Author: Caitlin O'Connell
Tags : Fall Getaway, Food & Wine, Kids, Multigen, North America, USA, Washington
The late summer and early fall is apple picking time at the u-pick apple farms and pumpkin patches surrounding the city of Seattle. Did you know that Washington State is the country's Apple Capital? It's true, the state produces over a hundred million bushels of apples annually.
The best apple picking around the Seattle metropolitan area is in King, Kitsap, and Snohomish counties. So whether you are looking to pick fruit, go on a hayride, or buy fresh baked goods, Family Travel Forum has you covered.
Before you shell out $15 for an empty bushel bag (typically how the farms charge for what you pick) , keep in mind that different varieties are better suited for different purposes. Honeycrisp, Idared, Red Delicious, Fuji, Macintosh, Empire, and the Jonathon are great for eating. For sauces or pies, use the Cortland, Mutsu, Golden Delicious or Russet instead.
For a complete guide to apple picking orchards and farms across the country, check out the FTF Guide to Top U-Pick Farms in the US.
Apple-Picking in the Seattle Metro Area & Beyond
There are several apple orchards and pumpkin patches located in Seattle's surrounding counties. Rosabella's Garden Bakery offers a wide variety of apples for picking, as well as a hard cider and wine shop. Be sure to stop at her gift shop for a large assortment of jam & jellies on your way out! If harvesting 25 different varieties of apples sounds too challenging, you can even purchase them off the front porch at Rosabella's by the pound and box. Pets are not allowed.
Will you drive two hours to Whatcom County, just outside Bellingham? If so, then Bellewood Acres is the farm of choice, with more than 25,000 trees of 15 varieties under cultivation. During late August through early November, families can board their train and peruse which part of the extensive orchards they want to pick first. At other seasons (this place hums all year round), there's a huge pumpkin patch, shopping in their extensive store packed with sweets, fruit, jams and more; there's a distillery on site with tastings, a bistro for breakfast or lunch, and plenty of family events including music performances and Christmas lights displays.
Although Yakima is not very close (allow 2 1/2 hours for the 150-mile drive), we want to shout out to Johnson Orchards, where fruit is in season almost all year. Visit USA Today's pick as a 'top 10 apple picking spot' for cherries from mid-June to late July. You and the kids can get your hands stained by the Bing, Rainier, Van, Lapin, Skeena and Sweetheart varieties. Come back in August for apricots, peaches or nectarines, as well as pluots, plums and pears. As for apples, they've raised orchards there since 1904. In addition to the many varietals in a state that produces half the apples sold in the U.S., you can enjoy Johnson's beautiful rolling hills, changing leaves, and classic ca. 1916 apple warehouse.
Don't Forget the Washington State Pumpkins!
There are many purely-pumpkin patches in Seattle's surrounding counties. Carleton Farm promises pumpkins by the thousands in addition to their other vegetables. Enjoy a free hayride on a real John Deere tractor out to the pumpkin patches during weekends in October. After you find your choice pumpkins, have fun with the pumpkin cannon. Brave little ones can hang out for the Haunted Maze, but note that the new play areas and corn maze have an admission fee.
Remlinger Farms, home to the northwest's largest Pumpkin Harvest Festival, offers a very commercial Family Fun Park with over 25 kid-friendly rides and attractions. Admission to the Fun Park includes pony rides, a 4H Animal Barnyard, authentic half-sized steam train rides, and more. Visit the farm's website for more detailed information on seasonal celebrations such as their Beer and Wine Tastings.
In addition to its pumpkin patches, the Carpinito Brothers Farm, which grows tomatoes and other vegetables, invites families to get lost in their corn maze.
Favorite Washington State Pick Your Own Fruit Farms
Carleton Farm, 830 Sunnyside Blvd SE, Lake Stevens, Washington 98258 - 425/334-2297
Carpinito Brothers Farm, 1148 Central Ave North, Kent, Washington 98032- 253/854-5692
Bellewood Acres, 6140 Guide Meridian, Lynden, Washington 98264 - 360/318-7720
Johnson Orchards, 4906 Summitview Avenue, Yakima, Washington - 509/966-7479
Remlinger Farms, 32610 NE 32nd St, Carnation, Washington 98014 - 425/333-4135
Rosabella's Garden Bakery, 8933 Farm to Market Road, Bow, Washington 98232 - 360/766-6360
Enjoy your day out and share your favorite apple recipes!