Where to find the best fruit for picking and eating.
Butler’s Orchard: Butler’s is the place to go for fall fun, with pick-your-own apples starting in late August. They also have a Pumpkin Festival every weekend in October, which includes hayrides, giant slides, and a straw maze! 22200 Davis Mill Rd., Germantown. 301-972-3299. butlersorchard.com.
Larriland Farm: This impressive Woodbine farm has a terrific selection of apples come fall. Check the pick-your-own harvest calendar online for a detailed guide of when to expect what type of apple—from Galas in late August to mid-September to Pink Ladies in late October to early November. 2415 Woodbine Rd., Woodbine. Tues.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 410-422-2605. pickyourown.com.
Milburn Orchards: Milburn’s apple season starts Labor Day weekend. Be sure to try their country-fresh pies, apple-cider donuts, and caramel apples, all made fresh in their Bake Shoppe. 1495 Appleton Rd., Elkton. Market hours: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. You-pick hours: Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 410-398-1349. milburnorchards.com.
Weber’s Cider Mill Farm: Kicking off with their Johnny Appleseed Festival the weekend of September 22, apple season at Weber’s Cider Mill Farm offers a great selection. Also, try their fresh-pressed apple cider. Weber’s is the oldest Maryland cider mill in continuous use, so they’re sure to get it right. 2526 Proctor Ln., Parkville. Sept.: 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Oct.: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. 410-668-4488. weberscidermillfarm.com.
For baking or carving, there’s a great gourd for you.
Glade Link Farms: Glade Link’s fall season starts on September 15 with pick-your-own pumpkins, green beans, winter squash, and more. 12270 Woodsboro Pike, Keymar. 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Closed Tues. and Thurs. 301-898-7131. gladelink.com.
Homestead Farm: Homestead has a huge selection of apples and pumpkins in the fall, with hayrides to the pumpkin patches on weekends in October. 15604 Sugarland Rd., Poolesville. Mon.-Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 301-977-3761. homestead-farm.net.
Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch: With 15 acres of pumpkins, hayrides, a petting zoo, and a corn maze, Jumbo’s offers tons of family fun. 6521 Holter Rd., Middletown. Pick-your-own pumpkins and hayrides: Fri.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 301-371-6874. jumbos.org.
Rodgers’ Farms at North Run Farm: In addition to pick-your-own pumpkins, the farm has one of the most impressive corn mazes around. Opens the third week in September. 1818 Greenspring Valley Rd., Stevenson. Fri. 12-6 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 410-241-3392. northrunfarm.com.
Sharp’s at Waterford Farm: On weekends, this Howard County farm offers free hayrides to their pumpkin patches. 4003 Jennings Chapel Rd., Brookeville. Mon.-Fri., beginning Oct. 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat.-Sun., beginning Sept. 29, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 410-489-2572. sharpfarm.com.
Summers Farm: Starting September 21, this farm offers more than a pumpkin patch, with fun activities like pig races. 5620 Butterfly Ln., Frederick. Times vary. 301-620-9316. summersfarm.com.
Here are some great places to view the brilliance of fall.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park: Covering the intersection of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, this historic community offers hiking trails through former battlefields, museum exhibits, and much more. 171 Shoreline Dr., Harpers Ferry, WV, 304-535-6029. nps.gov/hafe.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum, & Gardens: George Washington’s former home is host to four separate gardens spread over six acres of land, each serving a different purpose, from producing fruits and vegetables to growing flowers. 3200 Mt. Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mt. Vernon, VA, 703-780-2000. mountvernon.org.
Patapsco Valley State Park: Come see the vibrant fall foliage, including oaks and red maple leaves, along the state park’s many hiking trails. 8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City. 410-461-5005. dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/central/patapsco.asp.
Shenandoah National Park: With 200,000 acres of protected lands and 75 overlooks, one is sure to see the colors of autumn here. 3655 Hwy. 211 East, Luray, VA, 540-999-3500. nps.gov/shen.
Strasburg Rail Road: Take the train across acres of Amish farmland in Lancaster County, PA, during the fall harvest. Rt. 741 East, Strasburg, PA. 717-687-7522. strasburgrailroad.com.
Sugarloaf Mountain: See the leaves change colors from 1,282 feet above sea level. In addition to the spectacular view, Sugarloaf offers miles of trails, where visitors can hike or ride horses. 7901 Comus Rd., Dickerson. 301-874-2024. sugarloafmd.com.