Best Apple Picking in Virginia and Apple Festivals Near DC

Discover the best places to go apple picking in Virginia at 15 beautiful orchards plus fun apple festivals, perfect for a day trip from Washington DC. Apple picking in Virginia is a family-friendly activity that puts kids in touch with nature and the food they eat. Of course, apple picking can also be a romantic date idea for outdoor-loving couples.

Our guide to the 15 best apple picking in Virginia highlights 15 fantastic pick-your-own apple orchards in Northern Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, and the Charlottesville area. In addition, we list fruit markets and apple festivals where you can enjoy apple season fun with or without the picking. At the end of our listare tips and a handy map of the best places to go apple picking in Virginia.

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 in Virginia are listed below in order of distance from Washington DC. Admission to most orchards is free, and we’ve included admission fees for any farms that charge them.

When is the best time for apple picking in Virginia?

Apple picking season in Virginia starts in August and continues through October. Some of the orchards on our list grow over 20 varieties of apples, so picking options change week to week.

Summer apple varieties like Lodi and Rambo ripen in early August, followed by Macintosh, Gala, and other late summer fruit. Popular September apples include Honey Crisp and Red and Gold Delicious. October varieties include Granny Smith and Fuji.

People often think of apple picking as a fall activity but don’t wait too long or you’ll miss some of the best u-pick varieties. Even if you don’t plan to pick until October, it is a good idea to start checking orchard updates and plan your visit earlier.

Weather and crowds can change what is available in the orchard from day to day. Follow the links to find out what is available for picking at the orchard you plan to visit.

Orchards ready for apple picking in Virginia
Apples ready for picking

Where to Go Apple Picking in Virginia

The best orchard to go apple picking in Virginia depends on your time and mood. Are you looking for u-pick apple orchards 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, follow the links to check the u-pick orchard’s website or Facebook page before you head out. Apple-picking hours, availability, and rules vary.

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 (you can also bring your own apple picking bucket). Crooked Run also sells apple cider and other produce and hosts blackberry and peach 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. Pets are allowed, and there are portable restrooms and picnic tables available.

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. Allow time for lunch and a drink by the pond at Henway Hard Cider.

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.

This is one of the best places to combine apple picking in Northern Virginia with a fun day in the countryside. Just across the street from the farm, visit Dirt Farm Brewing or Bluemont Vineyards for craft beer and wine with an awesome view. Or take a short hike to Bear’s Den Overlook or tackle 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.

Henway Hard Cider Company has a beautiful setting in Bluemont VA
Henway Hard Cider Company Bluemont VA

Hartland Orchard, Markham VA

Enjoy more beautiful views at Hartland Orchard in Markham, one of our favorite small towns in Northern Virginia. The orchard offers lots of u-pick options throughout the season. Fruit picking includes apples, cherries, peaches, and blueberries, and in late summer you can pick sunflowers and tomatoes. There is also a nice pick-your-own pumpkin patch in Autumn.

Apple picking at Hartland generally begins in August, but call ahead to check availability before you head out. In mid-September, the farm usually hosts a fall festival with play spaces and a corn maze. The farm stand also sells pre-picked fruit, produce, and cider. Open 9:00 – 5:00 (check for days). Leashed dogs are welcome in the orchard and it’s a great spot for a picnic with a stunning view.

Visit Hartland on a scenic drive through Virginia Hunt Country.

View from Hartland Orchard in Markham VA
View from Hartland Orchard in Markham VA

Stribling Orchard, Markham VA

Happily, Stribling Orchards is open for apple picking in 2021. Stribling Orchard has always been one of our favorite places to go apple picking with our 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.

Stribling is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9:00 – 5:00 (last entry at 4:30). Dogs are not allowed at the farm, but you can visit other 4-legged friends including donkeys and Milano the horse.

Hollin Farms, Delaplane VA

Hollin Farms is a fourth-generation family farm on the eastern slops of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Fauquier County. The farm offers several pick-your-own fruits and vegetables including pears, nectarines, and corn. The farm also specializes in all-natural, pastured free-range 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.

Valley View Farm, Delaplane VA

Head to Valley View Farm in September and October for apple picking in scenic Fauquier County. The fifth-generation farm offers a fun combination of winery, cidery, farm market, and u-pick orchard. Stop at the tasting room to sample wine, cider, and mead and shop for local farm products in the historic Red Barn.

Open Friday 12:00 – 4:00, Saturday and Sunday 12:00 – 5:00 (hours may change seasonally). Leashed dogs are welcome. In fact, Valley View Farm has been named one of the top dog-friendly wineries in Virginia.

Macintosh Fruit Farm, Berryville VA

Macintosh Fruit Farm is located in Berryville, near Winchester Virginia. The farm offers u-pick apples and many other fruits and vegetables. They also have a farm stand and a restaurant that features produce and fruits grown on the farm. The Macintosh bakery sells tasty treats including apple cider donuts.

The farm is open for u-pick Thursday to Sunday, 8:00 to 5:00 (store open until 6:00). There is a $2 per person picking fee to enter the orchard. Leashed dogs are welcome except when picking ground crops (e.g. strawberries). Picnics are not allowed in the orchard but there is outdoor, covered seating at the restaurant.

