When the summer sun is blazing in the orchards at the fruit farms, delicious, sweet cherries are becoming ripe and perfect for harvesting. This is common in early June right through to the end of July and sometimes even into August.
Cherry picking is a great activity in Virginia. Relax as you feel the sun warming your skin, stroll the orchards, and enjoy the juicy cherries that you pick!
We have 6 of the best places to go cherry picking in Virginia. Visit the farm closest to you and enjoy a wonderful day with your family, and friends, or even on your own.
Many of these farms have special amenities making it a great place to spend the entire day.
Let’s get into it!
How To Pick The Best Cherries
Before you go along to any of the cherry picking farms below, you need to know how to pick the best cherries. No one wants to come home with premature cherries that cannot be eaten.
Cherries that are ripe for picking can be gorgeous dark red, yellow, bright red, or black. Meaning it can be a little tricky to know when they should be picked or when to leave them alone.
In order to tell when a cherry you have to look at the body and the stem. Sweet cherries are ripe when the fruit is plump and delicious and the stems may be easily removed from the tree.
To determine when they are ready to be picked, perform a taste test: sweet = ready!
Now we can get into the best cherry picking farms in Virginia!
6 Best Cherry Picking In VA
1. Mackintosh Fruit Farm
The village of Berryville, Mackintosh—which is properly called and breathtaking—is home to the Mackintosh Fruit Farm.
A family-run PYO farm, Mackintosh Fruit Farm is located in Clarke County, Virginia, in the stunning Northern Shenandoah Valley.
Mackintosh Fruit Farm produces some of the best fruit and vegetable in Virginia, including sweet dark cherries. Picking season begins in June and can last until early August for the farm.
However, the best way to know what is available for purchase and picking is to sign up to their weekly newsletter!
The farm also sells various other items including books, cheeses, and flowers. Everyone is welcome to make an appointment and come pick their own cherries at Mackintosh Fruit Farm!
2. Albemarle Cider Works & Vintage Virginia Apples
Albemarle Cider Works is known for their juicy,crispy apples and their refreshing cider. However, they also produce some of the best cherries in Virginia.
This farm and winery is one of the best places to visit in the summer as there is plenty of live events taking place along with cherry picking and markets!
Spend the day enjoying live music, strolling through the orchards, or taking a tour of the winery. Then finish off with a crispy glass of apple cider.
You can also book private experiences such as a horseback riding tour with their partners at Indian Summer Guides or have a lovely, scenic picnic at C’Ville Picinic. You will never be short of plans this summer when you visit Albemarle Cider Works & Vintage!
One feature that makes Albemarle Cider Works special is the variety of cherries that they grow. Their orchards are home to the old Black Heart Cherry which is unavailable anywhere else!
3. Spring Valley Orchard
Spring Valley Orchard is a hidden treasure, located in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They offer the experience of coming along to the orchards and picking your own sweet, delicious cherries.
The Chiles Family has meticulously taken care of Spring Valley’s orchards for more than a century.
The first generation of Chiles Family farmers began by selling the products of their labor to neighbors and passersby from a card table, cigar box, and roadside stand. Since then, the orchards have developed into local favorites and popular travel attractions.
Cherries often become ripe around Memorial Day, given the weather is just right, and their lifespan is short. So you have to be quick and get along to Spring Valley Orchard.
Ensure to give the farm plenty of notice before you come along as the fruit may have limited availability.
There is no need to bring your own container as one will be provided and you pre-pay for your fruit! Simply pay a fee and pick as many cherries as your arms can carry!
Cherries should be refrigerated as soon as possible after picking because they are more perishable than their berry relatives. Cherries don’t require washing before storing in the refrigerator. In fact, washing cherries increases their likelihood of rotting!
All they ask is that you remain respectful and have fun. Visit Spring Valley Orchard for excellent views and delicious cherries.
Spring Valley Orchards also offer a range of employment opportunities for those looking to work outdoors during the seasonal months.
Gain incredible experience and appreciation for the food you eat and make some unbreakable bonds with others working on the farm.
4. Hollin Farms
The fourth generation family farm Hollin Farms is located in Fauquier County, Virginia, high on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains next to Sky Meadows State Park.
Hollin Farms focuses on producing pick your own fruit, veggies, and cattle. They open their gates to the public in late May and are open for visiting right through until October. So, you have somewhere to pick fresh produce all summer long.
The late Robert C. Davenport founded Hollin Farms in the early 1950s. The Hollin Hills community of award-winning contemporary homes that he built in Fairfax County in the 1950s and 1960s inspired the name of the property.
Visit Hollin Farms during June and July to pick some of the juicy cherries. You can also expect other fruits such as raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries to be available for picking.
As the temperature begins to cool, pumpkins, apples, and potatoes become perfect for picking.
You can remain in the know with opening hours, picking season, and so much more by signing up for their weekly newsletter. Never miss a season again!
Bring your own container for collecting your picked fruit and make sure to give the farm a call before you visit.
5. Critzer Family Farm
The perfect place to spend a day outside with family and friends is Critzer Family Farm. Get in touch with nature, breathe some fresh air, and exhaust the kids!
They adhere to a five-generation pledge to leave the land and community in better condition than when they found it and employ ecologically responsible practices.
The farm gives children a chance to experience a little bit of farm life, learn about honesty and hard work, and see where their food comes from. They can even help harvest some of it.
Crizter Family Farm is one of the earliest farms to open for the season. They open in April for strawberry season and remain open until October for apple and pumpkin season.
You can purchase a picking container at the farm and reuse it throughout the season or bring your own.
This will be weighed at the picking station but will not be included in the price at the end of your pick. You can pick cherries and other fresh produce for the entire summer!
When you visit Crizter Family Farm, don’t forget to try some of their delicious home-churned ice creams.
Don’t have enough time for picking this season? Stop by and purchase the pre-picked fruit at the farm. Don’t miss out on the delicious sour cherries and fresh berries.
6. Levering Orchard
Levering Orchard has a rich history in Afta, Virginia. With over 100 years of experience in growing and harvesting cherries, you can expect nothing by the best.
Levering Orchard has 32 acres of cherry trees with an astonishing 56 types to pick from, in addition to apples, peaches, pears, and apricots. It is known as Cherry Mountain.
The farm is working tirelessly to open its gates for picking as soon as possible but you can guarantee that they will be open around the beginning of June for both sweet and sour cherry picking. The best way to know is to give them a call or email before visiting.
You can also visit the Cherry Orchard Theatre on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. You will find a range of live shows taking place and with a small entrance fee, you can sit back and relax.
Cherry picking is an incredible activity for the kids and yourself in the summer. With many farms opening their gates in the months of June and July, you can find somewhere to pick your own cherries in Virginia (Also check out Farmers Markets In Northern VA).
However, finding the best cherries is not an easy feat. We have 6 of the best places to go cherry picking in Virginia this summer.
Never eat store-bought cherries again as you taste the fresh, delicious flavor of fresh cherries straight from the tree. Check out the orchards above and discover a new way to appreciate the fruit you eat!
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