The Best Boozy Apple Picking Experiences in America
We’re crazy for boozy, apple-y fall treats, whether it’s homemade apple pie bourbon or sweet-tart apple cider cocktails. But we’re not above putting in a little effort by heading to an orchard and picking our own apples—especially if there’s a boozy treat to be had at the end. These six orchards offer excellent wines and hard ciders to toast your labors after a long day of apple picking.
Mercier Orchards, Blue Ridge, GA
Picking your own apples at this family-owned orchard is a real treat. Tractor tours will give you a taste of farm life, and live entertainment will put a pep in your step as you search for the perfect produce. There’s even a deli serving Southern fare like biscuits and gravy and pimento cheese sandwiches. But the best part about Mercier Orchards is their selection of hard cider and wine, which makes them the only apple orchard in Georgia that grows, presses, ferments and bottles their own product.
Brown’s Orchards and Farm Market, Loganville, PA
Brown’s Orchards started as a roadside farm stand in 1948, and now it’s one of the best apple-picking destinations in Pennsylvania. After harvesting your own apples, peruse the farm market and grab a bite at onsite eatery Brown Bean Cafe. Stay into the evening for their Sip & Dip Wine & Painting Class or one of the Orchard to Table dinners, a five-course meal inspired by the farm’s produce and paired with their very own Logan’s View Wine.
Blakes Orchard and Cider Mill, Armada, MI
This massive orchard is home to 45,600 trees that grow 42 varieties of apples. You can pick your own from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, at which point it’s time to stop and mosey over to the Ciderhouse for a happy hour libation. Try a bottling from Blake’s Hard Cider Co., from year-round craft varieties to seasonal and limited-release editions. Stay for a flatbread pizza or their signature hard cider barbecue ribs.
Apple Dave’s Orchards, Warwick, NY
Arrive early for apple picking at this upstate New York orchard, and you’ll be greeted with fresh apple donuts to start the day. Apple Dave’s has a new walking trail, lake and beautiful gardens, so a stroll is in order after filling your basket with crisp Macintoshes. After working up a mighty thirst, head to Applewood Winery, located on the orchard grounds, and taste their delicious wines and Naked Flock hard ciders over snacks and live music.
Terhune Orchards, Princeton, NJ
Not only can you pick apples at this New Jersey orchard, which happens to be located in picturesque Princeton, you can pluck produce like flowers, berries and pumpkins as well. There are a number of events and festivals that take place here, so check the schedule before planning your trip. Adults will love to wind down at Terhune’s vineyard and winery where you can sample varietals like Chambourcin, Vidal Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Try a glass of Apple Wine or Just Peachy, which are both made from their own apple cider.
Russell Orchards, Ipswich, MA
There are tons of apple varieties to choose from at Russell Orchards, from Gala to Honeycrisp to Gingergold. There’s also a farm store with goods like fresh eggs, as well as a bakery that sells sumptuous treats like apple pie, fruit tarts and coconut macaroons. Their onsite winery offers tastings of their fruit wines and ciders, including an award-winning sparkling version that’s not to be missed. Check out Russell’s annual Apples and Wine Festival where revelers get to sample their best bottles along with tasty food pairings.