Minnesota is known for its delicious apple varieties that are ready for picking starting as early as August. The state has more than 100 orchards growing 20 million pounds of apples every year, giving families the perfect opportunity to head out and select their own crisp apples right from the tree.
Sure, you can go to the grocery store and buy a bag of Honeycrisp, but you can't capture the memories in the produce section like you can when you head out to an orchard on a sunny fall afternoon.
10 apple orchards to visit near the Twin Cities
Fall Harvest Orchard in Montrose
- Location: 345 County Road 30 SE, Montrose
- Hours: Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday-Sunday from Aug. 29-Oct. 31.
Fall Harvest Orchard in Montrose, about 5 miles west of Delano, has more than 20 varieties of you-pick or pre-picked apples. In its weekly update, the orchard lists which apple varieties are currently available for you-pick and in-store for pre-picked.
The orchard doesn't just have apples. It's a haven for fall fun with a you-pick pumpkin patch (and pre-picked pumpkins and gourds), food trucks offering a variety of cuisines and beverages, live music and tons of different activities.
Among the activities at the orchard (some are free, some cost $3 each): visiting and feeding animals, corn pits, live music, tire climb, yard games, hale bale mountain, wagon rides, train ride, cow train ride, apple cannons, corn maze, pedal carts, bounce pillow and pony rides.
Aamodt's Apple Farm in Stillwater
- Location: 6428 Manning Ave., Stillwater
- Hours: Open daily; hours are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
There are also various activities for kids, including wagon rides (they may be closed due to COVID-19), the Honeycrisp Express, a goat farm, and the apple barn and bakery.
Food and drinks are also available, including apple brats, Thor's Hard Cider, and wine tastings from Saint Croix Vineyards.
Apple Jacks Orchards in Delano
- Location: 4875 SE 37th St., Delano
- Hours: Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
- Admission: Free
In addition to apples, the orchard offers you-pick pumpkins (and pre-picked pumpkins and gourds), a restaurant, a bakery, and a country store, as well as attractions for families.
Among the activities: a cow train, wagon rides, corn maze, corn pit, jumping pillow, apple cannon and animals (some activities are only open on the weekends).
Minnesota Harvest in Jordan
- Location: 8251 Old Highway 169 Blvd., Jordan
- Hours: Open Thursdays-Sundays — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
- Admission: Free
Minnesota Harvest in Jordan, 8251 Old Hwy. 169 Blvd., grows over two dozen unique apple varieties that are only grown at the orchard, as well as other varieties, for you-pick or to buy already picked.
In addition to apples, Minnesota Harvest has an orchard barnyard with goats, sheep and peacocks, bonfires, as well as a cidery, restaurant, bakery and general store. It's also an event venue.
LuceLine Orchard in Watertown
- Location: 2755 Rose Ave., Watertown
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
- Admission: Free
The orchard isn't just home to apples. It offers several activities, including a 30-acre corn maze, farm animals, a sunflower forest, a kiddie train, hayrides, apple slingers, face painting, rock painting, a kids zip line, a corn tent, a tire tower, hay mountains, a nature trail, a playground, live music, and a pumpkin patch.
There is also a shop, a grill for food and a Dog House Pub that offers alcoholic beverages.
Applewood Orchard in Lakeville
Sunrise River Farm in Wyoming
- Location: 7602 Wyoming Trail, Wyoming
- Hours: Vary by day. Call 651-462-8220
- Admission: Free
Sunrise River Farm offers nine varieties of apples that visitors can pick themselves or buy already picked from the orchard's market.
The orchard also offers other activities, including a hand-crafted cider press, a petting farm with a variety of animals, a playground and hayrides. There is also a farm market, selling an assortment of gifts and goodies.
Whistling Well Farm in Hastings
- Location: 8973 St. Croix Trail S, Hastings
- Hours: Daily, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Whistling Well Farm in Hastings offers eight varieties of apples visitors can pick themselves or buy pre-picked.
The orchard also sells pumpkins, mums, preserves, mixes and other goodies in its country store.
The farm hosts food trucks on the weekends and occasionally has special events.
Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake
- Location: 450 Apple Orchard Road, White Bear Lake
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Pine Tree Apple Orchard grows 22 varieties of apples on the orchard in White Bear Lake, with apples available in the salesroom.
During the fall, the orchard offers a corn maze, scenic wagon rides, pony rides (not available in 2021), live music, pick-your-own pumpkins, a "large variety" of apples, homemade bakery items, caramel apples, fresh cider and gifts. And in the summer, it offers pick-your-own strawberries.
Organic Breezy Hill in Maple Lake
- Location: 3944 Iresfeld Ave. NW in Maple Lake
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m on Saturdays and Sundays, weekdays by appointment.
Organic Breezy Hill in Maple Lake touts itself as the state's "premier organize orchard," offering a dozen apple varieties visitors can pick themselves or buy pre-picked.
Apples are typically reading for the picking from August to early November, depending on the variety.
Here's a map of the aforementioned apple orchards (you can find more orchards here):
Did you buy too many apples on your trip to the orchard? Minnesota Grown recommends storing your yield in a cool, dark place (like the crisper drawer in your fridge) to make your harvest last as long as possible.