NORTH BROOKFIELD – This year, it felt for a while like autumn arrived early in New England! Every morning, it seems to get a little bit colder and temperatures even dipped to the low forties in some regions of Massachusetts this week. Of course, it is expected to kick back up a little bit this weekend in the last gasp of summer.

That's right, it is technically still summer in New England; the first day of fall is not until Monday, September 23. While it is certainly too cold to get any last minute trips to the beach in, that does not mean there is nothing to do. Instead of holding onto every last drop of summer, you can instead get a head start on fall festivities!

While we've written about haunted walking trails, Oktoberfest, and fall film festivals here at UpToBoston, there is perhaps nothing more quintessentially autumn than a visit to an apple orchard. And according to CBS Boston's Sarah Wroblewski and her interview with Mark Parlee of Parlee Farms in Lowell, the expected yields for apples (and pumpkins, too) is expected to be much better than average.

If you don't have the chance to get up to Lowell, though, we fortunately have plenty of apple orchards to pick from in New England. But which one is the best?

An argument could certainly be made in favor of Shelburne Orchards in Shelburne, Vermont as it was just named to be the only New England apple orchard on Fodor's list of the eleven dreamiest apple orchards.

However, I want to throw my support behind a lesser-known apple orchard in the region. Brookfield Orchards has been delighting residents of central Massachusetts for a century and it has become an annual tradition for many.

In addition to their beautiful rows of trees and scrumptious apples that are reasonably priced, Brookfield Orchards also has a picnic area, a charming country store, and areas for kids to play in. A day spent here will be a day treasured for the rest of your life. I know I've never forgotten it! For my money, Brookfield Orchards is the best apple orchard in New England.

Photo by Michael Weidner on Unsplash