Take a Fall Day Trip to Montgomery, MN
Montgomery, MN is the World Kolacky Capital
We’ve been all about exploring hidden gems this year, and Montgomery, MN is no exception. This adorable little town is not well known, but it should be! About one hour south of Minneapolis, Montgomery has a lot to offer for a fall day trip.
This trip was sponsored by the Montgomery Apple Orchard, Franke’s Bakery, Pizzeria 201 and the Montgomery Brewery. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
1. Spend Time at the Orchard
Start your day at the Montgomery Orchard. I had the pleasure of meeting the owners, Scott and Barb who planted their first apple trees in 1999. Over the years, their business has grown and now they offer apple picking, a corn maze, hard cider, wine tastings, hayrides, and live music. Scott invited us to the backroom to see where the apples are sorted and where they ferment their wines and hard ciders.
Surprisingly, the apple trees only take up a small piece of their massive farmland. The rest of Scott and Barb’s property is dedicated to the Conservation Reserve Program. Visitors are invited to walk along the mowed paths to check out the prairie grasses, wildflowers, and wildlife.
Lastly, they have a wonderful gift shop where they sell jellies, jams, and freshly picked apples. And even more impressive, this beautiful gift shop, which resembles a tiny log cabin, was built by Barb herself!
Pro tip: The orchard gets busy on the weekends, so arrive early!
2. Enjoy Kolacky and Donuts
After the apple orchard, you’ll definitely want to head into town to visit Franke’s Bakery. This Czech shop has been around since 1914 and is currently being run by third-generation family members. We were able to meet Jean, who is the third generation to work in the bakery. Jean’s brother, Bob also works at the bakery, and together they keep their family’s business thriving.
Franke’s is best known for their kolacky. This traditional Czech treat takes center stage during Montgomery’s annual Kolacky Days each July. Franke’s also sells bread, cookies, rolls, croissants, and donuts. It is clear their business is a pillar in the community. Their hard work and dedication to tradition does not go unnoticed.
Pro tip: Get the donut with chocolate icing. That was my favorite!
3. Grab a Slice of Pizza Across the Street
Right across the street from Franke’s is Pizzeria 201. I just love the architecture in downtown Montgomery. This family-owned business is not currently offering indoor dining due to COVID, but you can grab it to go, and I highly recommend you do. We took our pizza around the block and ate outdoors at the Montgomery Brewery.
We tried the hot pepperoncini dip and Italian fries appetizers. Then we had the BBQ chicken pizza and finished off the meal with salted caramel cheesecake and a cupcake. It was all fantastic. The BBQ chicken pizza and pepperoncini dip were my favorite!
Pizzeria 201 also partners with the Montgomery Orchard and they serve wood-fired pizza at the orchard on special days. While we were at the orchard, Pizzeria 201 was there, so we tried the margarita pizza to have with our wine and hard cider tasting. I love wood-fired dough and they absolutely nailed it. And yes, we had two pizzas in one day! That’s how good it was.
Pro tip: Call ahead so your pizza is ready for curbside pick up when you arrive. They’ll bring it right out to your car.
4. Grab a Beer at Montgomery Brewing
Finish off your day at Montgomery Brewery. There is some seating inside, but it was very crowded so we opted to sit outside. The brewery is inside a 130-year-old building with a brick exterior. My friend Emily had the Northside Blonde Ale and I had the Shelterbelt Brown Ale, which I thought was really good.
Pro tip: The brewery has blocked off a street for outdoor seating. You need to bring your own chairs, however, they are not provided.
A Great Place for a Fall Getaway
Montgomery is not a super well-known town, but it’s the perfect place for a fall day trip. With an apple orchard, brewery, pizza shop, and generations-old bakery, it’s a quick and fun day trip from the Twin Cities.
Looking for more fall time inspiration? Check out my blog posts on the 10 best fall day trips in Minnesota and 6 fun fall activities.
I never really imagined what it would be like to OWN an apple orchard until you described Scott and Barb. It’s like I never even considered that they have owners at all, haha. What a fun business! That must be so rewarding to create your own food/drink off the land and watch other people enjoy visiting. People always talk about starting their own bakery or brewery but now I think the idea of an orchard will be my new obsession
Scott and Barb seem to really love what they do. It was so cool to see the behind-the-scenes of their business where the ciders and wines are made too!
Can I ask a silly question? What is kolacky? I am sure I’d like it (as I am always up for trying new baked goods…) I just have no idea what it is! 😀
p.s. I love that you had camping chairs ready so you could eat pizza and try the beers! I am so impressed with your organization!
p.p.s. Our cat’s name is Monty, so we call him Montgomery when he has been naughty. I would be thinking of naughty kitty behaviour the whole time if/when we manage to visit here! 🤣
Kolacky is a sweet buttery pastry usually filled with jam. It’s delicious!
Oooh that sounds fantastic!
Looks like a great little town to visit! I have no idea what kolacky is, but I’m sure it’s a yummy treat!
It’s delicious Tara!
I had no idea what a kolacky was but after looking on Franke’s FB page, all I want to do it eat a kolacky. Maybe not with a brew but that would be a good chaser.
They are so good, with or without beer 🙂
OMG this town sounds like paradise! Pizza, donuts and cider? It sounds like a college student’s dream! And you can get some walking in LOL. Staying close to home never sounded so good.
Oh my gosh, I LOVE kolacky!! I def need to make a trip down to Montgomery just for that!! Thanks for inspiring me to visit another gem here in Minnesota 🙂