As the cooler months of fall begin to arrive and the leaves start changing color, many people begin to miss the sun and warmth of summer. However, fall has a lot of advantages and unique activities to enjoy. Most notably, September represents the beginning of apple picking season, which can run through all the way to November, letting groups of friends and families spend hours walking around dozens of acres of picturesque apple orchards, filling bags and baskets with fresh apples of all varieties. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Overview

Overview
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Many apple orchards also include lots of additional activities like hay rides, farm tours, general stores, bakeries, restaurants, petting zoos, and more, providing all the fun you need for a full day out. Wisconsin is a great place for apple picking, with plenty of farms and orchards all around the state. Many of Wisconsin’s best apple orchards are located just short drives away from the capital city of Maddison, offering Granny Smith, Haralson, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Jonafree, Duchess, Crimson Crisp, and dozens of other varieties.

Best Apple Orchards Near Madison, WI

The area around Madison is home to a lot of great apple orchards and farms. Some of these locations are family-run farms offering simple apple picking, while others include additional fruits and activities like tractor rides, corn mazes, and special events. Here are some contact details and overviews of the best apple orchards near Maddison, WI.

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2.Door Creek Orchard

Door Creek Orchard
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If variety is what you want, Door Creek Orchard is one of the best places to be. This is an absolutely huge orchard with more than 80 different apple varieties! Every kind of apple you could possibly hope to find can be found at Door Creek Orchard, including hugely popular varieties like Haralson, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Gala, and Golden Delicious, as well as lesser-known kinds like Lamb Abbey Pearmain, Wolf River, Westfield Seek-No-Further, and Tompkins County King. All of these delicious apples can be picked from late July through to the beginning of November, and this apple orchard also grows grapes and pears, as well as selling lots of tasty products including apple cider, honey, and more.

3252 Vilas Road, Cottage Grove, WI, 53527, Phone: 608-838-4762

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3.Eugster’s Farm Market and Petting Farm

Eugster’s Farm Market and Petting Farm
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As the name implies, Eugster's is more than just an apple orchard. This location also runs a wide range of additional activities and is very conveniently located just a 15 minute drive south of Maddison, WI. A full petting farm can be visited at Eugster's, with pumpkins and apple picking enjoyed in the fall at this location. Various fall festivals and special events are held here each year too and the farm market sells a wide array of fresh produce and homemade treats like ice cream, pickles, jellies, jams, and more.

3865 WI-138, Stoughton, WI 53589, Phone: 608-873-3822

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4.Appleberry Farm

Appleberry Farm
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Another awesome apple orchard in the Maddison, WI area, Appleberry Farm was established way back in the early 1970s and is a popular destination with Maddison locals. This orchard features hay rides, scenic walks, a cute little duck pond, and other rural activities for the whole family to enjoy, as well as a huge range of apple varieties including classics like McIntosh, Snow, Empire, Gala, Honeycrisp, and more. Picking runs all week long and apple based products like cider, donuts, and caramel apples can also be purchased on site.

8079 Maurer Rd, Cross Plains, WI 53528, Phone: 608-798-2780

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5.Green’s Pleasant Spring Orchard

Green’s Pleasant Spring Orchard
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Pleasant Springs Orchard is situated just 13 miles southeast of Maddison and is one of the best apple picking spots in the entire state of Wisconsin. Other fruits and vegetables can be purchased as Green's Pleasant Springs Orchard, but the big focus is on apples. Run by husband and wife duo Dick and Vivian Green, Pleasant Springs grows more than 70 different varieties of apples, as well as making their own cider, apple sauce, and apple butter.

2722 Williams Dr, Stoughton, WI 53589, Phone: 608-873-4096

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6.Eplegaarden

Eplegaarden
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For apple picking in the Maddison area with a difference, check out Eplegaarden in Fitchburg, just a short drive southwest of the state capital. This is an old-fashioned apple orchard with a Norwegian twist, offering 'selv plukk' (U-Pick) apples, as well as pumpkins and raspberries. Some of the best apple varieties to enjoy at this location include McIntosh, Wealthy, Zestar, Honeycrisp, Gala, Spartan, Macoun, and Empire. Various special events and fun activities like hoe downs and face painting sessions can also be enjoyed at Eplegaarden.

