It’s the most wonderful time of the year! ok..maybe not..but ’tis the season for apple picking! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. There are many farms and orchards in the Hudson Valley within a couple hours drive from New York City. I’ll take you to a few of my favorites here..

Calvin Tilokee picking apples at Fishkill farms
Never heard of a Mutsu apple until I held it for this photo

I know you’re not supposed to play favorites, but Fishkill Farms is my favorite farm in the area. We are part of their CSA where we receive farm fresh produce for 25 weeks! I even just found out that the original owners were great friends with Franklin Roosevelt! Come for the apples, stay for the history right?

Apple picking season is well and truly underway and you will find FORTY different varieties here!! You can walk around to do the pick-your-own, or if you plan on a large haul, you can drive around the orchard and load up the trunk as you go. They will check your trunk on the way out..so maybe figure out a secret compartment or something if you want to smuggle.. When you’re done grab some of their handmade cider and stop by the farm store for my favorite type of apple…..pied.

Calvin Tilokee apple picking with a phone in his hand
Googling how many apples it takes to make a cider

Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard is a local favorite and very popular during apple picking season. On opening weekend last year, over 100,000 people came through! Needless to say, reservations are recommended. It is totally worth making the resy and the trip. This is a great place for an afternoon out with the family. In addition to acres and acres of apples, they have livestock for the kids (and big kids like me) to play with! You’ll find chickens and goats right behind the farm store. Be sure to stop in and get a bottle or two if their “Citra” cider…and if you come on the weekend, stick around for pizza night! They have live music, beer and wine on tap! Leave the kids with the goats. They’ll be fine. 

Calvin Tilokee holding a bag of apples at Mead Orchards
Wondering why I didn't bring more than one bag

Mead Orchards is a little further away than the other two, but that may work out in your favor. We visited them on Labor Day weekend last year, and were not overwhelmed with people. This orchard is so large and spacious, you’ll mostly be with your people. Which makes for a relaxing and enjoyable experience. This is also an orchard that let’s you drive up, so feel free to take a few trips to stock up the trunk!