Apple Picking in Virginia – The notion of apple picking is one that conjures up romantic images of happy families exploring picturesque orchards and picking crisp red fruit with golden leaves. Add to that stunning location of Virginia and the perfect family activity has been created, with no tech in sight! As you explore Virginia in the autumn be sure to get out into the countryside to enjoy the delights of the traditional, bucolic orchards and take some time enjoying the most classic of fall activities – pick-your-own apples! Apple picking season in VA begins in late August and continues through to early November.
Please do check opening times and more details with each farm before your visit, just in case anything has changed since we published this post. Enjoy your apple picking!
1524 Snowden Road, Delaplane, VA 20144
Beautifully situated on the Blue Ridge Mountains is Hollin Farm, which has been in the same family for four generations.
“We specialize in a variety of pick-your-own fruits and vegetables, Angus cattle, and pasture-raised natural beef. We are open from late May through October.”
Apples are very popular fruits for guests to pick, and they tend to be at their best in September and October. There are many varieties of apples to choose from, including all the favorites, such as Gold Rush, Fuji, Pink Lady and Golden Delicious.
” We provide containers. Please do not bring bags, backpacks, large purses, coolers or picnic items into the orchard. Friendly dogs are welcome on a leash, but not in the vegetable areas.”
Carter Mountain Orchard
1435 Carters Mountain Trail, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Carter Mountain Orchard is very much a family affair, and so conveniently located, just a short drive from town large towns and you find yourselves in rural Virginia!
“Just minutes from downtown Charlottesville and Monticello, visitors overlook lush groves and breathtaking views of the valley below. Against this stunning backdrop, families and friends pick sun-ripened peaches and crisp apples while breathing in the fresh mountain air. From season to season, there’s always something fun! From mid-August until mid-December, you can pick your own apples or buy ready-picked apples, fresh-pressed apple cider, apple cider donuts (a runaway hit year after year), and our scrumptious apple pies. We grow many popular varieties of apples including Ginger Gold, Gala, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Jonathan, Rome, Stayman, Winesap, York, Granny Smith, Fuji and Pink Lady. Our apple harvest typically begins in late July and extends through mid-November. Generally, tart apples are best for cooking, while sweeter apples are preferred for snacking and for salads.
Why Apples…? “An apple a day… Apples are one of the most versatile foods around. They are delicious as main meals, desserts, side dishes, or just for eating. Next time you reach for that bag of potato chips, grab an apple instead!
Not only are apples low in calories and high in fiber, but nutritionists and scientists are finding that apples can prevent health problems or at least reduce health risks our bodies face every day. It’s their preventative and curative properties that are capturing the spotlight in numerous studies around the world.”
Stribling Orchard – Apple Picking in VA
11587 POVERTY HOLLOW LANE MARKHAM, VIRGINIA 22643
At Striblings Farm they are an absolute authority of fruit growing, having been learning their trade for over 200 years!
“We are a family-run pick your own orchard. We are the sixth generation of Striblings to farm this land, and we are proud of the fruit our family has grown for the last 200 years. Our apples are available from mid-August through early November. Beginning in September, we offer fresh cider and all sizes and shapes of pumpkins.
Come and enjoy a day in the country at our orchard. Relax, bring a picnic, and enjoy our breath-taking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Come see our historic buildings, visit our many farm animals, and pick some of Virginia’s finest fruit.
We have the following varieties of apples: McIntosh, Jonathan, Rambo Smokehouse, Mutsu Crispin, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Grimes Golden, Ida Red, and Cox Pippin.
From July to November we feature apples, peaches, pumpkins, cider, and fresh baked breads and pies.”
Dickie Brothers Orchard
Dickie Brothers Orchard is one of the oldest, longest running same-family owned and operated farms in the USA! That’s an impressive stat! They also have a fascinating history!
“Dickie Brothers Orchard has been in our family since England’s King George II sold three tracts of land to our Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather James Dickie in 1752, 1758 and 1760. Grandpa James was required to begin working the land within 3 years. Our family has been farming this land ever since… 269 years and 9 generations. Now, that’s sustainability!
We grow and produce quality products and sell at the lowest price we can in order to help our customers have quality food at a fair price, yet still allow us to continue to run our farm.
When mother nature allows us to grow a full crop, we harvest 70,000 bushels of apples per year! But, we don’t just grow a few varieties of apples… we grow 20 different varieties of apples as well as peaches, nectarines, plums, blackberries, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and much more.
PYO apples begins mid August.
How about some apple picking hints and tips. ”
Apples ripen from the outside of the tree towards the center, so the apples on the outside of the tree will ripen first. Once an apple is picked, it stops ripening.
Picking apples directly from a tree is easy. Roll the apple upwards off the branch and give a little twist; don’t pull straight away from the tree.
If two apples are joined together at the top, both will come away at the same time.
Don’t shake the trees or branches.
The tree may become damaged and we need to protect our trees to ensure they remain healthy.”
Fruit Hill Orchard
2745 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy, Palmyra, VA 22963
Fruit Hill Orchard is family run, with a passion for honest, sustainable fruit and veg. There is even an Apple Museum on site to visit!
“Our family has been in the orchard business for five generations. The orchard started in 1929 in Winchester, VA, but in 2000, our grandfather, Robert Solenberger, asked if he could plant “a few” apple trees in the front yard here in Palmyra so the grandkids could learn about the family business. He showed up with 900 apple trees, and our life hasn’t been the same since. Now we have over 2,000 fruit trees and annually plant thousands of other vegetables.
