There's something magical about picking apples on a crisp fall day. Northern Virginia has some of the best apple orchards around, and here are some of our favorites.

Get ready for some family fun if you're heading to one of these apple u-pick farms. This list has both small apple orchards and big fall festival destinations, so choose wisely!

Hartland Farm and Orchard

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

This family farm in Markham has apples to pick until November 3, so get out there soon. They also run a fall festival each weekend if you're interested in more than just apple-picking. For $10 per person (ages 3 and up) you can try out their corn maze, jump on a hayride, play cornhole or giant chess, and much, much more. Check out their website for additional information; this orchard has it all!

apples

Courtesy of Hartland Farm and Orchard

Marker-Miller Orchards Farm Market

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

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.

apples, Marker-Miller orchards

Courtesy of Marker-Miller Orchards Farm Market

Hollin Farms

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

Hollin Farms has many varieties of apples and even sweet potatoes you can dig up yourself. If you want to give their corn maze a try, admission is just $1 per person! Call or check their Facebook page to see what's ripe for picking on the day you want to go.

apple orchard, farm

Courtesy of Hollin Farms

Stribling Orchard

ADDRESS: 11587 Poverty Hollow Lane | Markham, VA
PHONE: (540) 364-3040

Stribling Orchard is a sixth-generation family farm that boasts many different varieties of apples and a bountiful farm stand. Check their website for what's ripe the week you want to go; you may discover apples you've never tasted before!

apples, Stribling Orchard

Courtesy of Stribling Orchard

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.
  • 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!