There's something magical about picking apples on a crisp fall day.

With the warm days of summer soon melting into fall, it's almost apple season in the Mid-Atlantic.

Northern Virginia has some of the best orchards around, and here are some of our favorites, all within an easy drive of the Beltway. Get ready for some family fun if you're heading to one of these apple u-pick farms. 

Hartland Farm and Orchard

apples

Courtesy of Hartland Farm and Orchard

ADDRESS: 3205 Hartland Lane | Markham, VA
PHONE: (540) 532-0436

This family farm may have a lighter crop of apples this year, due to our April 2020 freeze. Check out their website for additional information, and be sure to call before you head out. 

Marker-Miller Orchards Farm Market

apples, Marker-Miller orchards

Courtesy of Marker-Miller Orchards Farm Market

ADDRESS: 3035 Cedar Creek Grade | Winchester, VA
PHONE: (540) 662-1391

Summer apple picking has already begun at Marker-Miller! This is one of the best-known (and busiest) orchards in the area. In addition to their u-pick orchard, their farm market has delicious cider doughnuts and other handcrafted products. Kids will love the cow train and the playground, not to mention all the sweets in the store. For more information, visit their website.

Hand-sanitizing stations have been set up around the orchard, and face coverings are required when inside the farm market. Be prepared!

Hollin Farms

apple orchard, farm

Courtesy of Hollin Farms

ADDRESS: 1410 Snowden Road | Delaplane, VA
PHONE: (540) 592-3574

Honeycrisp apples are ready for picking! Hollin Farms has many varieties of apples and even fresh Virginia peanuts and potatoes you can dig up yourself. Call or check their Facebook page to see what's ripe for picking on the day you want to go.

Face coverings are required in common areas like the check-in line, so have one handy. Reservations are not required, but expect weekends to be busier than visiting during the week.

Know Before You Go

  • Many of these u-pick orchards have a wide range of apple varieties that ripen during different months. If you're looking for a particular kind, call ahead.
  • Social distancing and hand hygiene are required in common areas like farm markets, picnic areas, and while you're in line with other visitors. Be sure to follow posted guidelines and instructions from orchard staff.
  • Some of the best apples are high up on the trees. Grab an apple picker (looks like a broom handle with a basket at one end) at the orchard before you venture too far away from the entrance.
  • People tend to drop blemished or bruised apples at the base of the tree. Wear sturdy walking shoes or boots because things will get messy.
  • As tempting as it is, don't eat the apples straight off the tree. You'll want to give them a thorough washing first to get off any pesticides.
  • There are eating apples and baking apples—make sure you know what you're going to do with them before you start picking!

Did your family's favorite orchard make our list? Let us know in the comments!