Complete Guide to Apple Picking in Northern Virginia

Discover all the best places to go apple picking in Northern Virginia plus fun festivals at beautiful apple orchards, perfect for a day trip from Washington DC. Apple picking is a family-friendly activity that puts kids in touch with nature, and it can also be a romantic date idea for outdoor-loving couples.

Our guide to picking apples in Virginia highlights pick-your-own apple orchards in Northern Virginia and surrounding area. In addition, we list fruit markets and apple festivals where you can enjoy apple season fun without the picking.

Complete guide to apple picking in Virginia and festival fun at beautiful apple orchards, perfect for a day trip from Washington DC.

You-pick apple orchards are listed below in alphabetical order. Admission to most orchards is free, and we’ve included admission fees for any farms that charge them. At the end of our list, you’ll find tips and a handy map to help you choose an apple picking destination, and plan your route.

Where to Go Apple Picking in Northern Virginia

The best apple picking in Northern Virginia depends on your time and mood. Are you looking for orchards in Virginia with extra activities for kids or a quiet farm that’s all about the picking? If you’re planning a day trip, then a scenic drive and great views might be your priority. Whatever your goal, always check the orchard’s web site or Facebook page before you head out to confirm apple-picking hours and current restrictions.

Apple picking in Virginia is a tasty way to celebrate apple season near Washington DC
Apple picking is a fun way to celebrate apple season in Virginia

Crooked Run Orchard, Purcelville VA

Crooked Run Orchard is a small, family farm that has been in the Brown family for over 250 years. Borrow a bucket and walk across the creek to the orchard. Crooked Run also has a farm stand selling seasonal produce and hosts other kinds of fruit picking in season. The orchard is closed Monday and Tuesday, and pick-your-own hours vary. Follow the link to check the latest updates before you head out.

Find nearby restaurants and fun with our guide 8 Great Things to do in Purcellville Virginia.

Great Country Farms, Bluemont VA

Also in Loudoun County, Great Country Farms is a popular family play space with seasonal apple picking. Labor Day weekend kicks off the farm’s annual Apple Harvest and Corn Maze, which runs through September. Enjoy wagon rides to the u-pick apple orchard, cider pressing demonstration, and a giant play space for kids. Admission is $10/$12 for children/adults on weekdays and Labor Day weekend, $14/$16 other September weekends. Leashed dogs are welcome. Open 9:00 – 5:00 weekdays, to 6:00 weekends.

Extend your fun with a visit to Dirt Farm Brewing for craft beer with an awesome view. Or add a hike to Bear’s Den Overlook or the more challenging Raven Rocks hike. Plan a day trip or weekend getaway with our guide to 15 Fantastic Fun Things to Do in Bluemont Virginia

Hartland Orchard, Markham VA

Hartland Orchard, opens for apple and other fruit picking seasonally. Apple picking generally begins in late August, but call ahead to check availability before you head out. In mid-September, the farm usually begins its fall festival with play spaces and a corn maze (closed in 2020). The farm stand also sells pre-picked fruit. Open 9:00 – 5:00 daily.

Hollin Farms, Delaplane VA

Hollin Farms is a fourth-generation family farm in the beautiful Blue Ridge foothills of Fauquier County. The farm offers several pick-your-own fruits and vegetables, and also specializes in pasture-raised, all-natural beef. Pick-your-own hours vary depending on fruit availability and weather. Follow the link to see what is available and when the farm will be open this week.

Make it a day trip with a visit to nearby Sky Meadows State Park.

Macintosh Fruit Farm, Berryville VA

Macintosh Fruit Farm is located in Berryville, near Winchester Virginia. The farm offers u-pick apples and other fruits and vegetables and has a farm stand with a restaurant and bakery. Picnics are not allowed in the orchard but there is outdoor, covered seating at the restaurant. Small family groups can reserve a picking time online in advance. The farm is open for u-pick Thursday to Sunday, 8:00 to 5:00 (store open until 6:00).

Find more things to do in and near Berryville in our guide 15 Fun Things to Do on a Winchester Virginia Getaway or Day Trip.

Marker-Miller Orchard, Winchester VA

Another fun place for apple picking with kids is Marker-Miller Orchard in Winchester. In addition to apple picking, kids can enjoy a large play area and fresh-made apple cider donuts from the large farm store. There are tables for picnics and rocking chairs where you can relax and enjoy the countryside views. A fun apple statue is perfect for capturing cute apple season family photos. Leashed dogs are allowed on the property but not in the store. Purchase pick-your-own containers when you check in at the market. Open Monday to Friday 9:00 – 6:00 (to 5:00 on Saturday). Open Sunday 12:00 – 5:00 in September and October.

Extend your visit: 15 Fun Things to Do on a Winchester Virginia Getaway or Day Trip.