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 Orchards and Farm Market Winchester VA
Apple cider donut

Marker-Miller Orchard, Winchester VA

One of the best places for Virginia apple picking with kids is Marker-Miller Orchard in Winchester. In addition to apple picking, kids can enjoy a huge play area and corn maze. 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. And everyone will enjoy fresh-made pies and apple cider donuts from the farm store. Enjoy even more food and fun at the annual Apple Harvest Festival (October 9 in 2021).

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. Leashed dogs are allowed on the property but not in the store.

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

Marker-Miller Orchard rockers and children's play area
Marker-Miller Orchard

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 ran from September 12 to October 12, Saturdays and Sundays only, 10:00 – 5:00.

Carter Mountain Orchard, Charlottesville VA

Apple picking season is a great time to explore more of the state. One of the most popular spots for apple picking in Virginia is Carter Mountain Orchard, near Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville. We love the incredible views, apple cider donuts, and cider tasting at the Country Store.

Carter Mountain Apple Orchard is one of the most popular places for apple picking in Virginia
Carter Mountain Apple Orchard

This is a very popular orchard and it gets crowded on weekends so visit on a weekday if you can. On peak apple picking weekends you must have a ticket to enter the Country Store area. Tickets are $8 (u under 12 free) and you can reserve your 3-hour timed-entry slot in advance. Apple picking is an additional charge.

Or skip the apple picking and take advantage of the FREE scenic drive. The scenic drive follows a dirt road hugging the side of the mountain. You’ll have pretty views of the orchards and can purchase apples, cider donuts, cider, and other treats from your car. To take the scenic drive, watch for the turn-off as you near the top of the mountain.

Take a free scenic drive through the Carter Mountain apple orchard.
Scenic drive Carter Mountain

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 guides:

Carter Mountain Orchard has some of the best apple picking in Virginia and a gorgeous view
Carter Mountain Orchard

Fruit Hill Orchard, Palmyra

Drive southeast from Charlottesville on the Thomas Jefferson Parkway to reach Fruit Hill Orchard, a five-generation family farm with over 2,000 fruit trees and expansive vegetable beds. Pick-your-own apple orchards open in early August with varieties that are perfect for those back-to-school lunches.

The orchard is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 – 6:00. Allow time to have a picnic, play a game of cornhole, or just sit and enjoy the view.

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).

Silver Creek & Seaman’s Orchard, Tyro

The Shenandoah Valley is one of the best areas for apple picking in Virginia. Silver Creek & Seaman’s Orchard open their pick-your-own apples for select days in September and October. They also press their own apple cider and host an annual Apple Butter Festival (details below).

Take a hike at nearby Crabtree Falls, one of the most beautiful fall hikes in Virginia.

Dickie Brother’s Orchard, Roseland

At Dickie Brother’s Orchard, apple picking in Virginia kicks off in mid-August. This family farm goes all the way back to the 1700s when King George sold the land to James Dickie. Today, they harvest 70,000 bushels of apples a year. Follow the link for guidance on when the 20 varieties of apples will be ready for picking.

The orchard is open Thursday through Sunday, and the market is open daily. Pets are not allowed in the orchard so leave your furry friend at home.

Drumheller’s Orchard, Lovingston

Families head to Drumheller’s Orchard in Lovingston to pick peaches, apples, blueberries, and blackberries. Teachers alert—Drumheller’s welcomes school tours from late September through October. Call ahead to book your visit and give kids a hands-on lesson about apple picking in Virginia.

The orchard and market are open daily, Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 – 5:00 (noon – 5:00 Sunday).

Morris Orchard, Monroe

Continue south toward Lynchburg for fun apple picking at Morris Orchard. The family farm offers a variety of fruit and vegetables including pick-your-own blackberries and apples. Even if you don’t want to pick, stop in for their famous apple cider, pressed on site.

Shop for early apple varieties like Gala and Ginger Gold in early August, and check the schedule to see what’s ripe each week. The market is open Monday through Saturday, 8:00 – 5:00.

Awesome Apple Festivals in Virginia

Graves Mountain Farm Apple Harvest Festival, Syria VA

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. The harvest festival is open 10:00 – 4:30 Saturdays and Sundays. 2021 dates: Oct 2-3, 9-10, 16-17.

National Apple Harvest Festival at Hollabaugh Brothers, Biglerville PA

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. 2021 dates: Oct 2-3, 9-10.

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

Apple Butter Celebration, Shenandoah National Park Skyland

Unfortunately, the annual Shenandoah Apple Butter Celebration is canceled in 2021. Normally, the festival 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.

Tips for Apple Picking in Virginia

As noted above, Virginia apple picking season runs from early August through October. Mid-September to mid-October is prime time for some of the best eating apples. Most orchards grow several apple varieties, including Gala, Red and Yellow Delicious, and Fuji.

Always follow these simple apple-picking rules:

  • Do not climb the trees. Do not let your kids climb the trees or sit on apple branches. 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—Marker-Miller and Carter Mountain—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 Virginia is a great way to celebrate the transition from summer to fall. Best of all, you come away with a tasty reward for your efforts. Whichever apple orchard or festival you choose (or try them all!) we wish you plenty of fun and happy apple picking in Virginia.

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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.

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