There’s nothing better than biting into a crisp, juicy, sweet apple, unless it’s one you’ve picked yourself. Listed below are 9 of the best apple picking locations in Washington State where you can have great family fun and come home with fresh fruit to can, make into your favorite recipe, or just enjoy. Many of the locations have markets, festivals, tours, or other events going on during picking season, and if you’re not into picking your own, they offer already picked produce so you can still have that freshly-picked flavor.
Local, organic, and farm fresh. That’s what you’ll get when you come to pick apples at Jones Creek Farms in Sedro Woolley, Washington. Open for apple and pear picking between August and October, you’ll find a significant assortment of apples including the popular Jonamac, a sweet juicy cross between Jonathan and McIntosh, Asian and European pears, a good selection of garlic, pumpkins, and squash. They have already picked fruit, too, for those who don’t want to pick their own.
When it’s apple picking time, head for 25,000-tree BelleWood Farms & Distillery in Lynden, Washington, one of the largest orchards in the state. Here you’ll find over 20 different apply varieties from the crisp, juicy tart-sweet Gravenstein to Sansa, a newer cross between Akane and Gala and everywhere in between. Hop aboard the Apple Bin Express for a ride through the orchard to your destination for a great picking time. They have a bakery and market on site and picked apples, pies, ciders, and other specialty items for sale. With beautiful Mount Baker in the background, this is a great place for family photos, too, and apple picking at BelleWood is sure to become a family tradition.
Wilson Banner Ranch in Clarkston, Washington, is a farm to fork heritage farm that’s been in operation for over 100 years. They use proven methods of farming and environmentally-friendly techniques for growing their produce, and rotate crops to make the best use of the land without overusing it. Special events occur on a regular basis here, like live music, farm tours, special dinners, and wine and brewery presentations. Check the picking schedule on their Facebook page, and make sure to bring plenty of water and dress appropriately for the weather.
Apples, peaches, pumpkins, pears…with a few nectarines added. That’s what you’ll find at Stutzman Ranch Orchard in Wenatchee, Washington. This pick-your-own orchard offers the chance for some great family fun when you bring the kiddos and spend the day in the orchard. This family-owned family-friendly farm has been around since 1907. Bring your own water, but leave backpacks, strollers, blankets, tents, dogs, food, and other drinks behind.
Whether you come to pick your own or make your purchases at the fruit market on premise, you’ll find top-quality, reasonably-priced fruits and vegetables at Johnson Orchards in Yakima, Washington. Family owned since 1904, you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time when you visit the packing warehouse and taste the latest in-season fruit. Cherries, apricots, apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, and pluots are available between and December. The bakery is open three days a week and offers delicious pies and other sweet treats.
With a passion for fruit, the owners of Skipley Farm located in Snohomish, Washington, take great pride in creating happiness, lasting friendships, and delicious, healthy produce for the public. With 280 varieties of apples, seedless grapes, blueberries, cherries, pears, plums, kiwi, raspberries, blackberries, currants, gooseberries, jostaberries, that’s just the beginning of what’s available at this non-certified organic farm. This is an exciting place to visit if you’ve been looking for more information on edible landscaping, beekeeping, food preservation, and grafting trees. Farm tours are available, too, and inspiration from Robert Rodale of Organic Gardening magazine, is what motivates owner Gil Schieber to share his wealth of knowledge. This is definitely a pick-your-own place to visit.
Besides gigantic blueberries the size of a child’s palm, and delicious raspberries, plumcots, pluots, and grapes, West Valley U-Pick in Yakima, Washington, has apples, pears, and pumpkins, and other vegetables between July and the end of October. Naturally grown and organic, the farm is well maintained and very kid-friendly. They supply the buckets and wagon, and have better prices than local grocery stores. When you’re done picking your apples, you can relax under one of the tall shade trees and enjoy a picnic lunch, then head to the market to purchase local honey and eggs.
Looking for a kid-friendly place to take the young ones where you can pick your own apples? Swan’s Trail Farms in Snohomish, Washington, is the place to go. Hop on the farm wagon for the short ride to the land of sweet Honeycrisp and juicy Jonagold apples anytime beginning in September. There’s a petting zoo where the little ones can see pigs, ducks, and other farm animals up close, a playground, mini-train, and a Washington State-shaped corn maze in the fall. The farm is fun for all!
Open every day except Sunday, Ray French Orchard in Richland, Washington, is a great place to visit if you want to pick your own fruits. What started out as a 160-acre land full of sagebrush developed into a commercial endeavor that included cherries, peaches, and apples. Later, with the so many people wanting the experience of picking their own fruit, the orchard was opened to that, and now the farm has grown to 61 acres and includes nectarines.