10 Best Apple Picking Orchards Near Boston (2023)

Christine Johnson

By Christine Johnson

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New England produces about 3.5 million bushels of apples a year, meaning the region is usually associated with fall colors, crisp weather, and hot cider. Massachusetts grows classic apple varieties, from Cortland to Fuji and beyond. As fall comes along in September, Boston-area orchards start to offer you-pick experiences, including apple picking. 

A closeup of two large apples on a branch of an apple tree.

Many are less than an hour from Boston, meaning you can pick all the apples you can carry and still be back in the city for dinner. The following destinations’ proximity to Boston also means you can opt to spend an entire day enjoying fall activities and fresh-baked pastries without worrying about a long drive back. When planning your visit to any of the orchards listed below, be sure to call ahead to make sure you’re up to date on opening dates, available fruit, and weather conditions.

1. Tougas Family Farm

Address: 234 Ball St, Northborough, MA 01532

Tougas Family Farm sits just under an hour outside of Boston, making it an easy day trip from the city. The farm features over 30 varieties of apples, which are listed here. Apple picking is generally available between August and October, but it’s best to check the farm website or call in advance. If visiting the website, consult the “Today’s Picking” section for the most up-to-date information. Prices are slightly lower on weekdays.

Your farm admission also includes access to other activities, including the playground, picnic area, barnyard animals, and wagon rides. Don’t miss the farm store or apple tent to pick up local goods. If you’re spending all day in the area, stop by the kitchen for light bites. Only available during weekends and holidays in the fall, the farm’s Grill Shack and Donut Hut are two more options- the grill shack serves hot, freshly cooked lunches, while the Donut Hut sells coffee and baked goods.

2. Honey Pot Hill Orchards

Address: 16 Boon Rd, Stow, MA 01775

Also located under an hour from Boston, Honey Pot Hill Orchards has been around for nearly a century. Take a day trip to the orchard during apple picking season to celebrate its longevity- and fill up a bag (or two) to enjoy at home. 

Visitors can choose from Ginger Gold, Sansa, Red Gravenstein, and Akane apples. The orchard’s website offers convenient “Today’s Update” and “Today’s Produce” sections, where you’ll find updated information on what’s available. Farm activities include hayrides, mazes, meeting the farm animals, and more. Stop by the farm store before you wrap up and pick up jams, baked goods, and hot drinks to top it all off.

3. Carlson Orchards

Address: 115 Oak Hill Rd, Harvard, MA 01451

Only half an hour from Worcester and 45 minutes from Boston, Carlson Orchards was founded in 1936 and has served this part of Massachusetts ever since. The orchard stayed in the family, and today it produces about 30,000 bushels of apples a year. Locally known for its apple cider, the orchard offers seasonal apple picking. It’s best to call ahead or look for updates on the business’s Facebook page, especially if there’s bad weather on the horizon.

The orchard’s 16 apple varieties include everything from Cortland to Red Beauty, and you can learn more about each online. Homemade hard and sweet ciders are available for purchase, and the on-site cider barn offers a drink and food menu, desserts, and cozy seating. This makes it easy to plan a whole day out at Carlson Orchards for both kids and autumn-loving adults.

4. Shelburne Farm

Address: 106 W Acton Rd, Stow, MA 01775

Located in the small community of Stow, Shelburne Farm is only 40 minutes from Boston. However, you can easily spend an entire day enjoying the property, which offers daily activities for children, resident animals, food trucks, live music, play areas, and a rotating schedule of events. For lunch, enjoy apple cider donuts, mulled cider, home-baked goods, food truck menus, and more. The farm’s apple shop sells all things autumn, including caramel apples!

Popular apple varieties grown at the farm include Cortland, Macoun, Ginger Gold, and many more. Check out Shelburne’s online picking schedule to stay up to date on what’s available and when.

5. Boston Hill Farm

Address: 1370 Turnpike St, North Andover, MA 01845

Sitting just north of Boston, Boston Hill Farm grows a wide range of fruits and vegetables, including apples. Apple season opens in September, and pumpkins join the mix soon after.

