Illinois, known for its fertile lands and agricultural traditions, offers a delightful opportunity for apple enthusiasts – apple picking! In this article, we will explore the top 14 apple orchards across the state where you can immerse yourself in the crisp, juicy world of apple harvesting. From family-friendly farms to picturesque orchards, Illinois has it all. Get ready to embrace the autumn breeze, savor the scent of ripe apples, and fill your baskets with the finest fruit nature has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned apple-picker or a first-timer, this comprehensive list will guide you to the best apple-picking experience in the Land of Lincoln.
Top 14 Apple Orchards in Illinois
Jonamac Orchard – Located in Malta
Jonamac Orchard, nestled in Malta, Illinois, boasts various apple varieties, including delightful heirloom apples like River Belle, Akane, Crimson Crisp, Sun Crisp, and Pazazz. Besides these classics, you’ll discover a cornucopia of apple farm favorites. One of the highlights of Jonamac Orchard is the Cider House, where they craft exquisite apple wines and hard ciders. Visitors can enter the inviting tasting room and savor these beverages while enjoying picturesque views of the orchards from the patio.
It’s an experience that will tantalize your taste buds, and you may find it impossible to resist taking home some of these fabulous libations. For those seeking an adventure, Jonamac Orchard offers a unique twist on the traditional corn maze. It’s a fun challenge by day, but on Saturday nights in September, it transforms into an ultra-challenge guided only by flashlights. It’s an exhilarating way to test your navigation skills under the night sky.
Valley Orchard, Located in Cherry Valley
Nestled in the heart of Cherry Valley, Illinois, Valley Orchard stands as a sprawling 35-acre haven for fruit enthusiasts. This charming Orchard isn’t just about apples; it’s an agrarian paradise boasting 30 distinct apple varieties. Here, you can embark on a flavorful journey encompassing time-honored classics and intriguing new taste experiences. Beyond its apple offerings, Valley Orchard distinguishes itself as a multifaceted fruit haven.
The Orchard is also home to a rich assortment of berries, comprising strawberries, red raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and red currants. This diverse collection ensures visitors can savor various flavors throughout the growing season. Valley Orchard’s commitment to quality and variety makes it a standout choice among Illinois’ apple orchards. Whether you’re craving the crisp bite of a Granny Smith or the sweet-tartness of a Honeycrisp, this Orchard has it all. And if berries are your passion, you’ll find yourself in berry bliss as you explore the vibrant offerings.
All Seasons Apple Orchard – Located in Woodstock
All Seasons Orchard, nestled in Woodstock, Illinois, stands out as a premier apple-picking destination in the state. It boasts not one but two expansive apple orchards, home to an impressive 15,000 apple trees. Visitors can embark on a charming wagon ride to the heart of these orchards, where a cornucopia of apple varieties awaits, ready to be plucked from the boughs. But this Orchard is more than just apples; it’s a full-fledged fall activities haven.
Venture into the pumpkin patch, test your navigational skills in the intricate corn maze, and forge furry friendships in the welcoming petting zoo. Thrill-seekers can swing high on the giant swings, and family-friendly games like corn hole, pumpkin bowling, and pedal carts add to the excitement. To satiate your sweet tooth, All Seasons Orchard has you covered. Their farm weekend dessert bar offers an array of delectable treats, including mouthwatering donuts, irresistible donut sundaes, freshly baked cookies, and classic apple pie.
Royal Oak Farm Orchard Situated in Harvard
Royal Oak Farm Apple Orchard, Harvard, Illinois, Located in Harvard, Royal Oak Farm Apple Orchard is a u-pick apple farm that promises a day filled with fun and adventure. With an astonishing 30 apple varieties and an impressive 17,000 apple trees, it’s a top-tier apple orchard in Illinois.
One of its standout features is the Amaze ‘N Apples, an entertaining and challenging 1.5-mile maze amidst the apple trees. After conquering the maze, treat yourself to their renowned apple cider donuts at the Bakery. Remember to explore the Country Market for unique gifts and souvenirs.
Edward’s Apple Orchard West – Located in Winnebago
Edwards Apple Orchard, nestled in the charming town of Poplar Grove, Illinois, stands out as a premier destination for apple enthusiasts. With over 100 acres dedicated to cultivating apple trees, pumpkins, berries, and mums, this fourth-generation family farm offers an array of delights for visitors.
