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The 17 Best Apple Orchards in Iowa

The Midwest is a prime place for apple orchards, and Iowa is no exception. If you are looking for the best apple orchards in Iowa, you’ve come to the right place. There are dozens of orchards across the state offering hundreds of apple varieties, from popular kinds you can find in grocery stores to one-of-a-kind heirlooms. 

Stunning landscape at one of the best apple orchards in Iowa.
Stunning landscape at one of the best apple orchards in Iowa.

With all these options available, how do you choose which orchard to visit? Here are all the best orchards in Iowa for you to visit this year.

1. Allen’s Orchard

Allen’s Orchard is located in Marion, IA. It has been in operation for more than 50 years as one of the best apple orchards in Iowa, and grows a variety of fruit, including cherries, apples, and much more. 

The orchard is dedicated to passing on the wisdom of agricultural practices to future generations. To accomplish this, it provides both educational opportunities and fun family activities! Visitors can stop by the orchards to pick their own fresh fruit, including 35 varieties of apples. These include everything from McIntosh to Snowsweet, Idared, Macoun, Liberty, Jonagold, Fireside, Dandee Red, and many more. 

The orchard is also famous for their baked goods, particularly their top-notch doughnuts that are made onsite. 

2. 3 Bee Farms Market And Orchard

3 Bee Farms Market in Griswold started out as a honey farm in 1993. In 2009, the owners branched into apple production. These days, the apple farm is one of the top places in the state for agricultural education, tourism, and picking your own delicious apples. 

The farm also hosts regular events, including a corn maze, pumpkin patch, and much more, making it one of the best apple orchards in Iowa. 

Apple season extends from July to October at 3 Bee Farms. Depending on the season, you can get varieties like Lura Red, Gala, Ozark Gold, Chieftain, Grimes Golden, and McIntosh.

3. Community Orchard

Community Orchard had its start back in the early 1940s as a dairy farm. It was converted to an apple orchard in the 1950s. Since the 1970s, it has been a family-run venture. 

The orchard sells some delicious apple varieties that are known to thrive in Iowa growing conditions. These include Wealthy, Cameo, Haralson, Honey Sweet, Chieftain, Zestar, and more. 

Community Orchard hosts events throughout the year, including its autumn Applefest. You can also eat in the Orchard Cafe, play on the playground, and buy freshly made preserves, dressings, honey, and much more. All these offerings make Community Orchard one of the best apple orchards in Iowa! 

4. Ditmar’s Orchard

Ditmar’s Orchard has been producing delicious apple varieties and farm family activities for nearly 30 years. Most recently, the orchards have expanded into a pumpkin patch and vineyard. Although, the apples remain a primary focus, making Ditmar’s one of the best apple orchards in Iowa. 

You can pick your own fruit here, with apple varieties like Ambrosia, Braeburn, Crimson Crisp, Enterprise, Ozark Gold, Pinova, Pink Lady, Sweet Sixteen, and many more. Throughout the year, you can also pick your own apricots, cherries, strawberries, peaches, sunflowers, and more. 

Ditmar’s also hosts regular activities and events such as a corn maze, petting zoo, and unique yard games like a human hamster wheel. 

5. Little Sioux Orchard

Little Sioux Orchard is a newer orchard. The owners moved in in 1998 and opened the apple orchard in 2017. They continue to plant new trees, most recently growing to nearly 1,400 making it one of the best apple orchards in Iowa. 

Visitors get the chance to pick their own apples, go for hayrides, and play in the corn maze. You will find apple varieties here like Zestar, Royal Court, Linda Mac, Redfree, Wealthy, Liberty, and Oregon Spur. 

Depending on the time of year, you can also participate in activities like cider making, games, bonfires, and educational tours. The orchard offers wagon rides out to the apple orchard for families with small children.

6. The Big Apple Orchard

The Big Apple Orchard is located in Mount Vernon, Iowa. With 2,000 apple trees and 22 apple varieties, it is not only one of the best apple orchards in Iowa, but also one of the biggest! 

