There are many local apple orchards in the Syracuse area, but the most well-known—and my personal favorite—is the Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard in Lafayette. Beak & Skiff, also known as Apple Hill, has been in the apple business since 1911—that’s over 100 years of harvesting apples. Beak & Skiff sold its apples wholesale to local grocers until 1975 when the family opened a “pick your own” orchard. Since that year, Beak & Skiff has continued to expand its business, adding apple cider, baked goods, and liquor to its repertoire.
I know many of you at SU aren’t from New York State and may not understand the apple picking craze, but since you’re here for a few years, I absolutely suggest taking a trip to the orchard, bundling up in your fall attire, and enjoying a crisp autumn day. Here are four things to be sure to do on your next venture to Beak & Skiff.
1. Pick apples. It’s a bit of a no-brainer to suggest visiting the apple orchard while checking out Apple Hill. With rows and rows of beautiful apple trees, the orchard at Beak & Skiff lends itself to that insta-worthy fall pic.
2. Satisfy your sweet tooth. The bakeshop on Apple Hill, opened in 1979, is the go-to spot for all kinds of apple treats: apple cider, apple donuts, and caramel or candy apples.
3. Let them do the hard work. If you make a trip to Beak & Skiff but don’t feel like working too hard to get those delicious apples, make a stop at the Apple Barn, which offers barrels and barrels of freshly picked apples for your convenience. Here, you’ll find not only multiple varieties of Beak & Skiff’s apples, but also its apple sorting machine.
4. Eat, drink, and get cozy. After a long day of apple picking and romping through the orchard in the chilly fall air, we could all use a nice hot meal and maybe a hot apple cider. On Apple Hill you can find this and more at Beak & Skiff’s Café and 1911 Tasting Room. Grab a juicy burger, steamy bowl of chili, “The Orchard Panini” (yes, it has apples!), or the scrumptious pork tacos featuring an apple mango slaw. For the 21-and-over crowd, Beak and Skiff sells spirits and five varieties of hard cider from its own brand,1911 Spirits.