Diverse Apple Varieties: Edwards Apple Orchard boasts a staggering selection of apple varieties, with over 30 types available for picking and purchasing. From the sweet and crisp Blondee to the refreshing Ginger Gold, you’ll find a cornucopia of flavors to satisfy your apple cravings.
Cider Delights: One of the highlights of Edwards is their on-site production of apple cider donuts. These delectable treats are crafted using freshly pressed cider, ensuring a unique and authentic taste. You can savor these mouthwatering donuts at the Cider Cellar café, where you can pair them with a crisp and cold cider glass.
Scenic Beauty: Beyond the apple orchards, Edwards offers visitors picturesque landscapes that feast for the eyes during autumn. The vibrant colors of pumpkins, berries, and mums create a stunning backdrop for a day of apple picking and exploration.
Family Tradition: Edwards Apple Orchard is not just a place to pick apples; it’s a piece of Illinois’s agricultural heritage. The commitment to quality and tradition has been passed down through generations, making it a place where families can create cherished memories year after year.
Okaw Valley Orchard, Located in Sullivan
Okaw Valley Orchard, nestled in Sullivan, Illinois, is a haven for apple enthusiasts, offering a diverse selection of 27 apple varieties and peaches, pears, and plums.
Variety Galore: With 27 different apple varieties, Okaw Valley Orchard ensures every visitor finds their perfect apple. From the early harvest of Early Gold to the rich, deep flavor of Winesap, the Orchard offers a spectrum of taste experiences.
Delectable Delights: It’s not just apples at Okaw Valley. Indulge your taste buds with their daily-made apple cider donuts, scrumptious apple cinnamon rolls from scratch, and an array of homemade desserts. These include pies, crisps, apple dumplings, turnovers, and the mouthwatering apple streusel cake.
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Icy Companions: What’s apple pie without ice cream? Okaw Valley Orchard serves these delectable treats with homemade vanilla ice cream, elevating your dessert experience.
Sugar-Free Options: The Orchard even offers sugar-free apple and peach pies for health-conscious visitors, a rare find in such places. Satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising on your dietary choices.
Unique Apple Cider: While indulging in these treats, remember to enjoy some of the finest apple cider, which can also be purchased to take home. It’s a refreshing and quintessential part of the apple-picking experience.
Rendleman Orchards, Located in Alto Pass
Rendleman Orchards, nestled in Alto Pass, Illinois, stands out as a premier apple orchard in the state. What sets it apart is its unique apple varieties, including the Golden Supreme, Ambrosia, and Cameo, which beckon apple aficionados from all around. But it’s not just apples that make Rendleman Orchards a gem. Their farm market boasts various seasonal fruits and vegetables, such as succulent peaches, plump pumpkins, sweet cantaloupes, and more.
Emphasizing the importance of eating fresh and local, weekly visits here guarantee a healthy and flavorful culinary experience. Furthermore, the Orchard offers a delightful assortment of apple-related products, from cider and cider donuts to jams, jellies, and pickled treats. They even craft specialty food gift boxes, making them thoughtful presents for loved ones.
Curran’s Orchard – Located in Rockford
Curran’s Orchard, nestled in Rockford, Illinois, is a haven for apple enthusiasts and a fantastic family destination. With over a dozen apple varieties, including Zestar, SnowSweet, Sun Crisp, and Blushing Gold, this Orchard provides a diverse apple-picking experience. What sets Curran’s Orchard apart is their commitment to health-conscious practices. They use just 1/3 of the typical amount of chemicals on their fruit, ensuring a safer environment and remarkably tastier apples.
Beyond their exceptional produce, Curran’s offers a delectable array of baked goods, from mouthwatering apple donuts to heavenly apple pies and caramel apples. For family fun, the Orchard features hay wagon rides, a charming farm animal corral, opportunities for climbing bales, an entertaining apple launcher, and a straw bale mini-maze.
Kuipers Family Farm, Located in Maple Park
In Maple Park, Illinois, Kuipers Family Farm sprawls over 230 acres of apple-picking and autumn festivities. Beyond being a premier Illinois apple orchard, it offers various seasonal activities, including pumpkin picking, enchanting hayrides, and even Christmas tree selection. What sets Kuipers apart is their innovative Apple Bar.
