The apple is the official fruit of New York State, and there are more than 40 different varieties and approximately 600 producers in the Empire State. With fall foliage season underway, take a scenic drive to your nearest orchard to wander through apple-scented countrysides, pick your own bagful, and enjoy warm cider doughnuts, pressed apple cider, and freshly baked pies! Remember to stay as local as possible and keep six feet apart from others not in your party and wear a mask or face covering. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions are open and available. Be advised that New York has a travel advisory in effect, which requires travelers from non-contiguous states to quarantine for 10 days upon entering New York State. Travelers may undergo COVID testing to test out. For more details, see the guidelines for the travel advisory here. Most attractions are operating with capacity restrictions and require advance ticketing or reservations, so plan before you go.
Rulfs Orchard (Adirondacks)
Rulfs Orchard in Peru turns out more than 10,000 handmade pies a year, so a trip there will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth. Sample apple cider donuts or frosted pumpkin cookies as you search for your favorite type of apples. Some of the varieties available include McIntosh, Cortland, Northern Spy, and Empire. Head to the orchard soon because u-pick season only lasts as long as the apples do! While you’re at the orchard, take a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch to pick your very own pumpkin, and don’t forget to get that famous apple pie from Rulfs’ 9,900-square-foot farm stand! U-pick apple prices vary depending on the quantity.
Indian Ladder Farms (Capital-Saratoga)
A staple in the Capital Region for more than 100 years, Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont is home to more than a dozen apple varieties. Empire and Golden Delicious are just two of the varieties typically available for pick-your-own starting September 5th through mid-October. For the most up-to-date list of pick-your-own varieties, call Indian Ladder’s hotline at 866-640-PICK. Make the most of your visit and sample hard cider and beer made using local ingredients such as apples, pumpkins, and hops at Indian Ladder Farms Cidery & Brewery, located on-site. Pick-your-own apple prices vary depending on the quantity and variety of apple.
Boehm Farm (Catskills)
Family-owned and -operated since 1903, Boehm Farm in Greene County is the perfect place to spend a fall day. Golden Delicious, Empire, and Macouns are some of the apple varieties available for picking. If you’re looking for a certain kind, call ahead to find out which varieties are available on the day you plan to go. Once you’ve filled your basket with apples, head over to the pumpkin patch to select your favorite pumpkin. Grab a few gourds and some handmade apple cider doughnuts at the farm stand to truly get in the fall spirit. Pick-your-own apple prices are $1 per pound.
Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard (Central New York)
With apple season in full swing, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the delicious fruit at Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard near Cooperstown. Try all of your favorite apple varieties in the pack-your-own room. Grab a bag from the mill store (various sizes available) and fill it with any of the apples in the bins—Paul Red, Ginger Gold, McIntosh, Zestar, the list goes on and on! Taste the apples in Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard’s apple wines and hard ciders, as the orchard is part of the Cooperstown Beverage Trail. Pack-your-own apple prices vary depending on the bag size.
Whittier Apple Farm (Chautauqua-Allegheny)
Find fresh apples, maple syrup, squash, grapes, and other fall goodies at Whittier Apple Farm in Ashville from September through November. Stop by the beautifully remodeled barn for a hot cider or cider slushie! Whittier doesn’t offer apple picking, but they have more than five varieties of apples from orchards in the Lake Ontario area available for purchase at their farm. For an apple picking adventure an hour away by car, head to Meadows Apple Farm in Forestville. Apple prices and pick-your-own apple prices vary.
The Apple Farm (Finger Lakes)
Pick the apple of your eye right from the tree at the Apple Farm in Victor. With apples ripening at various times throughout the harvest season, there are different varieties ready to be picked each week, including Empire, Red Delicious, Spartan, and more! Check the Apple Farm’s website for the latest varieties waiting to be picked. With apples comes apple cider and The Apple Farm produces a cider that’s made with 100 percent apple juice from crushed apples! Pick-your-own apple prices are $1.55 per pound.
Becker Farms & Vizcarra Vineyards (Greater Niagara)
Head to Becker Farms & Vizcarra Vineyards, a fifth-generation family-owned farm in Gasport, for apple picking, beer tasting, and wine tasting. Take a wagon to the orchard for u-pick! From Ginger Gold and Jonamac to Cortland and SnapDragon, there are so many apples that will meet your eye, but varieties and quantities vary. Try refreshing craft beers and the Traditional Hard Cider made with Crispin, McIntosh, and Golden Delicious apples at the on-site Becker Brewing Co., or sample wine at Becker Farms’ Vizcarra Vineyards, part of the Niagara Wine Trail. Make it a weekend trip with a stay at Hart House Hotel in the historic district of nearby Medina. U-pick apple prices vary depending on the quantity.
Kelder’s Farm (Hudson Valley)
Have a fun fall day with your family at Kelder’s Farm in Kerhonkson. Reach for u-pick apple varieties such as Cortland, Golden Delicious, Empire, and Crispin in beautiful apple trees, and take a hayride to the pumpkin patch. There you’ll find all shapes and sizes of pumpkins ready to be picked! Watch an apple fly high from an apple cannon, navigate through a corn maze, and meet the animals at the petting farm. There’s something for everyone here! U-pick apple prices vary depending on the quantity and variety of apple.
Woodside Orchards (Long Island)
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Bite into a crisp apple and sample hard cider at Woodside Orchards in Jamesport and Aquebogue. Cortland and Empire are two varieties offered for u-pick at the Jamesport location, and the Mutsu variety can be found at the Aquebogue location. Check Woodside Orchards’ website or Facebook page for the latest varieties available, as they can change daily. Sip the flavors of the season at the tasting room in Aquebogue. Here you’ll find different types of hard ciders on tap, such as traditional sweet, raspberry, and cinnamon. U-pick apple price is $16 per bag (peck-sized).
Fresh apples, cider, and doughnuts in the city (New York City)
Want to experience fall in the Big Apple? Make a stop at one of New York City’s Greenmarkets. The flagship location in Union Square, which is open year-round on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, features fresh fruit and vegetables, along with ciders, meats, and cheeses. Breezy Hill Orchard, based in the Hudson Valley, features seasonal fruit and ciders at many of the Greenmarkets. Looking for something a little sweeter? Indulge in an apple cider or cinnamon sugar doughnut at the Doughnuttery. Prices for products at Greenmarkets vary.
Behling Orchards (Thousand Islands-Seaway)
Nestled near the shores of Lake Ontario is Behling Orchards, home to u-pick apples, fresh apple cider, candy apples, pumpkins, and more! Red Delicious, Cortland, McIntosh, and Macoun are a few of the apple varieties available for u-pick. Once you’ve picked your apples, visit the barn for carefully crafted apple cider and head to the Donut Room for freshly baked pies and donuts. End the day at the play area filled with kids’ activities like a corn maze and pony rides. U-pick apple prices vary depending on the quantity.
For more on apple varieties in New York State and to find another orchard near you, click here.