The leaves have already started to change. Before you start Googling Halloween costumes or sipping pumpkin spice lattes, take a few minutes to scroll this list of pick-your-own apple orchards around the DC area. Enjoy a family weekend picking apples, sipping cider, and making every apple-based goodie you can think of as the crisp fall days start moving in.


photo: Club Julia via Yelp


Milburn Orchards
This fam-favorite hosts “U-Pick Apple Adventures” now through the end of October. The exploration begins with a free wagon ride into the orchards where you and your crew are given as many picking bags as you can carry. This orchard gets high marks in the convenience category—credit card payments for the apples are accepted in the orchard and all of the trees are dwarf trees with fruit that is reachable for the toddler set from the ground. P.S. Grab a few of their amazing apple cider donuts for the drive home.

1495 Appleton Rd.
Elkton, MD
Distance from DC: About 100 miles

Weber’s Farm
If apple cider is your jam, this is where you’ll want to lay your basket. The cider mill at this farm is the oldest in continuous use in Maryland, which means they know what they’re doing. The fresh pressed cider is available everyday through December.

2526 Proctor Ln.
Parkville, MD
Distance from DC: About 50 miles

Rock Hill Orchard
Rock Hill has several thousand apple trees in their orchard! From Blondee’s to Macoun’s this is your go-to apple picking place. Your family is guaranteed to have an authentic farm experience here. Rock Hill Orchard is located in the Agricultural Reserve in Northern Montgomery County and is midway between Damascus and Mount Airy.  The orchard has an ice cream themed corn maze this year! And speaking of ice cream, Woodbourne Creamery at Rock Hill Orchard is Montgomery County’s only made on the farm ice cream. If apples and ice cream aren’t enough for you, Rock Hill even has cut your own herbs! A definite must check out!

28600 Ridge Rd.
Mount Airy, MD

Distance From DC: About 40 miles

apple-picking-boy-crdtphoto: Charles Dawley via Flickr

Catoctin Mountain Orchard
You’ll likely smell this charming orchard before you see it. That’s because in addition to offering a host of apple varieties (including cortland, empire and cameo), Catoctin whips up fresh apple cider, pies, and jam in it’s on site kitchen and bakery. Hello! Sounds like a winner for “best teacher in the world” holiday gifts.

15036 N. Franklinville Rd.
Thurmont, MD
Distance from DC: About 60 miles

Larriland Farm
Counting chemicals? This nearly-organic farm sprays its apples with pesticides only as a last resort. Instead, they use other tactics like crop rotation and water management to keep buggy-boos at bay. Other than their eco-conscious efforts, Larriland also offers more than 15 different types of u-pick apples, a barn store with already-plucked fruits and veggies (and kettle corn) and pre- or post-picking hayrides.

2415 Woodbine Rd.
Woodbine, MD
Distance from DC: About 30 miles

Baugher’s Orchard has been a family owned, working fruit and vegetable farm since 1904. It started out as a 60 acre piece of land and has expanded to become a 600 acre operation, and one of the largest orchards in Maryland. Enjoy a wagon ride to the orchard and pick from apple trees on a picturesque Carroll County hillside. Kids can run around at the playground and even explore the Petting Zoo. Ice cream is sold in the market which is a great way to cap the day!

1015 Baugher Rd.
Westminster, MD

(410) 857-0111

Distance from DC: About 70 miles

Homestead Farm
Don’t know your Ginger Golds from your Granny Smiths? Can’t tell what’s ripe or not? No problem! This is a teaching farm, so just ask and you shall receive. Their website also lists a ton of apple-based recipes (the Apple Crisp is a must-try!). Side note: You can leave the flimsy grocery store bags at home—Homestead hooks you up with heavy duty totes to collect your crop.

15604 Sugarland Rd.
Poolesville, MD
Distance from DC: About 25 miles

Gaver Farm
Gaver Farms is open every fall weekend with Fuji, Cameo, Blondee, Buckeye and Empire apples ready to be picked and enjoyed. This is a high density orchard, and they’ve carefully pruned the trees for easy picking, no ladders required! They also offer free hayrides, mazes, and lots of games and other activities so your day at the orchard is full and fun. Don’t miss the apple cider donut stand for a delicious treat. Do note that they don’t allow strollers, wagons, or backpacks in the orchard.

5501 Detrick Rd
Mount Airy, MD
Distance from DC: About 45 miles

photo: Marker-Miller Orchards


Marker-Miller Orchards
Sure, this farm boasts a whopping 325 acres of apples. But, what really impresses the kid set is the cow train (it’s exactly what it sounds like—a cow-shaped train); old time-y wagon rides; and Kiddie Land, an irresistible playground complete with a large wooden ship, tractor and wagon. Apples? What apples?

