple picking, there's a playground, a fun-to-watch machine that moves apples through a tub of water onto a sorting belt, and sometimes a fair truck selling fried dough!
There are plenty of yummy things to eat in the store like pies, apple crisp, and local products. And—you guessed it—apple cider donuts.
Hackett's donuts have the characteristic sweetness and spice you expect from a cider donut, but what I really like about them is that they're soooo soft! I appreciate the generous coating of sugar on the surface, too.
Hackett's Orchard 86 South Street, South Hero, Vermont 05486 Hours: Daily 8:00 am-6:00 pm during the season
12. Woodman Hill Orchard, Vergennes
Just a short ways off of Route 7 in Vergennes you'll find Woodman Hill Orchard, a really beautiful spot for apple picking.
When you arrive you'll see the house and a small shed with products for sale like hats, maple syrup, and a few varieties of apples.
Step behind the shed to see the apple trees spread out down a slightly sloping hill with the woods all around and the mountains in the distance.
We met owners Rob and Steph who told us that when they're not at their other jobs, they tend the orchard. On the weekends, they also roll, cut, and fry apple cider donuts by hand.
Along with the donuts, there are pastries for sale, made by a neighbor up the road. The day we visited, there were scones, pies, turnovers, and blondies.
We enjoyed the soft, donuts while taking in the view of the gorgeous orchard under a sunny, blue sky.
It's a great little orchard to take the family apple picking. Just remember that those donuts and baked goods are only available on the weekends!
Woodman Hill Orchard 175 Plank Road, Vergennes, Vermont 05491 Hours: Wed - Sun 10:00 am-5:00 pm during the season
13. Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Waterbury Center
Although Cold Hollow is not an apple orchard, I would be remiss not to include it in this round-up of apple cider donut spots.
It's a very popular destination, especially for leaf peepers and other out-of-towners.
The folks at Cold Hollow produce regular and hard ciders, both very tasty, at their mill in Waterbury.
There is also a small restaurant serving breakfast and lunch, which made it a lovely place to meet my in-laws.
We all had different breakfast sandwiches with fillings like eggs, bacon, Cheddar, and cider jelly, and served on homemade Cheddar biscuits!
There are donuts there too, of course. Inside their shop, you can watch the donuts move along a conveyor belt as they're fried and dropped off to cool.
And they make a LOT of donuts! We had a few right out of the bag. They're plain donuts with a nice, old-fashioned flavor that's strong on cinnamon.
Explore the store for lots of Vermont products like syrups, jams, and sauces, plus home goods and fun souvenirs. They also ship their cider and donuts across the country, a perfect way to share a taste of fall with loved ones out of state.
Cold Hollow Cider Mill 3600 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Waterbury Center, Vermont 05677 Hours: Daily 8:00 am-6:00 pm
How to warm up apple cider donuts
Bring extra apple cider donuts home with you, and seal them in an airtight container. To warm them up, don't use the microwave. Instead, put them in the toaster oven at 200° F or so, for two to three minutes.
If you don't have a toaster oven, wrap the donuts in foil and reheat them in the oven at a low temperature (250-300° F) for just a few minutes.
They're delicious with apple cider, coffee, or hot tea.
💬 Where do you like to get your apple cider donuts? Leave a comment below!
To see the Apple Cider Donuts Web Story, tap here.