Best Apple Picking in Virginia and Fun Apple Festivals Near Washington DC
Fall is in the air and that means one thing: it's apple picking season! If you're looking for the best apple picking spots in Virginia, look no further. We've compiled a list of some of our favorite orchards near Washington DC. Not only are they great for apple picking, but many of them also have fun festivals going on throughout the fall season.
Apple picking in Virginia is a family-friendly activity that connects kids with nature and the food they eat. Discover the best places to go apple picking in Virginia at 15 lovely orchards with entertaining apple festivals, perfect for a day trip from Washington DC. Of course, couples that enjoy the outdoors can also use apple harvesting as a romantic date idea.
Our list of the top 16 apple orchards in Virginia features 16 outstanding locations throughout Northern Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley, and the vicinity of Charlottesville. Additionally, we provide a list of apple festivals and fruit markets where you can have fun throughout apple season with or without harvesting. Our list's conclusion includes advice and a practical map of Virginia's top apple-picking locations.
When is Virginia's prime apple-picking season?
Virginia's apple-picking season begins in August and lasts through October. The apple types grown at some of the orchards on our list number over 20, thus picking options fluctuate week to week.
Early August sees the ripening of late summer fruits including McIntosh, Gala, and summer apple cultivars like Lodi and Rambo. Virginia produces a variety of apples in September, including Honey Crisp, Red and Golden Delicious, and Smokehouse. Granny Smith, Fuji, York, and Rome are cultivars that are available in October.
Virginia Apple Picking Locations
Your schedule and mood will determine which Virginia apple orchard is the finest. Are you seeking for calm farms where you can just pick apple orchards with additional activities for kids? If you're only going on a day vacation, a picturesque route and stunning scenery can be your top priorities.
Crooked Run Orchard, Purcellville VA
A tiny family farm that has been in the Brown family for more than 250 years is Crooked Run Orchard. Take a bucket from a neighbor and cross the creek to the orchard (you can also bring your own apple picking bucket). In July and early August, Crooked Run offers blackberry and peach picking as well as the sale of apple cider and other fruits and vegetables.
The hours for pick-your-own fruit vary, and the orchard is closed on Monday and Tuesday. Before leaving, click the link to view the most recent updates. There are picnic tables and temporary restrooms accessible, and pets are permitted.
Great Country Farms, Bluemont VA
Great Country Farms, another favorite family amusement area in Loudoun County, offers seasonal apple harvesting in late August and early September. Through September, the farm's yearly Apple Harvest and Corn Maze is open (earlier when Labor Day weekend is in August).
Wagon excursions to the u-pick apple orchard, cider pressing demonstrations, and a sizable children's play area are available to guests during the apple harvest. Allow time for lunch and a drink by the pond at Henway Hard Cider. Live music and extra activities are available on weekends.
For weekdays, admission is $10 for kids and adults, and it is $12 on weekends in September. Dogs on leashes are permitted. The entrance price does not include apples. Weekday hours are 9:00 – 5:00; weekends are 6:00.
Hartland Orchard, Markham VA
In Markham, one of our favorite tiny towns in Northern Virginia, take in more breathtaking vistas at Hartland Orchard. Throughout the season, the orchard provides a variety of u-pick alternatives. Apples, cherries, peaches, and blueberries are among the fruits that can be picked. In the late summer, you can also harvest sunflowers and tomatoes. In the fall, there is a lovely pick-your-own pumpkin patch.
Hartland is free to enter and is open from 9:00 to 5:00 (check the days). The orchard is a wonderful place for a picnic with a breathtaking view and welcomes dogs on leashes.
Stribling Orchard, Markham VA
The stunning hillside location of Stribling Orchards, which opens in mid-August 2022, is home to 2500 apple trees and 800 peach trees. One of our favorite spots to go our kids apple picking has always been Stribling. Get a picking pole at the Harvest House, then drive or walk up to the orchard. Take your time and roam; there are many different apple kinds to choose from.
