Fall fun in Winchester, Virginia abounds. From pick your own orchards, to pumpkin patches and petting zoos, you will surely delight yourself in this Shenandoah Valley town. It has been said that George Washington himself, planted the first apple trees here. While nobody knows if that is true, what is true, is that there are a plethora of apple orchards to visit this fall each offering their own treats and fun.
Fall Fun In Winchester, Virginia
During a recent visit to Winchester, I was taken on a farm tour of a few local orchards. I had no idea that this part of the mid-atlantic could grow so many apples. The farmers attribute it to the limestone soil and the mild climate during growing season. Whatever the trick may be, they produce a wide variety of apples for our enjoyment. During my tour I was able to try apple cider donuts, apple butter, apple cider, and apples fresh from the branch. The funny thing is, none of it tasted the same because each orchard grows a different variety.
Richard’s Fruit Market
Richard’s is the oldest open air farm market in the county, since 1878 (give or take) this family farm has been providing fresh farm goods to Frederick County. While you can’t pick your own here, this farm has a large offering of apples, pumpkins and fall treats. They also offer fresh beef and veggies. You can literally leave here with an entire meal.
Be sure to join them for the annual Apple Festival on October 14, featuring fresh apples, baked goods, a petting zoo and corn maze.
Marker Miller Orchards
Tucked away off the main roads is Marker Miller Orchards. Offering a full service farm market and pick your own orchards, you can while away your fall days here. This fun on the farm experience offers wagon rides, a huge playground and picnic area. Relax with an apple cider slush while sitting on their front porch enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery.
The Homestead at Fruit Hill Orchard
The fifth generation mother/daughter team at The Homestead Farm aren’t slowing down anytime soon. The orchards have been in the family since the mid 1800’s and span a large part of land in Winchester. While you can’t pick your own here you will get fresh organic produce. Their goal is to provide locally grown, natural produce and homemade products.
While you will find an abundance of apples this time of year, you will also find homemade baked goods, soaps, sauces and more in the market. Be sure not to miss Bluegrass Night every Thursday from July – November beginning at 6.30 p.m. Owners Katherine and Emily provide a home cooked meal for just $9.99! I don’t know anywhere that you can go for a meal, sides, dessert and live music for that price.
If you happen to be visiting the area in the spring make sure not to miss the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. This annual festival offers a series of more than forty events including: band competitions, dances, parades, carnival, dinners, luncheons, wine festival, a 10K Race, the Coronation of Queen Shenandoah, two large parades, and celebrities. Mark your calendar and, “DISCOVER THE BLOOM!” from April 27 – May 6, 2018!
Whether you are a local to the area, or just passing through the Shenandoah Valley be sure to enjoy these fabulous farms.