If a morning of apple picking gets you in the mood for fall flavors, stop by the farm stand to pick up homemade jams, jellies, pies, or other baked goods. The farm also sells products via its online shop if you decide that you want to purchase something later on.

6. Parlee Farms

Address: 95 Farwell Rd, Tyngsborough, MA 01879

Sitting just 40 minutes northwest of Boston, Parlee Farms is a family-owned destination. Apples and pumpkins are available in the fall, and the farm grows over twenty varieties of apples for you to take home. The orchard is home to dwarf apple trees, which are perfect for children to apple-pick from. Families can enjoy meeting the resident barn animals, sampling apple cider donuts, savoring warm apple crisps, and even enjoying hayrides on weekends and holidays throughout the fall. Mary’s Country Kitchen and The Lunchbox are on-site for quick, hearty homemade meals.

The “Today’s News” section on the farm website will keep you up to date on current conditions so that you can plan your trip accordingly.

7. Smolak Farms

Address: 315 S Bradford St, North Andover, MA 01845

North Andover’s Smolak Farms is another Boston-area apple-picking destination that combines farm life with plenty of entertainment to last all season. Apple picking starts as fall rolls in, and pumpkins join the party in October. Throughout the autumn season, the farm hosts fall festival weekends, which offer everything from apple picking to arts and crafts, lawn games, and hayrides. Each weekend has a different theme, with the vibe getting spookier as the end of October draws near. Festival weekends include a live music lineup to keep you company as you explore the farm.

The on-site farm stand offers local goods, as well as sandwiches, weekly meals to go, baked goods, and ice cream. A playground and friendly animals round out the kids’ activities at the farm. Check out Smolak Farms’ online calendar for more event information.

8. Russell Orchards

Address: Argilla Rd, Ipswich, MA 01938

Located just off the coast of Ipswich Bay, Russel Orchards makes an ideal stop on your way to a beach getaway. The orchard offers apple picking starting in early September, and you can find pricing details and picking status here.

While you’re there, don’t miss the farm store and regular wine tastings, which take place from Friday to Sunday. The wines are made on-site, and you can learn more about the process by asking your tasting host. The farm also includes a bakery serving homemade pastries and baked goods to keep your sweet tooth satisfied. Kids will love meeting the barnyard animals, while adults are bound to pick out a perfect bottle of wine to take home and share.

Only 45 minutes from Boston, the orchard is over 100 years old, so you’ll be visiting a slice of local history.

9. Belkin Family Lookout Farm

Address: 89 Pleasant St S, Natick, MA 01760

Located just over 30 minutes from the city, Belkin Family Lookout Farm is one of the most popular apple-picking destinations in the Boston area. Its proximity is a huge plus for those looking to get out of the city for only a few hours. You-pick experiences are available on weekends and Monday holidays, and apple picking is no exception, your admission to the orchard area includes access to the nearby corn maze, sunflower field, and barnyard play zone.

Lookout Farm is a destination of its own, offering on-site drinking and dining alongside fall activities. On the weekends, The Beehive beer garden serves drinks and light bites, while regular outdoor dining offers a creative menu throughout the week. Be sure to keep an eye on the farm website for weekly happenings.

10. CN Smith Farm

Address: 325 South St, East Bridgewater, MA 02333

Located about 45 minutes south of Boston, C N Smith Farm invites visitors to pick their own apples once the season sets in. Founded in 1920, the farm has been working the earth in this corner of Massachusetts for over 100 years. Apple picking starts on Labor Day weekend and runs through October. If the weather is looking iffy, be sure to call ahead to check on farm conditions.

On-site eateries include the farm stand and the C.N Farm Grill. The farm produces five homemade flavored ciders, which you can pick up on your way out. If you happen to be an aspiring gardener, C.N. Farm has fruit trees, bushes, annuals, perennials, and gardening supplies to help you grow your own little oasis.