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Knowledgeable staff members guide visitors through selecting 20 distinct apple varieties grown on-site, ensuring you find the perfect apple to suit your tastes and needs. The on-site store boasts a delightful Sample Kitchen, where patrons can choose from a tempting array of specialty foods to take home. Additionally, the Orchard Bakery tempts with freshly baked treats like apple cider doughnuts, delicious pies, delectable caramel apples, and indulgent fudge. Be sure to leave with a gallon of their freshly pressed, lip-smacking apple cider.
Liberty Apple Orchard in Edwardsville
Liberty Apple Orchard in Edwardsville, Illinois, is a standout choice for enthusiasts. This Orchard provides visitors with the option to pick their apples or select from a variety of pre-picked options. What sets Liberty apart are the intriguing apple varieties it offers, which go beyond the usual suspects. Prepare to be delighted by apples like Candy Crisp, Enterprise, and the eponymous Liberty apple. What truly makes Liberty a popular destination among Illinois apple orchards is its diverse array of apple-based products.
They’ve got everything From classic apple cider to mouthwatering apple cider donuts. You can also indulge in apple sauce, apple butter, caramel apples, apple crisps, and even apple cake mixes. The commitment to all things Apple is evident, with even apple-printed aprons available. The Orchard’s dedication to providing a comprehensive apple experience ensures that visitors can immerse themselves in the world of apples, from picking their own to enjoying a wide range of delectable apple creations.
County Line Orchard, Located in Hobart
County Line Orchard in Hobart, Illinois, is a premier destination for apple enthusiasts. They boast an impressive selection of over 30 apple varieties, ranging from classic favorites like Ruby Jon and Grimes Golden to unique and delectable options such as SnowSweet, Shizuka, and Melrose. A highlight of the orchard experience is the entertaining tractor rides that take you through the picturesque apple fields.
For those curious about the vital role of bees in apple production, a visit to the bee yurt house offers fascinating insights. Adventurous souls can test their skills in the themed corn maze, while sunflower enthusiasts can scout for the perfect bloom. The Orchard also caters to young visitors with the MooChoo train, a charming and distinctive railway car, ensuring a memorable and educational outing for all ages.
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Tanners Orchard – Located in Speer
Tanners Orchard in Speer, Illinois, stands as a testament to the state’s rich tradition of apple farming. Boasting an impressive array of over 17 apple varieties, this Orchard is home to 11,000 apple trees. What’s truly remarkable is that Tanners Orchard has operated since 1947, with four generations of dedicated apple farming in the family, ensuring it remains one of the best apple orchards in Illinois. But Tanners Orchard isn’t just about apples. The farm diversifies its offerings with 20 acres dedicated to growing pumpkins and other fruits and vegetables.
This variety allows visitors to indulge in a complete farm experience beyond apple picking. One of the standout features of Tanners Orchard is its farm market, where you’ll discover an enticing array of goodies. It’s a haven for fall food enthusiasts, from a diverse selection of apples and pumpkins to irresistible treats like cider donuts, fudge, and apple butter. Moreover, they also produce their apple cider, a quintessential autumn beverage.
Heinz Orchard, Located in Green Oaks
Heinz Orchard, nestled in Green Oaks, is a classic apple-picking destination. They offer a delightful array of apple varieties, including McIntosh, Jonathan, Empire, Red Delicious, and Golden Delicious. It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the traditional apple-picking experience, where you can wander through the orchards and handpick your favorite apples.
Apple Holler, Located at Sturtevant
In Sturtevant, Apple Holler offers a unique twist on the traditional apple orchard experience. While they provide classic apple varieties, such as Empire apples, they also feature exciting options like Viking Apple, Sansa Apple, Pristine Apple, Blondee Apple, Cameo Apple, and more. Beyond apple picking, Apple Holler hosts weekend summer activities that include live entertainment, a stroll through the Orchard, a cider bar, Biergarten, refreshing apple cider slushies, soft-serve ice cream, and delicious fare from the Applewood Grill.
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Illinois offers a bountiful selection of apple orchards catering to traditionalists and seekers of unique apple varieties. Whether you prefer classic apple picking or a full-day farm adventure, these orchards taste autumn’s finest offerings. Explore, pick, and savor the essence of Illinois’ apple-picking charm.
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