With autumn in full swing, we’re sharing some of the items on our seasonal to-do list. We’ve already crossed off Oktoberfest and foliage tours, but this one is my personal favorite. Reserve123 is headquartered in the great southern state of Georgia, so we don’t go apple “picking;” we proudly tackle the task of apple “pickin,” and by George, we sure know how’da pick em’!
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Since Atlanta is smack in the middle of the state, those living in the city have to take a mini roadtrip out to the farm or orchard of their choice, but there are plenty to choose from on the outskirts of the metro area. My personal recommendation is a little further north: Mercier Orchards, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They offer a U-Pick package every weekend in October, which includes a peck size bag and a tractor ride. For one low price, you pick as many apples as you can stuff inside the tote. When you’re done, head over to the pumpkin patch to select your Jack-O-Lantern canvas.
Mercier Orchards: Monday-Sunday, 7AM-8PM
8660 Blue Ridge Drive
Blue Ridge, GA 30513
Toll Free: 800.361.7731
New England is another great spot for apple picking. City dwellers may have a hard time venturing outside the major areas without their own vehicle, but it’s well worth the ride. Hicks Orchard in Upstate New York (Washington County) has gotten rave reviews, and their apple picking season concludes at the end of this month. Get them before they’re gone! It’s a family owned establishment, so it’s got that “down home” feel. They’ve also got raspberries available for picking.
Hicks Orchard: Monday-Sunday, 9AM-6PM
18 Hicks Road
Granville NY, 12832
In my opinion, the Midwest has the best apple orchards in North America. Of course since I grew up in Michigan, my viewpoint is slightly biased, but still. Michigan-grown McIntosh apples are absolutely perfect in a batch of homemade apple cider, and there are lots of other varieties native to this part of the country. Specifically, East-Central Michigan has an organic orchard in Genesee county: Almar Orchard. There’s also a family picnic area with a petting zoo for the little ones.
Almar Orchard: Monday-Saturday, 9AM-6PM, Sunday 12PM-6PM
1431 Duffield Road
Flushing, MI 48433
Southern California may not experience vast temperature changes this time of year, but there are still apples ripe for the picking. Sky Meadows farms in LA County offers pesticide-free fruit, including apples, apricots, cherries and peaches. The farmers are friendly and always willing to offer up new recipe ideas. Pick them yourself or buy a fresh bushel for some dinnertime pies and cobblers.
Sky Meadow Farms: Saturday & Sunday ONLY, 9AM-5PM
11212 Elizabeth Lake Road
Leona Valley, CA 93551
The Pacific Northwest offers numerous great options for berry picking, but central Washington State is also the home of some amazing apple orchards. Try Bill’s Berry Farm for an organic alternative. Right now, their apples, pumpkins, squash and gourds are ready to ride home with you and add something special to your next meal. The Apple and Pumpkin festival is currently being held every Saturday this month.
Bill’s Berry Farm: Monday-Saturday, while the fruit is ripe
3674 N. County Line Road
Grandview, WA 98930
Hopefully you’re inspired to go pick some apples (and other fresh fruit of your choice) this season. An extensive list of orchard/farm options is available at Pick Your Own, so let us know which location you choose! Always make sure to call or email before you visit, since countless variables affect the availability of each harvest.