The Best Places to Pick Apples and Pumpkins Near NYC
Yes, you can load up on Fujis during your next Whole Foods run. But where’s the fun in that? You happen to live smack-dab in the middle of apple country, which means pastoral charm, freshly pressed cider and farm-made doughnuts are just a quick drive away.
TWIN STAR ORCHARDS (NEW PALTZ, NY; 1.75 HOURS 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 upstate sibling to Bushwick’s Brooklyn Cider House. The orchard grows several sustainably farmed varieties, including Macoun, Jonagold and Empire. After filling an “ugly apples taste better” tote bag, stick around for wood-fired pizza and free hard cider tastings. P.S. You can also taste the peak-season fruits at Brooklyn Cider House’s Apple Harvest Festival on October 7.
155 N. Ohioville Rd., New Paltz, NY; twinstarorchards.com
Harbes Family Farm (2.5 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.
Multiple locations; harbesfamilyfarm.com
GOLDEN HARVEST FARMS (VALATIE, NY; 2.75 HOURS 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 important, it’s blissfully uncrowded. Head inside to grab a jug of cider (freshly pressed, not boozy) and some doughnuts hot off the machine. And if you like pie, you’ll find nine homemade varieties here, including apple nut caramel. Afterward, take in all the Capital District has to offer by checking out the governor’s mansion, hitting a museum or heading to bustling, historic Lark Street for window-shopping and restaurant hopping.
3074 Rte. 9, Valatie, NY; goldenharvestfarms.com
APPLE DAVE’S ORCHARDS & APPLEWOOD WINERY (WARWICK, NY; 1.75 HOURS FROM NYC)
You’ll find all the makings of a perfect fall day at this charmer in the Warwick Valley. Choose from 11 varieties of apples (McIntosh and Cortland are especially good now) or head to the pumpkin patch for some pre-Halloween decor for your stoop, window or desk. The winery, located on the same property, offers more than a dozen wines ($6 for a tasting of five), plus a lovely outdoor area—complete with picnic tables, corn hole and often live music—overlooking a pond. Round out your trip with an applewood-fired pizza or a cheese board.
82 Four Corners Rd., Warwick, NY; applewoodorchards.com
WILKENS FRUIT & FIR FARM (YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY; 1.25 HOURS FROM NYC)
This year marks the 102nd 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 winery and the corn maze—in that order, if you like a challenge.
1335 White Hill Rd., Yorktown Heights, NY; wilkensfarm.com
HARVEST MOON FARM & ORCHARD (NORTH SALEM, NY; 1.5 HOURS FROM NYC)
A family-friendly favorite, Harvest Moon goes full-out fall festival on weekends in October. As of this week, most of the trees have been heavily picked over, but you’ll still find plenty of apples in bins (which counts as a plus if you’re lazy). Regardless, you should still stop by for seasonal festivities like a corn maze, hayrides, face painting, bounce houses and something called “apple cannons.”
130 Hardscrabble Rd., North Salem, NY; harvestmoonfarmandorchard.com
DEMAREST FARMS (HILLSDALE, NJ; 1 HOUR FROM NYC)
Home to more than 14 varieties of apples, this orchard—just 30 miles from the city—charges only $10 for a huge bag to fill on your way through the trees. You’ll also find a pumpkin patch, a peach orchard (not currently in season) and a petting zoo (whose residents include a handful of piglets, baby goats and alpacas). 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