2227 Fitchburg Rd, Fitchburg, WI 53575, Phone: 608-845-5966

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Apple Orchards Near Madison, Wisconsin



Attraction Spotlight: University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum

The UW Madison Arboretum is lauded for their work in ecological restoration and includes the world’s oldest and most diverse collection of restored ecological communities. The Madison, WI arboretum offers over 1,200 acres of prairies, wetlands, savannas, and woodlands, which collectively make up the arboretum’s “Remnants and Restorations.” Three distinct gardens showcase flowering trees and shrubs as well as a world-famous lilac collection.

The “Remnant” communities at the arboretum refer to ecological landscapes original to Wisconsin that have remained relatively undisturbed for upwards of 15,000 years, since the end of Wisconsin’s glaciation. Some of the arboretum’s landscapes are considered “Restorations,” meaning they are in the process of being restored and recovered following damage, degradation, or destruction. Remnants and restorations at the arboretum are subdivided into the areas of prairies and savannas, wetlands, conifer forests, and deciduous forests. The Curtis Prairie is the world’s oldest restored prairie and served as a home for University of Wisconsin experiments in the use of fire for prairie management throughout the 1930s and 1940s. The Southwest Grady Oak Savanna was replanted with acorns in the 1950s and work continues there to restore the 53 acres to a classic oak savanna. Wetlands include the Gardner Marsh, 186 acres of a failed housing development from the early 1900s that are currently being restored to increase biodiversity and remove invasive species. Among the conifer forests is the Evjue Pine Forest of red, white, and jack pines, which is being managed to prevent invasive species from taking over. Deciduous forests include the Noe Woods, 41 acres typical of post-settlement Wisconsin, and the Wingra Woods, considered a “created community” due to efforts between the 1940s and 1960s to plant species from northern Wisconsin woods. There are over 20 miles of trails through the Remnants and Restorations. Trails are open all year round from 7:00am to 10:00pm daily.

Three distinct gardens represent native plants of Southern Wisconsin. The Longenecker Horticultural Gardens occupy 35 acres surrounding the visitor center and display over 2,500 types of vines, shrubs, and trees, including more than 100 species of woody plants native to Wisconsin. The Viburnum Garden covers 3 acres of space and displays over 80 species of Viburnum, a flowering shrub. The Wisconsin Native Plant Garden spans 4 acres of space around the visitor center and is broken into 15 smaller gardens that introduce visitors to native plants and educate them on ecological relationships, pollinator conservation, and native plant care.

The 16,000-square-foot visitor center offers restrooms, a drinking fountain, and a reception area, where volunteers answer questions. The theater offers an orientation film about the importance of ecological conservation and restoration. The Steinhauer Trust Art Gallery adjacent to the auditorium serves as a space for temporary visual art exhibits that complement the arboretum’s mission by displaying artwork inspired by nature.

History: The idea for a university arboretum was first proposed in 1911 by landscape architect John Nolen and later reinforced by Michael Olbrich in 1925, who, at the time, was working to raise funds to create park land to preserve open spaces and public access to shoreline along the Madison lakes. Olbrich convinced the university’s board of regents to purchase land to be used as a forest preserve and wildlife refuge. The purchase was finally completed in 1932 after Olbrich’s death. Most subsequent land purchases came during the Great Depression, when land was inexpensive and readily available, as was the labor to work it. Most of the early restoration work was completed between 1935 and 1941 by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Ongoing Programs and Education: The arboretum offers visitors a variety of tours. Sunday Drop-in Walks are free and offer an introduction to the grounds, plant and animal identification, and a brief explanation of the science behind the conservation efforts. Garden tours of the Native Plant Garden and the Longenecker Horticultural Gardens are offered bi-weekly. Family tours explore the plants and animals of the arboretum through hikes, walks, crafts, and activities. Birding backpacks may also be checked out at any time for free at the visitor center. Classes offer a more in-depth experience than tours, and pre-registration is required. Past classes have included a crabapple cider workshop, birding classes, and All About Owls. The Earth Focus Day Camp for kids ages 3–14 has been a staple of the arboretum since 1991 and offers a lunch and play program for young naturalists interested in learning more about the plants, animals, and habitats at the arboretum.

