Seven Places to Go Apple Picking in Vermont

Top Picks: Seven PYO Apple Orchards Worth the Drive

By Carolyn Fox
Story originally published in Seven Days on 08|31|2021.

Allenholm Farm

South Hero
Seven generations of the Allen family have tended Allenholm Farm since 1870, making it the state’s oldest commercial apple orchard. Over those 150-plus years, the place has grown to offer a little of everything. Visitors can expect weekend wagon rides and more than a dozen pick-your-own varieties. The farm store sells homemade pies and maple creemees made with Vermont syrup. (There are maple sprinkles, too!)

Burtt’s Apple Orchard

Started by a young Vermonter as a high school project in 2005, Burtt’s Apple Orchard grows 40 pick-your-own varieties on a compact 10-acre plot amid hillside farms and the Green Mountains. Visitors come for the apples, doughnuts and cider slushies — available daily at the farmstand — and stay to forge family traditions at the corn maze and pumpkin patch.

Champlain Orchards

From Ambrosia to Zestar — and everything in between, including good ol’ Cortland and Empire — Champlain Orchards boasts 146 apple varieties, and counting. September and October also bring Asian pears, European plums and fall raspberries. Good thing there’s a PYO tracker on the website to keep tabs on what’s ripe. After all that picking, reward yourself with a crisp, easy-drinking hard cider, pressed and fermented right on-site.

Mad Tom Orchard

East Dorset
Sansa is “a good lunch box apple,” while Macouns make “great pink apple sauce, if you leave the skin on.” These are the kinds of delicious details in Mad Tom Orchard’s handy Apple Calendar, which notes the best uses and ripening schedule for its 14 varieties. Sylvia and Tom Smith’s orchard promises mountain views. Also, weekend doughnuts.

Scott Farm Orchard

With a history dating back to 1791 — the year Vermont became a state — Scott Farm is on the National Register of Historic Places and has an exciting array of heirloom apples, including Knobbed Russet, a lumpy variety hailing from England, and reddish-orange Esopus Spitzenburg, which Thomas Jefferson grew at Monticello. Other “fine fruits” available in autumn include plums, pears and quinces. Check the website for pie workshops and monthly Crêpe Nights.

Shelburne Orchards

A 60-acre orchard with hillside glimpses of Lake Champlain, Shelburne Orchards is a scenic stop for all things apple. In addition to pick-your-own, visitors can find the fruits in fresh-pressed cider and the flagship Dead Bird Brandy, with notes of caramel, apple and butter. The cider doughnuts, coated in sugar, keep locals coming back.

Yates Family Orchard

You’re familiar with cider doughnuts and creemees, but how about Dreamees? The signature dessert at Yates Family Orchard is a fresh, hot cider doughnut topped with Vermont maple soft-serve. Come and get it — along with 28 pick-your-own apple varieties — at this family-owned orchard on Monkton Ridge, with Adirondack and valley vistas. Catch live music on Sunday afternoons, mid-September through mid-October.


About the Seven Days Staytripper Series

Created by Seven Days, the “Staytripper: The Road Map for Rediscovering Vermont” series presents curated excursions statewide. The series was originally published from 2020-2022 and highlights Vermont restaurants, retailers, attractions, and outdoor adventures to spotlight all corners of the state.