This week marks the official start of fall.  It has felt more like summer lately, but we can be sure that the crisp, cool air is on the way.  For many of us, fall is a season that we look forward to with anticipation.  Who doesn’t love the changing colors of leaves and kicking your feet through them as you take a leisurely walk on a beautiful afternoon?
Fall also brings to mind delicious, juicy apples.  We’ve all heard the old saying about an apple a day…but what IS it about apples that are so good for you?
Here’s the skinny on why apples are a perfect snack: Apples have no fat, cholesterol or sodium, and contain small amounts of potassium, which may promote heart health, help maintain healthy blood pressure and a healthy weight.  The disease-fighting profile of apples provides a multitude of health benefits, including a potential decreased risk of cancer and heart disease.  Several studies suggest apples may provide a “whole body” health benefit. So crunch away!

Mmmm–we also love to enjoy apples in baked goods.  Looking for a new recipe to try this season? Click here for a yummy Harvest Apple Cake recipe.
We are fortunate to have an abundance of fun places in the area to visit for apple picking and a whole lot more! Make it a point to venture out to a new spot this season.  Use the list below of some of the popular apple orchards in the metro area to find a new adventure.  And don’t forget your camera!

Aamodt’s Apple Farm and Bakery

6428 Manning Ave.
PO Box 295
Stillwater, MN 55082
Washington County
Phone: (651) 439-3127
Open: August through December; 9am to 6pm
Directions: MN 36 (60th St. No.) and Manning in Stillwater.
Description: Aamodt’s Apple Farm and Bakery is an Upper Midwest favorite destination. Here, you can experience a fresh world of fun that encompasses the rich past and represents the best of the present. all within a few miles of the Twin Cities and Western Wisconsin. Our Infamous Minnesota Honeycrisp Apples are available on line and at the farm. We are Minnesota’s largest supplier of the Honeycrisp apple.

Apple Jack Orchards

4875 37th St SE
Delano, MN 55328
Wright County
Phone: (763) 972-6673
Open: Mid June-December. Call for berry hours. Apples season: Monday through Saturday, 10:00am – 6:00pm, Sundays Noon – 6:00pm.
Directions: Located one mile south of Hwy 55 on Cty Rd 32 just west of Rockford.
Description: Pick your own or picked strawberries, raspberries, apples, tomatoes and pumpkins. Large applemarket, cafe, bakery,giftshop and on the Crow River open daily Aug – Dec. Wagon rides daily Labor Day til Halloween. Weekend activities: Corn Maze, music, cow train and apple cannon and more. Company picnics. Fresh Christmas trees. Certified by the Food Alliance.

Applecrest Orchards

7306 24th Ave North
Hugo, MN 55038
Washington County
Phone: (651) 426-7388
Directions: Located between Hugo and Centerville; 1/4 mile east of 35E and Cty Rd 14 (Exit #123).
Open: September – December; Evenings and Weekends
Description: On farm sale of quality apples, pears, and pumpkins at very reasonable prices. Close to St. Paul and easy to find. Welcome!

Applewood Orchard

22702 Hamburg Avenue
Lakeville, MN 55044
Dakota County
Phone: (952) 985-5425
Directions: Located 1/4 mile west of Cedar Ave. on 225th St. W.
Description: Come picking at Applewood Orchard. Welcome to the newest apple orchard in Dakota county! Pick 12 varieties of apples on dwarf trees. We have Haralson and Honeycrisp of course! We also hope to have ready a crop of delicious fall raspberries. Come and enjoy a hayride in the orchard, a maze or two for kids of all ages and new this year scarecrow making by appointment.  We do offer school, senior center and professional group tours.

Deer Lake Orchard

1903 10th St SW (Cty Rd 108)
Buffalo, MN 55313
Wright County
Phone: (763) 682-6159
Directions: From Buffalo take Hwy 25 S to Cty Rd 12 – 2 1/2 miles to Cty Rd.
Open: August through October; Daily 10am – 6pm
Description: Good times & great apples! 26 varieties of apples & fresh cider, pumpkins, squash, ornamental corn, homemade apple pies, jams, jellies, gifts & crafts. Visit the orchard during “Apple Fest” weekends in Sept & Oct. Live entertainment, wagon rides through our scenic orchard and into Groggins Woods, pony rides, caramel apple sundaes, grilled bratwurst & apple turnovers. Call for schedule of events, group tours by prearrangement.

Homestead Orchard

Maple Plain, MN
Hennepin County
Phone: (763) 479-3186
Directions: Located 23 miles west of Minneapolis. Take 394 (Hwy 12) & watch for sign 3 miles west of Maple Plain, then 2 miles south on county road 92.
Open: ; call for hours
Description: Pre-scheduled orchard tours. Largest orchard in Hennepin County. Pick your own apples & pre-picked apples and our own cider.

Pine Tree Apple Orchard

450 Apple Orchard Road
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Ramsey County
Phone: (651) 429-6577
Directions: Located northeast of White Bear Lake, north on Hwy 61, E on Hwy 96, north on Apple Orchard Road.
Open: June-February; Seasonal hours, call ahead
Description: Picturesque orchard setting offering a variety of apples (Aug-Feb), homemade apple bakery/dessert products, caramel apples, fresh cider, apple gifts, gift baskets, jams & jellies. For family outings-wagon ride, PYO pumpkins in Oct, entertainment. Call for schedule. Tours Aug-Oct are educational and fun, reservations needed. PYO & ready picked strawberries in June.