As the temperatures get cooler, the Lake Geneva area becomes an autumn wonderland of changing leaves, pumpkin patches and, of course, apple orchards! Whether you’re looking for an authentic, pick-your-own apple experience, or prefer to wander the beautiful orchards and then shop homemade goodies and pre-picked apples, there’s an orchard for you here. We’ve rounded up all of the apple orchard experiences within a 30-minute drive of Lake Geneva, so you can get your apple fix this fall! (Please note that FDA requirements prevent any apple orchard from allowing pets on the property.)
W6384 Sugar Creek Rd, Elkhorn, 262-728-3266
This orchard in Sugar Creek has been family-owned and -operated since Wisconsin became a state in 1848! On autumn weekends, this popular spot offers pick-your-own apples and pumpkins, with about 7-10 rotating varieties of apples available to pick. (Additional varieties are available in the country store on site.) There’s also a winery where guests can enjoy tastings of fruit wines made on the premises by master wine maker (and owner) Steve Jacobson. On weekends in October, listen to live music while snacking on fresh apple cider donuts and hot apple cider, as well as other delicious options from local food trucks.
1072 288th Avenue, Burlington, 262-878-3000
While this orchard in Burlington is not a pick-your-own experience, there’s plenty to enjoy during an afternoon visit. Hike through the beautiful orchards and the wooded trails on the property, or let the kids play in the two-story treehouse. There are picnic tables to enjoy a snack of apple cider donuts (weekends only) before buying your pre-picked apples in their store – and there are more 150 varieties to choose from throughout the season! Plus stock up on local cheeses, jams, jellies and other goodies. For the adults in the group, head to Aeppeltreow Winery and Distillery, a separate business located on the same site, to taste everything from fruit wines to ciders made from Brightonwoods’ apples.
1545 Main St., Mukwonago, 262-363-6770
Home of the famous apple-pie-baked-in-a-paper-bag, the Elegant Farmer is a full autumn experience. Visitors can head out to the adjacent orchards to pick their apples from a selection of 10 rotating, ready-to-pick varieties each week. There are hayrides and pony rides, and families can even take a vintage train ride to the Elegant Farmer’s pumpkin patch through a partnership with the East Troy Railroad! Adventurous groups can brave the corn maze before heading to the country store to stock up on all the autumn essentials, enjoy autumn treats or have a local, farm-to-table lunch of BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, beef chili with scoop corn chips, chili dogs, chicken pot pie and more.
W632 Hafs Road, Genoa City, 262-279-3638
This is another spot that does not offer pick-your-own apples, but still offers a delightful autumn experience. There are around 40 varieties of apples grown at Hafs Road, so check the harvest schedule before you go to see what will be available. While there, stock up on local honey, apple cider vinegar, mulling spices, pumpkins, gourds and fall decorations in the store. And don’t miss the hand-dipped, fresh caramel apples!
36315 Geneva Road, Burlington, 262-806-3566
This orchard near Burlington grows about 75 varieties of apples, 30 of which are available for pick-your-own apples when they become ready to harvest. (Check the website for the current list of apples ready to harvest.) While you’re there, stock up on local honey and pumpkins, and enjoy the beautiful rural location. What better way to celebrate fall?
15908 Hebron Road, Harvard, Ill.
Just over the border in Harvard, Ill. is Royal Oak Farm Apple Orchard, a pick-your-own orchard with around 10 rotating varieties of apples available for harvesting at any given time. In addition to apple picking, Royal Oaks offers plenty of family fun, including a playground and petting zoo, a carousel and two different kinds of train rides (weekends only.) For even more fun, take a spin through Amaze’n Apples, the country’s only apple tree maze, before heading to the country store to stock up on treats and gifts.