To celebrate the first official day of autumn—though the temperatures in Iowa have still been in the mid-70s and 80s—I hopped in the car with a friend and headed to Wilson’s Orchard near Iowa City. We arrived just after the orchard opening and snagged a few fresh apple cider donuts for our rumbling stomachs.
After tasting a few different varieties of apples, we decided our favorite was the honey crisp and headed into the orchard—map in hand—to do some picking. We wandered deep into the trees and searched high and low for some of the ripest, most delicious looking apples. And when our basket was overflowing we caught a ride on “Bessie”—a bright green tractor—back up the hill to the barn. More than two dozen apples and apple cider slushies (one of the best decisions we’ve ever made) in hand, we got back in the car feeling fully ready for fall.
If you’re looking to do some apple picking, Wilson’s is a fantastic choice. But be sure to get there early—just over an hour after opening the orchard was already mobbed with families toting strollers and screaming children.
Wilson’s Orchard, 2924 Orchard Lane NE in Iowa City, Iowa