Edit ModuleShow Tags

Autumn Means Apples


Published:

I’m sure that I’m not the only traveler who believes that Minnesota’s most beautiful season to be out and about is autumn. Crisp cool breezes, long shadows, golden leaves, and apples. Visiting an area orchard to pick our own peck right from the tree has become a regular fall activity for my family. One of our regular orchards we visit is Afton Apples, not far from Hastings.

Located only about 45 minutes southeast of Minneapolis, Afton Apple Orchard is a perfect getaway for an afternoon enjoying the countryside. It’s the perfect excuse to get out and enjoy some of the warm September weather we’ve been experiencing. The orchard’s 190 acres offer ample space to grow a large variety of apples, many of which originated through research conducted by the University of Minnesota. While it might sound overwhelming, especially if you are planning to pick your own apples, a hayride will take you into to orchard.

During my recent visit, the much-valued Honeycrisp wasn’t quite ready for picking; a late, wet spring set this year’s fruit season back a couple of weeks. Nonetheless, two just as tasty apples were Zestar and Estival. To my taste, the Zestar, which is the newest apple developed at the U of M, is every bit as good as a Honeycrisp—large, with white, crisp, and sweet flesh beneath a thin bright red skin. The Estival is a slightly smaller, more sour tasting apple, but just as good.

Each fall it seems like the orchard continues to add a feature or two to make a day at the orchard with the family that much more fun, even if you don’t like apples. Pick your own raspberries instead, as the season goes into October. Beginning this weekend, visitors can begin to pick pumpkins from a large patch at the center of the farm, along with gourds, several varieties of squash and ornamental decorating corn. And if fruit isn’t tempting enough for a visit, kids can enjoy a large playground area, a petting zoo, and a very large 15-acre corn maze that features more than six miles of paths.

Weekends can be busy, especially with nice fall weather, so you may want to plan to arrive early. If your schedule allows, you may pick apples during the week as well. Check their schedule. And if you like, you can buy apples, along with many other treats, jam and gifts, in the orchard’s small store.

Afton Apple Orchard
14421 S. 90th Street, Hastings
651-436-8385,
Open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Journeys: How to Love Baseball While Knowing Little to Nothing about It

Whether you’re a fan for life or an ultra casual like me, baseball is a sport for the summer

A Gala Befitting Glensheen

At the Glensheen Gala, you can explore the gardens, see normally closed-off spots, and relish in the after party along Lake Superior

Seven Days of California Adventure

New adventures await in California, even for Travel Club guide and travel editor Todd Walker

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Traditional Powwow This Weekend

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe welcomes the public to enjoy traditional dancing, drum ceremonies, and contests

A Day Trip to the North Loop

Just north and west of Target Field, North Loop has some of the best restaurants and shops in Minneapolis

The Museum of Pizza Has Minnesota Ties

Todd about Town: New York's new museum dedicated to pizza came from a U of M alum

Spa Central

When it comes to relaxation and rejuvenation, the Twin Cities do it right

A Bay Area Break

Go on a worry-free, weeklong vacation to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Napa Valley, with the Minnesota Monthly Travel Club

This Week’s Top Artist Picks

Sam Smith, Reba McEntire, and Rod Stewart come to Minnesota

3 Fairs This Weekend

Celebrate Minnesota’s heritage—by raising a glass at the country’s biggest free Irish fair, by marveling at fierce lumberjack competitions, or by slipping into Civil War re-enactments

Ramsey Falls: A Photo Essay

Picturesque bridges, four miles of hiking trails, a gorgeous waterfall, and more await at Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls

Journeys: A Civil War Woman

Pipestone Civil War Days reenactor Kate Heller talks about what the festival is like, how she began reenacting, and how her Civil War Days wedding went

Destination: Pipestone

Civil War Days and Pipestone National Monument make Pipestone a rich historical destination

Irish Fair of Minnesota

Pure bagpipin' bliss
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags