Best Apple Orchard (2018)


The first apple orchard in the U.S. was planted in 1625 near Boston's Beacon Hill. Today, more than 7,500 growers are producing apples in all 50 states (according to the U.S. Apple Association). That's 240 million bushels of apples each year. Since each individual apple must be hand-picked during the autumn harvest season, many orchards open their gates for visitors to come and pick their own, often with added autumn entertainment. 

  • Kiyokawa Family Orchards

    Kiyokawa Family Orchards
    Parkdale, Ore.

    Kiyokawa Family Orchards has been operating since 1911 growing more than 80 varieties of apples, including Benoni, Braeburn, Cortland Fuji and Winter Banana. Award-winning pies, turnovers, honey, jams and fresh cider draw customers from throughout this scenic Oregon valley. 
    Photo courtesy of Kiyokawa Family Orchards

  • Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard

    Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard
    LaFayette, N.Y.

    This family-owned orchard has been growing apples since onion farmer George Skiff and dairy farmer Andrew Beak joined forces in 1911 to plant apples on a hillside along Rte. 20. The rest, as they say, is history. Gala, McIntosh, Ginger Gold and Paula Red are just a few of the varieties offered from late August through late October. Live music events, Cider Fests, Orchard Runs and a Kids' Magic Show add entertainment to the apple picking.
    Photo courtesy of Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards

  • Spicer Orchards

    Spicer Orchards
    Fenton, Mich.

    At Spicer Orchards, wagons take visitors into the orchards to pick apples and berries. The fall season also means hot apple cider and cider donuts, wine tastings and a children’s playground. A Harvest Festival in mid-September features a craft fair and antique tractors.
    Photo courtesy of Spicer Orchards

  • Boa Vista Orchards

    Boa Vista Orchards
    Placerville, Calif.

    Situated in the Apple Hill region of California, Boa Vista operates a farm market and bake shop throughout the year. While there’s no pick-your-own, autumn visitors can pick up fresh picked apples, as well as apple cider, apple donuts, pies, pastries, caramel apples and other goods.
    Photo courtesy of Boa Vista Orchards

  • Hollabaugh Bros.

    Hollabaugh Bros.
    Biglerville, Penn.

    This family-owned and operated fruit farm grows and sells a variety of produce, including apples during the fall season. Situated 10 minutes outside of Gettysburg, the farm also operates a bakery where visitors enjoy treats like hot apple cider donuts, fruit pies, dumplings, breads and sticky buns. The pick-your-own apple season begins in mid-September.
    Photo courtesy of Hollabaugh Bros.

  • Mercier Orchards

    Mercier Orchards
    Blue Ridge, Ga.

    Started in 1943 by Bill and Adele Mercier, Mercier Orchards has been a family farm ever since. Showcasing 38 varieties of apples, the You-Pick Apple Event is the most popular event of the season, which runs from early August to late October. A bakery/deli, farm market and winery offer more to do and taste, while other events like cooking and baking classes, tours and tractor pulls are staged at various times throughout the year.
    Photo courtesy of Mercier Orchards

  • Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard

    Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard
    Hendersonville, N.C.

    More than 20 apple varieties can be picked at Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard, a family-run farm since J.H. Stepp moved there in 1967. Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Fuji, Gala, Red Delicious and Honeycrisp are just a few of the varieties on offer from early August to late October. Fall activities include a corn maze and Apple Cannon - a game allowing visitors to shoot apples and pumpkins at "fun targets." The Country Store is the place for apple products: cider, butter, salsa and donuts.
    Photo courtesy of Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard

  • Shelburne Orchards

    Shelburne Orchards
    Shelburne, Vt.

    What started as 500 trees in the 1950s is now an orchard of some 6,000 trees, and 90 percent of the apples grown – more than 30 varieties – are sold on the farm. Visitors can also purchase cider donuts, cider vinegar and apple brandy.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / Mikola249

  • Solebury Orchards

    Solebury Orchards
    New Hope, Penn.

    During the fall season, visitors to Solebury Orchards are welcome to pick their own apples and blueberries amid 80 acres of beautiful Bucks County scenery. On weekends during the autumn apple season, guests can ride wagons through the orchards.
    Photo courtesy of Solebury Orchards

  • Mt View Orchards

    Mt View Orchards
    Mount Hood, Ore.

    Mount View, a 50-acre apple and pear farm situated at the foot of Mt. Hood, has been raising environmentally sustainable fruit for more than four decades. During the fall picking season, visitors enjoy some 70 varieties of fruit (apples included), as well as hay rides and areas for picnicking. 
    Photo courtesy of David Hanson / Mt View Orchards

The top 10 winners in the Best Apple Orchard category are as follows:

  1. Kiyokawa Family Orchards - Parkdale, Ore.
  2. Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard - LaFayette, N.Y.
  3. Spicer Orchards - Fenton, Mich.
  4. Boa Vista Orchards - Placerville, Calif.
  5. Hollabaugh Bros. - Biglerville, Penn.
  6. Mercier Orchards - Blue Ridge, Ga.
  7. Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard - Hendersonville, N.C.
  8. Shelburne Orchards - Shelburne, Vt.
  9. Solebury Orchards - New Hope, Penn.
  10. Mt View Orchards - Mount Hood, Ore.

Congratulations to all these winning orchards!

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