Down vest, check. Pumpkin spice latte, check. Dreamy golden hour light, check. What’s missing from this fall fantasy? Apple picking, of course! Fall is peak apple season in New England, and Newburyport is ideally situated to make a trip to the apple orchard an easy weekend adventure. With so many farms offering so many attractions in addition to PYO, it can be tough to choose. We’ve compiled a list of the best tried-and-true orchards within thirty minutes of Newburyport. Happy picking!
Cider Hill Farm
Worth a visit for the tranquil grounds alone, Cider Hill Farm offers all the apples, peaches, blueberries, and sunflowers you can pick (in their respective seasons). Apple varieties run the gamut from Pioneer Mac and Cortland to Gala and Ruby, all for $20 a peck. A visit to the donut bakery or cider tasting counter makes a trip to Cider Hill the perfect weekend outing for the whole family. 45 Fern Ave., Amesbury / ciderhill.com
An apple picking excursion that includes a hayride to the orchard? Count us in! Ten varieties of apple await you upon your dismount, but be sure to check Russell’s website to see which are available on the day of your visit. Stop in the Farm Store & Winery on your way out to score some recipe ideas for your extra apples. 143 Argilla Rd., Ipswich / russellorchards.com
With hours of operation to satisfy both the early birds and night owls, Connors Farm in Danvers boasts apple picking, a corn maze, and a full roster of family activities that run through early November. Come for your half bushel of apples, stay for the duck races, giant rocking chair, and a ride on the Putnamville Railroad—no judgement if you need a nap between stops. 30 Valley Rd., Danvers / connorsfarm.com
Applecrest Farm Orchards
Once the destination of Boston’s weekly “Apple Train,” this fourth-generation farmstead boasts 220 acres of orchards containing over 40 varieties of apples. Taste the history as you enjoy apples from America’s oldest continuously-operated orchard. Be sure to visit before the end of October if you want to score some ice cream from their onsite creamery! 133 Exeter Rd., Hampton Falls, NH / applecrest.com
Venture just a little farther north to this small, off-the-beaten-track orchard with over 270 apple trees. Check out their website for flavor profiles of all the apple varieties they offer, and don’t leave before snagging one of their homemade jams or jellies. You may not meet the actual Annie (legend has it she doesn’t exist), but you will feel the love that’s been sown on the land for almost a century. 66 Rowell Rd. E, Brentwood, NH / appleannienh.org
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