Some locally-owned fruit orchards get frequent mentions when apple season begins. Although these orchards get raves for the choicest apple picks, visitors come for more than just the fun of picking apples. They celebrate the fall harvest with hay rides, tractor trips to the fields and varieties of family fun and entertainment. Some people even hold weddings in the apple orchard. At the center are varieties of fresh apples and apple treats. Our latest search for places to apple pick turned up a fresh crop of locally-owned, family-run orchards only a few miles from metro Twin Cities.

Minnesota Harvest
8251 Old Highway 169 Blvd.
Jordan, MN 55352

How would you like to spend your wedding day picking apples at Minnesota Harvest? It’s a break from the usual wedding tradition. The happy couple and bridal party can romp through the orchard among an awesome collection of “Topper’s Apples.” The full-service wedding facility consists of a red barn cathedral, a wedding reception lodge and grooming suites for the bride, groom and members of the wedding. Other attractions are a petting zoo and live entertainment.

Minnetonka Orchards
6530 County Road 26
Minnetrista, MN 55364
(763) 479-6530

At Minnetonka Orchards, the apple season is from mid to late August through October. The eclectic apple collection is excellent for eating fruit pies and other apple desserts. If you’re wondering what to do with all the apples you’ve picked, grab some recipes from the orchard’s blog. Minnetonka Orchards is open all year for weddings, tours, private parties and corporate events. Families can befriend the animals at Owen’s Barnyard and meet a miniature horse.

Apple Jack Orchards
4875 37th St., SE
Delano, MN  55328
(763) 972-6673

You’ll love Apple Jack Orchards for its locally-grown apples, summer fruits and nearby attractions. The orchard posts a calendar of harvest dates for its apples. During the summer, Apple Jack Orchards takes customer orders for seasonal summer fruit from Michigan. The orchard also has a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, live music entertainment, cider sampling and a gift store.

Related:  A Guide To Apple Orchards Around The Twin Cities 

Pine Tree Apple Orchard
450 Apple Orchard Road
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
(651) 429-7202 

People come to Pine Tree Apple Orchard for the pony and wagon rides, weekend entertainment and of course, apple picking. Pine Tree Apple Orchard is a pleasant drive northeast of the Twin Cities. You can pick your way through nearly 25 varieties of apples. But before apple season begins, pick your way through the rich strawberry patches or have locally-grown strawberries picked for you. If you experience a strawberry craving while apple picking, you can satisfy this craving with fresh frozen strawberries from the summer crop. Combine with crisp apple desserts and fall salads garnished with apples.

Fireside Orchard & Gardens
2225 Lonsdale Blvd. E.
Highway 19
Northfield, MN 55057
(507) 663-1376

A 40-minute drive south from metro Twin Cities brings you to this lush family run orchard. Its cold storage facilities keep tree-ripened apples fresh and crisp. You can choose a  pre-picked variety from the orchard’s “cool room,” or pick and choose your own apples. Fireside Orchard grows local favorites such as Zestar, Haralson, Fireside, Regent, Honeycrisp and Keepsake. Visitors to Minnesota are often amazed at the variety of apples never seen at their local food markets.

Related: Best Apple Picking In Minnesota

Linda Cameron has written home design, home improvement and lifestyle articles for The Boston Globe and City Shopper Magazine. She has related interests in the building industry, travel, real estate and financing. She is a contributor to Examiner, House Spot, Techsling and Behance, covering topics on career, people, businesses, education and technology.