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October 26, 2020

Two Philly-area apple orchards named among best in United States

Farms in Chester County and Delaware County make the national list

Recreation Orchards
Apple Orchards Pennsylvania Elizabeth Armstrong/

Two Philadelphia-area apple orchards — Highland Orchards near West Chester and Linvilla Orchards in Middletown Township — are considered among the best in the United States, according to a new list.

The pandemic has pushed most recreational activities outdoors in 2020 to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. It's no surprise that orchards of all kinds have become popular destinations across the United States.

Pennsylvania is well-known for its share of celebrated, decades-old apple orchards. A new list of the nation's best from The Daily Meal includes four from Pennsylvania, and among those are two located in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Appearing first on the list is Highland Orchards, a 200-acre farm not far outside of West Chester, Chester County, that dates back to the early 1940's. Highland's primary crops are apples, peaches and strawberries, but they also grow pears, nectarines, blueberries, sweet corn, rhubarb and cherries. In October, it's also a great place to go get pumpkins for Halloween.

In 2020, you can place an online order at Highland for curbside pickup or make a reservation for a time slot to pick your own apples or pumpkins. The bakery carries a wide range of fresh-baked pies, apple cider donuts, fudge and more.

Also on the list is Delaware County's popular Linvilla Orchards, a 300-acre family farm in Middletown Township. With crowds packing into Linvilla during the past two months, the farm recommends visiting on a weekday to avoid peak times on the weekends. Masks and social distancing are required. Timed tickets can be purchased online to ensure a slot.

In addition to its orchards, Linvilla also has a farm market that sells baked goods and a garden center on its property. In the fall it is a popular destination for pumpkins and other Halloween attractions, like its corn maze and hayrides.

The Daily Meal also included Brown’s Orchards and Farm Markets in Loganville, York County (about two hours from Philadelphia) and Soergel Orchards in Wexford, Allegheny County. A number of orchards in surrounding states — including Milburn Orchards in Elkton, Maryland — appear on The Daily Meal's full list, too.

With the cold weather quickly approaching, the next few weeks may be the last solid chance to get some quality time outdoors before activities become limited again for the winter.