The time is here to finally enjoy the bounty of our state's yearly harvest. Washington farmers grow over 300 crops, including, but not limited to, sweet cherries, berries, apples, peaches, corn, and tomatoes. Each summer and fall, Washington locals celebrate the changing seasons by picking fruit, watching grape crush at a winery, and so much more. Whether you prefer to sip on a special Oktoberfest brew or sample berries fresh off the vine, our INNSiders have the tips and tricks for you. Slide on some gloves and pick your favorite fall activity!
INNSider Tip: Cherry season in the Northwest starts in June and lasts until the end of August.
Agriculture is a major pillar of Washington’s economy. The combination of diverse climates, rich soil, and extensive irrigation creates the perfect environment for crops to thrive. In fact, the state is the leading producer in the United States of sweet cherries, apples, blueberries, hops, pears, and, interestingly, spearmint oil.
Pick Your Own Produce
Harvesting your own fruits and vegetables is the ultimate fall activity. There’s nothing like tasting a bite from an apple that you picked yourself. Luckily, Washington State has a wide variety of u-pick farms, fruit stands, farm tours and orchards.
Located on Fir Island in the Skagit Valley, Snow Goose Produce Market is a seasonal country market. After you pick out some choice produce, grab a famously gargantuan ice cream cone to devour on your way back to the B&B. In addition, Swans Trail Farms is considered one of the best apple picking orchards in the state. Although not currently open to the public at time of writing, tickets are available for Swans Farms’ Honeycrisp Apple Festival in September. Moreover, the Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms provides a fun setting for visitors to learn more about the behind-the-scenes of family farms in Washington. Don’t miss out on the chance to talk to local farmers about the food you’re enjoying!
After a fun day of learning about farming, head to your comfortable room at Anchorage Inn Bed & Breakfast in nearby Coupeville. Experience beautiful views of Whidbey Island, Mt. Baker and so much more from the elegant Victorian-style accommodations. Book your favorite room today!
East of the Cascades
Stutzman Ranch in Wenatchee is a fourth generation u-pick orchard and farm stand. Although apples are a main attraction, they grow many other desirable crops, such as nectarines, pears, pluots, seedless table grapes, peaches and more. Since opening in 1979, Prey’s Fruit Barn near Leavenworth has become one of the largest and most famous fruit stands in the state. Select your favorite apples and pears picked fresh from the orchard behind the fruit stand!
South Central Washington
West Valley U-Pick in Yakima offers an incredible selection of u-pick fruits and vegetables, from pears, plums and cherries to tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and more! Take it to the next level by making your own pear or apple cider with their manual presses. Moreover, Bill’s Berry Farm in Grandview lets visitors pick more than just berries! Harvest peaches, apples, cherries, and a variety of berries from Bill’s to snack on during your Washington vacation.
Additionally, Graysmarsh Farm in Sequim has a wide selection of berries to pick throughout the season. They also have a beautiful lavender field available for customers to harvest as well. Located on five acres on Marrowstone Island, Mystery Bay Farm offers tours and classes to teach community members about food production and homesteading. Explore the ins and outs of goat farming, learn about cheese making and even sample Mystery Bay Farm cheese for yourself.
One of the most traditional ways to celebrate harvest around the world is by attending Oktoberfest! Although we’d love to see you in lederhosen, you don’t have to dress in traditional German garb to show up at any of these fall festivals. Fremont Oktoberfest, which benefits the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, is Seattle’s largest beer festival. The beer-forward event features a Dogtoberfest day with a hilariously cute Dog Model Contest. Additionally, the Bavarian-style village of Leavenworth in Central Washington hosts the annual Leavenworth Oktoberfest. In lieu of the traditional indoor event, this year’s Oktoberfest will be held outdoors like a street fair, with over 100 local artisans. Moreover, Bier on the Pier in Anacortes, WA has over 40 breweries, cideries and food trucks local to the area. Stroll around historic downtown as you sample beer, peruse small businesses, and enjoy live music.
Located near Anacortes in La Conner, Katy’s Inn is an incredibly warm, comfortable bed and breakfast. Enjoy walks to the nearby scenic waterfront, indulge in tasty breakfast each morning, and revel in the fall air by the fire pit.
Sample Local Wines
Towards the end of the Ice Age, a massive flood in modern-day Montana carved out Washington’s Columbia Valley and deposited deep pockets of nutrient-rich soil across Eastern Washington. The abundant soil remains, allowing grapevines to grow deep roots and produce delicious, fruit-forward wines.
With over 1,000 wineries across the state, Washington gets pretty serious about the grape harvest. Join in on the joyful time by supporting a local winery. Use our Wine Lover’s Guide to Washington State Wineries to lead you to some of our INNSider’s favorite spots. Ask your innkeeper if they know of any local wineries that let you watch the grape crush from this year’s harvest. Each year in Walla Walla, Fall Release Weekend allows visitors from near and far to sample newly released wines. Chat with winemakers, learn more about the winemaking process, and discover your new favorite varietals!
Cameo Heights Mansion is the ultimate getaway for wine lovers. Located near Walla Walla wine country, this romantic destination resort has seductive suites, delicious breakfast, and more. They even offer wine tours and tasting shuttle service!