Where to go apple picking near D.C.

apple picking

On Sunday, Greg and I ventured out to Homestead Farms in Poolesville, Maryland to go apple picking. I had never been apple picking before but it just sounded like the most fall of all the fall things to do, so I decided this year was the year. And we went on October 1st and it was 65 degrees. All the pieces fell into place.

If you’re into apple picking (or pumpkin picking, or squash or really any other kind of vegetable or fruit that you can pick) and you like farm animals, sprawling land, and homemade apple/pumpkin butter, go to Homestead Farms.

A few things you should know:

Take the scenic route. Yes, you can take 495, but you’ll hit traffic and you’ll sit on a boring highway starting at pavement. Take River Road and drive through Potomac, MD. The houses are absolutely stunning, they’re basically estates. There’s also lush greenery, and several places you can stop to hike or overlook the river. It takes about 40 minutes to drive down to Homestead Farms from Washington D.C. proper.

Don’t bring you dog, not allowed. I was begging Greg to take Jorge because he would just love to run around, but I’m so glad he talked me out of it. There was actually this one guy sitting in a car in the parking lot with the dog- I felt so bad for both him and the dog.

Make sure you don’t start picking the apples at the very beginning or in the front of the row. I actually didn’t know this was a thing (first time apple picker, ok), and Greg was all like what are you doing when I tried to reach for the first tree. Clearly, I didn’t know what I was doing. But he had a point. The best apples are many rows in and pretty far into the rows. You should also consider bringing someone tall, as Greg and I struggled to reach some of the best ones.

There are different kinds of apples you can pick, and Homestead Farms does a great job of listing the flavor notes of each. We really enjoyed the Cameos and the Jonagolds, which are supposed to be amazing for pie baking. I plan to bake apple crisp this week, which will be another brand new activity for me. I can post the recipe I use if you guys are interested (let me know in the comments).

 Don’t forget to pick up a pumpkin, some squash and apple butter. The farm has a ton of fresh pumpkins, both large and small (perfect for decorating the apartment). They also boast all sorts of fall veggies and fruits. You can get apple and pumpkin butter, as well as all sorts of homemade jams. And of course, apple cider.

Budget some time, as there are lines to checkout. We went on a Sunday, and though the actual apple picking wasn’t too crowded, the lines to pay do tend to get quite long, especially on weekends. If you’re going to go, be patient and make it an event.

Pet the goats! I’m a complete child when it comes to farm animals. They’re so cute and I must pet them all and feed them grass. Just make sure you don’t feed them apples, that is strictly forbidden.

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I wasn’t quite sure what to wear for apple picking, but I decided to go casual with an edgy twist. Definitely wear shoes you don’t care about getting dirty, because you’re well, on a farm. I wore my converse, which I absolutely love but don’t sport enough, and they paired seamlessly with a pair of distressed jeans and an easy striped sweater. I love that even though it is a sweater, it has short sleeves; so great for that transitional weather. And I was finally able to break out the leather jacket. I have been waiting to wear it this season, and now that it’s chilly enough, be prepared to see a lot more outfits with it.

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I’m really glad I started October off right with apple picking. It was well worth the beautiful drive, and a great weekend idea to get out of D.C., but not too far. If you have any other questions, reach out in the comments or my Instagram. I am here to help!

apple picking

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