1207 Seminole Highway, Madison, WI 53711, Phone: 608-263-7888

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Attraction Spotlight: Allen Centennial Garden

The Allen Centennial Garden is a public botanical garden managed by the Horticulture Department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The garden serves as a living laboratory and outdoor learning venue for guests of all ages and is open from dawn to dusk daily. Admission is free. The garden covers approximately 90,000 square feet surrounding the historic Dean’s Residence.

Due to the varied topography and exposures, the site allows for a great variety of plants. The garden’s emphasis is on herbaceous ornamental perennials, but the site features annuals and woody plants as well. Garden plots include the Iris Meadow, Shady Annual Garden, English Garden, and Edible Garden. There is also a Japanese Garden, Dwarf Conifer Garden, and Rock Garden. The Student Exhibition Garden rotates annually based on student projects. The North and South Gardens were each designed by the winners of an annual student design competition.

The Allen Centennial Garden is also home to a hive of honeybees, maintained by student beekeepers from the Greenhouse Learning Community. The students began the project in 2016 in response to the need to protect pollinators. The first honey harvest was a success and yielded 4 gallons of honey.

History: In 1979 the teaching gardens adjacent to the Plant Sciences building at the University of Wisconsin Madison were demolished to make space for a new building. Immediately, plans and donations were sought to design a replacement garden. Mrs. Ethel Allen, a former faculty member at the University of Wisconsin with a master’s degree in bacteriology, contributed with a substantial gift to the garden. Mrs. Allen was the widow of Dr. Oscar Allen, the noted UW Madison bacteriologist who taught at the University of Wisconsin from 1948 through 1976. The Allens co-authored what is considered to be the “encyclopedia” of the role of legumes in nitrogen fixation. Construction began on the garden in 1985. In 1989, when the garden was dedicated, the ceremony coincided with the centennial celebration of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, hence the naming for both the Allens and the college’s 100-year anniversary.

Currently, the garden comprises the 2.5 acres surrounding the home of the dean in residence. The Dean’s Residence is a Victorian Gothic home built in 1896 for the first dean of the agricultural college, as an incentive to keep him on staff at a time when other universities were attempting to lure him away. As one of the first buildings on the agricultural campus, it served as a home for the first four of the university’s deans, until 1980 when it was converted to offices. The home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 and currently provides office space for the garden staff.

Ongoing Education and Programs: The garden provides docent-led guided tours for group. Tours are led by the garden director, student interns, or volunteer staff. It is recommended that both self-guided and guided tour participants call in advance to ensure their tours do not conflict with garden events. For those interested in self-guided tours, the garden’s website offers an update on what’s currently blooming, and has a plant search feature, by which guests may locate their favorite plants on the garden map. The garden offers student internships in a variety of areas for 3–12 months. Students will build skills in horticulture, sustainability and urban agriculture, the arts, communications, or special events. Student interns contribute to many of the programs at the garden.

Past and Future Exhibits: The Allen Centennial Garden is host to a number of public and private events. Sunrise Yoga takes place each spring for university students and members of the university’s Recreation Center on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, as weather permits. An Everyday Scarecrow exhibit features scarecrows designed and built by students at a local grade school. Public events during the winter included Luminous, a showing of six lighting displays, which hosted over 3,000 people for bonfires, s’mores, and hot chocolate. Summer events include Final Fridays, a gathering of food vendors and local artisans on the last Friday of each month. The event offers family-friendly activities and live music. Summer Sundays in the Garden is an outdoor concert series. Performances are free and supported by several local non-profit organizations, in partnership with Friends of the Allen Centennial Garden, the non-profit supporting organization which independently funds the garden.

620 Babcock Drive, Madison, WI 53706, Phone: 608-576-2501

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Hotel Spotlight: The Edgewater

Located on the shores of Lake Mendota, The Edgewater is a luxurious hotel in the heart of downtown Madison. Situated right next to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, home of the Wisconsin Badgers and a short walk from the Capitol Square, The Edgewater is an ideal base for both business and leisure travelers who want to explore the city. The award-winning hotel offers over 200 well-appointed guest rooms, several acclaimed restaurants and lounges, a full-service spa and wellness center, exceptional facilities for private events and functions, and a community-focused plaza and pier.

