The Best Places to Go Apple Picking Near NYC (If You’re Into That Sort of Thing)
While you may not be ready for full-on flannel and pumpkin spice lattes yet, apple picking season is the beginning of fall festivities. Whether with kiddos, with friends or with the person you’ve decided to cling to this cuffing season, pick-your-own apples can help make the transition from summer into fall a little less painful. Besides, have you ever said “no” to an apple cider doughnut? Exactly.
Some of these apple orchards still have COVID-19 measures in place, like reservation times and limited food services. Others are ready to take on the season safely, but without putting constraints on guests and services. So, this guide was created to ensure you know everything you need to know in order to plan your trip.
Here are some of the best places for apple picking near NYC, along with some of the other awesome seasonal experiences they offer.
1. HARBES FAMILY FARM AND HARBES ORCHARD IN MATTITUCK AND RIVERHEAD, NY (2 HOURS FROM NYC)
There are pumpkin patches and then there’s Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck. Here, you actually pick your gourds (some still on the vine) straight from the patch, as opposed to simply selecting your favorite from a patch of grass, as per usual. For apples, head to the Harbes Orchard in Riverhead; current offerings include lesser-known varieties like Crimson Topaz and Shizuka, plus 25 others. With more than 78 acres, the orchard uses a special system that allows for easier reach while picking. Open from September 4 through November 1, pricing depends on the weekend. There are also several pass options so you can pick which one works best for you and your family.
Multiple locations; harbesfamilyfarm.com
2. TWIN STAR ORCHARDS IN NEW PALTZ, NY (1 HOUR, 30 MINUTES FROM NYC)
Less than two hours from the city, you’ll find a little slice of apple-scented heaven in the form of this idyllic spot. The orchard grows several sustainably farmed varieties, including Macoun, Jonagold and Empire. After filling an “ugly apples taste better” tote bag, stick around for live music, wood-fired pizza, burgers and craft brews and Brooklyn Cider House ciders—both of which can be enjoyed outside, while maintaining a safe distance. Masks are optional for those who have been fully vaccinated, but required for those who have not. Dogs are welcome, too, so bring the whole family for a perfect Fall day.
155 N. Ohioville Rd., New Paltz, NY; twinstarorchards.com
3. APPLE DAVE’S ORCHARDS IN WARWICK, NY (1 HOUR, 20 MINUTES FROM NYC)
When someone calls out, “Hey! We have cider doughnuts!” you have to answer that call. And, at Apple Dave’s Orchards, you’ll be very happy you did. Open six days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Labor Day weekend, you’ll find all the makings of a perfect fall day at this charmer in the Warwick Valley. Even better? No reservations required and there are no parking or admission fees. Choose from 10 varieties of apples that are ripe between September and October or head to the pumpkin patch for some pre-Halloween decor for your stoop, window or desk. And definitely grab a cocktail or a doughnut and spend some time enjoying the lovely outdoor area that overlooks a pond.
82 Four Corners Rd., Warwick, NY; applewoodorchards.com
4. GOLDEN HARVEST FARMS IN VALATIE, NY (2 HOURS, 30 MINUTES FROM NYC)
A bit farther than you might think to go—it’s just south of Albany—Golden Harvest is worth the trek. The 60-acre orchard offers lots of Instagram opportunities, but more importantly, it’s blissfully uncrowded. It’s also dedicated to responsible farming, including pruning, innovation and new plantings. (It has added SnapDragon and RubyFrost to its trees, and has also extended its acreage of Honey Crisp apples!) Head inside to grab a jug of cider (freshly pressed, not boozy), filled apple turnovers and some cider doughnuts hot off the machine. And if you like pie, you’ll find nine homemade varieties here, including apple nut caramel. Don’t want to pick yourself? Hit the road stand for seasonal fruits, veggies, free-range eggs, mums, pumpkins and decorative Fall goodies.
3074 Rte. 9, Valatie, NY; goldenharvestfarms.com
5. HARVEST MOON FARM & ORCHARD IN NORTH SALEM, NY (1 HOUR FROM NYC)
A family-owned favorite, Harvest Moon has started taking reservations for weekend apple picking opening weekend on September 11. Your reservation includes entry for up to four people (kids under 10 go free), one half bushel apple picking bag (which holds approximately 25 pounds) and admission to the farm store and pumpkin patch. The on-site restaurant has an expansive menu of breakfast and lunch bites, too. All of this fall fun, however, will only be on weekends, as the farm doesn’t allow guests during the week.
