Fall is in the air, and there’s nothing more quintessentially autumn than apple picking. Here, 12 of the best orchards across the country. Whether you’re going for the fresh fruit, cider doughnuts or Instagram appeal, here’s the best orchard for your picking needs.
The Best Apple-Picking Orchards in America
Mercier Orchards (blue Ridge, Ga): Best For Boozy Apple Picking
Look, apple picking isn’t just for kids. After an hour of grabbing Fujis and Galas, it's time to turn your attention to the homemade hard ciders and wines at this southern orchard. (The winter blackberry wine sounds absolutely heavenly.) Don’t leave without trying a wine slushy, made from Mercier's homemade peach and apple wines.
Carter Mountain Orchard (charlottesville, Va): Best For Leaf Peeping
The ever-popular Carter Mountain Orchard overlooks the scenic Shenandoah Valley, which is essentially a gold mine for fall foliage. Here’s the game plan: Arrive in late afternoon, just in time to enjoy the weekly sunset series, where you can pick to your heart’s content, then stay for wine and live music with a view of the valley.
Fishkill Farms (fishkill, Ny): Best For Shopping The Farmers' Market
Of course you came for the apples, and you’ll go home with bushels of Macouns and Cortlands. But this Hudson Valley orchard also boasts an impressive farm store where you can load up on everything from fresh eggs to homegrown veggies.
Brown's Orchards & Farm Market (loganville, Pa): Best For Post-picking Dinner
Of all the events at Brown’s Orchards, our favorite is the Orchard to Table dinner series hosted through early fall. Get your apple picking done early, then book a seat for the festive meal (it's $60 per person). Each of the five courses is made with homegrown apples—think pork with apple chutney and caramel-apple tarts—and served in a gorgeous, autumn setting.
Blake's Orchard & Cider Mill (armada, Mi): Best For The Full Fall Experience
In addition to apple picking, you’ll find a pumpkin patch, hayrides, a petting zoo, haunted barn, corn mazes, and donuts and caramel apples galore. The only way to end a day is with a hard cider and wine tasting at the Cider Mill.
Patterson Fruit Farm (chesterland, Oh): Best For Doughnuts
A day of apple picking is only as good as the doughnuts, and Patterson’s on-site bakery is out of this world. You can smell the fried dough from a mile away, which will lead you to a line of people waiting to get their hands on the huge apple fritters, freshly baked doughnuts and juicy pies.