Some of the apple varieties include Honeycrisp, Red Wealthy, and many more. They also offer fresh apple doughnuts which are made daily. You can pick your own apples throughout September and October on the weekends. 

Though the orchard doesn’t offer regular activities, they do host events throughout the year. The wide variety of fruit and delicious baked goods continues to rank it among the top Iowa apple orchards. 

7. Wills Family Orchard

The Wills Family has been running its Adel, IA orchard since the 1990s. The farm consists of 60 acres. Here, the owners grow crops according to sustainable growing practices to protect the earth while producing delicious, healthy fruit. 

In addition to apples, you can find peaches, cherries, pumpkins, and strawberries here. During the annual fall festival, visitors have the chance to pick their own apples, including Honeycrisp, Snowsweet, Spartan, Priscilla, Zestar, Pristine, Liberty, and many more. 

The fall festival also offers opportunities for hay rides, gourd painting, a hay bale maze, and many delicious treats, including freshly-made apple butter, fruit spreads, pie, doughnuts, and even wine.

8. Smalls Fruit Farm

Smalls Fruit Farm in Mondamin is open seven days a week offering strawberries, apples, melons, apricots, cherries, and raspberries as well as a variety of vegetables. Though it is a smaller farm than many, its fresh fruit offerings rank it among the best apple orchards in Iowa. 

Not only does Smalls Fruit Farm offer fresh produce right off the tree, it also provides baked goods. Visitors can buy fruit pies throughout the year, freshly baked during the growing season and frozen during the off months. Cider is available at any time. 

Apple picking begins in September with varieties like Criterion, Cortland, Turley, McIntosh, Honeycrisp, and more.

9. Appleberry Orchard

Appleberry Orchard is one of the most active, fun-filled Iowa apple orchards you can find. They host regular events, including a petting zoo (located in the 1882 historic barn), fall festival, and much more. 

You can buy many freshly made treats here, including apple cider, apple cider doughnuts, pies, cakes, and bread. Of course, the main attraction is the extensive apple orchard. Appleberry Orchard offers wagon rides out to the fields. 

Apple picking season starts in August and runs through October, with varieties like Buckeye Gala, Ozark Gold, Honeycrisp, Empire, Red Delicious, Jonagold, Blondee, and much more. Visitors can also pick their own pumpkins. 

Enjoying a caramel apple treat at an orchard in Iowa.
Enjoying a caramel apple treat at an orchard in Iowa.

10. Center Grove Orchard

Center Grove Orchard was opened in 1994 by the Black family. It is home to more than 6,000 apple trees with a huge number of varieties. 

Visitors can head out to the fields to pick varieties like Crimson Crisp, Jonamac, Daybreak Fuji, Empire, Mutsu, Lysgolden, Granny Smith, and many more. This is one of the best apple orchards in Iowa, and is always expanding its selection. You can expect new varieties in the next few years, including Snapdragon, Pink Lady, and Crimson Gold. 

Center Grove also has extensive food and beverage offerings. Visitors can enjoy full meals as well as freshly-made treats and fresh strawberries, peaches, and much more.

11. Gravert’s Apple Basket Orchard

Gravert’s Apple Basket Orchard is located in eastern Iowa, overlooking the Mississippi River. It offers not only fresh produce for picking, but also some of the most beautiful sights placing it among the best apple orchards in Iowa.

The Gravert family started the orchard in 1986. Back then, they focused on livestock with a few fruit trees. Since then, they’ve branched out significantly and added a cider mill and a farm store.

Gravert’s Apple Basket Orchard has dozens of apple varieties, both modern favorites and classic heirlooms. Options include Zestar, Tolman Sweet, Sweet Sixteen, Red Rome, Pixie Crunch, Pinova, Gravenstein, Red Haralson, and many more.

12. Deal’s Orchard

Deal’s Orchard is more than just an apple orchard. It’s a place where you can find delicious fruit, fresh home-baked goods, and fun family activities. 

You can pick your own apples here, enjoy the pumpkin patch, take a hayride, and even play yard games. The orchard also offers fresh-pressed hard cider. 

