Apple picking season is the best time of year, no matter what the temperature outside might be. While many people’s favorite time of year may be the summer, with its long days and beautiful weather, there’s just something about apple season that has everyone in good spirits and ready to go on an adventure. After all, it’s hard not to feel happy when you know you’re about to get your hands on some fresh, juicy apples! If you’re interested in finding the best places to go apple picking in the US this fall, read on!
Best in the East – Beak and Skiff
The top apple orchard in the US in 2021 was Beak and Skiff in Lafayette, New York. Since it has been a family-run orchard for more than 100 years, they must be doing something right. They cultivate a number of apple varieties in addition to holding entertaining festivals and events all year long. In 2020, their event calendar includes: KidsFest (September), Harvest Weekends (October) and Apple Days (November). If you are looking for some good cider too, visit them during December when they open up their cider house.
Best in the South – Mercier Orchards
When they host their annual You-Pick apple event in the fall, this orchard in Blue Ridge, Georgia, grows more than 50 different varieties of apples. A bakery on the property sells pastries like apple hand pies and cider made with fruit from the orchard for those who would rather take it easy. Visitors can also pick pumpkins and vegetables as well as other goodies during October’s Pumpkin Festival.
In Northern Virginia – Lazy J Orchards: The Shenandoah Valley is home to more than 500 acres of old-fashioned apple trees that are perfect for picking; guests can bring their own bags or purchase one at the farm store.
Best in the Midwest – Deal’s Orchard
Another family-run orchard near the Iowan hamlet of Jefferson is called Deal’s. They cultivate several types of apples, using some of them to produce their own handmade cider. They provide pick-your-own events as well as other kid-friendly seasonal activities throughout the fall. Bartlett’s Orchards: Located just north of Bloomington, Illinois, Bartlett’s offers apple picking from mid-August through November. and offers a variety of pick your own options during the autumn season.