During apple picking season, Stribling is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (last entry at 4:30). Dogs are not permitted on the farm, however you are welcome to visit Milano the horse and other four-legged animals. Jams, jellies, honey, hot sauces, local eggs, meat, and other items are available at the farm store.
Hollin Farms, Delaplane VA
Located in Fauquier County, Virginia, on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hollin Farms is a fourth-generation family farm. The farm offers a variety of pick-your-own fruits and vegetables, in addition to apples, such as pears, nectarines, plums, and sweet corn. Visit during the summer to see the lovely flower fields, which include u-pick sunflowers. The farm also specializes in pasture-raised, free-range beef that is all-natural.
Pick-your-own hours change based on the availability of fruit and the climate. See what's available and when the farm will be open this week by clicking the link. Sky Meadows State Park is close by, so make it a day excursion.
Valley View Farm, Delaplane VA
Visit Valley View Farm in picturesque Fauquier County in September and October to go apple picking. The winery, cidery, farm market, and u-pick orchard on the fifth-generation farm make for a wonderful combo.
Visit the tasting room to sip wine, cider, or mead and browse the vintage Red Barn's selection of regional agricultural items. An excellent selection of regional products, including honey, sauces, syrups, peanuts, fudge, cheeses, and more, are available at the Locavore Farm Market.
Mackintosh Fruit Farm, Berryville VA
Near Winchester, Virginia, in the town of Berryville, is the Mackintosh Fruit Farm. Along with many other fruits and veggies, the farm offers u-pick apples. They also have a restaurant that serves food from the farm's crops and a farm stand. Apple cider donuts are among the delectable sweets available at the Macintosh bakery.
Thursday through Saturday, 8:00 to 6:00 (picking ends at 5:00), and Sunday, 10:00 to 6:00, are the hours that the farm is open for u-pick. The entrance cost to the orchard is $2 per person for picking (children under 5 are free). Dogs on leashes are allowed, except for harvesting ground crops (e.g. strawberries). Although the orchard is off-limits to picnics, the restaurant has outdoor, covered dining.
Marker-Miller Orchards, Winchester VA
The Marker-Miller Orchards in Winchester is one of the top locations for Virginia apple picking with children. Kids can take advantage of a sizable play area and corn maze in addition to apple harvesting. There are tables for picnics and rocking chairs where you can relax and enjoy the countryside views.
For adorable family shots during apple season, a playful apple statue is ideal. Additionally, everyone will savor the farm store's freshly baked pies and apple cider donuts. The yearly Apple Harvest Festival offers even more entertainment and food (October 8-9 in 2022).
Pick-your-own containers can be purchased when you check in at the market. Open from 9:00 to 6:00 on weekdays (to 5:00 on Saturday). Between 12:00 and 5:00 on Sundays in September and October. Dogs on leashes are welcome on the property, but not inside the shop.
Rinker Orchards, Stephens City VA
In Frederick County, Virginia, there is a third-generation family farm called Rinker Orchards. They raise 10 different species of apples and make 100% natural apple cider, which is available for purchase at the farm store. Early September to Columbus Day typically marks Rinkers' apple-picking season. Fresh cider is also offered during the Christmas season.
Fruit Hill Orchard, Palmyra
The Thomas Jefferson Parkway leads southeast from Charlottesville to Fruit Hill Orchard, a five-generation family farm with more than 2,000 fruit trees and substantial vegetable beds. Early August sees the opening of pick-your-own apple orchards with varieties ideal for back-to-school lunches.
The orchard is open from 10:00 till 6:00 on Monday through Saturday. Give yourself enough time to enjoy the scenery, go on a picnic, or play a round of corn hole. To understand more about this 100-year-old orchard, make sure to visit the Apple Museum.
Richard's Fruit Market, Back Creek VA
Richard's Fruit Market is a pleasant, kid-friendly stop in the Winchester region even though there isn't a u-pick option. If you're fortunate, you'll get to see the antique apple sorter in action as it arranges a bouquet of u-pick flowers. When in season, Richard's Market is open every day from 9:00 to 5:00. (10:00 – 4:00 on Sundays).