Marker-Miller Orchards and Farm Market Winchester VA
Marker-Miller Orchards and Farm Market Winchester VA

Rinker Orchards, Stephens City VA

Rinker Orchards is a third-generation family farm in Frederick County Virginia. They grow 10 varieties of apples and produce 100% natural apple cider that you can buy at the farm store. Apple-picking season at Rinkers usually runs from Labor Day through Columbus Day, with fresh cider available through the holiday season. In 2020, the pick-your-own apple season is September 12 to October 12, Saturdays and Sundays only, 10:00 – 5:00.

Stribling Orchard, Markham VA

Sadly, Stribling Orchards will not open for apple picking in 2020. We hope to see them return in 2021. Stribling Orchard has always been one of our favorite places to go apple picking with kids. Stop at the Harvest House to get a picking pole, then drive or walk up to the orchard. You can pick several apple varieties, so take your time and wander. Dogs are not allowed at the farm.

Valley View Farn, Delaplane VA

Head to Valley View Farm in September and October for apple picking in scenic Fauquier County. The fifth-generation farm also has a Locavore Farm Market offering wine and cider tasting, and local farm products. Open Friday 12:00 – 4:00, Saturday and Sunday 12:00 – 5:00 (hours may change seasonally).

More Places to Celebrate Apple Picking Season Near DC

Cider donuts Carter Mountain Orchard Charlottesville Virginia
Cider donuts at Carter Mountain Orchard Charlottesville Virginia

Carter Mountain Orchard, Charlottesville VA

Apple picking season is a great time to explore more of the state. We love the incredible views and apple cider donuts at Carter Mountain Orchard near Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. The orchard also offers casual food, a farm store, and cider tasting.

This is a very popular orchard and it gets crowded on weekends so visit on a weekday if you can. Leashed dogs are permitted in the orchard but not the store. Carter Mountain Orchard is open daily and hours vary by day (follow the link for details).

Plan your trip with our guide Charlottesville Getaway to Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Home

Richard’s Fruit Market, Back Creek VA

There is no u-pick option, but Richard’s Fruit Market is a nice, family-friendly stop in the Winchester area. If you’re lucky, you can watch the vintage apple sorter do its job. Richard’s Market is open daily from 9:00 – 5:00 in season (10:00 – 4:00 on Sundays).

Apple Butter Celebration, Shenandoah National Park Skyland

Update: Canceled in 2020. The annual Shenandoah Apple Butter Celebration is a fun reason to visit Skyland at Shenandoah National Park. The staff sets up copper kettles and stokes up the fire for a day of apple boiling. Watch the process, give the kettle a stir, try a delicious sample, and take home some fresh-from-the-kettle jars of apple butter. Wine tasting, hard cider by the glass, food, pony rides, children’s crafts, and live entertainment are also featured throughout the day.

Plan more fun with our Shenandoah National Park Day Trip Planner: Things to Do in the Central District.

Graves Mountain Farm Apple Harvest Festival, Syria VA

2020 Festival details TBA. Tucked at the base of the Shenandoah’s Graves Mountain Lodge hosts an Apple Harvest Festival on October weekends. Food, bluegrass music and cloggers, and over 70 arts and crafts vendors enjoy a day of family-friendly apple season fun. Kids will love the hayrides, hay mountain, hay maze, moon bounces, and pony rides. In 2020, the harvest festival was open 10:00 – 4:30 Saturdays and Sundays.

National Apple Harvest Festival at Hollabaugh Brothers, Biglerville PA

2020 Festival canceled in 2020. The National Apple Harvest Festival has celebrated apple season for over 50 years. The festival near Gettysburg runs the first two weekends of October. Enjoy hundreds of arts and crafts dealers, demonstrations, contests, food stands, and entertainment in the heart of Pennsylvania Apple Country. Admission to the festival is $10, ages 12 and up, under 12 free. Seniors and military ID holders are $9 and a 2-day pass is $17. Hours are 8:00 – 6:00 Saturdays, to 5:00 Sundays.

Plan your visit with our guide A Gettysburg Foodie Getaway to Pennsylvania Apple Country.

Apple Picking in Northern Virginia Tips

When is apple season in Virginia?

Virginia apple picking season is from late August to early November. Mid-September to mid-October is prime time for the best eating apples. Most orchards grow several apple varieties, including Gala, Red and Yellow Delicious, and Fuji.

Weather and crowds can change what is available in the orchard from day to day. Always check ahead to find out what is available for picking.

Always follow these simple apple-picking rules:

  • Do not climb the trees. Do not let your kids climb the trees. Apple branches are tempting but fragile.
  • Don’t waste fruit. If you pick it, pay for it.
  • Many farms do not allow dogs in orchards or farm stores. Check policies if you plan to bring your furry friend.

Congratulations to two of these Virginia apple orchards for making the USA Today 10Best list for Best Apple Orchards in the U.S.

Map to Apple Picking in Northern Virginia and Apple Season Fun

Apple picking in Northern VA is a great way to celebrate the return of fall and come away with a tasty reward for your efforts. Whichever apple orchard or festival you choose (or try them all!) we wish you happy picking and plenty of fun.

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Complete guide to apple picking in Virginia and festival fun at beautiful apple orchards, perfect for a day trip from Washington DC.

This article was published in 2019 and updated in 2020.

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