Living in New England means we get to enjoy many outdoor activities all year long. Coming out of the summer season where we find lovely beaches and beautiful coastal towns, we slowly move on to some of the best farms and orchards to visit during the fall season.
Connecticut truly is one of the best places to explore in the autumn. And when it comes to apple orchards and fresh fruit, we might just be at the top. You can find dozens of orchards where you can pick your apples in the fall while enjoying fall activities. And the views, they are always Gram worthy!
Today I’m sharing some of the best (and my personal favorites) local orchards to visit in Connecticut during the fall season.
1. Clark Farms
Established 1976. This orchard is on the top of my favorites list. Clark Farms has about 15,000 dwarf apple trees on the property and because of their height, they tend to soak up more nutrients from the soil and sun, which means juicier, crispier and tastier apples. It also means they’re perfect for kids to reach!
They have a fantastic green house and a Cafe & Cidery Pub. They offer fresh farm to table food, comfort food, farm fresh sweet or hard cider and more. Dine in, take out and delivery options are available. Check out their calendar for all fall season events.
Established 1911 by Mr. & Mrs. Dondero who came from Italy and for a short time settled in New York before moving to Glastonbury, CT. This orchard is literally in my neck of the woods, you can say it’s a neighboring farm and I visit this orchard year after year and they never disappoint.
Apple season runs into October with popular varieties as Granny Smiths, Cortland, Empire, McIntosh, and Opalescent, among others. They have a wonderful farm store loaded with all sorts of goodies including fall pies, jams, gourds and mums galore. They serve up the best pumpkin bisque, made-to-order apple fritters and amazing cider! Oh, and candied apples, my fave!
Established 1741. Fun fact: In 1830 William Lyman became an early advocate of the movement to abolish slavery. He partook in the Underground Railroad that helped fugitive slaves seeking freedom. Lyman is one of the oldest orchards in CT with a fascinating history.
This orchard is packed full of berries for the picking during the summer and apples and pumpkins in the fall. They have a fabulous 9 hole golf course, an incredible market and they offer the Lyman Homestead for special events rental. The entire farm is loaded with all sorts of activities for the fall season including tours of one of the best corn mazes in CT.
Established 1849. Originally a dairy farm, Beardsley’s has gone through many changes over the decades since it’s start. They have since rejuvenated their existing orchards, some of which were planted in the 1920’s, and have over 10,000 dwarf apple trees in their Pick-Your-Own Orchard. Also available are over 400 peach, nectarine and plum trees on the farm.
They also have a farm store open daily with peaches, nectarines, plums, pies, cider donuts, scones, fruit breads and LOCAL RAW HONEY available through mid December.
Established 1896. What first began as a crop farm has since become a premier New England orchard. The Holmberg Brothers began planting apples in 1935 and by the 60’s it rose to be one of New England’s best. Today the farm has expanded into the retail and pick-your-own markets, including a farm market (open year round) and a winery, which burst onto the CT wine scene in 2007 with award-winning fruit wines and sparkling hard ciders.
Fruit picking starts in June with many types of berries available throughout the summer. PYO Apples has begun and is open daily. Apples now available are Galas, Macintosh and some Honeycrisp.
Founded in 1920’s. This farm is another favorite of mine since it is in a neighboring town. I’ve visited with the kids many times over the years.
During the 70’s and 80’s Silverman’s Farm was expanded into a large apple and peach orchard and is now a popular destination with a sweeping pick-your-own orchard, scenic tractor rides, and a petting farm with many types of barnyard animals and fowl. The farm market features a broad selection of fresh produce, baked goods, and all sorts of specialty foods.
Established 1984. Although a relatively ‘newer’ farm, Lapsley Orchard has evolved into a grand example of a New England farm at its best. All the fruits and vegetables sold in the stand are grown on the farm. The orchard consists of 20 acres of 24 apple varieties. The PYO apple harvest runs from early September through end of October. Hayrides are available every weekend during the apple harvest season.
If you’re looking for some good old-fashioned autumn fun in Connecticut, you don’t have to look far. Pick one or all of the orchards and farms to visit from the list. It’s the unofficial start of the fall season and all it’s exciting and fun things to do have just begun. And don’t forget to take time for a scenic drive as the fall foliage settles in!
TIP: When picking ALWAYS remember to wear sunscreen and a sun hat. During the fall season we get a lot of rain and often times the farms and orchards get very muddy. Wear closed toe shoes, boots or rain boots whenever possible, sandals are not recommended. Also, stay hydrated.