Silver Creek & Seamans Orchard, Tyro
One of Virginia's best places for apple picking is the Shenandoah Valley. Select days in September and October are pick-your-own apple days at Silver Creek & Seamans' Orchard. Additionally, they make their own apple cider, and they hold an annual festival for apple butter.
Dickie Brothers Orchard, Roseland
At Dickie Brothers Orchard, apple picking in Virginia kicks off in mid-August. This family farm goes all the way back to the 1700s when King George sold the land to James Dickie. Today, they harvest 70,000 bushels of apples a year. Follow the link for guidance on when the 20 varieties of apples will be ready for picking. The season ends with u-pick Pink Lady apples in early November.
The orchard is open Thursday through Sunday, and the market is open daily. Pets are not allowed in the orchard so leave your furry friend at home.
Drumheller's Orchard, Lovingston
In Lovingston, families visit Drumheller's Orchard to select peaches, apples, blueberries, and blackberries. Drumheller's invites school excursions from late September through October, teachers beware. Give children a hands-on lesson about apple harvesting in Virginia by scheduling your visit in advance.
The orchard and market are open every day from 9:00 to 5:00 on Tuesday through Sunday (noon – 5:00 Sunday). They also hold a September Harvest Festival over a weekend.
Morris Orchard, Monroe
Continue south toward Lynchburg and the base of High Peak Mountain to reach Morris Orchard for some enjoyable apple picking. The family farm offers a selection of fruits and vegetables, including blackberries and apples that can be picked at your leisure. Stop in for their renowned on-site-pressed apple cider even if you don't want to select your own apples.
In early August, stock up on early apple varieties like Gala and Ginger Gold, and check the calendar to see what's ripe each week. Even heirloom types like Arkansas Black and Winesap are available. The market is open from 8:00 to 5:00 on Monday through Saturday.
Carter Mountain Orchard, Charlottesville VA
If you're looking for a great apple picking experience, look no further than Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville. The views from the top of the mountain are absolutely breathtaking and the apples are delicious. The orchard also has a corn maze, hayrides, and a cider mill - perfect for a fall day trip!
Just down the road from Carter Mountain Orchard is Marker-Miller Orchards, another great option for apple picking near DC. In addition to apples, they also have a pumpkin patch and offer hayrides and cider mill tours. The orchard is also home to a cute country store where you can find all sorts of delicious fall treats.
At Carter Mountain, apple picking is available from the middle of August until November. The orchard contains more than 20 different apple varieties, ranging from early-ripening Lodi to late-ripening Albemarle Pippin.
Visit on a weekday if you can because this is a highly popular orchard and it gets packed on the weekends. You need a ticket to enter the Country Store area on weekends when apple picking is at its busiest. You can reserve a 3-hour timed access session for $8 (children under 12 are admitted free). Apples come at an extra cost.
Or forego the apple picking and enjoy the FREE picturesque drive instead. A dirt road hugging the slope of the mountain is used for the beautiful journey. You can buy apples, cider, cider doughnuts, and other delights while enjoying lovely orchard views from the comfort of your car. As you approach the mountain's summit, keep an eye out for the turn-off to take the scenic route.
Tips for Virginia Apple Picking
Virginia's apple picking season extends from early August through October, as was already mentioned. The finest apple harvesting period is from mid-September until mid-October. Numerous apple types, such as Gala, Red and Yellow Delicious, and Fuji, are grown in the majority of orchards.
Always follow by these basic guidelines for choosing apples:
The apple trees are not for climbing. Do not allow your children to sit on apple branches or climb trees. Apple branches are lovely and alluring, but they are also delicate.
Avoid wasting fruit. Pay for it if you choose it.
Dogs are frequently restricted in agricultural businesses and orchards. If you intend to bring a pet, see the rules.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your friends or family and head to one of these great apple picking spots in Virginia. You're sure to have a fun-filled day!
What are your favorite apple picking spots in Virginia? Let us know in the comments below!
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