Of course, the apples are one of the main attractions, and there are plenty of them! Deal’s grows 25 distinct varieties of apples that are perfectly suited to Iowa growing conditions. These include Lodi, Duchess, Earliblaze, Chenanego, Sharon, Cortland, Haralson, Winesap, and much more. Apple season lasts from mid July to mid October.

13. Iowa Orchard

Iowa Orchard offers pick-your-own strawberries and apples at the appropriate times of year as well as a bakery that is open all year round. There are fun family activities and other events here, too.

Here you’ll find delicious homemade fruit pies like Dutch crumb apple, fresh cider, and many types of preserves. With a pumpkin patch and many other activities, Iowa Orchard hosts regular events for families and educational tours for local school groups.

The orchard is open for apple picking from the beginning of September to mid October. Here, you’ll find varieties like Idared, Pink Lady, Braeburn, Cortland, McIntosh, Gala, Red Delicious, and Fuji.

Pink lady apples on a branch.
Three Pink Lady Apples on Branch

14. Hinegardners Apple Orchard

Hinegardners Orchard had its start all the way back in 1960 when the first 600 apple trees were planted. They’ve been offering visitors the opportunity to pick their own apples (from 3,000 trees and 20 varieties) since 1967 making it one of the best apple orchards in Iowa.

The orchard supplies fresh produce to local farmers’ markets and stores throughout Iowa. You’ll find strawberries, pears, plums, melons, squash, pumpkins, and of course, apples. Hinegardners hosts an annual cider day where visitors can help harvest apples and press them into fresh, delicious cider.

Starting in September, you can pick classic favorites like Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, and more. There are also caramel apples and fresh apple pies.

15. Wilson’s Orchard

Wilson’s Orchard was purchased by the Wilson family in 1980, who felt that they had found the best place to plant apples. Their first orchard included more than 100 apple varieties. In 1985, they opened their orchard to the public for pick-your-own apples and started offering fresh baked goods as well. 

Today, Wilson’s Orchard offers regular events including hosting weddings and live concerts. They even have a bakery, restaurant, and cidery, where they produce their own hard cider for purchase. 

You’ll find a huge number of apple varieties here, such as Suncrisp, Winecrisp, Ambrosia, Golden Russet, Sundance, Northern Spy, Granny Smith, and many more. 

16. Apples On The Avenue

Apples On The Avenue is a family-run orchard dedicated to sharing an authentic farm experience with visitors. Here, there is no pretense or show, just the chance to pick your own apples and enjoy fresh, delicious fruit right from the tree!

Apple picking season goes from mid August to mid October here. Tools like bags and picking poles are provided. You can find varieties that you might not find anywhere else, like Viking, Molly, Wealthy, Cortland, Honeygold, Red Sharon, Fireside, Regent, and many more.

Some of these are best for eating fresh, while others are ideal for baking, dehydrating, or making into applesauce, apple butter, or jam.

17. Timeless Prairie Orchard

Timeless Prairie Orchard can be found in Northeast Iowa, nestled among the hills. Here, you can buy 23 apple varieties. The owners prioritize quality and variety so that you can find apples for many uses, including preserving, dehydrating, baking, and eating fresh.

Apple picking season starts in late August when Zestars become ripe, and goes all the way through October. Other varieties include Cameo, Crimson Crisp, Braeburn, Schuzka, and McIntosh

While Timeless Prairie Orchard doesn’t offer many family events or regular activities, the quality and variety of its apple orchard adds it to the list of best apple orchards in Iowa.

Conclusion

DUBUQUE, IOWA, beautiful red apples in apple orchard on sunny fall day.
DUBUQUE, IOWA, beautiful red apples in apple orchard on sunny fall day.

Though Iowa isn’t widely known as an apple producer, there are hidden gems all around the state. If you plan to be in Iowa this autumn, make sure to stop by an orchard to enjoy an apple fresh off the tree.

Have you visited one of the best apple orchards in Iowa? If so, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments section. Are there any great orchards left off this list of best apple orchards in Iowa? As always, we appreciate your feedback!