Apple picking, updated for 2021:
Everyone should try apple picking. An apple fresh from the tree has a crispness and a complexity in flavor that you never find in a supermarket. And many apple orchards offer varieties of fruit that you’d seldom encounter in the city. Besides, orchards are beautiful places. Muddy (Wear those rubber boots!) and full of farm smells, but gorgeous all the same.
Here are seven farms within three hours of Seattle that give you a chance to pick your own apples. A couple have a harvest window that lasts only a day or a weekend. Others have a range of varieties that keep them open until October.
1. Bailey Farm
For the latest harvest information, check the website.
Driving time from Seattle: 35-50 minutes.
Hours: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily for an array of veggies. Honeycrisp apples should be available sometime after Labor Day.
For the latest apple picking information check the farm’s “news and events” page.
Driving time from Seattle: 45 minutes to 1.25 hours.
Hours: Stay tuned for when the farm will be open for 2021 picking of Honeycrisp and Jonagold apples.
This farm, a well-known hub of family farm fun (including a 12 acre corn maze replicating the map of Washington State), has an acre of Jonagold and Honeycrisp apples for picking.
3. Jones Creek Farms32260 Burrese Road, Sedro-Woolley
Open for picking for 2021!
Driving time from Seattle: 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Mondays, August through roughly the end of October (check to be sure).
This Skagit Valley farm grows more than 80 varieties of apples and pears, some familiar and many that are bound to be new discoveries.
Open Sept. 1, 2021 for picking! Tsugaru is the first variety to be available.
Driving time from Seattle: 2 to 2.5 hours
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday, Septemer and October
This farm has Honeycrisp, Cosmic Crisp, Jonamac, Gala, Jonagold, Belle de Boskoop and Golden Supreme apples in September, and Fuji, Idared, Sonata, Orin, School House Red, Bellewood Prince, Evercrisp and Mountain Rose apples in October.
Driving time from Seattle: 2.25 hours to 2.75 hours.
Farm hours: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily while there is fruit.
This U-pick orchard has Fuji and Golden Delicious apples starting about Sept. 10. It has other kinds of fruit, including cherries in June, and nectarines, peaches and Bartlett pears later in the summer.
For the latest information check the website.
Driving time from Seattle: 2.5 to 3 hours.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Mid-August to October.
This orchard grows Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Blondee apples and a cider press available to use. There is also a variety of other fruit, including Bartlett and D’Anjou pears.
Apple Creek Orchards in Ferndale reports that its owners are retiring and it will not be open for picking.
And when you get home:
Originally published Sept. 24, 2020; updated for 2021.