Nestled in the hills above Tully Valley is an apple orchard above all other apple orchards. Ranked the number one orchard in the country by USA Today, Beak & Skiff is only 5 minutes away from my childhood home, and I have to admit I’ve been spoiled to live so close by. Friends from college get so excited every year to visit the orchard, but I’ve been coming here since I was a little girl… working the You Pick stand as a high schooler and taste testing ciders on my 21st birthday. I’ve driven by on many weekends home as then entire facility was renovated and the 1911 brand blew up. The company has essentially grown up as I have, and each year around this time as I go back for a visit I am always in awe of just how beautiful the campus is.
Beak & Skiff, in its enormity, has many different buildings, barns and activities. If you’ve never been before, here’s what you need to know:
Currently, the orchard is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The Apple Barn is your go-to if you want fresh picked apples but don’t want to pick them yourself
If you want the full apple-picking experience, wagon rides depart from the western side of the orchard throughout the day, with the last ride leaving at 5 p.m.
The rest of the campus is split into the Apple Hill Country Store, Bake Shop, Kids Area (including a playground and PONY RIDES), Cafe and 1911 Tasting Room. There is also a small stand that sells fritters and other fried apple goods!
Impromptu day trips with my parents are some of my favorites, and this past weekend we visited the orchard together to get a little ~ f a l l & f e s t i ve ~. In my experience, it doesn’t matter how many years you’ve lived here, when October hits you still get that same itch to consume as many cinnamon/apple/pumpkin flavored goodies as possible. So that’s exactly what we did.
We hit the bake shop first, with my dad making a beeline for the apple cider donuts. With warm apple dumplings, caramel and candy apples, apple pie and apple cider to choose from, it was hard to decide what to enjoy first, but eventually we headed out to the patio with our loot and grabbed a spot overlooking the valley to soak up some autumn sun.
Figuring we should burn off some of our freshly consumed calories, we hopped on a wagon to take us up to the orchard and walk around for a bit. I was able to snap some really high quality pictures of my parents along the way, and they clearly enjoyed the attention (pictured below). Fair warning: if you go anywhere with me these days theres a 99% chance you’er going to be up on the blog within a week. Oops.
Being an apple orchard, you might think Beak & Skiff is only in operation during the fall months, but you couldn’t be more wrong! Part of its expansion included summer concert series’, paint & sip nights, and of course 1911 products (cider, wine, vodka and gin) are available year round!
For more information about all Beak & Skiff has to offer and to plan your trip, visit: http://www.beakandskiff.com