After 10 years of living in NYC and taking buses, subways and taxis everywhere, my family bought a car. We still take plenty of buses, subways and taxis but now we can get out of New York City and take a day trip.
For a recent day trip, we left the Big Apple to visit Pennings Orchard and pick our own apples. Now, picking my own fruit has never really been an activity that has interested me. I pictured it as buggy, wet, and dirty, but my family wanted to go and I do like apple pie so I agreed to give it a try.
Guide for Successful Apple Picking
Pennings Orchard is about an hour and a half from Manhattan (plan on taking a few wrong turns through New Jersey from the Holland Tunnel because they have terrible signage).
The orchard is very family friendly and allows dogs as long as they are on a leash. When you pull up the first thing you see is a market that sells all apple related and other foods. They bake yummy fresh apple donuts. The only downside was that their apple butter was a lot more expensive than at my local grocer.
The adjoining Harvest Grill uses local produce to serve up soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers. Their beef is from a local farm and is grass-fed and antibiotic free.
Tip: Eat a bit of lunch first to prevent your own little apples from getting crabby.
We ordered some pumpkin soup, a cheese steak sandwich and some sweet potato fries and moseyed on over to the beer garden to relax while our daughter fed the goats, donkeys, chickens and turkeys at the small petting zoo.
Tip: Don’t eat a big lunch because you will eat lots of apples.
After lunch we headed to the orchard. The procedure: purchase a bag for $25 and fill it up at your leisure. In late September and early October there are many different types of apples to pick. We found Mac, Empire,Concord, Jonagold and Mutsu.
Tip: If you have little ones bring a wagon to pull them and the apples.
Pennings is family owned and part of a 100 acre farm so even on the most crowded day you aren’t shoulder to shoulder with your fellow apple pickers. Many of the trees are of the dwarf variety so they are easy to pick and many have lower branches for children to reach.
Tip: Climb up to the highest hill BEFORE you start picking and enjoy the beautiful view and then pick your way back down the hill.
The orchard is located on the edge of Warwick, New York. We discovered this little village earlier in the summer coming home from Mountain Creek water park. It is a picturesque town with a number of antique and specialty food shops. We had dinner at Eddie’s Roadhouse, which is what they call a gastro-pub. I think it means it feels like a pub but has better food. I had the mini-sliders filled with pulled pork, chicken and beef. Delicious. They serve a number of craft beers and will let you taste a few before you decide.
The town also has an Applefest every year on the first weekend in October. The streets are filled with gourmet food vendors who, among other things, sell every imaginable way you can prepare an apple.
Tip: Go to Sweet Briar’s Confections and try the chocolate covered potato chips.
At the end of the day, I had to admit I had a fun time. The next thing you know I will be a leafer!
Orchards in the area:
169 State Rt 94 South Warwick NY, 10990
Phone (845) 986-7080
Apple Ridge Orchards
101 Jessup Rd. Warwick NY, 10990
Phone (845) 987-7717
Applewood Orchards LLC
82 Four Corners Rd.
Warwick NY, 10990
Phone (845) 986-1684