Sweet, dripping peaches fresh from the tree, delicious honeycrisp apples, and apple cider donuts are three great reasons to visit Marker Miller Orchard. Located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley just outside of Winchester, Virginia, Marker Miller Orchard is one of my favorite summer and fall outings with kids.
Northern Virginia and Maryland have many orchards. Here are five reasons why I think Marker Miller Orchard is one of the best.
1. Great prices and quality produce
In 2013, the cost of a 1/2 bushel box of peaches was $18. Most apples are $22 for a bushel. Honeycrisp apples are usually about $5 more per bushel. When you compare these prices to farmer's markets or other orchards closer to the Washington D.C. area, these prices can't be beat for the quality of produce.
2. Fabulous playground and picnic areas
After driving for an hour or two with kids, the playground is a welcome sight. The playground at Marker Miller Orchard is delightful for kids of any age. My son's favorite is the “Jolly Cobbler” pirate ship. My daughter loves the wooden castle. The playground is clean, safe, and updated.
3. Produce and treats at the farm store
Marker Miller Orchard has a variety of pick-your-own produce throughout the season. Tomatoes, berries, peaches, apples, and more are fun and easy things for a family to pick. However, when I go with my youngest children, I am more inclined to just enjoy the scenery and playground and buy my produce in the farm store. Plenty of in-season produce is available in the store, and they have many delicious snacks and treats as well.
The sweet shop sells homemade fudge and hand-dipped ice cream. Apple cider donuts and pumpkin donuts in the fall are a delicious treat. We just tried the strawberry slush and it is delicious. Feel free to ask for a sample of any of the fruit or snacks in the store and they are happy to share before you purchase.
The farm store sells bakery items, cheeses, homemade jams and jellies, and much more.
4. Family-friendly festivals at Marker Miller Orchard
Marker Miller Orchard holds several festivals throughout the harvest season. These festivals include activities such as wagon rides through the orchard, the cow train for kids, live music, and plenty of fresh, tasty food. Bring your family to sample fresh peach ice cream or homemade apple cobbler and enjoy a beautiful day in the country at Marker Miller Orchard.
5. Beautiful vistas
Sitting on the rocking chairs, listening to happy children enjoying the playground, and looking over the orchards and valley will nourish your soul.
Good to Know
Location: 3035 Cedar Creek Grade, Winchester, VA 22602
Open: June-December, check website for days and hours.
Amenities: Farm store, picnic tables, playground, restrooms, rocking chairs.