Where to Go Apple Picking in New Jersey This Fall

Escape the five boroughs for a bounty of farms and orchards in the Garden State.

Along with dining at Jersey City’s best restaurants, one of our favorite things to do in New Jersey this time of year is, of course, throw on our favorite autumnal sweaters, grab our best pals, and head to an apple orchard.

If that’s not daydream material, we don’t know what is. And luckily for East Coasters and autumn loving New Yorkers, our neighboring state has no shortage of farms offering pick-your-own apple experiences. While New York State has its own spots, we’ve also compiled a list of our favorite orchards in the Garden State to take part in this classic seasonal activity. Along with hayrides, corn mazes, and family-friendly celebrations, here’s everywhere to check to go apple picking this fall.

There are more than 50 apple varieties at Alstede Farms throughout the fall season. We recommend booking a picking reservation online before visiting; each ticket comes with a timed entry. Your entry ticket also grants you access to hayrides, the corn maze, evergreen maze, hay pyramid, and sunflower maze. The farm also hosts regular events and festivals, which you can read up on here.
Distance from NYC: One hour and 15 minutes by car

Owned by the Applegate family since 1908, Battleview Orchards posts frequent updates on pick-your-own hours and varieties on their Facebook as the seasons progress. The farm requests that visitors call 732-462-075 to check in on picking hours, but the year-round Country Store is open from 9 am-6 pm every day (except Tuesdays), so you can always purchase produce, fresh-pressed cider, and other goods if you miss out on the open picking time. Along with apples, strawberries, sour cherries, peaches, nectarines, and pumpkins can be picked throughout the year.
Distance from NYC: One hour and 15 minutes by car

Donaldson Farms


Donaldson Farms in Northern New Jersey is open daily from 9 am-6 pm (except on Sundays, when they close things down at 5 pm) and doesn’t require a fee to enter. There are 23 different apple varieties grown on-site, from Winesap and Mutsu to Ida Red and Jonagold. And until the end of October, go for the family-friendly Fall Harvest Weekends, when visitors are invited to enjoy hayrides, corn picking, the 9-acre corn maze, visits with the farm’s ponies, and more.
Distance from NYC: One hour and ten minutes by car

For any apple picking newbies, Eastmont Orchards is a great place to start. Not only do they have instructional videos on how to perfect your picking skills without causing damage to the fruit (something that actually does take a little bit of know-how), but the nearly century-old spot operated by the Barclay family since 1923 also offers an impressive variety that ranges from Crispin to Arkansas Black (along with around a dozen peach varieties in the summer). After arriving home with your ripe bounty, cook some up in Barclay family recipes like Apple Pie, Apple Crisp, and Apple Spice Cake.
Distance from NYC: One hour by car

Apple picking kicks off in early September at Johnson’s Corner Farm, which is known for its family friendly attractions and events. There are ten different apple varieties grown at this orchard throughout the season: Early Fuji, Empire, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Staymen, Fuji, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Cameo, and Gold Rush. When you’ve done your share of apple picking, check out the gem mining station, corn maze, or try an Apple Cider Slush. Reservations for self-picking are required—book a ticket on the Johnson’s Corner Farm website.
Distance from NYC: One hour and thirty minutes by car

As opposed to other farms that host guests for fruit picking year-round, Longmeadow Farm focuses on apples, squashes/gourds, berries, and pumpkins. With 15 varieties of apples, the farm is open for picking on Saturdays and Sundays in September and October. There are often events held on the property, as well, which you can read more about on their Facebook page.
Distance from NYC: One hour and ten minutes by car

As the largest apple orchard in New Jersey with over 200 acres, Melick’s Town Farm truly delivers on fall flavors: not only can you pick your own apples (be sure to book a reservation online first!), but visitors can also sip on homemade Apple Wine. In addition to hard cider, purchase non-alcoholic Apple Cider made on the farm, along with plenty of fresh baked goods. Apple picking runs through early November.
Distance from NYC: One hour and five minutes by car

Apple cider donuts, pies, cookies, breads, muffins—Pochuck Valley Farms knows how to work their produce into some baked good magic. When you’re done picking your own apples (the season runs until November 1) from its nearly 200 acres of farmland, drop by the bakery to load up on treats for the drive home. And FYI: Each visitor gets a free apple cider sample if they visit during the cider season.
Distance from NYC: One hour and ten minutes by car

The same family has been growing produce on this land since 1922. Way back when, customers of Wightman Farms would purchase fruits and vegetables from a table across the street from what is now the market and cider mill. Today, visitors can pick their own apples on weekends from 9 am-5 pm. Take note, advance reservations are not accepted and a ticket can be purchased on-site at the booth within the front park lot before entering the orchards. The property also has a picnic area, a farm market if in need of al fresco snacks, and their Mazeland featuring corn, hay bale, rope, and paver mazes.
Distance from NYC: One hour by car

Every weekend between September 17 and October 30, Von Thun’s hosts Fall Fun events. During this time, visitors will be able to check out the apple orchard, pumpkin patch, and activity area which includes hayrides, pumpkin bowling, corn hole, barnyard basketball, and pedal carts. Tickets to explore the corn maze are also available and in short, this great farm is especially ideal for families with kids. There are two Von Thun’s locations, so make sure to check out the farm at Monmouth Junction, which also offers apple picking. The Washington farm grows five types of apples: Autumn Crisp, Wonder Fuji, Candy Crisp, Stayman, and Super Red Fuji.
Distance from NYC: One hour and 10 minutes by car

Erika Owen is a contributor for Thrillist.