While all seasons are memorable in Iowa, the autumn brings along a very special time throughout the state. The changing colors, the cooler temperatures and wide variety of seasonal experiences to partake in, it all adds up to making the fall one of the best times of year in Iowa. Of all those activities to take part in, apple picking is perhaps the most quintessential, and throughout Iowa you can find orchards ripe for the picking. To find the best varieties and most scenic surroundings in your apple picking experience, you have to check out these 10 best apple picking spots in Iowa.
For one of the best apple picking experiences in Iowa, be sure to head on over to Wilson’s Orchard and Farm in Iowa City. Located on Dingleberry Road, Wilson’s Orchard has been an apple-picking hotspot for over two decades, and any visit today includes over 120 different apple varieties to choose from. While you are there, Wilson’s provides a map of the area and a basket to collect with, plus plenty of different delicious reminders to take home with you.
Available on select weekends in the fall, whether you are looking for apples for eating, for baking or for sauce making, Appleberry Orchard has a lot of apples to choose from. Your adventure at Appleberry begins with a scenic tractor ride into the orchard, and from there, the number of apples you want to pick is only limited by the amount you can carry. While you are there, and depending on the time of the year, you can also find your perfect holiday pumpkin amongst all the apple picking.
Located less than 20 minutes outside of the Des Moines metro, the Wills Family Orchard really comes to life during the fall with the wide selection of u-pick apples they have available. Whether you are looking for enough apples to bake many pies, or you're just looking for an energizing snack during an afternoon of strolling the orchard, Wills Family Orchard has just the ticket for you. While you can pick up pre-picked Wills Family Orchard apples at the farm throughout the fall, to pick your own you need to stop by this family orchard anytime on the weekend.
While picking your own apples is a great reason to check out the Center Grove Orchard in Cambridge, this fun-filled farm provides many different reasons to stay awhile. Featuring farm-fresh meals, farmyard animals to meet and a beautiful Iowa landscape to admire, Center Grove Orchard has something for every member of the family to enjoy. To pick your own apples at Center Grove Orchard, grab your bag in September and plan your day around picking the best ones.
Among the many apples varieties found at Ditmar’s Orchard, visitors can find other seasonal fruits including apricots, cherries, peaches and strawberries when they are ripe. With all the fruit available, it should come as no surprise that Ditmar’s also operates as a vineyard, and you can pick up some of their farm-fresh wine after you’re done picking some apples. All apples at Ditmar’s Orchard go for $2 a pound, leaving little limit to how much you can bring home to you.
Whether you are looking for a half-peck, full peck or even a bushel, the pick your own selection at Iowa Orchard will leave you wanting some more. Featuring over 20 varieties to choose from, the Iowa Orchard of Granger is one of the largest in Iowa, making it easy to lose yourself in an Iowa afternoon of fun. The type of apple you’ll want to pick at the Iowa Orchard depends on the weekend in the fall you visit, and regardless of what you take home, it’s almost a guarantee you’ll go home with a memorable experience.
Featuring fresh cider, scenic haystack rides, and open hours every day of autumn, Allen’s Orchard in Marion provides one of the best apple picking experiences you can find in the state of Iowa. With plenty of varieties to choose from, including the perfect Honeycrisp apple, there is little limit on the amount of apples you can bring home from this fresh orchard, lending towards plenty of baking opportunities in your near future.
Featuring all things apples, Deal’s Orchard in Jefferson is a fourth generation family farm that is ripe for the picking throughout the fall. While the variety of apples available to pick right from the tree are a fun part of the Deal’s experience, this family orchard offers a whole lot more for the entire family, including giant slides, goats to feed, and a five-acre corn maze to lose yourself in. However you spend your time at Deal’s, you’ll be sure to leave with a well-spent autumn day behind you.
In operation for over 50 years, Hinegardner Orchard in Montour has a long-standing reputation for serving quality produce to the Grinnell and Des Moines area. Featuring strawberries, plums, melons and pumpkins seasonally throughout the years, Hinegardner Orchard’s apples are ready for picking midway through the month of September. With plenty of varieties to choose from, there’s little limit to the fun you can have picking apples at Hinegardner Orchard.
Located along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway, Gravert’s Apple Basket Orchard of Sabula not only offers plenty of fresh apples to pick from, but it also provides a great view of the Mississippi River to enhance the experience. Available for picking on the weekends, Gravert’s has plenty of varieties to choose from, and regardless of what kind of apples you take home for yourself, you’ll be sure to head home with a very memorable Iowa experience.