Cherry Republic is one of those places that turns first-time visitors into cherry zealots. This regional icon nestles on the edge of picturesque Glen Arbor. Three North Woods-style retail buildings—the Great Hall Retail Store, Cherry Bakery and Cafe, and Stomphouse WInery and Tasting Room—make up this legendary "republic," along with pretty flower gardens, inviting benches and a patio dining area.
In the Stomphouse Winery and Tasting Room, visitors can sample nine cherry wines and hard ciders (specialty soda pop options are available, too). Friendly, knowledgeable servers offer information and pour samples, including Cherry Root Beer (a delish take on root beer), Cherry Ginger Ale, Hard Cherry Cider (a tasty and tart blend of Balaton cherry juice and apple juice). Tastings are free.
Guests browse the spacious timber-framed Great Hall, packed with 175 cherry products, and sample (and buy) an amazing variety of cherry products. We admit, we tried most of the samples: standouts included the Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries, Peach Cherry and Green Chery salsas, and Triple Cherry Granola (with dried cherries, dried blueberries, dried strawberries, rolled oats, brown sugar, almonds and cherry jam and cherry jelly). When we commented that the packaged Dark Chocolate Caramel Pecan Turtles tempted, a clerk quickly produced a sample for us to try.
Next door, the Cherry Bakery and Cafe bustles with visitors lined up for fresh-baked goods, including cherry pie, cherry cakes, the locally famous Boomchunka cookies, cherry fudge and 12 flavors of homemade cherry ice cream. Before you go, try a slice of cherry pie with a large, creamy scoop of any flavor of the cherry ice cream, head for a shady table on the adjacent outdoor patio, and savor your decadent treat.