3035 Cedar Creek Grade
Winchester, VA
Distance from DC: About 85 miles

Crooked Run Orchard
Nestled on the outskirts of Purcellville, this farm boasts trees that bear fruit dating back to 1760! The farm bears the name of a small tributary of the Goose Creek State Scenic River system. While the creek has been paved over in many parts of Loudoun county, it runs freely on this fruit and vegetable farm. After picking apples, be sure to head to downtown Purcellville for lunch.

37883 East Main St.
Purcellville, VA
Distance from DC: About 50 miles

Hartland Orchard
Located near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hartland is a deep-rooted, family-owned working farm and orchard. Take a relaxing drive and spend the day in the scenic country side. Hartland takes pride in offering the freshest, juiciest apples possible. Containers and bags can be found upon entering the orchard, where you can spend a few hours in a stunning country setting picking a variety of apple types from Braeburns to Nittanys.

3064 Hartland Lane
Markham, VA 22643
Distance from DC: About 60 miles

hayride-1photo: Great Country Farms

Great Country Farms
Apples are Great Country Farms’ thang! Apple picking is like a competitive sport to these folks so get ready to roll up your sleeves at CGF and get to work! Not only do they have apple picking, but there is also apple cider pressing, apple wine tastings and apple butter that you can buy. Their orchard is bursting with lovely apples and they have several varieties such as Gala, Jona Gold, Jona Free, Candy Crisp, Ruby Jon and Fuji ready for picking through the fall. The farm offers free wagon rides that take you to the orchard. Don’t forget to stop by the farm market for some hot cider donuts.

18780 Foggy Bottom Rd.
Bluemont, VA
Distance from DC: About 60 miles

Mackintosh Fruit Farm
Mackintosh Fruit Farm is a family owned farm huddled in the stunning Northern Shenandoah Valley. There’s no fee to pick the apples as they want the experience to be affordable for all families. Varieties include Gala, Ginger Gold, and Fuji. They sell lunch on the farm and even have breakfast specials on weekends. Got a sweet tooth? The farm sells caramel apples, apple cider floats, apple caramel sundaes, baked apples, pies, donuts, and more! 

1608 Russell Rd.
Berryville, VA

Online: mackintoshfruitfarm

Distance from DC: About 70 miles

photo: Heather B. via Yelp

Carter Mountain Orchard
This scenic farm is a couple of hours away from DC, but it’s worth the drive. Expect pumpkins, hayrides, a winery, and apples…lots and lots of apples. Still on the fence? The apple cider donuts alone are worth the trip.

1435 Carters Mountain Trail
Charlottesville, VA
Distance from DC: About 125 miles

Hollin Farms
This fourth-generation family farm is worth the drive just for the spectacular views: Virginia mountains everywhere along with other farms. With acres of apples ready to be plucked from the trees, they also offer chilled cider and other drinks, donuts, ice cream, and other fresh baked goods. Toss in the fact that they’re puppy-friendly and this orchard can quickly become your family’s favorite apple-picking destination.

1524 Snowden Road
Delaplane, Virginia
Distance from DC: About 60 miles

photo: Lauren F. via Yelp

Stribling Orchard
This 200-year-old farm has numerous reasons to boast. From their stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains to their delicious apples, Stribling Orchard offers something for everyone. The Harvest House offers honey, jelly, jams, pies, hot sauces, local cheese and more. Extend your apple-picking fun by spending some time with the farm animals, too. There’s a great community feel to this orchard, enhanced by the other families that occasionally offer things like grilled goods, live music and more. From the main entrance to the back of the orchard is about a half-mile, so if you have littles, think about bringing a stroller suited for the terrain.

11587 Poverty Hollow Ln
Markham, VA
Distance from DC: About 60 miles

Rinker Orchards
Rinker Orchards is truly a Shenandoah Valley hidden gem. Out of the 7,500 cultured varieties of apples, they focus on 10 that grow best in this region, and boy, do they grow them well! Bring lunch and enjoy a picturesque picnic beneath an apple tree that overlooks the orchard while the kids play tag. Make sure you give their apple cider a try – it has no added sugar, water, or preservatives. Bonus: they accept cash, checks and all major credit cards for all your purchases.

1156 Marlboro Rd
Stephens City, VA
Distance from DC: About 85 miles

photo: Valarie S. via Yelp

West Virginia

Orrs Farm Market
This might be the best-kept secret right outside Martinsburg. This is more than just a pick-your-own apple orchard. Orrs Farm Market offers a large pumpkin patch, food and craft vendors, live music and children’s activities on the weekends. They also have emus, buffalos and other animals to make for a fun family day in the country. Don’t miss their thick and creamy chocolate milk after you’ve tried the apple cider or donuts.

682 Orr Dr
Martinsburg, WV
Distance from DC: About 80 miles

—Wendy Miller with Guiomar Ochoa and Ayren Jackson-Cannady


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