Apples, cider, and donuts: what could be better?

Fall is filled with some of our favorite traditions. Topping that list? Apple picking. So before you start Googling Halloween costumes or sipping pumpkin spice lattes, take a few minutes to scroll this list of places to go apple picking near DC. Make a quick trip to MD’s Homestead Farms, just 25 minutes from downtown DC, for an afternoon adventure, or go on a weekend escape and visit Carter Mountain Orchard near Charlottesville, VA. Whether you’re looking for a country road trip or a fantastic fall field trip, we’ve rounded up the best places to fill your bucket.

The Best Apple Picking in Maryland

Butler's Orchard

Head to this GMO-free farm to find many varieties of apples throughout the fall pick-your-own season. You'll pay by container, not weight, and reservations are required to ensure your spot. After you've filled up on apples, head to the Farm Park to enjoy giant slides, farm animals, pedal tractors and more. Get your fresh-based fruit pies, seasonal produce, local cheeses, and festive fall decor at the orchard’s market.

Distance to DC: 27 miles

22222 Davis Mill Road
Germantown, MD

Homestead Farm

Don't know your Ginger Golds from your Granny Smiths? Can't tell what's ripe or not? No problem! This is a teaching farm, so just ask and you shall receive. Side note: You can leave the flimsy grocery store bags at home—Homestead hooks you up with heavy duty totes to collect your crop.

Distance from DC: About 25 miles

15604 Sugarland Rd.
Poolesville, MD


Baugher's Orchard has been a family-owned, working fruit and vegetable farm since 1904. It started out as a 60-acre piece of land and has expanded to become a 600-acre operation and one of the largest orchards in Maryland. Enjoy a wagon ride to the orchard and pick from apple trees on a picturesque Carroll County hillside. Kids can run around at the playground and even explore the Petting Zoo. Ice cream is sold in the market which is a great way to finish the day!

Distance from DC: About 70 miles

1015 Baugher Rd.
Westminster, MD


Larriland Farm

Counting chemicals? This nearly-organic farm sprays its apples with pesticides only as a last resort. Instead, they use other tactics like crop rotation and water management to keep critters at bay. Other than their eco-conscious efforts, Larriland also offers more than 15 different types of u-pick apples, a barn store with already-plucked fruits and veggies (and kettle corn), and pre- or post-picking hayrides.

Distance from DC: About 30 miles

2415 Woodbine Rd.
Woodbine, MD

Related: 30 Different Ways to Eat Apples (Not Just Pie!)

Catoctin Mountain Orchard

You'll likely smell this charming orchard before you see it. That's because, in addition to offering a host of apple varieties (including Cortland, empire, and cameo), Catoctin whips up fresh apple cider, pies, and jam in its on-site kitchen and bakery. You can pick your own fruit every weekend Sept.-Oct. Remember to bring cash or plan to use the ATM on-site. 

Distance from DC: About 60 miles

15036 N. Franklinville Rd.
Thurmont, MD

Rock Hill Orchard

Rock Hill has several thousand apple trees in its orchard. From Blondee’s to Macoun’s this is your go-to apple picking place. Your family is guaranteed to have an authentic farm experience here. Rock Hill Orchard is located in the Agricultural Reserve in Northern Montgomery County and is midway between Damascus and Mount Airy. The apple orchard opens in late August or early September. Pick-your-own time slots can be found on Fri.-Sun.; reservations are required. 

Distance From DC: About 40 miles

28600 Ridge Rd.
Mount Airy, MD

Weber's Farm

If apple cider is your jam, this is where you'll want to lay your basket. The cider mill at this farm is the oldest in continuous use in Maryland, which means they know what they're doing. If you want to pick your own fruit, you must pre-register. Times and dates are listed weekly on their Facebook page

Distance from DC: About 50 miles

2526 Proctor Ln.
Parkville, MD

Milburn Orchards

This family-favorite hosts "U-Pick Apple Adventures" Labor Day weekend through the end of Oct. The exploration begins with a free wagon ride into the orchards where you and your crew are given as many picking bags as you can carry. This orchard gets high marks in the convenience category—credit card payments for the apples are accepted in the orchard and all of the trees are dwarf trees with fruit that is reachable for the toddler set from the ground. P.S. Grab a few of their amazing apple cider donuts for the drive home.

