By Jenny Van Atta and Brittany & Eric Highland (read their profiles here)
This article was originally published by our amazing friends at the Winnebagolife blog on 10/17/2019.
From pumpkin patches to cider mills, there are so many festive places to visit while RVing this season.
In case you haven’t heard of it, Harvest Hosts is a unique membership-based overnight parking option for RVers. And it’s the perfect way to plan some fall fun as you travel in your motorhome or travel trailer.
The company works with farms, wineries, breweries, golf courses, and more to provide free overnight parking to Harvest Hosts members. There are more than 1,200 Harvest Hosts locations across the U.S. and Canada. With 217 being farms, that means plenty of opportunities to enjoy some pick-your-own produce fun, a hayride, pumpkin patches, and harvest festivals of all kinds. (And they are always adding more!)
Of course, there are also cider mills, maple farms, and corn mazes (even haunted ones!). For an idea of what to expect as you explore Harvest Hosts in your RV this fall, check out these examples and tips from two of our contributors.
Corn Mazes & Pumpkin Patches
Lattin Farms in Fallon, NV – A 400-acre certified organic family farm and stand. At Lattin Farms you will find fresh seasonal produce as well as homemade jams and jarred goods.
Lattin Farms photos and recommendation by Jenny Van Atta.
October is Fall Festival time which runs Saturdays in October. Browse their pumpkin patch on a hayride or make your own scarecrow at their Scarecrow Factory. But, they may be most famous for their Corn maze, ‘The Original Nevada Corn Maze’, which has been a unique creation each of its 21 years. This year’s theme is Wizard of Oz. This is a great place to visit if you have kids – they will love the Cow Train and Critterville. For the adults, there is a Craft Fair including baked goods and local handicrafts.
Fallon is located off of US Route 50 known as The Loneliest Road in America. If you are visiting Lake Tahoe or Great Basin National Park, then you might find Fallon as an ideal resting place. Camping at Lattin Farms is calm once the festivities die down each evening and the parking lot is large and level.
Cider Mills & Orchards
Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard in Cooperstown, NY – Since becoming Harvest Hosts members six months ago, we’ve visited nearly 20 locations across the country. They’ve all been unique experiences, but Fly Creek has arguably been the most fun of them all!
Fly Creek photos and recommendation by Brittany & Eric Highland.
You are guaranteed to feel the spirit of fall as you witness cider-making on the 130-year-old press. Pressing takes place every weekend starting at 10 a.m. until the team is finished.
But cider-making is only the start. All week long, you can enjoy food and drink samples in the huge store (including wine, fudge, fresh apples, dips, and so much more), feed ducks and geese in the pond out back, and watch your little ones play on the lawn and race rubber ducks. Get ready for your mouth to water when you see the menu at the food stand. You definitely won’t have to worry about cooking because there aren’t enough meals in the day to try everything. From the chicken noodle soup to the apple cider donut sundae, we found ourselves so relaxed at this beautiful Harvest Hosts location–in an equally beautiful New York town.
We’ve also enjoyed fall treats at other locations in places like Guilford, Connecticut, and Waterbury Center, Vermont.
Harvest Festivals & Halloween Events
Indigeny Reserve Cider Works & Distillery in Sonora, CA – As you pull into this 160-acre orchard you will be greeted by an amazing covered bridge. Indigency is home to 52 different varieties of apples. These apples are used as the main ingredient in their hard ciders, apply brandy, and fruit-infused vodka.
Indigeny Reserve photos (including featured/top photo) and recommendation by Jenny Van Atta.
The tasting room and gift shop are open daily year-round. They are known for their Organic Harvest blend – the recipe changes twice per year using a mix of their many apple varieties.
While this is a great stop for adults anytime, during the Fall Festival it is also a great place for kids. Saturdays in October, the festivities include food & craft vendors, hayrides, and of course both alcoholic and non-alcoholic ciders which you can enjoy from limited addition keepsake cup.
Sonora is about an hour from Yosemite National Park. If you have ever tried to book camping in Yosemite, you may realize that this is a real gem of a Harvest Hosts location! Once you cross the covered bridge you will find a flat gravel parking lot with plenty of room for any size rig. However, it is very busy during the festival activities, so you’ll want to call to see what a good time to arrive would be, and it is also important to note that only one RV can stay at a time.
Tips for Finding Other Great Options for Harvest Hosts this Fall
Photo and tips by Brittany & Eric Highland.
With more than 1,200 locations in the Harvest Hosts family, you better believe there are more wonderful locations for fall than we can possibly list here. Here are a few tips for making the most of your membership this time of year:
1. Read the reviews. Every Harvest Hosts location on the app has reviews. The most recent reviews will clearly mention any seasonal activities you can take advantage of during your visit.
2.Take advantage of Harvest Hosts resources. Harvest Hosts has an active blog, email newsletter, and YouTube channel. Recent posts include the best camping spots for seeing New England foliage, and best fall camping across the U.S. Don’t forget to reference all of this helpful information when planning your fall trip!
3. Follow the trail. There are many RVers on social media who are active Harvest Hosts members. By following them, you can discover and bookmark the locations that look most fun to you. Harvest Hosts regularly features its members on Instagram and Facebook, so you can look there for people to follow.
4. Make your own fun. At most Harvest Hosts locations, we’re given so much room to spread out. While we always want to be respectful and follow the rules of each host, we’re usually encouraged to explore the property and appreciate the natural setting. This means you can create your own fall fun, like having a spontaneous scavenger hunt, designing your own wine and cheese tasting, or purchasing pumpkins to carve as the sun goes down.
Planning to visit a Harvest Hosts location near you? Remember a membership is required and it is also important to call ahead – especially on event weekends – to make sure there is room. And for more tips on fun locations, you can check out Jenny (@WineOBago) and the Highlands (@RVWanderlust) adventures on Instagram – they are always touring new ones!
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