I always wondered why New York City is called the Big Apple.
Though only one Google search away, the answer is not as clear or as logical as you might think. Check the story here.Despite this, I chose to believe the story that makes more sense which is the sheer amount of apple orchards across the state.
In Romania most of us have at least one parent who grew up in the country side. That makes us take nature, orchards and picking fruits or vegetables for granted. You could always go in the garden, pick up some tomatoes and eat them with some freshly made cheese. The complete opposite is true for New Yorkers. Apple picking is part of the entertainment and tourist industry here. The cost of entry is $5 per person in addition to the cost for what you pick, such as apples and vegetables.
The apple picking season starts early September so we decided to go to Lawrence Farms Orchards. As the name states this is also a farm – they have animals and vegetables too.
There are plenty of orchards within 2 hours from New York. To some you can get by public transport and a short Uber drive. We rented a car, picked it up from JFK (that’s the cheapest option – Enterprise ). It’s easier to get around and also allows you to enjoy more places. If you can’t rent a car, you can also take the Metro North from Grand Central to Beacon ($32) and get on an Uber for 20 minutes ride and about $25 cost.
Day road trip in photos:
1. Our first stop was in Nyack.
Take I-87 out of manhattan and cross the Hudson River on the Tappanzee (Cuomo) Bridge. Nyack is a bohemian little village on the Hudson river popular among bikers. We got a nice breakfast sandwich at Art Café on South Broadway.
2. The next stop was the orchard itself – Lawrence Farms Orchards.
Arrived at the Orchard around 12.30 PM and it was such a hot day for apple picking. We strolled around to pick a bunch of apples, amazingly tasting tomatoes, peppers and kale. Also tasted the grapes – it felt like I was back home in my grandparents vineyard. Orchard life is quite exciting. You get to pick and eat apples, get your daily dose of doughnuts and apple cider and enjoy fun family activities.
3. Benmarl Winery What goes well after apples?
Wine. We tried Benmarl Winery. Amazing views, the wine wasn’t the best I’ve had, but the experience was worth it. For $20 we got to taste 6 types of wines. The best were the reds.
On our way back we took a ride (Seven Lakes drive) through nature and stopped for a bit in this little piece of heaven.
This was our last stop before hitting the traffic on our way back to New York. A well deserved dinner at a local restaurant in Sloatsburg with Irish pies and Salmon that may have been a little overcooked. Going back we took NJ 208 that merged into NJ and crossed the George Washington bridge. If we stayed on the east side we would have missed the gorgeous big moon and maybe also the traffic:).