Apple season is the perfect excuse to get out of New York City and check out Hudson Valley apples!
If you live in or visit New York’s Hudson Valley, it’s hard not to think about apples as the weather turns cooler. Apples are not only plentiful but they’re also the official state fruit.
And like “leaf peeping,” apple tourism is a hugely popular activity in autumn.
Apple season: Autumn’s bounty
Our apple stats are pretty remarkable, too.
New York is the second largest producer of apples in the U.S. (after Washington State), producing some 25 million bushels from 694 commercial growers.
According to the New York State Apple Association (the organization representing the growers), New York produces more varieties of apples than any other state.
The seasonal bounty includes such varieties as Braeburn, Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Macoun, McIntosh, Rome and many more.
Whether you like them tart, sweet or somewhere in-between, apples are most plentiful during apple season in New York, the last quarter of the year.
Additionally, the Hudson Valley produces an abundance of apple-based products such as apple cider, apple pie and applesauce.
Apple tourism in New York: Visiting a farm
We happen to live in Westchester County, nicknamed the Golden Apple.
Each year, we take a trip to one of many apple farms in the state, Salinger’s Orchard in the town of Brewster.
Salinger’s is located in adjacent Putnam County, New York – about 20 minutes from our home and about one hour from Manhattan.
Although not a pick-your-own farm (New York State has them, too), this third-generation, family-owned, country-style store offers visitors a chance to sample some of the many New York State apple varieties at their peak.
Established in 1901, the farm market is open all year long. It sells other farm-fresh vegetables and fruits as well as an extensive line of home-baked bakery products, including cookies, muffins, donuts, strudels, scones and pies. Sweetening the pot are the local honey and homemade fudge.
The very photogenic market feels authentic: You can easily imagine that it probably looks like it did way back-then, when you spot the old donut-making machine and a vintage enamel oven.
The drive to the farm is also quite scenic, especially in the fall, when the leaves are changing their colors.
One time, after stocking up on apples, we picked up what turned out to be an uber-delicious mushroom quiche for later in the week.
Yes, city folk drive up to Salinger’s Orchard from New York City, and the farm stand is easily accessible from Route 684 if you’re heading into the city from Connecticut or elsewhere in New England.
Warning: If you buy the warm apple cider donuts, you may wind up eating them straight out of the bag on your way home.
Other apple farms to visit in Westchester County
Yorktown Heights, New York
Located about an hour north of NYC, apple-picking season at Wilkens begins on September 2. The market also sells pressed apple cider, freshly baked pies, apple cider donuts, and gift items.
See additional information on apple-picking at Wilkens Fruit Farm.
North Salem, New York
Apple-picking tickets must be purchased in advance to visit this hillside orchard with panoramic views. The farm also offers BBQ lunches, hot apple cider donuts, apple cider slushies and more.
North Salem, New York
From September through October, this is the place to find 15 varieties of pick-you-own apples, pears, and peaches. Fruits are sold by the bag, Find out more about making reservations at Outhouse Orchards.
Poughquag, New York
This year-round farmstand and pick-your-own farm also has farm animals, a dog park, and playgrounds for the family. Check out the website updates to plan your visit to Barton’s Orchards.
What’s appealing to the over-50 luxury traveler?
- Although New York is a big state, denizens of NYC call anything north of the city “upstate.” It’s always nice to take a scenic drive “upstate” to watch the changing seasons.
- Apples are a healthy treat. You can indulge all you want without guilt!
- A visit to an orchard during apple season appeals to people of all ages. If you bring grandchildren in tow, they’ll enjoy sitting on the tractor outside while eating a caramel-coated apple on a stick.
- Make a day of it! The farm-to-table Purdy’s Farmer and the Fish in North Salem is only six minutes from Salinger’s and is a great place to stop for lunch.
- Although Salinger’s Orchard is open all year, it is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and July 4th. Check opening hours on the website before you go.
- The weeks before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays tend to be particularly busy because of the high demand for the freshly-baked pies.
*All photo credits (unless otherwise noted): Jerome Levine
IF YOU GO
- Salinger’s Orchard, 230 Guinea Rd, Brewster, NY 10509
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