Apple picking in New England is a special tradition every October. I never miss it! Although Washington and New York lead the United States when it comes to apples, Connecticut has an abundance of orchards for your Autumn adventures. I have travelled across the state to find the best apple orchards in Connecticut and I have sampled apple cider and cider donuts at every orchard I have been to (strictly for research purposes, of course).
When looking for an orchard I love, I look to find a place that has a beautiful variety of apples, a lovely autumn view, an authentic farm stand, delicious apple cider and cider donuts, friendly people, and smiling guests. These are my top three Connecticut apple orchards and they have it all.
#1 Blue Jay Orchards, Bethel CT
Blue Jay Orchards is my personal favorite apple orchard in Connecticut. When I think of apple picking in New England, my thoughts instantly go here. This orchard is family owned and one of the most authentic family run farms I have visited in the state.
140 acres of apples, tractor rides, a pumpkin patch, and the absolute best apple cider and farm shop in Connecticut. I love how beautiful this orchard is, especially with the changing leaves. My family used to come here when I was a kid and it will always be a tradition to visit every October. The staff on the farm are very friendly and happy. The apple trees are abundant and never over-picked, even late in the season.
The farm stand by the entrance has amazing food from their farm as well as other local farms. You can find the best apple cider in Connecticut here and also pick up some local honey, jams, soup mixes, and all kinds of goodies.
#2 Woodstock Orchards, Woodstock CT
You will know Woodstock Orchards by it’s locally famous apple barn on the main street.
There are many things that I love about this orchard. The apple barn is a really lovely place and they sell, in my opinion, the best tasting apple cider donuts in Connecticut. These donuts are small and the perfect “bite size” treat and they taste amazing. These donuts are made fresh right in front of you in the barn.
Pumpkins may also be found in the front of the barn and in the field behind it. The apple orchard itself is peacefully tucked away behind the barn away from the main street. Even on a busy Saturday, the orchard had plenty of guests, but did not feel over crowded. The prices here are also very reasonable for a family visit.
#3 Lyman Orchards, Middlefield CT
There is so much to love about Lyman Orchards. It is a family farm that has been run by the Lyman family for the past 275 years! Now that is an incredible family history. Lyman Orchards is the largest of the orchards on this list with 1,100 acres of farmland. This orchard is great for families because they have a lot of variety from their pumpkin patch (with casper white pumpkins), a corn maze, apple picking, lovely views, a great grocery store on site, apple cider donuts, and a sunflower maze during the summer. It is even a wedding venue and has a golf course. Their apple cider donuts have been voted the best in Connecticut this year.
I have placed Lyman Orchards as #3 because although it is amazing in almost every way, it is also the most commercialized of the orchards on this list. The line may take you well over an hour to park your car and the orchard quickly gets picked over. They also have strict rules about taking photos on the property.
Even so, the views here are some of the best in Connecticut and Lyman Orchards is a lovely experience. You won’t want to miss it.
If you feel that I have left out a very important orchard, please let me know in the comments! Although I have been to many, I have not seen every apple orchard in the state and I am always looking for new places to explore. Let me know which orchard you love, why you love it, and share a memory. That orchard may just pop up on the blog next October.
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