Create lifelong memories during an apple picking excursion at these superb orchards. Few activities signal fall in America like apple picking. Though East Coast states like Massachusetts and Virginia have far-reaching ties to the apple industry, there are orchards around the country where foodies, families and fall enthusiasts alike can pick their own produce, enjoy hayrides, sip fresh cider and more.
1. Applecrest Farm Orchards: Hampton Falls, New Hampshire
This fourth-generation orchard in southeastern New Hampshire is the state’s oldest and largest. Apple picking season begins in mid-August and ends in late October, though which varieties are ripe varies by month. You can pick apples any day between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., with prices starting at $15 per bag.
2. Apple Dave’s Orchards: Warwick, New York
The orchard, which is located roughly 60 miles northwest of New York City, opens its fields to pickers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily between Labor Day weekend and late October. Picking varieties range from Cortland to Honeycrisp to Jonagold, and prices start at $8.50 for every full half-peck bag.
3. Sky Top Orchard: Flat Rock, North Carolina
Apple fees are posted by the trees and are calculated by weight, with each picking basket holding approximately 10 pounds of apples. At least one basket is required for every six people. Picking hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. daily between mid-July and mid-October.
4. All Seasons Orchard: Woodstock, Illinois
All Seasons Orchard is home to more than 15,000 apple trees, with varieties like Gala and Honeycrisp available for picking. Apple picking is available daily between 10 a.m. and 5 or 6 p.m. from Sept. 1 to Nov. 4. Fees start at $8 per quarter-peck bag.
5. Bear Swamp Orchard and Cidery: Ashfield, Massachusetts
At the solar-powered Bear Swamp Orchard and Cidery in northwestern Massachusetts, travelers can pick Liberty and Jonafree apples from late September through Columbus Day weekend. Though picking hours are limited to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. or noon to 5 or 6 p.m.