We’re well into apple cider season as the fall leaves reach their peak colors. While pumpkin spice lattes get a lot of attention this time of year, there’s nothing better than drinking hot, fresh-pressed cider straight from a local farm or farm store — especially after a fun day of apple picking, pumpkin picking, hayrides, and other fun fall activities. With so many excellent farms in North Jersey, you could even plan a cider crawl. We’ve rounded up the best spots to get farm-fresh apple cider (and some hard cider spots) in the North Jersey area — so keep reading to learn more.
Alstede Farms | 1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester
With a cider mill onsite, it doesn’t get much fresher than Alstede Farm. When the cider mill is operating, you can actually take a peek at the process before sampling some for yourself. The farm store sells the delicious homemade cider alongside a variety of jams, baked goods, and fresh produce. While you’re here, you can also pick your own apples, pumpkins, or flowers to round out a day of fall fun.
Burnt Mills Cider | 3540 US-206, Bedminster
Burnt Mills Cider offers crafted hard ciders with flavors ranging from hibiscus rose to ginger. There’s even a hops-infused cider for something a bit different. This spot features a 1,000-square-foot tasting room with a bar, TVs, and tables. For a perfect fall day, pack a picnic and enjoy an afternoon sipping hard cider by a fire pit. Guests are welcome to bring their own food – and s’mores supplies – but check the calendar for the weekend food truck lineup.
Delicious Orchards | 320 NJ-34, Colts Neck
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Delicious Orchards is a farm store selling three varieties of its own apple cider. There’s fresh-pressed, cranberry, and tart apple cider. No judgment if you can’t leave without all three. But if you get home and need inspiration on how to make the most of your cider purchases, browse the orchard’s website for recipe ideas. The Tangy Peach and Cider BBQ Sauce sounds especially delicious. MG Tip: Delicious Orchards is a bit famous locally for its doughnuts and pies.
Demarest Farms | 244 Wearimus Road, Hillsdale
Pick-your-own pumpkins, a Halloween light show, and a petting zoo are all part of the fall fun at Demarest Farms. Many local families think of this farm as a big part of their annual fall traditions. And a trip to this farm wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the store. Inside, you’ll find homemade pies, potato pancakes, fresh produce, and — of course — bottles of apple cider.
Hacklebarney Farm | 104 State Park Road, Chester Township
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This family farm, which dates back to the 1850s, is one of the best places around for all things cider. In addition to traditional apple cider, this farm offers cider slushies, cider donuts, cider chili, and even cider hot dogs. There’s a corn maze and pumpkin patch, plus a large lawn with chairs and cornhole. Baked goods are available in the market if you want to bring a pie – or two – home.
Ironbound Farm + Ciderhouse | 360 Co Road 579, Asbury
While just a little outside of North Jersey, we couldn’t miss this spot. Ironbound makes hard and fortified ciders using local apples. It draws on New Jersey’s history of cider making, which dates back to the Revolutionary War era. The sprawling farm features multiple outdoor tasting areas where you can enjoy a cider flight with options like the Gooseberry Ginger and Cape May Rose. Or try one of the cider cocktails which are mixed with the farm’s unique fortified ciders.
The farm is also known for its “Mother Fire,” and there’s an expansive menu of wood-fired specialties. Harvest dinners are scheduled throughout the fall, and these one-of-a-kind meals include cider pairings.
Mackey’s Orchard | 284 County Road 519, Belvidere
Mackey’s is an 8-generation farm, and some of the apple trees were first planted in the early 1900s. Pick-you-own apples are available, plus the farmstand is a big draw here. The offerings include hot apple cider, fresh-pressed cider to take home, acorn squash and cider soup, and delicious cider donuts. And if the ice cream catches your eye — we get it. After all, apple cinnamon pie and pumpkin are two seasonal flavors that would be almost impossible to pass up.
Melick’s Town Farm | 19 King Street, Oldwick
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Melick’s is one of the few places where you can actually experience the cider-making process. At the Oldwick Cider Mill, freshly-picked apples are turned into unfiltered apple cider. This cider is sold at other farm stands throughout North Jersey but there’s nothing like trying it straight from the orchard’s farm store. In addition to the traditional cider, the team also makes award-winning hard cider and apple wine.
Ort Farms | 25 Bartley Road, Long Valley
This beautiful dog-friendly farm is the perfect place for an autumn afternoon. Visitors are welcome to bring a blanket to spread out and relax on the farm. During the fall festival, there’s live music, a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, hay rides, and an apple cannon. The hardest part about visiting Ort Farms is picking between a hot apple cider or an apple cider slushie.
Pochuck Valley Farm Market | 962 McAfee Glenwood Road, Glenwood
Sweet apple cider is the draw at Pochuck Valley Farm. Not only does this 108-year-old farm produce its own homemade cider, but it also serves some incredible apple cider donuts and pies. Pick-your-own apples are available throughout the season and you’ll find even more fresh produce in the farm store.
Sun High Orchards | 19 Canfield Avenue, Randolph
With apple picking, local apple cider for sale, and hayrides, Sun High Orchards is a one-stop shop for fall fun. Plus, there’s a beautiful wildflower field, pumpkin patch, and mums for sale, making this one of our favorite spots for a little fall photoshoot. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates about available apple varieties and hours.
Wightman Farms | 1111 Mount Kemble Avenue, Morristown
Wightman Farms has all of the essentials like hot apple cider, apple cider slushies, and apple cider donuts. There’s a farm store so you can stock up on more cider on the way out. On the weekends, this 90-year-old farm puts on a fall festival with apple picking straight from the orchard and unique activities like a pumpkin slingshot and hay bale maze.