One of our family’s favorite apple orchards to visit for the past few years has been Pleasant Valley Orchard in Shafer, MN, a short drive away from the Twin Cities near Taylors Falls.
Where is Pleasant Valley Orchard?
It feels like a little getaway for our family as we drive east on Highway 8 from Interstate 35, driving through quaint little towns like Chisago City and Lindstrom. Then a sign directs orchard-seekers to turn on Pleasant Valley Road to get to the orchard, which overlooks the scenic St. Croix Valley.
Why we love it
We love it because it has everything we look for in an apple orchard experience – hayrides, a play area for the kids, farm animals, a gift shop and baked goodies to buy, and of course, pick-your-own apples!
Heidi and Thor loved picking apples, so much that we couldn’t stop them and ended up with 14 pounds of apples! Oh well – lots of applesauce and apple crisp, I guess!
There’s a great play area for the kids with hay, a corn pit, and a tractor to sit on.
There are two gift shops, one with bakery goods where you also pay for your apples and hayrides ($3.00 per person with under age 5 free), and one with mostly home décor and collectibles.
You can also try many varieties of apples that are in season.
Activities we enjoyed
We bought tickets for a hayride, which takes you to the pumpkin patch where you can pick your own pumpkins (like the apples, you can also buy them pre-picked). Turned out we were lucky and were the only ones left to go for a ride that day, so we got a hayride all for ourselves! The driver, Peter, was very friendly and made it a fun experience for us and the kids. We picked 2 pumpkins in the patch to buy and take home.
Happy apple picking!