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Best Apple Orchard (2021)

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

  • Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards

    Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards
    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 and Skiff Apple Orchards

  • 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 52 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

  • 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

  • Deal's Orchard

    Deal's Orchard
    Jefferson, Iowa

    This family run apple orchard in Iowa comprises 45 acres of apple trees with more than 25 varieties on offer. The farm also has an orchard store selling cider, homemade apple pie, local honey and other artisan food goods, as well as a seasonal corn maze and other family activities.
    Photo courtesy of Deal's Orchard

  • Eckert's Orchard

    Eckert's Orchard
    Grafton, Illinois

    Just a forty-minute drive from St. Louis on Mississippi River Bluffs, Eckert’s Farm in Grafton, Illinois, offers fresh air and apples ready for picking from late August through early November. Their all-day Field Access Pass allows guests unlimited tractor-and-wagon rides into the orchard, plus the opportunity to enjoy fruit samples. Fill your boxes and bags with as much as you want because Eckert’s loves sharing what they grow. In addition to the Grafton location, Eckert's has other farms and orchards in Belleville, Millstadt and Versailles.   
    Photo courtesy of Eckert's Orchard

  • Libby & Son U-Picks

    Libby & Son U-Picks
    Limerick, Maine

    Apple picking season at Libby & Son U-Picks in Maine extends from mid-August through the end of October. Guest enjoy live music that can be heard throughout the orchard.
    Photo courtesy of Libby & Son U-Picks

  • Jaswell's Farm

    Jaswell's Farm
    Smithfield, RI

    About thirty miles outside Providence, located in the heart of “Apple Valley” in Smithfield, Rhode Island, the Jaswell family thanks guests for choosing their “family friendly and farm-fresh” orchard for the pick-your-own-apples fall tradition. Each member of the party can select one extra apple to enjoy on their ride home! Reservations for apple picking in the orchard are required, and guests receive instructions and a bag for apple picking.
    Photo courtesy of Jaswell's Farm

  • Sky Top Orchard

    Sky Top Orchard
    Flat Rock, NC

    Less than an hour south of Asheville, North Carolina, Sky Top Orchard’s pick-your-own apple farm offers its guests the chance to celebrate fall on the mountain with a roadside stand feel and nostalgia of yesterday. The cool summer nights and warm days create perfect conditions for growing over 22 varieties of apples, with the U-Pick season beginning in August through the end of October. Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Red and Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady are just a few available varieties.
    Photo courtesy of Sky Top Orchard

  • Huber's Orchard and Winery

    Huber's Orchard and Winery
    Borden, IN

    Huber’s Orchard invites their guests to “get up close to the trees” and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience to hand-select every apple they take home. Located about thirty minutes north of Louisville in Borden, Indiana, Huber’s is famous for its fall season and its wide variety of delicious apples. Guests ride a “U-Pick” wagon to the orchard and can choose from Jonathan, Gala, Red and Golden Delicious apples, and many more from mid-August through mid-October.
    Photo courtesy of Huber's Orchard and Winery

  • Tougas Family Farm

    Tougas Family Farm
    Northborough, Mass.

    This second generation fruit farm in Massachusetts invites visitors to come pick their own apples, berries, peaches, nectarines and pumpkins. The farm grows 30 varieties of apples, available from mid-August to the end of October. Families can join kid-friendly activities in the Barnyard or Playground, while the Farm Kitchen sells baked goods.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / KenWiedemann

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

  1. Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards - LaFayette, N.Y.
  2. Mercier Orchards - Blue Ridge, Ga.
  3. Spicer Orchards - Fenton, Mich.
  4. Deal's Orchard - Jefferson, Iowa
  5. Eckert's Orchard - Grafton, Illinois
  6. Libby & Son U-Picks - Limerick, Maine
  7. Jaswell’s Farm - Smithfield, RI
  8. Sky Top Orchard - Flat Rock, NC
  9. Huber's Orchard and Winery - Borden, IN
  10. Tougas Family Farm - Northborough, Mass.

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning orchards!

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10Best Editors

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

Allison Taylor

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Eric Grossman

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Eric Grossman

Gerrish Lopez

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Gerrish Lopez

Kyle McCarthy

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