Fall is a favorite season for many! The savings, cooler temperatures, pumpkin spice everything and cozy sweaters make it a wonderful time of year.
Fall also calls for harvest festivals and fruit picking! But if you’re like me, you grab your apples at the local store or farm stand. Where’s the fun in that? Be adventurous this season by visiting an apple picking orchard.
Whether you live in New York or California, there is bound to be an orchard near you. This neat tool by Orange Pippin helps you find an orchard closest to you. Simply enter your zipcode and you will be able to see farms within miles of you.
Which Apples to Pick this Time of Year
Apple picking began officially in August. If you are looking for only the freshest produce at the moment, here is a chart showing the best time of year to pick each kind of apple!
The Best States for Apple Picking
If you find yourself scouring the Internet, searching “best apple picking near me,” look no further. We rounded up the top nine states for apple picking. We even included two of the top orchards in each state.
1. New York
New York is the second leading producer of apples in the country! You will therefore be spoiled for choice on all the orchards you can visit. Maynard Farms is a great place for a family fun day! In addition to their 14 apple varieties, the farm also houses Japanese and European plums! While you’re there, be sure to check out the beautiful view of the Berkshire Mountains.
From July-October, Weed Orchards is the place to be in Ulster County. From their Pirates of the Hudson Corn Maze to apple smashing and chicken barbecues, this fifth-generation orchard has everything you need for the perfect fall afternoon!
Paulus Orchards is not only home to a great apple and pumpkin picking selection, but it also offers plenty of family-friendly activities like tube slides and wagon rides! Be sure to call ahead for tour availability.
Located in Lancaster county, Kauffman’s Fruit Farm sells everything from fresh apple cider and fruit butters to meats and cheeses! The best part? They’re open year-round!
3. New Jersey
Peaceful Valley Orchards is a New Jersey favorite! Stop by to pick your own apples, strawberries and pumpkins. You can even cut your own flowers. Before you leave, make sure you pick up one of their delicious homemade pies!
Longmeadow Farm offers 14 different apples on easy-to-pick trees! With their assorted jams, fruit spreads and seasonal vegetables, you certainly won’t leave empty handed!
If you’re looking to make a day out of apple picking, head over to Ballard Apple Farm. Located in Santa Ynez Valley, the farm’s large parking area is great for families traveling in RVs or other large vehicles. The farm features animals such as donkeys and turkeys, and even a picnic table for a quick lunch break!
Sierra Glen Ranch in Tuolumne County has a massive collection of more than 18 different apples! Be sure to stick around for a farm tour!
Sweetser’s Apple Barrel and Orchards boasts of 50 varieties of apples in addition to other fruit. They’ve been family owned since 1812 and make fresh pastries, cookies, pies and cider. The farm is open everyday from 9.00 am to 6.00pm. Make sure you grab your apples, but also pumpkins, squash and cider.
Randall Orchards have been in operation since 1906. They provide various varieties of apples, and freshly made apple cider. They also sell pumpkins, peaches and squash. Randall is open until mid November.
Deer Lake Orchard hosts Apple Fest weekends in October featuring live entertainment, wagon and pony rides. So in addition to picking apples, there is more fun to be had. They have over 26 varieties of apples, fresh apple cider, pumpkins, squash, pies, jellies, gifts and ornamental corn! Make sure you catch their haunted hayrides the last weekend of October.
Go to Minnesota Harvest to pick apples, enjoy hayrides, watch live concerts and pet farm animals. You can even have your dream wedding there! The orchard has over 25 varieties of apples.
Beardsley’s Cider Mill & Orchard is hosting one of its last pick you own apples in October. The apple trees are short enough for toddlers and children to pick their own apples. The farm presses fresh apple cider and makes fresh pastries to boot.
Averill Farm offers over 100 varieties of apples to pick from. The farm features a pizza stand! Seriously what could be better than a slice? Treat yourself to apple cider donuts, baked goods and take some fresh cider home.
Pack a picnic basket and spent your day at the Stribling Orchard in Virginia. They offer apple and peach picking and own a bakery that sells apple cinnamon raisin bread, pies, cakes and all our favorite fall pastries. Ask about their jams, jellies, marmalade and more. The farm has a rich history that dates back to the late 1700s so be sure to ask what 1700 looked like!
Carter Mountain Orchard has many activities in addition to apple picking this fall. During their apple harvest festival, clients will enjoy live music, hayrides, and crafts. They offer school tours at the farm, as well as a bakery and store. Grab a pumpkin while you are there.
Apple Holler is a dream orchard for families. There’s plenty of activity for the little ones. And at this time of year pick as many apples as you wish.
Pig roast? Check. Live music? Check. Weston’s Antique Apples is a fun filled orchard that carries over 100 varieties of apples.There are barrel rides for younger members of the family.
So you’ve gone apple picking. Now what? You can display your beautiful Fujis or Galas in a new fruit bowl. And if you plan on decorating your new pumpkins, don’t forget to purchase a pumpkin carving kit!