Crisp, juicy and delightfully tart, there’s nothing quite like a good apple. Where would we be without the orchards that grow them?
The orchards are as unique as the apples themselves, each offering a different variety and a flavor that’s all its own. The best part? You get to take part in the process, seeing where these apples come from… and, of course, taking a few home for yourself, too!
Read on to learn more about a few top orchards on our list.
Mt. View Orchards, OR
While we may traditionally associate apple picking with the famous Eastern orchards, the West Coast has got something truly special—orchards with a one-of-a-kind view. Take, for example, Mt. View Orchards in Oregon. Like its name might suggest, this destination offers unparalleled vistas to see and enjoy as you pick your fruit. Bite into a crisp, juicy apple as you soak in the picturesque backdrop of Mt. Hood and the vivid foliage that surrounds you.
In addition to “u-pick” fun, Mt. View Orchards is characterized by its wealth of culture to enjoy. Every fall, guests are invited to enjoy a hearty Swiss dinner on Swiss-Edelweiss Day, a celebration of the orchard’s unique heritage. Fans of the orchard also love celebrating its de-facto mascot, Carlos the Steer!
Stribling Orchard, VA
While they may be closed for the season, Stribling Orchard in Markham, Virginia is worth making the trek next fall. Nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, the orchard has become a beloved local mainstay after first planting 100 apple trees in 1765.
Stribling offers just about every kind of apple you might crave—from the classic Fuji and Granny Smith, to the extra-tart Smokehouse and Rambo which are perfect for baking.
Speaking of baking, that’s something Stribling does especially well. Open on in-season weekends, the Harvest House and Bakery provides guests a chance to see the fresh-picked apples in action—served up in the form of apple pie, butter, cake and much more.
Mercier Orchards, GA
Down in Georgia, the Mercier Orchards is your go-to destination for summertime picking and the refreshing indulgence of hard cider and wine. After a day of fun at the orchard, you can kick back with a delicious, handcrafted beverage at the only Georgia destination that grows, presses, ferments and bottles its own product—so enjoying a treat here is a truly one-of-a-kind experience!
A delicious on-site deli offers up breakfast and lunch to round out the trip. Come help Mercier celebrate its 75th anniversary in the year ahead!
Sky Top Orchard, NC
At Sky Top Orchard in North Carolina, you don’t just get to pick delicious apples. You get to see them put to use in warm, equally appetizing ways—like the fresh apple cider donuts that are made right in front of guests! There’s no better way to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Come back next fall for beautiful views atop Mt. McAlpine—and don’t forget to explore the fun features that are unique to Sky Top, like a bamboo forest and animal area where the whole family can get to know friendly farm animals.
Poverty Lane Orchards, NH
Don’t let the name fool you—Poverty Lane is rich with charm and apple-picking fun. The orchard offers you the chance to step back in time and enjoy one-of-a-kind flavors and experiences you can’t find just anywhere. Indulge in the same “uncommon” heirloom apples that President Thomas Jefferson was known to enjoy!
In addition to offering beautiful stretches of land where you can pick your favorite, juiciest apples, Poverty Lane does something interesting—it grows the “bad apples,” too. While they may not make for a great snack, Poverty Lane’s team learned that the tasty eating and baking apples didn’t necessarily lend themselves to good cider—a popular product of Poverty Lane. So, they reserve certain apples for fermentation alone, leading to truly one-of-a-kind cider blends you’ll want to write home about.
Can’t wait to enjoy some apple goodness? We can help. At Peach Valley Café, our favorite way to experience that fresh apple flavor is with our Orchard Fresh Apple Fritters! Cooked to perfection in our homemade batter, then tossed with cinnamon sugar, there’s no better way to satisfy your apple cravings this season and beyond.