Northern Michigan bursts with plump, juicy cherries in July, and somehow they taste even better when you pick them yourself. Follow roadside signs to these local orchards and fill your buckets with U-Pick cherries.

Cherries are usually available mid-July through late-August. Call ahead or check for updates online before visiting.

Friske Farm Market

10743 US-31, Ellsworth, 231.599.2604

Pick: Sweet Cherries
Tip: Swing by the cafe and bakery afterward for cherry doughnuts and a John Deere sandwich: corned beef, housemade cherry kraut, Swiss cheese and Friske sauce on toasted sunflower rye.

Hallstedt Homestead

8227 N. Matheson Rd., Northport, 317.440.9273

Pick: Sweet Cherries
Tip: Owners Phil and Sarah Hallstedt are first-generation farmers growing eight varieties of sweet cherries, and they love sharing the experience of picking (and eating!) fresh fruit. You’ll feel welcomed the moment you arrive. Sarah is also an avid gardener; don’t miss her U-Pick flower patch.

King Orchards

986 S. US-31, Kewadin, 231.264.0715
4620 N. M-88, Central Lake, 231.544.6479

Pick: Sweet and Tart Cherries
Tip: In addition to filling the buckets of happy U-Pickers, these cherries go directly into fresh baked goods, jams and jellies at the US-31 market. Grab a few cans of Montmorency Very Cherry Pie Filling to take home, and bake Michigan cherry pies year-round.

Cherry Tip: Tart cherries are traditionally used for cooking, and sweets you should eat out of hand on the drive home.

Photo by Carly Paszek

Rennie Orchards

11221 Munroe RD., Williamsburg, 231.264.8387

Pick: Sweet and Tart Cherries
Tip: Sandy Rennie’s father bought the property in 1938, converting it from a potato farm to a cherry orchard. Sandy took over the operation in the ’60s—he says he inherited the “fruit farm” gene. Find Rennie Orchards on Facebook and follow farmer Sandy’s fruit reports on what’s in season, plus fun activities happening at the orchard.

Royal Farms Farm Market and Winery

10445 N. US-31, Ellsworth, 231.599.3222

Pick: Tart Cherries
Tip: Buckets full, head to the on-site tasting room to try Royal Farms’ wines and hard ciders. Hand Picked, a cider, is made with antique apple varieties; it’s not too sweet, not too dry, just right.

Third Coast Fruit Co.

555 Wilson Rd., Traverse City

Pick: Sweet and Tart Cherries
Tip: For more than 100 years, the Wunsch family has been growing cherries on Old Mission Peninsula, and in 2019, they opened up their orchard to U-Pickers for the first time. The property, in the heart of the Cherry Capital of the World, has views of Grand Traverse Bay, and it’s pure magic at sundown. Watch for special sunset picking hours on Facebook.

Photo(s) by Carly Paszek