130 Hardscrabble Rd., North Salem, NY; harvestmoonfarmandorchard.com
6. WILKENS FRUIT & FIR FARM IN YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY (1 HOUR FROM NYC)
This year marks the 105th harvest season for this Westchester homestead, so yeah, you could say the Wilkens family (which still runs the place) knows a thing or two about apples. Along with pumpkins and many local-favorite varieties like Winesap and Northern Spy, the farm is known for growing another season-specific crop: “choose-n-cut” Christmas trees. Don’t leave without a visit to the corn maze and bakery (in that order).
1335 White Hill Rd., Yorktown Heights, NY; wilkensfarm.com
7. GIAMARESE FARM & ORCHARDS IN EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ (1 HOUR FROM NYC)
After loading your bag with apples (Suncrisp, Golden Delicious, Nittany, Red Delicious, and Winesap varieties currently available), check out the greenhouse and market to stock up on plants and baked goods. Fun for a weekday, the weekend’s fall harvest atmosphere is where it’s at. The Farm adds pony rides, hayrides and a corn maze.
155 Fresh Ponds Rd, East Brunswick, NJ; giamaresefarm.com
8. MELICK’S TOWN FARM IN OLDWICK, NJ (1 HOUR FROM NYC)
Where better to embrace the season’s bounty than at the largest apple orchard in New Jersey? Book a reservation online to pick your own apples or check out the Cider Mill. Love flowers? The Oldwick Farm Market is open with no reservations required. Just bring your own garden shears and cut fresh flowers until your heart is full. As if you needed another reason to get to the farm, there is one -- Melick's Town Farm hard cider, apple wine, rose, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are all available on-site. Cheers!
Multiple locations; melickstownfarm.com
9. BARTON ORCHARDS IN POUGHQUAG, NY (1 HOUR, 40 MINUTES FROM NYC)
Stock up on Pristines, Early Golds, and Ginger Golds that you can pick yourself at this apple orchard. The best part? You only pay for what you pick. And, it gets even better as this popular apple picking spot has plenty of fall activities to keep visitors entertained, including an ice cream stand famous for its apple cider doughnut sundae, a dog park, a petting zoo, mini golf and the taproom offering local craft beer, cider, and wine.
63 Apple Tree Ln, Poughquag, NY; bartonorchards.com
10. MASKER ORCHARDS IN WARWICK, NY (1 HOUR 20 MINUTES FROM NYC)
This 100-plus-year-old farm is allowing visitors to drive in their cars to any of their 10,000 trees in order to avoid unnecessary exposure to other people and parties. And once you’ve picked your spot, you can enjoy a picnic while you collect your apples. New for this year, though: No apple pies or donuts will be sold at the exit, as they used to be. However, there will be whole apple pies and half dozen and full dozen donuts sold at Grandma's Apple Pie and Donut Shop. Single slices and doughnuts will be served at the Snack Barn. On the weekdays, pies and doughnuts will be served at The Country Store.
45 Ball Rd, Warwick, NY; maskers.com
11. DEMAREST FARMS IN HILLSDALE, NJ (1 HOUR FROM NYC)
Home to more than 14 varieties of apples, this orchard—just 30 miles from the city—is now open for reservations. For the full experience, please make sure to arrive promptly, as you will only have a set amount of time to explore all of the things this farm has to offer. For $7, you’ll have access to the petting zoo, orchard and playground. There’s also an on-site café that serves homemade soups, freshly baked pies and apple cider doughnuts so good, they made the cover of Bergen magazine.
244 Wierimus Rd., Hillsdale, NJ; demarestfarms.com
12. ROSE HILL FARMS, RED HOOK, NY (1 HOUR FROM NYC)
Established in 1798, Rose Hill Farms is a Hudson Valley must-go. Known for growing a variety of fruits—like cherries and blueberries—on it’s 114-acre farm, the establishment puts an emphasis on plant and soil health. The best part? After you spend time filling your apple bag and taking the cutest Insta photos ever, you can head to the taproom and bottle shop for wine and cider. Check out the calendar of events for live music, food pop-ups, events and classes to schedule your visit accordingly.
19 Rose Hill Farm, Red Hook, NY; pickrosehillfarm.com
13. ANGRY ORCHARD CIDER HOUSE, WALDEN, NY (1.25 HOURS FROM NYC)
OK, you may not want to pick your own apples but you still may want to get festive! Well, we have a solution to that—Angry Orchard Cider House. You can sip on cider, cider cocktails and some of the brand’s most unique offerings, while sitting surrounded by stunning views of hills and apple orchards. There’s food available on-site, as well as through weekend food trucks and you can tour the orchard, too. A don’t miss: The Treehouse tour. It has the best views of the Shawangunk Mountains.
2241 Albany Post Rd, Walden, NY; angryorchard.com
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