Autumn is coming! And if nothing says “fall” to you like an afternoon of apple picking or the cinnamon-tinged aroma of a baking pie, why not try an apple-inspired road trip?
Hall’s Apple Market
You’ve likely dropped by a Hall’s stall at one of Ottawa’s farmers’ markets, but did you know you can also visit the original Hall’s Apple Market near Brockville? If you can think of a product made from apples, you can likely buy it here: anything from cranapple cider to apple syrup, apple butter and apple cider vinegar. Spread across 80 acres and growing 29 varieties of apples, this family-owned business—which dates back to 1947—even sells apple wood and apple peelers.
Orleans Fruit Farm
If you live in the east end, the Orleans Fruit Farm is in your backyard. On St. Joseph Boulevard between Beacon Hill and Orleans, the farm lets you pick your own apples on September weekends. You can also shop for all sorts of other fruits and veggies.
You may wonder what the heck an ice cream shop is doing on this list of apple destinations. Well, once you’ve tasted the apple pie ice cream at Slickers, you will wonder no more. I’m not even that big a fan of apple pie, to be honest (I’m more of a crisp/crumble girl), but this ice cream is To. Die. For. There are actual chunks of apple pie in it, including the crust. Slickers has shops in Picton and Bloomfield in Prince Edward County, and sells to other stores throughout Eastern Ontario.
Blue Gypsy Wines
Did you know that you can buy apple wine vinegar at Blue Gypsy Wines, a fruit winery in Oxford Mills? Well, now you do. Other products include raspberry wine vinegar, blueberry wine and cranberry wine. The winery is open on Fridays from 5pm to 8pm (please call to confirm), and Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 5pm, until Thanksgiving.
Coronation Hall Cider Mills
At Coronation Hall in Bristol, Quebec, you can watch cider being pressed, try a tasting or indulge in some baked goods in the tea room. Call ahead to check whether there is a pressing that day. There’s an Applefest in October, too; watch the website for details.
Want to pick your own? At Mountain Orchards (located, unsurprisingly, in Mountain, Ontario), there are eight varieties growing on almost 10,000 trees across 25 acres. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, shop for goodies like apple crisp and cider doughnuts.
Log Cabin Orchard
You can pick your own apples, buy goodies such as cider and baked goods, or take the kids to a petting zoo at the Log Cabin Orchard in Osgoode. Added attractions on weekends include hay wagon rides, and the chance to nibble on churros and tacos.
The Big Apple
It’s a bit of a hike, but if you’ve ever driven to Toronto along the 401, you’ve surely seen The Big Apple in Colborne. The giant red apple (known officially as Mr. Applehead) is a well-known landmark that attracts passersby to the site, which offers free mini-golf, bocce, table tennis and other family activities. Pick up cider, apple cake and other goodies in the restaurant, bakery and gift shop.
Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard
So why would you drive all the way to LaFayette, New York (just outside Syracuse) to get your apple fix? Well, you might not, but if you’re in the area anyway, Beak & Skiff is worth a stop. “We see 10,000 visitors on a busy Saturday or Sunday in the fall,” says co-owner Danielle Fleckenstein. The farm resembles a small, incredibly tidy hillside village surrounded by orchards. There’s a big play area and wagon rides for the kids, as well as a tasting room for the adults featuring the farm’s 1911 brand of apple cider, apple gin and and apple vodka (all quite good, I have to say—although I’m glad I wasn’t driving later). You’ll also find a bakery and a big gift shop stuffed with food-related treats.
Marlin Orchards and Garden Centre
Marlin Orchards and Garden Centre in Cornwall grows and sells a huge range of apple varieties. They harvest the fruit from July to October and sell it until close to Christmas. Depending on the year and the harvest, you might find such varieties as Gravenstein, Wolfe River and Tydeman Red, along with more common varieties, such as McIntosh and Granny Smith.
So all these ideas haven’t completely sated your hunger? If Pinterest is your thing, here’s a whole delectable board dedicated to photos of apple deliciousness. Enjoy!
I travelled to Beak & Skiff as a guest of the orchard and Visit Syracuse, neither of whom reviewed or approved this post.
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