As far as we’re concerned, it’s not truly fall until you’ve made a recipe that includes apples. With so many places to handpick all sorts of varieties for pies, crisps, and tarts, there’s no reason to rely on the selection at the grocery store. Take a look at the best spots to find that crucial autumn ingredient.
Johnson’s Orchards (Yakima, WA)
Through December, apples are in season at the family-owned Johnson Orchards. However, you’ll also see pears, plums, and pluots (that’s a combination of a plum and apricot) depending on when you stop by. The onsite bake shop serves up delicious pies, and bottles of vino from local winemaker Purple Star are also available for purchase.
Bear Swamp Orchard & Cidery (Ashfield, MA)
This solar-powered orchard is a great choice for both adults and kids alike, as they offer tastings of hard cider in addition to pick-your-own Cortlands, Macintoshes, Golden Deliciouses, and more. The best part? Everything is organic! When you’ve dropped your haul off in the car, take a hike at the adjacent Bear Swamp Reserve.
Dr. Davies Farm (Congers, NY)
If you’re looking for a complete fall fun experience, look no further than Dr. Davies Farm. With hay rides and a market that offers a variety of fresh fruits, veggies, and baked goods, it’s easy to get into the spirit of the season here. But before you go nuts with autumn goodies, be forewarned that the farm is cash only.
Stribling Orchard (Markham, VA)
This Shenandoah Valley orchard goes way, way back — we’re talking 200 years — offering scenic views and 30 acres of apple trees to, um, pick from. Grab some homemade apple butter, jelly, salsa, or even barbecue sauce and head out to the farm’s hilltop picnic area for a snacking session to remember. If you stop by over Columbus Day Weekend, don’t miss the fall festival, which is complete with a petting zoo, live music, and craft vendors.
Alyson’s Orchard (Walpole, NH)
While it’s developed a reputation in the area as the go-to wedding venue, let’s not forget about its original claim to fame. There’s plenty of picking to be had here; you’ll find Macintoshes, Winesaps, Gravensteins and more. Plus, all of Alyson’s apples have been “eco-apple” certified, meaning that the orchard uses specific agricultural practices to minimize pesticide usage and environmental harm. Good-tasting and good for the environment? It’s a win-win.