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The Atlantic Birches Inn

Old Orchard Beach, Maine

 

Between the coastal communities of Southern Maine stretch miles of farmland bursting with crops throughout autumn. Pick-your-own properties abound around Maine's York and Cumberland counties — places such as Brackett's Orchards, a centuries-old family operation with its own hilltop orchard for apple picking, and Spiller Farm, where you-pick apple varietals include McIntosh and Honeycrisps. Experience this bounty for yourself with a stay at Atlantic Birches Inn, just a 12-minute drive from Portland in the beachside community of Old Orchard Beach. This quiet corner lodging splits its accommodations between two distinct structures: a 1903 shingle-style Victorian and a 1920s bungalow. Each of the 10 guestrooms sports personal touches like colorful pieced quilts or a crocheted canopy bed. There are also tree-shaded porches and a backyard gazebo for lingering.

 

 


 

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Ravenscroft Inn

Port Townsend, Washington

 

Washington State boasts a wealth of natural attractions, and Olympic Peninsula — two hours north from Seattle — is no exception. Especially in fall, when the peninsula's self-guided Cider Route beckons thirsty travelers even more than usual, and pick-your-own properties like Wilderbee Farm feature offerings like flowers, blueberries and pumpkins. The Ravenscroft Inn, overlooking the bay from Port Townsend's historic uptown, makes an ideal base for your peninsula explorations. This purpose-built B&B draws inspiration from the South with its Charleston-style exterior with a veranda and an open Great Room with brick fireplace, as well as a library. The inn's eight guest rooms include the Fireside Room, with its snug fireplace and king-size poster bed, and the Rainier Suite, a spacious third-floor suite with dormer windows and a fireside soaking tub.

 

 


 

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Tamaracks Country Villa B&B

Byram Township, New Jersey

 

New Jersey's “Garden State” nickname is surprisingly well deserved — especially in southern NJ and the state's upper western Skylands region, home to a bevy of pick-your-own properties and farmland. These include the family-run Chia-Sin Farms, known for its you-pick Chinese veggies, and Milford's Phillips Farms. It's also where you'll find the Tamaracks Country Villa B&B, a top stay for you-pick excursions, not just in NJ but also for those throughout neighboring Pennsylvania and New York. Known locally as “the Colby Mansion,” the property got its start as a 19th-century stone farmhouse that changed with the years. Today the secluded 5.5-acre property offers unique features like a grand sunlit living room and a 200-year-old stone fireplace in the dining area. There are seven en-suite guestrooms, some with in-room soaking tubs, others with private balconies and timber beam ceilings, but all with their own individual flair.

 

 


 

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Engadine Inn and Cabins

Candler, North Carolina

 

Western North Carolina may be bursting with colorful fall foliage during autumn, but it's also peak season for experiencing the region's agricultural offerings. Held in early October, Ciderfest NC brings together the area's craft cider and mead makers for a full day of tastings, artisanal foods and live music. Even if you're not in town for the festival, there are plenty of you-pick orchards that will satisfy your fall cravings: places like Dogwood Hills Farm, Piney Mountain Orchards and Sky Top Apple Orchard. At the heart of it all is the Engine Inn and Cabins, a 12-acre property with a restored 19th-century Queen Anne–style lodging and six self-contained hilltop cabins, each with its own living area, porch and fully equipped kitchen. Civil War Captain John K. Hoyt built the inn — now a National Historic Landmark — in 1885, and today it features five guestrooms, each with a mix of antiques and modern amenities and its own distinct floor plan. Some even have clawfoot tubs, And wraparound porches provide Smoky Mountain views.

 

 


 

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Sakura Ridge Farm & Lodge

Hood River, Oregon

 

Oregon's Hood River Valley is a river basin of alpine lakes and lavender fields spread between snowtopped Mt. Hood and the town of Hood River. It's also home to the state's aptly-named Fruit Loop—a 35-mile long, self-guided trail of farm stands and u-pick orchards—and Sakura Ridge Farm & Lodge, the perfect perch for taking full advantage of these natural offerings. Situated among Mt Hood's foothills and with spectacular views of the 11,250-foot-high peak, Sakura fits in seamlessly to its surrounds. The property has its own vegetable and berry gardens, not to mention thousands of organic apple and pear trees. Indulge in farm-fresh eggs, sample homemade jams and get to know Sakura's resident sheep. The lodge itself features five en-suite guestrooms, all with light wood flooring and individual touches like hanging snowshoes and Native American artwork, and a common area with kitchenette. The inn closes October 31 for the winter months, reopening in early April.

 

 


 

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McKinney Bed and Breakfast

McKinney, Texas

 

North Texas has its own you-pick offerings, with Roanoke's Henrietta Creek Orchard sporting a half-dozen apple varietals, Glen Rose's family-run Rhineland Farms featuring flora like lavender and zinnias, and Sunnyvale's Pecan Orchard, complete with eight acres of pecan trees. It's also where you'll find the McKinney Bed and Breakfast, a stylish inn less than a 10-minute walk to the art galleries, specialty shops, wineries and eateries of McKinney's famed historic district. Choose from three en-suite guestrooms, including the Green Room, which served as the home's main living area more than a century ago, and the Latte Room, the property's former parlor, which includes its own private entrance. There's a front porch for socializing, though at breakfast you have the choice of dining with others or enjoying quiet time alone. Days begin with some homemade biscotti and hot coffee and/or tea outside your door.

 

 


 

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Jail Hill Inn

Galena, Illinois

 

Pick-your-own apple orchards are plentiful in Northern Illinois, home to such places as Woodstock's All Seasons Orchard and Malta's Jonamac Orchard, featuring more than 30 apple varietals and apple-picking by the bag. After a day choosing between Fuji, Red Delicious and Pink Lady apples, rest your weary head at Galena's Jail Hill Inn, a four-story brick B&B that served as the local county jail for more than a century. Although its current owners completely renovated the structure in 2015, they left many original details, including 9-foot-tall windows, two-feet thick walls and towering 14-foot tall ceilings, some with their original beams. Each of the inn's six suites features king-size beds and ornate gas fireplaces, and a few even occupy the old jail cells. Suite 302 is one of the latter. In fact, you can still see the jail's original cement floor — a security measure for prisoners — in the room's fireplace hearth. Along with a third-floor back deck and countryside views, the Jail Hill Inn provides guests with champagne and chocolates upon arrival — quite a step up from those “guests” booked at the property's former incarnation.

 

 

 

 

 

—by Laura Kiniry