We are in the thick of apple season! We have thousands of visitors in the month of October, so we’ve assembled some tips to help you navigate your visit whether you’re coming for the first time, or are a seasoned pro. Happy Fall, y’all!
Top Ten Tips for Visiting the Orchard in October
Beat the crowds by coming out during the week or in November
We are open 7 days a week, and weekdays are much less crowded. We offer apple picking, apple cider donuts, apple cider slushies, wine, and hard cider every day, and lunch is served each day except Monday.
Apple picking is typically available ’til mid-November. Get the good ‘uns by checking out our Apple Picking tips video.
Be prepared for all weather and ground conditions
Dress in layers, and have jackets, hats, scarves, and gloves available – it’s often windy. Sunscreen is recommended. To check our weather, use zip code 22902 on your favorite weather app.
Please wear sturdy, close-toed shoes. Boots are recommended if there’s been rain, as parking areas and orchards can get muddy.
There’s no shame in buying pre-picked
Apple picking involves a 5-15 minute hilly walk in each direction. We have plenty of already-picked apples if you don’t wish to pick your own.
Weekend and holiday traffic and parking information:
- Please arrive as early as possible (Hours of Operation) to be assured of parking. Keep in mind that apple picking ends one hour prior to closing.
- We contract with a professional parking and traffic control service. Please follow all directions from these attendants
- Be prepared for slow-moving traffic both entering and departing the orchard during peak times.
- Our only entrance and exit is located on Route 53 (Thomas Jefferson Parkway), a winding 2-lane road which we share with Monticello, Michie Tavern, Highland, area wineries, and local residents. October is peak season and traffic is often heavy on area roads. We have a flagman moving traffic, and we work closely with our local police department. Many of you are making a left turn when you leave the orchard. When there are a lot of cars departing at one time, it will take time to get everyone safely down the mountain and merged into the traffic flow on Route 53. We appreciate your patience and understanding that we have no control over local traffic and other events, nor how many folks visit us at any given time.
- On occasion, we reach full capacity in our parking lots. There is no off-site parking. If we reach that capacity, we have to deny access to our entrance until parking spaces clear out.
- Follow us on Twitter for regular parking and traffic updates as you are approaching Charlottesville so you will be fully informed.
- Vehicles over 20 feet, unfortunately, cannot be accommodated on the weekends, as there is no parking and turnaround space. Weekday parking is not an issue.
If you want to bring a dog…
Be aware that the orchard can be a very busy place, with lots of people. If you choose to bring your furry friend, please keep in mind the following:
- Only friendly, well-socialized dogs should accompany you
- Dogs must be leashed and under your control at all times
- Please clean up behind your dog
- Dogs are not permitted inside our buildings or on a hayride
- Dogs should not be left in your car at any time
- If your dog becomes aggressive, we will ask you to remove your dog from the property
Are you a Leaf Peeper?
Virginia fall foliage typically peaks in late October or early November. 2018 has been an extremely wet year and our foliage is expected to turn color later than normal.