While many may picture the Big Apple when they think of the crisp fruit, Georgia is also known for supplying the country with a delicious and wide variety of apples. Ellijay is home to dozens of apple orchards, barns and markets that become the annual fall hotspot as tourists travel north to pick their bounty straight from the branch. Take a drive through the famous Apple Capital of Georgia and explore pumpkin patches, corn mazes, fall festivals and beautiful autumn foliage across the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Each establishment comes with a rich history and a wide variety of goodies, including freshly baked pies, ciders, donuts, jams, sauces and more. This will quickly become your favorite autumn tradition.
Panorama Orchards (Ellijay)
Founded in the 1920s to produce and sell apples, Panorama Orchards has made a name for itself in the Georgia apple industry. The orchard delivers over 20 varieties of the fruit to locals and visitors year-round, as well as crisp fall vegetables, homemade ice cream, peaches, baked goods and several apple-themed goodies.
The onsite market and kitchens produce everything in-house and the establishment’s website shares valuable information for seasonal picking, fall-themed recipes and more! Visit https://PanoramaOrchards.com for more information.
B.J. Reece Orchards (Ellijay)
Family-owned and operated in Ellijay since the 1960s, B.J. Reece Orchards is a hot spot every apple season! Offering a coveted U-pick experience, country-baked goodies and endless kid-friendly fun, it comes as no surprise that the orchard was rated as a “fun get-a-way” Georgia destination.
The on-site petting zoo and pony rides are the cherries on top after you’ve spent time roaming through the picturesque rows of apple trees with your little ones. The market also ensures that you’ll go home with all kinds of yummy autumn goodies.
The Reece family understands that visitors of all ages come to pick, shop and take in the beautiful North Georgia vistas. The B.J. Reece Orchards team has taken great lengths to ensure the orchard is accessible for visitors of all ages and abilities.
Visit www.ReeceOrchards.com to join the Reece family tradition!
R & A Orchards (Ellijay)
What started as a roadside market to produce and sell apples has now become a popular apple-picking destination for visitors across Georgia. Located 4.5 miles east of downtown Ellijay on Highway 52, R & A Orchards perfectly pairs crisp North Georgia apples with a family-friendly atmosphere. The market is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to accommodate each year’s growing crowds. On weekends, the orchards open to the public for apple picking, seasonal vegetable gathering, U-Pick flowers and scenic tractor rides!
Can’t make it up north this season? The R & A Orchards online store delivers all kinds of delectable goodies straight to your front door. Harvest this season’s flavors by visiting www.RAndAOrchards.com.
Mercier Orchards (Ellijay)
A long-standing tradition in the city of Ellijay, Mercier Orchards is a fourth-generation family and veteran-owned and operated apple orchard. Founded in 1943 by Bill and Adele Mercier, the history of this establishment is woven into the fabric of the North Georgia apple industry.
Join the tradition and participate in the orchard’s seasonal U-Pick events to gather fresh fruit and more by visiting https://Mercier-Orchards.com.
Jaemor Farms (Alto)
Jaemor Farms is a top apple destination, offering its visitors access to a vibrant fall calendar that features autumn celebrations, a corn maze, a petting zoo, farm skeeball, a pumpkin train, apple cannons and so much more! A top spot for families, this orchard certainly knows how to cater to apple lovers of all ages.
Previously featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WBS-TV Atlanta and the Atlanta Business Chronicle, visit www.JaemorFarms.com to discover the latest apple varieties and plan your visit today.
The on-site market is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. on Sundays. The Banks Crossing Market located in Commerce, Georgia is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
The Folk Collaborative (McCaysville)
The Folk Collaborative marries the typical apple-picking experience with unique apothecary selections and a sense of community. Inspired by the yesteryear practices of living off the land, this apple orchard prizes community-driven experiences and locally grown and produced products. Whether a picnic in the orchards, sampling the company’s apothecary products or simply taking in the views, The Folk Collaborative ensures your visit is a wholesome and memorable one.
Visit https://TheFolkCollaborative.com to plan your visit and dive into the orchard’s mission.
Hillside Orchard Farms (Lakemont)
While North Georgia is known for producing delicious apple selections, Hillside Orchard Farms expands upon the experience and offers a wide variety of fresh U-Pick fruit selections, as well as farm train rides, freshly baked goods and more! Say hello to Festus the Donkey as you make your way through the orchards and don’t forget to select the perfect pumpkin to carve at home just in time for Halloween.
In 2015, Hillside Orchard Farms entered the U-Pick scene and experienced fantastic success! Now, droves of visitors show up each year to sample the orchard’s renowned apples, get lost in the corn maze and embark on train and hayrides until the sun goes down! Plan your visit to this “Mountain Grown” destination today at https://HillsideOrchard.com/.
Reece’s Cider Co. (Ellijay)
Originally a part of the B.J. Reece family legacy, Taner and Sarah Reece decided to start a new tradition by founding Reece’s Cider Co.! Sample a delicious selection of hard apple ciders by the bottle, flight or taste and forge unforgettable memories. Reece’s Cider Co. is a new addition to the ever-growing winery list in Ellijay and is proud to deliver mouth-watering cider choices to visitors that are crafted with the very best apple pickings and pure cane sugar.
The licensed FARM winery takes pride in its low and slow process and is ready to welcome more members into the Reece’s Cider Co. family this season.
Visit https://ReecesCiderCompany.com for more information.
Georgia Apple Festival (Ellijay)
The fun doesn’t stop at the orchards! Each year, the community of Ellijay comes together to celebrate the apple-picking season by putting on the Georgia Apple Festival! For two weekends, visitors across the state of Georgia applaud cooler temperatures and a delicious harvest. Over 300 vendors, a parade, an antique car show, crafts and onsite demonstrations will keep you busy as you ring in the fall season. Admission is $10 per person and all children 12 years and under are free. Apply to be a vendor and plan your visit at www.GeorgiaAppleFestival.org.
All visitors are encouraged to park at Gilmer High and Middle Schools, Ellijay Elementary and Primary Schools and Mountainview Elementary School to take advantage of the free shuttle service.
When: October 8 – 9, October 15 - 16
Hours: Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds
Please note that each orchard caters to different apple varieties that change as the season progresses. Visit the orchard’s website to discover what variations are in season and the U-Pick dates and times.