We have a large variety of apples available, both pick your own and pre-picked. Below, you’ll find a list of all of our varieties listed in the order they are available, as well as their approximate date of availability. The exact date depends on weather.
Late July Apples
Gala*, Blondie, Honeycrisp, Daybreak Fuji*
Golden Delicious*, Jonagold*, Ida Red, Nittany*, Crispin, Empire, York, Crimson Crisp, Rome
Stayman*, Winesap*, Fuji*, Gold Rush*, Arkansas Black*, Enterprise, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Pink Lady*
*please note that some years, we have more of some varieties than others, and occasionally we may have very light crops of some of our apple varieties. Please call in advance if you are looking for a specific variety.”
1218 Elmos Rd, Bedford, VA 24523
Johnson’s Orchard is a huge, beautifully situated farm, with a history of fame and TV apprearances!
“Johnson’s Orchards is a family owned and operated farm. Our farm is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 200+ acres have around 7500 apple trees with almost 200 different varieties planted. We have an apple we developed on site and named the ‘Gold Nugget’ in honor of the Beale Treasure. Our farm has been used by Unsolved Mysteries, in 1987, the BBC in 1999, Fox in 2000, the Travel Channel in 2002, and a Korean film crew in 2003 for their filming of the Beale Treasure.
As well as traditional apple-picking, at Johnson’s Orchard they also offer educational apple field trips!
“The trip in the fall months of September and October is designed to have children move through learning stations, each staffed by competent staff who will deal with various aspects of apples. They watch cider ground the old fashioned way and sample cider pasteurized the modern way. They experience picking apples and selecting apples. They learn about various horticultural practices and problems”
772 Princess Anne Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23457
You must have a ticket to pick!
226 Tobacco Row Ln, Monroe, VA 24574
“Morris Orchard is a family owned and operated farm. We are located at the foot of High Peak Mountain in Monroe Virginia. Our goal is to provide the freshest and highest quality produce possible as well as good times for all who visit. When you visit Morris Orchard you will have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the small farm atmosphere. We grow Apples, Peaches, Blueberries, Blackberries, and press Apple Cider.” With 17 varieties of apples, in season at different times through fall, you can be sure to enjoy some different tastes and flavors each time you visit!
And… if you love cider “Each year our focus on pressing high quality apple cider starts when the trees bloom in the spring and continues through harvest and into pressing, blending, and bottling our cider. There are no additives or preservatives, the only ingredient is apples. Over time we have become known for our signature blend of tart and sweet apple varieties.
Morris Orchard Apple Cider can be found at many farm markets, and shops through the area”.
Albemarle Cider Works & Vintage Virginia Apples
2545 Rural Ridge Ln, North Garden, VA 22959
At Albemarle Cider Works and Vintage Virginia Apples, you won’t find your average pick-your-own orchard. They have a fascinating philosophy and vision for their orchard business, which is explained in detail here.
“Vintage Virginia Apples was founded in 2000 by the Shelton family. In our orchard, we grow a variety of tree fruits that are becoming increasingly rare. Many of these are older varieties that have fallen into obscurity or just do not fit the needs of today’s commercial marketing and distribution systems. We began by planting a small array of interesting apples, which has grown now to more than 200 different cultivars, both heirloom and more recent varieties. We have also experimented with growing a variety of other fruits including peaches, pears and plums. Our nursery has grown from this love of vintage varieties, which we aim to share with like-minded orchardists by offering over 100 varieties of fruit trees from our collection through our fall/winter catalog which we post online each fall. Many of these varieties are virtually unobtainable elsewhere.
The principal purpose for the importance and ubiquity of apples was to produce cider. Many varieties were grown for, and tasted best in, a specific application. There were apples grown for culinary and dessert dishes, for drying, for apple butter, for animal fodder, and of course for cider and juice. These are the apples that today are considered “heirloom,” many of which have already disappeared from our modern apple lexicon, and from the pool of genetic diversity. It was with an eye toward preserving what is left of that diversity that Vintage Virginia Apples began selecting trees for the orchard at Rural Ridge, and today that orchard holds more than 200 different apple cultivars.”
Some of these varieties can’t be found anywhere else. In addition, besides apples, you will be able to check out some peaches, pears, and plums. The farm also makes its own cider, which can be purchased on site. However, keep in mind that you can’t pick your own fruits because of the small size, but you can purchase the apples in the tasting room. At Albemarle they offer workshops, educational courses and tasting opportunities. Visit the website for more details.
Marker Miller Orchards
3035 Cedar Creek Grade · Winchester, VA 22602
At Marker Miller Orchards they warmly welcome all members of the family to visit and enjoy the stunning countryside surroundings, fresh air and fruit picking.
“Relax while sitting on the front porch in our rocking chairs and enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery. Or go on an adventure, by purchasing containers and going out to pick your very own fruits and vegetables (check for availability throughout the season). We have many picnic tables, so feel free to pack a lunch or purchase food from our food building when it is open (every weekend July-October).
Fruit picking information and rules –
“August: peaches, red raspberries, blackberries, tomatoes, Ginger Gold apples and Gala apples. September & October: 12 varieties of apples, pumpkins, and winter squash. If you are interested in pick-your-own please visit our check-out area inside the market or our pick-your-own building to purchase containers and get directions. For picking berries, tomatoes, peaches, and apples we have containers that you purchase prior to picking. We will then provide you with a map and instructions.
Pick-Your-Own stops ½ hour prior to closing. No bags or containers can be purchased after that time. No other bags, back packs, recycling bags, grocery bags, or baskets are allowed in the pick-your-own area. Only the bags or containers that you have purchased from the market or pick-your-own building are allowed.”