Fresh Picks

Whether you’re on the hunt for Granny Smiths or Honeycrisps, these Illinois orchards are perfect for a sweet day trip.

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The season of pumpkin spice wouldn’t be complete without fresh-picked apples. Whether you prefer to pick your own or grab a bushel to-go, these statewide orchards offer fall fun, fresh apples and other seasonal treats like cider and baked goods.

Reminder: Check the orchard’s website before your visit to confirm hours and COVID-19 precautions.

Thyme and Again Farm, Rockford

Kick off the season with a stroll through the apple orchard, then stock up on seasonal favorites like gourds, cornstalks and maple syrup. On weekends, you can purchase made-from-scratch pumpkin or apple pie.

Royal Oak Farm Orchard, Harvard

Wander among more than 17,000 apple trees with dozens of apple varieties or let yourself get lost in the 1.5-mile apple tree maze. Sample fresh cider doughnuts at the bakery and let kids ride the train or carousel. 

Edgewood Orchards, Quincy

This third-generation orchard has been owned and operated by the Zellerman family for 90 years. The family annually produces about 17,000 gallons of its signature cider, using a special blend of tart, sweet and neutral apples.

Rendleman Orchards, Alto Pass

Nestled in the hills of Shawnee National Forest, Rendleman Orchards grows a delicious selection of apples between August and October. Apple gift boxes are also available to order online and ship to your home. 

Eckert’s Belleville, Millstadt and Grafton

This family-run farm operates multiple pick-your-own apple orchards. Beyond apple season, the farms are open year-round for visitors to pick their own seasonal fruits and veggies. 

Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch, Champaign

Enjoy free admission to this orchard where you’ll find apples along with homey lunch dishes served daily at the Flying Monkey Cafe between late August and December.

All Seasons Orchard, Woodstock

Pick your own apples from 15,000 trees in the orchard, then walk through the formidable corn maze that offers two routes: An easier option for kids, or a tougher challenge for the ambitious.

Edwards Apple Orchard West, Winnebago

Pick your own apples or head straight to the barn to stock up on your favorite already-picked varieties, from Rubymac to Red Delicious. You can also stop by the Edwards West Express to pick up apple cider doughnuts, apple butter and other treats to go.

Ringhausen Apple House, Jerseyville

In Calhoun County, this fifth-generation fruit grower is a popular destination for pick-your-own apples. Browse the market for additional produce and seasonal goodies.

Jonamac Orchard, Malta

Pick your own apples or place an order online for curbside pick-up. You can also set Apple Alerts to receive a text when your favorite varieties are available.

 

By Lauren Sieben

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