Guest Accommodations

The Edgewater features more than 200 beautifully appointed guest rooms and luxury suites located in two buildings, namely the Wisconsin Building and the historic Langdon Building. All guest rooms and suites boast stylish décor and contemporary furnishings, king or queen-size beds in designer linens, en-suite bathrooms with spa showers, soaking tubs, plush bathrobes and deluxe bath products, and stunning views of the surrounding cityscapes.

The Presidential Suites are the hotel’s most luxurious accommodations with floor-to-ceiling windows boasting magnificent views of Lake Mendota. These luxurious corner multi-room suites feature gleaming wooden floors, richly upholstered furnishings, spacious king bedrooms have king-size beds with luxury linens, and over-sized en-suite bathrooms with designer dual stone vanities, spa rain showers, and soaking tubs. Separate living areas have comfortable sofas and armchairs, executive work desks and chairs, six-seater dining rooms with wet bars, and guest bathrooms. Modern amenities include 60” HD living room televisions, 47” HD bedroom televisions, refrigerator/freezers, Keurig coffee makers, in-room safes, iHome clock radios, and telescopes for stargazing.

Premium Lakefront King Rooms are located on the lake-facing side of The Wisconsin Building and feature floor-to-ceiling windows and spectacular views of Lake Mendota. These rooms have custom designer furnishings and separate living areas, king-size beds in luxury linens, en-suite bathrooms with large spa showers, and designer bath products, and first-class amenities such as 47” HD televisions, and executive work desks with multimedia hubs.

Other accommodations include Langdon Studio King Rooms, Langdon Loft King Rooms, Terrace, Lakeshore and Edgewater King and Queen Rooms, all of which feature custom designer décor and furnishings, private bathrooms and modern amenities.

Dining

The Edgewater features no less than five outstanding dining establishments serving an array of international cuisine, as well as private dining for more intimate affairs.

The Statehouse is the hotel’s flagship restaurant and serves a menu of Modern Midwestern cuisine created from thoughtfully sourced ingredients and served against a backdrop of beautiful Lake Mendota views.

Named after the Augie’s Tavern the first owner of The Edgewater Hotel, Augie Faulkner, Augie’s Tavern celebrates his legacy with a menu of classic and creative offerings with international inspiration and excellent service.

Overlooking the tranquil waters of Lake Mendota, The Boathouse is a casual waterfront dining spot that celebrates the long-standing tradition of waterfront dining in Wisconsin and serves a menu of classic All-American fare such as brats, burgers and cheese curds with a Modern Midwestern twist.

The Icehouse is a bustling food hall based at the bottom of The Plaza’s grand staircase that serves a variety of grab-and-go options like pizza, snacks and a wide selection of Wisconsin-brewed beers. One of the region’s most magical public spaces, The Plaza boasts sweeping views of Lake Mendota and the State Capitol and offers an array of outdoor activities and lakeside relaxation, including ice skating in winter.

The Café at The Edgewater is a casual corner spot that offers freshly brewed coffee and tea, house-made pastries and lighter fare in a relaxing indoor or outdoor locale.

Amenities

First-class amenities at The Edgewater include a full service spa and wellness center that offers hair and makeup styling, manicures and pedicures, massages, skin care and waxing, and fitness training and yoga. The Edgewater fitness center has state-of-the-art Synergy360 resistance training equipment and cardio machines, as well as a relaxation pool, yoga studio, and a steam room.

Weddings & Events

The Edgewater is one of Madison’s most sought-after special events spaces, boasting both indoor and outdoor venue for a variety of functions and events from weddings, receptions and grand balls to corporate meetings, conferences, and business functions. Sites range from grand ballrooms, the beautiful Plaza, and intimate private dining areas, to two luxurious top floor penthouses in each of our hotel towers. The hotel presents an array of unique packages for both social and corporate events, which include professional event planning and management teams to take care of every detail.

1001 Wisconsin Place, Madison, Wisconsin, 53703, Phone: 608-535-8200

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