If there is one thing I love about fall, it would be heading out to the east end of Long Island to go apple (and pumpkin) picking. Something about this annual tradition brings me back to my childhood and reminds me of the endless fun I would have running around the apple orchard and the hours I would spend in the pumpkin patch scouting out the perfect pumpkin (or at least, the largest).
While my time is more limited these days, a day out east to go apple picking was a must on my fall agenda this year—and I am so glad that I can now cross it off my to-do list and that I have plenty of apples to keep me well-stocked all season.
My apple picking itinerary looked much the same as it does every year—although this year, I brought along a friend to explore the orchard with. Our morning began with a stop at Hampton Coffee, right along Montauk Highway in Water Mill, for a light breakfast and my first cup of coffee of the day. They make the best iced cappuccino, which is my standard order.
Traffic was relatively light heading out east—which was shocking, considering the beautiful fall weekend weather we experienced—and we actually arrived at The Milk Pail in Water Mill early. I sipped on my iced cappuccino and took in the scenic bay views until the orchard opened (and may have stumbled across a backyard wedding reception venue during said wait, but can’t exactly confirm or deny those suspicions).
If you are a regular reader around here, you know just how much I love this apple orchard. I came across this family owned farm a few years ago and ever since then, it has been the only place I will get apples from.
Arriving early ensured that we were among the first people to start picking. We leisurely surveyed each row of apples and selected all of our favorite varieties. Our due diligence also meant that it took us way longer to fill up our bushel, but we weren’t in a hurry. By late morning, we had a great selection of Red Delicious, Empire, and Honeycrisp apples, which are now stocked away in my refrigerator and should last me more than a month.
Walking around an apple orchard has a way of working up an appetite, which was great, since by the time we finished, we were ready for brunch. We hopped in the car and headed to my second favorite eatery on the east end—The Golden Pear Café. Even though I hadn’t been out there to eat in a while, it was just as I had remembered—quaint, busy, and delicious. I ordered my second iced coffee of the day and enjoyed scrambled eggs with cheddar on a croissant that did not disappoint.
The key to a successful trip to the east end of Long Island during the summer and fall months is arriving and leaving early—which is exactly what we did. By 2 pm, we were on our way back home, sans traffic, and with our loot of apples in tow. All in all, it was a productive and fun outing!