Fall in Minnesota is an all-too-fleeting beauty with a bit of a bite. So naturally, we pack in as many outdoor activities as possible. There’s no shortage of things to doo, and a few that are practically required, like an annual apple orchard trip (or five).
Take your pick from our list of dog-friendly options, then go forth and slurp up our furbulous fall with your furry bestie.
(Editor’s note: Pups are allowed on orchard grounds only, not in buildings. Please wear a mask and remember to keep your distance from other apple pickers. At the time of writing this, we looked up COVID restrictions. Since these things change daily, we recommend calling before your visit. Stay safe!)
AAMODT’S APPLE FARM, Stillwater
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily, open now
Aamodt’s is sheer apple heaven, with apples, apple cider, seriously delicious apple brats, and a bakery with apple pies. And this apple farm also happens to share its acreage with the award-winning Saint Croix Vineyards. Salut!
DEARDORFF ORCHARDS & VINEYARD, Waconia
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday, open now
After picking your apples at Deardorff, mosey over to the winery for some award-winning Parley Lake wine, then head down the road to pup-paradise Carver Park Reserve dog park.
Note: Reservations must be made for both the orchard and the winery, with a 1 hour and 2 hour maximum respectively.
FAIRHAVEN FARM, South Haven
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily, open now
Choose from over 25 varieties of apples (or just get some of each!) at Fairhaven Farm. They also produce raspberries, pears, plums, grapes and more. Cash or check only.
FALL HARVEST ORCHARD, Montrose
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, open now
Go for a free informational walking trail or try your luck in the corn maze for $3 before picking your apples.
Want your farm fresh apples without having to leave the car? They are offering curbside pickup by appointment 7 days a week from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
GILBY’S ORCHARD, Aitkin
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily, opening Sept. 5
Wanna get away? Head “up north” to Gilby’s and you might see pheasants and deer as you walk the orchard trails. Pick from over a dozen apple varieties.
New this year: a drive-up window to get your apple fix without ever leaving the car.
GLACIAL RIDGE WINERY, Spicer
4 – 9 p.m. Thursday & Friday through Saturday, 12 – 9 p.m., open now
Glacial Ridge Winery offers not only wine but apples, apple cider, and caramel apples during apple season from the beautiful Jimmy Appleseed Orchard on their property.
LUCELINE ORCHARD, Watertown
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, open now
At 155 acres, LuceLine is the Great Dane of apple orchards. Ultra-friendly and bred for both work and play, this orchard offers a variety of apples, pumpkins, and squash, loads of apple-y fare, and tons of space to pick, walk, ride, watch, and romp.
NELSON’S APPLE FARM, Webster
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday, opening Sept. 12
Sprawled across 15 acres, you’ll find 25+ varieties of apples to satisfy your taste buds. Visit the store for pre-picked apples, jams, jellies, trinkets, take-n-bake apple pies, and much more.
PLEASANT VALLEY ORCHARD, Shafer
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily, opening Sept. 5
Pleasant Valley Orchard offers a fun fall experience for the whole family. In addition to your favorite MN-grown apples (pre-picked and ready for you), you’ll find an amazing array of pumpkins, a bakery, and a gift shop.
Wash your paws at the extra handwashing stations you’ll find around the orchard. Picnic tables will be regularly sanitized and checkout operations have been spread out for social distancing.
SOGN VALLEY ORCHARD, Dennison
12 – 6 p.m. daily (closed Wednesdays), open now
SOGN Valley is a beautiful orchard with the best (we hear) apple cider you’ll ever taste! The owner, John, also has a Border Collie who might just be your pup’s new best friend.
SWEETLAND ORCHARD, Webster
10 a.m – 8 p.m. Fridays through Sundays (& Labor Day), open now
This southern gem offers a lip-smacking selection of pre-picked apples, along with cider for sale and for tasting, tours of the cidery and orchard, a kids’ area in the barn, and free-range chickens. Bring your pooch – and a picnic – and enjoy a quiet day in their gorgeous world.
Note that you may reserve a table (up to 6 seats), but it’s not required. Tastings look a little different this year; order a tasting kit to have delivered to your table.
Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together!
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