Nothing says fall like a visit to your local orchard.
As soon as temperatures begin to mellow out, Wisconsinites jump to unearth their sweaters and embrace the brisk weather. Although gone are the joyous summer festivals, not many folks in Milwaukee complain too much. Instead, we look forward to fall hikes, pumpkin-spiced desserts and, of course, apple picking.
To help jumpstart the season, Milwaukee Magazine has rounded up some of the best apple orchards within an hour of Milwaukee so everyone can enjoy fall’s favorite fruit.
Map of Our Apple Orchard Picks
Photos via orchards’ social media accounts
W220 N10540 Amy Belle Rd., Germantown; Friday-Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Apple Holler not only offers pick-your-own apples, but they also have a beloved restaurant that serves home-style meals, including decadent apple pies. For an added bonus, mid-September is pear-picking-season at Apple Holler. (Note: You can also come back later in the autumn to pick pumpkins.)
Spend the weekend fully embracing the apple-picking experience at The Elegant Farmer’s Autumn Harvest Fest. In addition to picking apples, you can hop on a train ride, pony ride or hay ride and also get lost in a corn maze and enjoy their famous “Apple Pie in a Paper Bag,” (among other apple treats.)
Check Barthel Fruit Farm’s website for weekly updates on which of their apples are currently ripe. The farm also has a fresh bakery where all the apple treats you could imagine are prepared in-house daily. Their selection includes apple cider donuts, apple streusel muffins, apple cinnamon scones, mini apple crisps, apple cider slush and more.
12246 N Farmdale Rd Mequon; Daily 9:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.
W6384 Sugar Creek Rd. Elkhorn; Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you desire fresh, organic apples, Peck & Bushel promises on their website that “you will taste the difference.” With over 25 different organic varieties of apples to pick at their farm, Peck & Bushel has an apple for almost everyone, but be sure to check with them to see which apples are ripe each weekend.
While Brightonwoods Orchard is not a pick-your-own, that doesn’t mean you should skip it this fall. The farm has a variety of activities for families including walks through their orchards, a two-story treehouse for kids, a winery and distillery on their grounds, and a car show at the end of September. Not to mention, they grow over 150 varieties of apples.
Head over to Nieuman Orchard’s website for a convenient matrix of which apples will be ripe at each point of the year. When you get to their orchards, you can hop on a wagon ride into the orchard to start your picking. Make sure to call ahead of time and ensure they have apples available.
Photos courtesy of: Chris Kessler; Getty Images; Basse’s Farm; Carly Jo Hintz; Joseph Morales and Company; Marcus Center