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 eight farms within three hours of Seattle that give you a chance to pick your own apples. A couple only have a harvest window that lasts a weekend. Others have a range of varieties that keep them open until October.
And when you get home: Cooking with kids: apple and peanut butter tarts
1. Bailey Farm
For the latest harvest information, check the website.
Driving time from Seattle: 35-50 minutes.
Hours: noon to 6 p.m., Sunday Sept. 13
This farm offers one day in which to pick your own Honeycrisp apples: Sunday, Sept. 13, and the farmers advise you should come early. This time of year, you can also go pick your own vegetables.
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: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16. Any other hours have yet to be announced.
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.
Driving time from Seattle: 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Mondays. August through October
This Skagit Valley farm grows more than 80 varieties of apples and pears, some familiar, and many that are bound to be new discoveries.
Driving time from Seattle: 2 to 2.5 hours
Hours: 9 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.
For the latest harvest information check the website.
Driving time from Seattle: 2.25 hours to 2.75 hours.
Farm hours: 9 am 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, 8 a.m. to 5 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.
Closed this year:
Apple Creek Orchards, 5367 Barr Rd, Ferndale (360) 384-0915