We’re in that precarious-but-exciting cusp when strawberries are (already) leaving us and raspberries are quietly making their entrance. That means it’s the ideal time to go pickin’. They will be the best berries you have ever eaten, no exaggeration whatsoever—and will convince you to go back when all the others (cherries, blackberries, blueberries!) are ripe for picking.
Before you go anywhere, call the farm to see what’s available at their U-Pick. More often than not, the farm’s social media accounts or website might list what’s typically available at this time, but not what’s ready for picking that specific weekend.
Here are 10 places to pick berries within a few hours from New York City—even mapped out for you! They’re the ones Cristina Sciarra and Yossy Arefi, two of our fruit-obsessed contributors, visit often. We thank them for their love of berries.
This place is like farm as playground: They have a huge variety of fruit to pick, a lunch area, and in the fall, the best apple cider donuts. | (845) 897-4377
This one’s on Long Island and has a market and flower shop right across the street from the U-pick area. | (631) 929-4327
Just fifteen minutes down the road from Lewin Farm, Patty’s Berries and Bunches also has pick-your-own flowers, a stand with prepared desserts, and an “ice cream patch,” where you can pick your own ice cream flavors (a.k.a., order—get it?). | (631) 298-4679
Greig, in the Mid-Hudson Valley, has berries but also goats you can feed! | (845) 758-1234
Not farm from Greig, this is a great all-around choice—it doesn’t have frills like a corn maze or hay rides, but it has beautiful views of the Catskills. | 845-756-5641
Lawrence already has sour cherries, which is super exciting. They do charge an admission fee, but they have a huge selection of produce. | 845-562-4268
This farm, located in New Jersey, has a lot of activity. Some weekends, they have a moon bounce, pony rides, and even currants for picking. | (908) 879-7189
This one has a whole lot of attraction in addition to berries, including a field of sunflowers and pie! It’s also close to Alstede Farms. | 908-852-9122
To be honest, I had to include this one because they have mini golf. But they also have a good variety of fruit and veg and flowers. Another plus, they’re down the road from Westward Orchards, which has wood-fired pizza as well as U-pick produce, though not a lot of berries. | (845) 626-7137
For more, and to find farms if you’re outside the New York area, head to pickyourown.org. It’s a comprehensive resource that, bonus, identifies the farms that use organic and sustainable farming.
What do you look for in a U-pick farm? And what are your local favorites? Share with us in the comments!