Distance from DC: About 100 miles

1495 Appleton Rd.
Elkton, MD

The Best Apple Picking in Virginia

Stribling Orchard

Visit this sixth-generation family farm where the Stribling family has grown delicious fruit for 200 years. Come and enjoy a day in the country at the orchard. Relax, bring a picnic, and enjoy our breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Stop by the Harvest House, where they have cider, honey, jams, jellies, salsas, hot sauces, local cheese, eggs, Virginia peanuts, cookbooks, fresh baked goods and more.

Distance from DC: 60 miles

11587 Poverty Hollow Lane
Markham, VA

Marker-Miller Orchards

Sure, this farm boasts a whopping 325 acres of apples. But, what really impresses the kid set is the cow train (it's exactly what it sounds like—a cow-shaped train); old-time-y wagon rides; and Kiddie Land, an irresistible playground complete with a large wooden ship, tractor, and wagon. Apples? What apples?

Distance from DC: About 85 miles

3035 Cedar Creek Grade
Winchester, VA

Crooked Run Orchard

best apple picking
Erika Fletcher via Unsplash

Nestled on the outskirts of Purcellville, this farm boasts trees that bear fruit dating back to 1760! There is no admission fee and tree climbing is allowed for those under 60 lbs. After picking apples, be sure to head to downtown Purcellville for lunch.

Distance from DC: About 50 miles

37883 East Main St.
Purcellville, VA

Related: Favorite U-Pick Apple Orchards from Coast to Coast

Hartland Orchard

nyc apple picking
Sokmean Nou on Unsplash

Located near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hartland is a deep-rooted, family-owned working farm and orchard. Take a relaxing drive and spend the day in the scenic countryside. Hartland takes pride in offering the freshest, juiciest apples possible. Containers and bags can be found upon entering the orchard, where you can spend a few hours in a stunning country setting picking a variety of apple types from Braeburns to Nittanys.

Distance from DC: About 60 miles

3064 Hartland Lane
Markham, VA 

Great Country Farms

Apples are Great Country Farms’ thang! Apple picking is like a competitive sport to these folks so get ready to roll up your sleeves at CGF and get to work! Not only do they have apple picking, but there is also apple cider pressing, apple wine tastings, and apple butter that you can buy. Their orchard is bursting with lovely apples and they have several varieties such as Gala, Jona Gold, Jona Free, Candy Crisp, Ruby Jon, and Fuji ready for picking through the fall. The farm offers free wagon rides that take you to the orchard. Don’t forget to stop by the farm market for some hot cider donuts.

Distance from DC: About 60 miles

18780 Foggy Bottom Rd.
Bluemont, VA

Mackintosh Fruit Farm

Mackintosh Fruit Farm is a family-owned farm huddled in the stunning Northern Shenandoah Valley. Pick-your-own fields are open Thurs.-Sun.; there is a $2 fee to pick. Varieties include Gala, Ginger Gold, and Fuji. They sell lunch on the farm and even have breakfast specials on weekends. Got a sweet tooth? The farm sells caramel apples, apple cider floats, apple caramel sundaes, baked apples, pies, donuts, and more! 

Distance from DC: About 70 miles

1608 Russell Rd.
Berryville, VA

Online: mackintoshfruitfarm

Hollin Farms

This fourth-generation family farm is worth the drive just for the spectacular views: Virginia mountains everywhere along with other farms. With acres of apples ready to be plucked from the trees, they also offer chilled cider and other drinks, donuts, ice cream, and other fresh baked goods. Toss in the fact that they’re puppy-friendly and this orchard can quickly become your family’s favorite apple-picking destination.

Distance from DC: About 60 miles

1524 Snowden Road
Delaplane, VA

Related: 7 Beaches That Are Better in the Fall

Rinker Orchards

Rinker Orchards is truly a Shenandoah Valley hidden gem. Out of the 7,500 cultured varieties of apples, they focus on 10 that grow best in this region, and boy, do they grow them well! Bring lunch and enjoy a picturesque picnic beneath an apple tree that overlooks the orchard while the kids play tag. Make sure you give their apple cider a try—it has no added sugar, water, or preservatives.

Distance from DC: About 85 miles

1156 Marlboro Rd
Stephens City, VA

Carter Mountain Orchard

This scenic farm is a couple of hours away from DC, but it's worth the drive. Expect pumpkins, hayrides, a winery, and apples...lots and lots of apples. Still on the fence? The apple cider donuts alone are worth the trip.

Distance from DC: About 125 miles

1435 Carters Mountain Trail
Charlottesville, VA

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